Life Coach. Writer.

No Texts, Please, We’re Meditating

March 29, 2016

If you are either a resident or visitor in New York City, you won’t have to searchmeditation, NYC very hard to find one of the growing number of centers, classes and public spaces where you can drop in to meditate. In my latest piece for The New York Times, I explore the who, the why, the how, the when, and the where…

When a photo of a wall covered in lush green foliage showed up on Grace Clarke’s Instagram feed, she felt an immediate urge to track it down. Stressed out and headed to a meeting at Madewell, where she works as a social media copy editor, Ms. Clarke clicked on the geotag and discovered that the wall’s location was on East 8th Street in Manhattan at a meditation studio called MNDFL, which opened in November 2015.

The next morning, Ms. Clarke, 29, went to the studio and spent 30 minutes in a meditation class led by Lodro Rinzler, one of MNDFL’s founders. Since that day last December, Ms. Clarke has attended classes nearly every other day, often going early in the morning before work. “Having a place with a stripped-down aesthetic and a menu of classes makes it feel very approachable and promotes a sense of calm amidst the craziness,” she said.


Getting some Headspace In Flight

December 18, 2012

imagesAir travel can be stressful, boring, anxiety-producing. Once in flight, there’s no way to escape – the surrounding confines of a packed aircraft and its poorly circulated air, the tension that comes with making a connection, the inevitable lost baggage syndrome. Except, perhaps, in your mind. Enter Headspace Take10 for the air, a new meditation audio offering onboard Virgin Atlantic flights.

Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, is the soothing voice and meditation guru behind Headspace, an audio guided meditation that one can listen to on any Ipod, Smartphone, etc. In their continued effort to bring meditation to the Unknownmasses, Puddicombe and his team devised the Headspace 10-minute guided meditation for the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet (they are also talking to Jet Blue about a similar partnership), which is hopefully helping a lot of airline passengers better deal with the stresses of modern air travel.

Recent research has been highlighting the positive effects of meditation, such as reduced anger and stress, added creativity, greater concentration and increased attention span. A recent article in Yale Scientific magazine writes, “Meditation does not only have emotional benefits. A growing body of evidence suggests that mindfulness training can help anxiety,


On a Gîte in Southwestern France

October 2, 2012

IMG_1435For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to stay on a gîte – the French word for a holiday vacation home, often on a farm or vineyard. When a colleague mentioned she knew someone who’d opened a gîte on a vineyard near France’s southwestern city of Carcassonne, I immediately inquired.

A few months later, there I was with my teenage daughters, Nicole and Emily, riding the three-hour train from Paris to Montpellier, where we picked up a rental car and drove an hour and a half to Chateau Cânet, a working wine and olive oil domaine in France’s Languedoc region.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a lovely summer intern named Anna, who gave us a tour of the grounds – the swimming pool, tennis IMG_1472court, ping pong table, barbeque – and showed us around our accommodation, a quaint cottage with two bedrooms, a kitchenette and a private outdoor patio.

Chateau Cânet is the dream project of its proprieters, Floris Lemstra and Victoria Lemstra-Bake. With their two children and two large dogs in tow, they manage every aspect of Cânet’s 250 acres, its wine and olive oil production and its nine gîtes which accommodate 42 guests. Read More→