The Boston Buddha Blog

FJ0A0304What creates the sense of suffering for me, and I feel for everyone really, is the sensation that our minds cannot relax and be with the truth of each experience, unless it is the way WE want it to be.

When we meditate we’re developing our emotional awareness to be with what IS happening.  We’re able to pop out of our own experience and view ourselves ‘in the moment’.  This helps bring some clarity into our own emotions and, in time, we become more comfortable with ourselves in any given situation.  This leads to authentic self confidence and fear and suffering starts to dissolve.

For this month we will focus on dealing with suffering and difficult situations.  We will see if we can LOOSEN our grip on trying to control each moment.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 10th

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

WHERE

THE WEYMOUTH CLUB

75 FINNELL DRIVE

WEYMOUTH, MA 02188

781.337.4600

The meditation technique taught in this class uses your awareness of the present moment (and breath) to help you stay in THIS moment without judging the moment, or yourself.

Each class ends with a 20 minute guided meditation.

$10 for Weymouth Club Mind/Body Members
$15 for Weymouth Club Members
$30 for Non-Members

ABOUT THE BOSTON BUDDHA – He has been called the blue collar Buddha and a Happiness Ambassador, and he’s all that and more -  the guy you just met but feel like you’ve known your whole life, the guy who has you doubled over laughing within minutes.  And, oh yeah, he’s the guy who can teach you how to enjoy life.

Andy Kelley founded The Boston Buddha to help ordinary people like himself, learn to detach and recharge through meditation.  He prides himself on being a “regular guy” that reaches an audience that might not otherwise be inclined to meditate.

Andy studied under Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon, co-founders of The Chopra Center and renowned experts in the field of mind-body medicine.  Andy is currently a certified Meditation Instructor for The Chopra Center.  He is also a graduate of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School.

Andy has worked with companies such as Hill Holiday, Thomson Reuters, and the American Association of University Women among others.

Andy Kelley’s mantra is “Meditation for Everyone”.

 

“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain

FJ0A0323It’s pretty much impossible to be in any kind of career these days and not experience bouts of intense stress from time to time.

Most of us are bombarded with tons of stuff all throughout our day.  We have too much on our plate, emails, phone calls, texts to return, and deadlines quickly approaching.  Management is on top of us, everyone seems to rely on us – and to top it all off,  we have to leave work ‘on time’ today to pick up the kids and feed them before baseball practice.  We’re under a lot of pressure – so much that we suspect the quality of our work, day, and life is suffering.

Let’s face it, there will always be stress in our life.  The difference between those who are calm, relaxed, and focused in these stressful times, and those who aren’t, is based on HOW you deal with stress in the moment.

When we’re overstressed, we react, go too fast, and can pile on even more stress by making little mistakes that we would not usually make.  When this happens, we tend to be a little too hard on ourselves. We say things like, “What the hell’s wrong with me?“, ” You did it again, you idiot“, etc.  As if being a total donkey to our self with some nasty self-criticism will make us feel better.

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The Center At Westwoods Labyrindth

Take a minute to reflect on all the emotional energy and effort you put into everything that you do in your life – your work, family, friendships, community, travel, health, etc.
Our lives are very busy and clearly over-scheduled – sometimes we forget how restorative and renewing it can be to take any time away from our daily routine to recharge the batteries and connect deeply with ourselves and others in nature.  When was the last time you took a full day for yourself and disconnected from your smartphone, your laptop, your Saturday routine and just recharged?

Why would you want to do that?

Well, I have five great reasons to join us on our day long mini-retreat, Saturday, July 26th – from 9 to 5 at The Center At Westwoods.

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What a great vibe in class last night!  As I was practicing, I was thinking that there’s another great way to cultivate the path of bodhicitta – the practice of Tonglen.HEARTFULNESS

The Buddhist term bodhicitta in Sanskrit means the awakened heart and mind. “Citta” is translated as consciousness of heart and mind; “bodhi” means awaken.

Sometimes we can mistake our meditation practice as a tool to fix our self.  What we’re really doing in is learning to accept what is – and fully FEEL – what is true.

For me, the path of botticitta is the willingness to be open to what’s difficult – a willingness to touch all those raw nerves that makes us fully alive.  That takes a lot of heart.

My wife’s family come from a long line of Buddhist monks. I’m often reminded by our Aunt June, that in most Asian cultures the word for mind and heart is the same. So, I invite you to think of mindfulness and hart-fulness together, as one. I know it helps me add in that feeling of true compassion for my self and gives me more freedom to be with what is.

So, we can use Tonglen as “the middle way” – to be with – the act of compassion. It’s kind of like we are learning to put down our armor. If we give up our resistance – if we feel the pain, the fear, the love – our defenses and story will start to fall down. We really see that the only way to open… is to listen.

With Tonglen, we’re learning to say, “Ok, there’s the pain. Can I let go of my resistance and just let myself feel fully what’s true here?”.

We learn to breathe in with Tonglen and just open ourselves to be touched by the pain. Then, we learn to breathe out and sense that wide open space that can hold it all. So there’s breathing in and being touched by the pain, breathing out and letting go into that love, that heart-fulness, that wide openness.

In my friend Kevan Gale‘s guided Tonglen meditation below, we sense our own pain, our own suffering and then other’s – and we breathe with that but then we open it and widen our circle, so that we’re breathing for all of those beings that have that same experience of suffering as we do.

It takes courage and heart to let go of this resistance and be willing to sit with what’s here. It takes compassion to get under our storyline, our drama and notice what it feels like in your body – because as I said last night – that wounded feeling, that shakiness, those feelings that we tend to push away can feel “pretty crappy” the first few thousand times we choose to feel them.

I hope this helps!

-Andy

10 Minute Guided Meditation with Kevan Gale of Stil Studio (this session was recorded live during class)

http://www.thebostonbuddha.com/audio_mp3/KG_Tonglen_1-2.mp3