LovingKindness Meditation – Dedicated to all of our Healthcare Heroes out there!

It has been a long few weeks here. Sometimes we can feel helpless, yet what I hope to continue to do, is bring a little routine and structure to our days and maybe even distract some from watching too much news!
What has been bringing me joy, is sitting with all of you, connecting, breathing and being together. Thank you for practicing with me. It gives me such purpose to share what I care about. And, as I said last week, what began as 3 weeks, will now continue through the month of April. I will show up here on Instagram LIVE – follow @THEBOSTONBUDDHA -each morning, Monday through Friday 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM EDT! I invite everyone to join me and truly lay a solid foundation, not only to begin your day, but possibly to establish a lifelong practice.
I call it a meditation PRACTICE because we will always be practicing accepting the present moment, as it is.
So again, thank you for sitting with me and giving me structure.
Thank you too, to all the heroes out there saving lives – nurses, doctors, healthcare aides, admissions staff, nurses on the phones, pharmacists, grocery store workers, cashiers, EMTs, first responders, fire and police, delivery truck drivers and restaurants delivering food!
As my Dad says to me every day, “please be careful.” I also want to have a special shout out to HIS nursing staff who are all risking their health and safety to take care of his, especially Matt, Rose, and Gene (or as my Dad calls him, “The Big Fella”). Thank you and we love you!
Finally to my kids’ pediatrician, Dr. Midura and her incredible team at Dedham Medical in Norwood, thank you for always being there 24/7 to be the voice of calm in this sea of chaos. Big thanks to Jay Hartford as well. Knowing that he is at Childrens Hospital has been helping me sleep a little easier at night!
Thank you ALL for helping our country and communities heal, by knowing you are there, fighting for us, tirelessly!
Love you all!

Here is this weeks LovingKindness Meditation.  I hope it helps!

 

Spring Equinox Wellness Retreat At Castle Hill Inn

With the advent of spring on the horizon, Castle Hill Inn, located in Newport, RI, invites guests to say goodbye to the winter blues and welcome the new season with its first ever Spring Equinox Retreat.

Surrounded by panoramic ocean views and enveloped in the luxury and service of a Relais & Châteaux property, guests will find that Castle Hill Inn is the perfect backdrop to recharge, revitalize and build new connections during this relaxing weekend escape.

Over the course of two days, the Spring Equinox Retreat will feature interactive sessions, including a clean beauty workshop by Brenda Brock, founder of Farmaesthetics, meditation with The Boston Buddha – Andy Kelley, and dining experiences from Executive Chef Lou Rossi and his team.

With a focus on restoration and reflection, along with some cocktails and fun, the Spring Equinox Retreat will help guests take a step back from the daily routine, and refocus on their overall mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Package available on Saturday, March 21st only with pricing available for single participants as well as for couples.

If you can’t stay the night, the retreat is available as a day only package for $225 per day, plus tax. To book the day package, please call us at:

(401) 849-3800.

RESERVATIONS: Book online or contact Castle Hill Inn at 401-849-3800 to reserve your space.

WEBSITE: https://www.castlehillinn.com/specials/spring-equinox-retreat

Itinerary for the Retreat 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

12:00 p.m. – Retreat Introduction & Welcome Lunch with Chef Lou Rossi in The Chalet Enjoy a healthy lunch featuring fresh ingredients from the bounty of spring. 

1:30 p.m. – Meet Me at the Salt Bar: Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Skin Care Workshop in The Chalet Refresh and rethink your at-home skincare regimen with Brenda Brock, founder and formulator of RI-based herbal skincare brand Farmaesthetics. Brenda and her esthetics team will lead a hands-on tutorial on the benefits of facial massage using organic whole herbs and oils, followed by a Salt Bar workshop. Choose from a variety of sea salts along with organic herbs and essential oils to create your own custom blend of mineral rich soaking salts that promise to wave a wand of well-being over any selfcare routine

3:15 p.m. – Arc of the Sun Nature Walk through the Castle Hill Inn Grounds & Lighthouse Set on 40 acres overlooking where Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Castle Hill’s unmatched water views, private beaches, and iconic Lighthouse offer the perfect backdrop for a walk that eases the mind. Led by the property’s naturalist, you’ll discover Castle Hill hideaways like the culinary gardens and Castle Hill Inn beach as you reconnect with nature under the Spring Equinox sun. 

4:00 p.m. – Reflection Cozy up by the lobby fireplace with a book, journal at the Mansion Bar, stroll the beach and listen to the crashing waves on the shore, or retreat to your room to sink into a soaking bath. Whatever you choose to do, these 60 minutes are yours. 

