Many seek chill NYE with group meditations, intention setting

Many seek chill NYE with group meditations, intention setting

They have a yen for zen in 2024.

Revelers are seeking more rejuvenating ways to ring in the new year, ditching drunken toasts of cheap Champagne for events that offer soothing sound baths and group meditations.

One event in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, boasts the earliest-ending New Year’s Eve party in the city.

“I joke that it’s a New Year’s Eve for boring people — like me,” said Kyle Davis, a teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center in Brooklyn.

A $30 ticket gets partiers two hours of vegetarian appetizers, meditation and intention setting — and then rings in the new year at 9 p.m.

One event in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, boasts the earliest-ending New Year’s Eve party in the city. Courtesy of Kyle Davis

“People are looking for ways to get out, be connected, find community and do something fun and meaningful and that doesn’t involve a typical club or party,” said Davis. “Each year I meet more people who tell me they’re looking for something exactly like that and there aren’t tons of options in the city.”

Young adults ages 18 to 34 in the US are less likely to drink alcohol than they were 20 years ago, with 10% fewer drinking at all and more drinking less often and to excess, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Myda El-Maghrabi leads a sound bath workshop on New Year’s Eve at Abhaya Yoga in Dumbo. courtesy of Myda El-Maghrabi
Sound baths, where instructors create sound with instruments and other tools to facilitate a meditative experience, are one popular alternative to typical New Year’s Eve festivities. Viola Wan

Sound baths, a meditative practice where users are “bathed” in sound, have grown more popular too, even trumping yoga this year for Abhaya Yoga’s sold-out New Year’s Eve workshop — a $60 event that will ultimately ring in 2024 in complete silence.

“It’s a total paradox — instead of looking for someone to kiss it’s very quiet and internal,” said Abhaya owner Tara Glazier.

The party scene can be chaotic and expensive, too, she added.

The New Year’s Eve event at Kadampa Meditation Center in the Flatiron District typically draws over 200 attendees who celebrate with vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and a mocktails before a talk and meditation with Buddhist teacher Kadam Morten. Courtesy of Kadampa Meditation

Upwards of 200 people will fill the Kadampa Meditation Center in the Flatiron District (different than the Brooklyn facility) for its 29th annual New Year’s Eve celebration.

For $60 for non-members, vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and mocktails will go around and then a talk and meditation about the power of intention led by the Buddhist meditation teacher Morten Clausen will continue until the clock strikes 12.

“Instead of beginning the new year with an overstimulated mind, we begin it the way we mean to continue it, with a peaceful good heart and a clear direction,” said Simone Barker. Courtesy of Kadampa Meditation

“Instead of beginning the new year with an overstimulated mind, we begin it the way we mean to continue it, with a peaceful good heart and a clear direction,” said education program director Simone Barker.

“People are looking for an alternative to drinking and to being in a nightclub or in a rowdy setting with drunk people,” said Barker. “We’ve all experienced enough of that.”