175 Street Station, Manhattan, NY
The day trip combines two soothing, rejuvenating experiences: creating art and experiencing nature. It’s a sure-fire way to reduce stress and spark your creativity, guided by our Escape hiking guide and art therapy consultant, and you’ll make an ephemeral mandala, a mesmerizing practice that aligns us with the flow of the universe.
You will meet your group, your guide and the Escape art-therapist in Manhattan on the morning of your Escape and hit the road in the comfortable Escape Van to the Catskills, Upstate New-York.
To get started, we’ll mindfully walk along Mountain Top Arboretum trail, one of the most magical parts of New York State, where we’ll be surrounded by some of the area’s most stunning wildflowers, including white trilliums and happy trout lilies. Along the way, you’ll gather your favorite nature items (branches, pinecones, flowers, herbs…) and save them for our creative work later. We’ll stroll the walkways breathing pure mountain air, meandering around the woodlands until we reach the enchanting miniature village, with its tiny fairy houses built by artists and children. Then we’ll enter a dense forest, where it will feel refreshing to get into the woods, out of the sun, as the topography changes underneath our feet. We’ll hear the hoots of owls in the distance, and we’ll spot interesting animal tracks in the mud. A quiet stream feeds into a hidden marsh. Then we’ll follow a short boardwalk out of the forest and be plunged into daylight, by a sparkling pond.
Here we’ll stop for lunch and begin working with Lia, Escape’s phenomenal art therapist. In the midst of a magical landscape we’ll create stunning ephemeral mandalas using the items we gathered all along our hike. She’ll help us tap into our best selves, and we’ll be inspired by the incredible mountain views as well as our own strength and the beautiful energy of our small group.
We will finish this 4-mile loop by the end of the afternoon. Your Escape guide will drive you back to the city, and you will be home around 7pm, feeling renewed, relaxed, and overflowing with creativity.
What is an ephemeral mandala? Mandala, a Sanskrit word for circle, is a spiritual symbol that traditionally has been used to help focus attention and as an aid to meditation. This impermanent art is a meditation on really noticing and contemplating the plants, branches, and flowers as we choose and then arrange them on the ground into stunning shapes and textures. Mandalas become truly ephemeral in nature, because they change and degrade as they’re exposed to the natural outdoor elements. Ours may last only a few hours or a few days. We will take a picture and then the mandala is cast into the winds with a one-word intention or hope that you send out into the ether.
Perfect for: Every women who is interested in walking and creating ephemeral mandalas. You don't need to be an artist or an experienced hiker! This Escape is a 5-person adventure (3 clients/1 guide/1 art consultant).