5:00 p.m. – Spring Cleansing Meditation with The Boston Buddha in The Chalet Enter the new season with tools to practice and maintain a clear mind. Renowned meditation instructor Andy Kelley, The Boston Buddha, will lead you on a journey towards mindfulness throughout this session. Whether you’re well-versed in meditation or just beginning, Andy will help you reach the state of relaxation you’re craving. (Note: back-jack seating and cushions are provided)

6:00 p.m. – Cocktails in Bloom: Mixology Class Led by Anthony Boi, Director of Restaurants in The Mansion Bar End your day with a mixology class, led by Anthony Boi and inspired by springtime ingredients grown here at Castle Hill. Throughout the hour, you’ll make two refreshing cocktails that pair perfectly with florals in bloom during the spring season.

7:00 p.m. – Closing for Day guests; free time for overnight guests

Sunday, March 22, 2020

8:00 a.m. – Equinox Awakening: Morning Meditation and Yoga in The Chalet
Rise early to celebrate the first day of spring with sunrise meditation led by The Boston Buddha, Andy Kelley. The 20-minute morning practice will flow directly into a yoga session taught by Emily Lawrence. Stretch your muscles and release any remaining tension so you can embark on a new season with a sense of renewal for your body and mind.

9:00 a.m. – Complimentary Breakfast for overnight guests, available until 10:00 AM

Check-out at 11:00 am.

Continue reading “Spring Equinox Wellness Retreat At Castle Hill Inn”

Move & Meditate Fall Foliage Retreat in Vermont

Have you ever seen the fall foliage in Vermont?  When was the last time you took a full weekend for yourself and disconnected from your smartphone, your laptop, your weekend routine and just recharged?

Move & Meditate is back!  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, friends, 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 and connect deeply with ourselves and others in nature.

Here are five great reasons to join us on our weekend retreat, October 4-6, 2019.

1. – Yoga with Betty Riaz – We open and close our days with some gentle and restorative yoga. One of the reasons yoga is so inspiring to me is because the practice is always changing as we change, every time I practice. If you’ve ever been to our old Move & Meditate classes at Stil Studio, you know that Betty is never short on creative variations and poses to help us go deeper.

The process of connecting our heart, mind, body, and breath really embodies mindfulness. We will tap into some physical openings which can lead to emotional breakthroughs. And, if you haven’t taken Betty’s famous Spa Yoga class, then that is the # 1 reason you should attend… we close out the days with her Spa class. It’s like a “spa day” for your body and mind.

2. – Meditations with Andy, The Boston Buddha – We will sit comfortably and focus on the art of just being, by listening and observing our mind. When we become still we are able to self observe, self reflect, in that moment, without judgement – this is Pure Awareness. Throughout the 3 days we will explore various types of meditations – Silent, Mantra & Sutra Meditation Techniques, Mindfulness Practices, Loving Kindness Meditation, Eating and Hiking Meditations, and other sense work.

We call it our “practice”, because we will always be practicing to become more awake from moment to moment. We’re learning how to train and integrate the body, heart, and mind – like anything we want to cultivate in our life, this takes practice.

3. – Fun Activities and Group Work – Enlightenment is a team sport. There will be creative activities and group discussions. These exercises amplify our awareness into the deeper conditioning that creates our unconscious reactions and decisions in our lives. We’ll see that there are scores of subtle ways in which we are communicating with each other, where we’re getting a sense of what’s going on inside the other person. The more sophisticated we become at reading other people, the more connectivity we experience. Being in a space, sharing with others, is sometimes the mirror we need to remember that everything we need to be happy is within us.

4. – Fall in Vermont – There’s a reason why meditation retreats and temples have traditionally been built on high mountaintops like the Himalayas or deep in the forests – TO GET AWAY… physically removing ourselves from the distractions in our usual routine. Getting out into nature and breaking away from the typical story-lines of our lives, helps us tap into our own deeper awareness. The new Dharma Home in Vermont is breathtaking! It sits on a significant amount of land that is filled with wonderful healing qualities, waterfalls, hiking trails, and the powerful and beauty of nature.

Talk about Meditation For Everyone! The Dharma home offers an incredibly relaxed setting for the explorations of our inner and outer landscapes.

5. – Expanding your Community – At the end of the day, life is all about relationships. Being immersed all weekend, surrounded by others working from their best self, is one of the most important anchors for maintaining and deepening our meditation practice. It’s uplifting to be surrounded by other people exploring and navigating these age old practices and sharing great meals together!

If this sounds like something that would interest you, we’d love to spend the weekend with you. If you’re ready to completely unplug, recharge, and reset, let us know. It just may be the perfect antidote to the constant noise of busy, over-scheduled, work-driven lives – and the restorative benefits are many.

