Practicing Contemplation on the Streets Projects
Responding to neighbors in need as well as systemic injustice has been at the core of our commitment to engaged contemplation. Since our founding in 2020 we have been involved in an organized response to the COVID pandemic and the many systemic injustices that the pandemic continues to reveal. Our response, called Operation Feed the Front, began by serving healthcare workers on the frontlines in hospitals across Long Island, especially those serving low-income communities. After the COVID surge abated in New York, we shifted from serving hospitals to distributing meals and offering spiritual care to those facing hunger because of homelessness, or loss of income. This program continues to evolve as we respond to the changing economic effects of the pandemic, which experts remind us will be with us for decades to come.
At the moment, we are especially present serving in downtown Hempstead, NY, known for its poverty and gang related violence. We also have an ongoing presence at the Nassau County Correctional Center where we bring the gifts of contemplative spirituality to incarcerated neighbors inviting them to transform their jail cells into “monastic” cells where the inner work of healing and transformation can take place.
You can read about the history of our “food distribution” efforts here: https://medium.com/center-for-spiritual-imagination/responding-to-the-presence-of-the-holy-6bfce2b4fbb1