Quiet Mornings at MoMA Are the Best Start to a Day in NYC

© Esme Benjamin
© Esme Benjamin
Photo of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor11 September 2017

At 7:30 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, the Museum of Modern Art’s famous exhibits are accessible to a small group of early risers. These events are called “Quiet Mornings”, and they pair leisurely art viewing with guided group meditation.

Normally a visit to the MoMA involves jostling for prime viewing space, but perusing the gallery before opening hours is serene and contemplative—the way experiencing art should feel.

Without the intrusion of noisy crowds and endless selfie-taking it’s so much easier to soak up Claude Monet’s Water Lilies or Mark Rothko’s bold, color-blocked canvases. Examining the intricacies of color and texture is itself an exercise in mindfulness, which is perhaps why it pairs so well with meditation.

See MoMA before the crowds | © Jon Rubin/Flickr

Every month the gallery invites one of New York’s most renowned teachers, including Elena Brower, Biet Simkin and Gemma Gambee, to lead a guided session at the gallery. Cushions are laid out in a communal semi-circular shape and the morning culminates in a silent 30 minute practice to steady the mind, slow the pulse, and calm the nervous system.

By 9 a.m. the gallery braces for the public hordes and attendees of the Quiet Morning prepare to begin their day in the world’s most energetic city, hoping to maintain an impervious sense of inner calm as they go.

When you’ve already got your culture fix and successfully meditated by breakfast time, you’re off to a pretty great start.

Where do you want to go next?

Did you know some New Yorkers are dabbling in orgasmic meditation? And don’t miss NYC’s most famous street art while your out and about exploring the city.

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