How to Meditate: Advice For Beginners From NYC's Top Teachers

Written by Esme Benjamin, Wellness Editor || Posted on Cultural Trip

Although you'll find plenty of people attesting to the life-changing effects of meditation, the benefits are far from merely anecdotal. A solid meditation practice has been proven to reduce pain, lower stress (and therefore the risk of diseases), and even alter the structure of your brain by increasing gray matter density, therefore enhancing learning, memory and compassion. In other words, it's time we all made meditation as important to our health regimen as gym sessions, but like any new habit it can be difficult to form. Here, NYC's top teachers provide their ultimate tips on how to meditate if you're new to the practice.

Find a teacher to guide you

Although there are some really great apps and YouTube videos out there, my main tip would be to find a real world teacher who can guide you in the moment. We learn so much on a subtle level that we don’t realize, and learning meditation needs this type of connection. Gemma Gambee, meditation teacher



Gemma GambeeComment
Early Morning Meditation at MoMA Lets You Get Zen Amidst Art

Written by Kara Weisenstein || Posted on Creators/Vice

Finding inner peace is beautiful amidst Rothko and Monet.

Let's face it, museum-going can be stressful. To glimpse a Matisse or Picasso up close in most major institutions, you've got to battle crowds of tourists and avoid getting whacked in the head with a selfie stick. For this, and many other mindful reasons, Quiet Mornings at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), presented in partnership with Flavorpill, is a welcome respite. On the first Wednesday of every month, the museum opens its doors early in the morning for an hour of distraction-free gallery gazing, followed by a 30-minute guided meditation amidst the art.

At a recent iteration, art lovers unaccustomed to arriving at a museum at 7:30 AM clutched coffee in to-go cups, which they dutifully ditched in order to wander the blissfully vacant galleries. As the guided meditation portion of the morning approached, patrons laid claim to one of hundreds of green cushions dispersed throughout MoMA's second floor atrium, getting cozy and awaiting instruction from meditation teacher and creative strategist Gemma Gambee. For half an hour, she and bansuri flute player Eric Fraser guided New Yorkers away from distractions and technology, towards stillness and inspiration.

Gemma GambeeComment
Mindful Mornings: Tapping Into Our Innate Ability to Live In the Present Moment How Gemma Gambee uses yoga and meditation to sharpen the mental tool.

Written by Brianna Steinhilber || Posted on Everup

If you don’t meditate, do you feel a difference in your mental or emotional health?

There are subtle differences. There are afternoons that I miss my meditation and my soul misses it. I’ve taught after-school programs in Harlem for 5-12 year olds; I teach executives at one of the largest tech hedge funds in the world; and I teach everybody in between—scientists, housewives. In the end this whole conversation is at a very politically correct moment, calling it mindfulness, but the reality is, no matter whether you’re a scientific atheist that believes in absolutely nothing or if you’re a devout religious person, there is some type of mystery in all of us, and when I don’t have the opportunity to allow my mind and intellect to bow to that mystery that’s in myself, I crave it.

Gemma GambeeComment
Dirt and Daydreaming with Gemma Gambee

Written by Brianne Garcia || Posted on Thing of Wonder

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish what exactly draws us to certain people. Like gravity, we don’t have much of a choice in the matter. To gravitate towards someone is to surrender to this process of being drawn in, and to suddenly find ourselves in front of or next to this person in all their glow, or power, or command, without any further complications or questions. We are just happy to be there.  

Gemma Gambee is this kind of force. She is a person whose presence is noticed and sought,  yet is also devoted, in her daily work, to remaining grounded, both literally and figuratively. Her favorite pastime and current source of inspiration is staring into dirt, taking stock of all its little fragments and inhabitants. She sees an entire world of beauty and complexity in a surface that usually goes unnoticed, untended, cleaned off. Though she is an admitted daydreamer, she is always examining where her emotions originate, using meditation as a tool.

Gemma GambeeComment

Meet Gemma Gambee. She’s our new meditation teacher. Every Sunday you can find her up on Sky Terrace at Hudson calming the minds, bodies and souls of all our guests. We’ve learned she’s actually a lot more than that though. Brand strategist, trend forecaster and concept designer, Gemma is a creative innovator in the design and marketing space, blending creativity with mindfulness. She teaches simple meditation practices designed to deeply rest the body and effortlessly expand conscious awareness. We’re super excited to have her at Hudson every Sunday morning to give our guests the opportunity to relax and rest through an approachable meditation method that stem from the teachings of the Vedas.

Gemma GambeeComment

Well, basically the theme of the trip centred around the idea of nature and its role in providing constant inspiration for fashion designers. This sounds a bit obvious I know but the way in which our host, New York trend forecaster, concept designer, stylist and lecturer Gemma Gambee unpacked and explored the topic was anything but. Within about 2 seconds I’d become utterly entranced by Gemma’s talk. This wasn’t exactly a shock given my borderline sad obsession with luxury branding, trend progression, fashion history and all things digital, basically Gemma’s areas of extreme expertise and the main areas unpacked in her witty, captivating and almost unbelievably on point views on the industry past, present and future. I’m not joking when I say that I’m a total geek about that stuff. My friends and family literally (and unsuccessfully) beg me to shut the hell up about the thesis I finished well over a year ago. Luckily however, some people are equally obsessed so after being that student sitting at the front with their hand up every 2 seconds I was so happy to be able to corner Gemma afterwards and learn more about her work.

Gemma GambeeComment