Surf’s Up in the Rockaways? Let’s Meditate on That
By COREY KILGANNON
SEPT. 3, 2017
The New York Times
The Rockaway Summer House is not your typical Buddhist retreat center.
“Most retreat centers are out in the middle of nowhere, but we chose this location because it’s on the outskirts of the city, where it’s quieter and more peaceful, but it’s also accessible by subway,” said Bhante Suddhaso, 31, the resident monk who leads meditation and teaches principles of Buddhism at the house.
The center, in a Spanish-style house in the Arverne section of the Rockaways, has Jamaica Bay on one side and the ocean on the other, both short walks away.
During breaks, attendees may walk to the ocean. The center offers meditation sessions and wellness and yoga classes on the beach, where the sound and presence of the ocean is “a constant reminder of the impermanent, ever-changing nature of life,” Mr. Suddhaso said as he sat in the backyard with Giovanna Maselli, 36, with whom he opened the retreat house in December.
In addition to reiki, acupuncture classes and workshops, the center also offers surfing-themed meditation classes, open to experienced surfers, as well as beginners who may rent boards, said Ms. Maselli, whose own surfboard leaned against a wall nearby.
Both surfing and meditation have a “being in the moment” mind-set, she said, adding that, “It’s very difficult to think about anything else when you’re riding a wave.”
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1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
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5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell