The Big Quiet at Madison Square Garden

“The deepest of level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept.” -Thomas Merton

I have been attending The Big Quiet events since April 2016. My first experience with meditation was at Lincoln Center when Jesse Israel brought quietness to a group of over 500 New Yorker’s. I had tried to meditate previously using apps, but couldn’t successfully zen out. I’m a group person — group fitness and now group meditation. After this first event I began attending the smaller Medi Club group for monthly meditation and then I began volunteering at them. I loved the community and I loved being behind the scenes of bringing meditation to the masses.

The Big Quiet has taken over some pretty iconic NYC location including Summer Stage at Central Park, The Oculus at The World Trade Center and then we went way up to One World Observatory. Every time I think it can’t get bigger or better, it does. And the latest The Big Quiet took place on the courts at Madison Square Garden!

Madison Square Garden is known for its noise. Whether it’s fan cheering on a basketball game, rowdy hockey fans or concertgoers, The Garden is a happening place to be! But all that noise can be overwhelming, especially when the New York City streets are just as loud. There never seems to be an escape from the noise. At a moment in time when every one and every thing seems to be divided, The Big Quiet brought us all together. So here we are, on the eve of The Great American Solar Eclipse sharing in a unified healing practice.

You don’t have to be an expert in meditation to attend The Big Quiet events. That’s what I love so much about it. There’s always a different style of meditation being introduced to the group at every event and it gives you a chance to learn and find your style. And if you can’t stand the silence, there’s a simultaneous sound bath to keep the good vibes going and to keep you from getting distracted, or even nervous of the silence. What’s a sound bath? Ultimately it’s noise and the breath of meditation is part of that bath.

What is a sound bath?

Sound baths produce states of deep relaxation in individuals. Sound activates the parasympathetic part of our nervous system which helps us relax and ultimately heal. Thoughts and emotions are part of our active sympathetic nervous system and vibrate at a lower frequency. Sound allows us to let go of these thoughts and vibrate on a higher frequency in order to heal.

I joke that I’m not allowed to go to sound baths because after a sound bath, I became extremely emotional and ultimately quit my corporate job. This was my body’s form of healing and the sound allowed me to let go of my emotions of worry and fear and vibrate on a higher level of excitement and trust!

Once again, Jesse Israel, Lauren Billie and the entire The Big Quiet community produced a really special event in the heart of New York City. I can’t wait to see where the quietness takes us next!

The first mass meditation at Madison Square Garden included:

Warm-up movement by Sky Ting Yoga and Outdoor Voices

Acoustic performance by Sterling Strings NYC, James Tillman, Janelle Kroll

Sound Bath with Sara Auster and Atonal Meditation

Guided Meditation led by Jonni Pollard

Tuning Fork Vibrations led by Latham Thomas


Originally published at www.balancedlife-leslie.com on August 20, 2017.

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