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NYC’s largest mass meditation event ever is coming to Madison Square Garden


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Photo: James Farrington
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Ever made it to halftime of a basketball game and thought to yourself, “Ommmmm?” Okay, maybe not—but if you’ve ever wanted to meditate on a basketball court, now you can. And not just any court: Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena.

On Sunday, August 20, The Big Quiet is coming to MSG in New York City for its biggest mass meditation event yet.

It’s not the first wellness takeover of the sports mecca, which has hosted everything from the NBA Finals to the Stanley Cup Finals and even Wrestlemania: Last year the Garden floor was overrun with yogis whose chants wafted up to the rafters. But it will definitely be the quietest—bringing peace to a spot better known for the Bronx cheer.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event—including where to get your prayer hands on the coveted tickets.

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It’s going to be massive

Last year, The Big Quiet’s 2,000-person event at Central Park’s SummerStage was its largest to date. (Previous meditation events in the city have taken place at Lincoln Center, North Brooklyn Farms, and the United Palace Theater.) But founder Jesse Israel says this one will surpass that. “We’re hosting the event on the actual court of the arena and in the seated sections alongside the court,” he explains. “The court plus the ring of seating holds 2,100 people—and if filled, it will be our biggest Big Quiet to date.”

Israel says MSG has been a dream venue for The Big Quiet since day one. “An important part of The Big Quiet is what we refer to as ‘the blend,'” he says. “Blending together culture and well-being to create powerful social experiences. MSG is one of the most celebrated cultural hubs in the world, and perhaps the most exciting gathering point in New York City. So when MSG emailed us out of the blue and invited us to host on the Garden floor, we were so honored. We’re so fired up to host a moment of togetherness at an epicenter like MSG.”

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You don’t need to be a meditation guru or sound bath veteran to attend

In fact, the goal of The Big Quiet is to bring even more people to meditation in a totally un-intimidating, welcoming way. “A simple guided meditation technique will be shared for first-time meditators, and there will be a sound bath,” says Israel. Sound bath rockstar Sara Auster, The Big Quiet’s sound director, will lead a meditation and will orchestrate several instrumentalists on bowls and gongs. Plus, expect immersive performances including a choir, string instruments, and acoustic musicians.

The event officially lasts 60 minutes, including a warmup, 20-minute meditation, performances, and closing statements. But you’ll also get 30 minutes before and after the session to hang out on the court and snap those Insta-worthy shots you know you want.

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Expect some sweet swag

This year’s Big Quiet partners include buzzy brands like Outdoor Voices, Sweetgreen, and Sky Ting Yoga. Sky Ting’s founders (Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan) will be teaming up with Outdoor Voices to lead the group in a standing body movement warmup before the meditation begins, and Sweetgreen will offer a $15 free app credit to all attendees.

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Wear comfy clothing and leave your yoga mat at home

“Wear whatever you want, as long as you’ll be comfortable sitting in it,” says Israel. And no need to bring a yoga mat or cushion: That will all be provided for you. (And if you can’t make it IRL, the event will be live-streamed on Tonic.) So bring a friend (or a few) to this out-of-the-ordinary stadium event—definitely no air horn needed.

The Big Quiet, Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001, 10:30 a.m., August 20, $40–$45. Tickets available here

If you’re new to group meditation, here’s what to know before you give it a go. And if MSG isn’t in your travel radius this summer, download this app that’ll transform any space—basketball courts included—into a a dreamy meditation zone