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Urban Connect is an information hub dedicated to sharing resources related to Yoga, Buddhism, and Psychology, and exploring the connections of these subjects, for the purpose of promoting personal growth and healing. The site also targets how these subjects relate to under-served urban communities and the adversities they encounter.

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Buddhism

A list of Buddhism resources including links to inspirational spiritual teachers and various educational resources, including online guided meditations, videos, and classes offered in NYC.


Inspirational Teachers

Dalai Lama - The official website of the Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people.

Thich Nhat Hanh - A venerable Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Monk, who serves as a poet, peace and human rights activist, teacher, and author. He teaches practices related to meditation, mindfulness, and peace. Plum Village is a monastery in France, founded by Thich Nhat Hanh.

There is a way of breathing
that’s a shame and suffocation.
And there’s another way of expiring,
A love breath
That lets you open infinitely.
— Rumi

Pema Chodron - An inspiring Buddhist teacher, prolific author, and nun. Her foundation now offers a "book initiative", in which her books and recorded teachings are freely available to under-served individuals, and the organizations that serve them.

Sharon Salzberg - A renowned meditation teacher and author who teaches mindfulness and loving-kindness practices. Her website includes a collection of resources including articles, videos, and other information related to Buddhism.

Robert Thurman - A professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and President of the Tibet House; an esteemed and humorous Buddhist scholar and teacher.

Ethan Nichtern - An author and Buddhist teacher, as well as founder of The Interdependence Project.

Venerable Robina Courtin - An ordained Buddhist nun, who has served as editorial director of Wisdom Publications, editor of Mandala Magazine, executive director of Liberation Prison Project, and as a touring teacher of Buddhism. Her life and work with prisoners have been featured in the documentary films Chasing Buddha and Key to Freedom.

Susan Piver - A Buddhist teacher, speaker, and author. She founded The Open Heart Project, which is an online meditation community. You can sign up for the BASIC Open Heart Project to receive 1 free 10 minute guided instructional meditation video per week to help learn the basics of meditation and start a personal practice.


NYC Resources

Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science - A non-profit community that offers a variety of resources to assist people in the integration of contemplative practices into contemporary life. Check out the ResourceLibrary section for a host of articles and guided meditations.

Tibet House - An institution in NYC dedicated to preserving Tibet's culture through the offering of different educational programs, art exhibitions, and retreats.

New York Insight Meditation Center - They offer a number of drop-in, donation-based meditation sessions throughout the week. On the first Monday of each month, they offer a meditation session specifically for Addiction & Recovery.

Shambhala Meditation Center of New York -  A Meditation Center that is part of an international community founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The NYC center offers meditation classes and other educational courses and retreats. They hold a public sitting meditation several days a week, for FREE, as well as Learn to Meditate classes for beginners, which is donation-based ($10 suggested donation). They also offer affordable community groups, including one for people in recovery and another for LGBTQ people.

The Interdependence Project - An organization that offers education in Buddhist practice and psychology, as well as transformational activism, for the purposes of personal development and collective engagement.

Kadampa Meditation Center New York City - A meditation center founded by the Buddhist teacher and monk, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The main center is located in Chelsea, but they offer classes throughout NYC. See the site for schedule and fees.

MNDFL - The premier meditation studio in New York City. They offer various types of meditation inc;uding Vedic, Zen, Jewish, Vipassana, Kundalini, Tibetan and Shambhala, as well as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

 
   

 

 

The Three Jewels Outreach Center - A community-centered place in NYC that offers yoga, meditation, and Dharma (teachings of the Buddha) classes. The meditation and Dharma classes are donation-based, and they also offer a donation-based yoga class for Veterans.


 
...You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.
You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that...
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Other Resources

Tricycle - A non-profit educational organization that makes Buddhist teachings and practices widely available through a quarterly magazine, films, a blog, and e-books.

Vipassana Meditation - An organization that offers programs in Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N Goenka, a venerable teacher who has contributed to the rehabilitative movement of bringing meditation to prisons.

Insight Timer - A free meditation app available for Android and iOS that offers thousands of free guided meditations from a multitude of teachers, from varying traditions. There are also opportunities to connect with other meditators around the world. 


Non-Buddhist Spiritual Inspirations

The real opposite of love is fear. In love one expands, in fear one shrinks. In fear one becomes closed, in love one opens. In fear one doubts, in love one trusts.
— Osho

Osho - A spiritual mystic who teaches concepts similar to those of Buddhism. That being said, he does not identify himself as Buddhist, or as part of any religion, however he does teach meditation and other practices to guide people towards awakening.

Eckhart Tolle - A spiritual teacher and author who does not identify himself with any religion, however does use teachings from Zen Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism and the Bible.

Deepak Chopra - A spiritual teacher that is influenced by a range of religious traditions, however does not identify himself with any of them. He is a physician, prolific author, teacher, and founder of a wellness center in California.

Rumi - A 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic. His poetry is beautiful, inspirational, and closely aligned with spiritual truth.

Hafez - A Persian poet, who also writes beautiful, inspirational, and spiritually themed poetry.