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GoNOLA Tops: Meditation Spots

Stunning, old oak trees fill City Park making it the perfect place for meditation.

It’s no doubt that a trip to New Orleans will excite all of your senses. From the rich, decadent tastes of its foods, to the delightful sounds of live music, and sights you won’t see anywhere else in the world. But sometimes, after a jam-packed day of exploration, it’s nice to have a little quiet time to rest and recharge. We’ve got that too. There are lots of quiet, little havens sprinkled throughout the city, and we’ve rounded up five of our favorite places for a few moments of meditation there. So you can take a little breather, and then get back to soaking up all of the exhilarating sights of the city.

A beautiful scene in Audubon Park. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

The Stanley W. Ray Jr. Meditation Area in Audubon Park

6500 Magazine Street

Nestled between great, big oaks and a gazebo that overlooks a green golf course that spans as far as the eye can see, you’ll find a serene meditation garden. The spot is named for Stanley W. Ray Jr. who was orphaned as a college student and took to caring for his teenage siblings. Throughout his life, he developed a deep caring for children in need, particularly those without parents. Beneath the gazebo, you’ll find the words: “Dedicated to the Memory of Stanley W. Ray Jr. 1915-1970. He loved New Orleans and cared for its children.” The next time you walk through Audubon Park, stop by this hidden haven find a few moments of stillness.

City Park
See ancient oak trees like these in City Park. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The Singing Oak in City Park

1 Palm Drive

The Singing Oak is perched in the heart of City Park, just down the road from the New Orleans Museum of Art. During the summer, the oak provides a respite from the sultry Louisiana heat, and enchanting tunes from the wind chimes create an oasis. The chimes are all tuned to ring out in the pentatonic scale, and are painted black so as to blend in with the natural shadows of the arbor. The chimes range in size, with one of the instruments reaching a length of 14 feet long. The harmonious effect is that of a relaxing, symphony. Although the Singing Oak is in plain sight of visitors, not many people know about this hidden New Orleans gem.  It’s located next to Big Lake just outside of Collins Dibbolls Circle. Take a few minutes to sit beneath the Chime Tree and walk away just a little bit more relaxed than when you arrived.

Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square is an ideal spot to stop for a rest when you’re exploring downtown New Orleans. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Lafayette Square

S Maestri Place

Bordered by Poydras Street and St. Charles Avenue, Lafayette Square is located across from the historical Gallier Hall, the former City Hall. It has been the site for mayoral inaugurations, annual visits by school bands, and jazz concerts for over 150 years. Today Lafayette Square is a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of New Orleans in the heart of the bustling Central Business District. It’s also host to Wednesdays at the Square, a free spring concert series, and the Crescent City BBQ and Blues festival in the fall. Whether you’re spending the day exploring the nearby WWII museum, strolling Julia Street in the Arts District, or sipping a coffee downtown, stop by Lafayette Square, find a good spot on the grass (preferably beneath the trees) and settle down for a few minutes of meditation here.

Tibetan House

4900 Tchoupitoulas Street

The Tibetan House’s mission is to provide New Orleans with a continuing connection to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and to all things Tibetan. Inspired by his historic visit to New Orleans in May 2013, founders Gael Thompson and Diane Fisher created Tibetan House to support the spirit of the Tibetan people, those in exile and those living in their homeland, and to further encourage the Buddhist teachings of the Dalai Lama. with a class room for meditation classes, films, lectures, and seminars. Inside you’ll find hand-made goods and gifts from Tibet. See their class schedule for meditation classes, films, lectures, and other class offerings.

Raw Repbublic
The Space at the Raw Republic Uptown offers guided meditation classes throughout the week. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

The Space at Raw Republic

4528 Magazine Street

When you’re ready for a respite from exploring all of the vibrant sights and sounds of the city, step into this healing haven in Uptown New Orleans. Downstairs you’ll find organic, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, delicious vegan meals, and bullet coffee (our favorite). Upstairs you’ll find a serene and powerfully calming space for guided meditation classes, among a handful of healthy & wellness services. (We highly recommend acupuncture.) It’s the perfect way to unwind after a jam-packed and fun-filled visit to New Orleans. Call ahead to find out about classes and/or check The Space at Raw Republic schedule online.

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