LIMITED to 10 PEOPLE:

$695 per person shared room

$250 to reserve

Potluck first night!

Email betty@gmail.com for details.

To sign up click the title below to register:

Fall Foliage Meditation and Yoga Retreat

Middle School Mindfulness

Lawrence School Brookline

Today was the our last Middle School Mindfulness Workshop for this school year. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy these classes.

Spending time with my friends, faculty, students, and all the Brookline teachers at the Lawrence School, Heath School, Loring School, Milton Academy, and the Brown Middle School in Newton this season, we’ve seen the general atmosphere in the classrooms become more balanced and some classes even seemed to slow down.  I wish I recorded the first meditation we did in January vs. the one we did yesterday – total relaxation!

I’ve seen students use the breath to slow down when they’re overexcited, or become frustrated when they don’t know the outcome of the activity that we were doing.  One of the phrases that we come back to every season is, “catch yourself“.  Everyone can be impulsive, but if you can catch yourself before you act on that impulse, I consider that self awareness to be the magic moment in mindfulness – and a huge success.

Mindful Educators

It’s pretty cool to see the kids do this first hand.  More students are now able to bring that reflective quality to their attention and actions. Once they learn to stabilize their attention, they can start to shift their awareness to BEING and then noticing how they feel – through meditation.

It was amazing to have had such wonderful support this season.  It’s deeply gratifying, particularly when I get to review all their feedback=).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching  students HOW to pay attention, through self awareness and meditation, is still fairly new, but I’m certain that it has the potential to make a positive impact in our community.  Have a great summer!

Finding The Present In The Moments This Holiday Season

It’s that time again and there’s so much to do – shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, planning, and traveling.  We are wrapped up in our own personal busyness during the holiday season and the flurry of emotions that come with getting together with friends and family; some, of course you disagree with… on just about everything. I think we can all agree that the holiday season can be incredibly stressful. If you’re like me and have tried everything else, maybe a little meditation can help you cope with your holiday stress. Continue reading “Finding The Present In The Moments This Holiday Season”

5 Tips That Will Help You Meditate On The Go

I’m lucky that I get to travel for my work as a meditation teacher, so I know how delays, busy airports, traveling from hotel to hotel – and just being constantly on the go – can

not only run you down physically and emotionally, but it can totally derail your meditation practice. Establishing a regular meditation practice can seem easy when you’re at home and in control of your schedule, but traveling has a way of throwing that schedule out the window.

Faith meditating @ Yotel Boston

New time zones, new clients, new places, the anxiety levels are high when we are in a new environment and in general it’s harder to relax our minds. So what better way to stay calm and steady in these turbulent times than taking your meditation practice on the road with you?

Here are five ways you can keep a consistent meditation practice going while you are traveling: Continue reading “5 Tips That Will Help You Meditate On The Go”

Developing Emotional Intelligence with Meditation

 

IMG_1764What an incredible honor to be a part of the Massachusetts General Hospital education conference earlier this month which helped educators and parents with strategies to ensure kids find success in the classroom. I had the privilege of speaking about the effects of stress, how meditation aids us in managing stress and helps us self-reflect in the moment (so we are able to make better choices when we’re stressed) and then led the group in a guided meditation. The Q & A resulted in discussing about our experiences and how we can use mindfulness in the classroom, by practicing it ourselves.

We unpacked so much during the day. I personally learned a ton about epilepsy – I listened to two powerful patient presentations on living with epilepsy, watched an eye opening presentation on applied behavioral analysis with assistive technology from Mark Matoune, and was amazed by a tremendous presentation by Sarah Ward, on Executive Function skills for youth. She had great tips on how to maximize brain function abilities for kids, especially how to manage time effectively.

For more information: http://mghcme.org/courses/course-detail/epilepsy_and_education_conference

YOTEL Boston introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha!

AKYotel
Sky Lounge at YOTEL Boston, 65 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA

WHAT: Newly opened YOTEL Boston, the affordable luxury hotel inspired by first-class air travel, introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha, Andy Kelley, beginning Monday, September 18 at Sky Lounge!

Locals and hotel guests alike are welcomed to the Seaport hotel’s rooftop Sky Lounge for 30-minute guided meditation set against the backdrop of Boston’s skyline. Andy Kelley will help attendees hone their focus and mindfulness, Mondays from 8-8:30am, so they can tackle the workweek ahead.

 ‘Meditation Mondays’ is just the latest wellness offering from YOTEL. The hotel brand also produces Mindfresh, a series of 5-minute meditation and relaxation videos available for viewing in-cabin and on the YOTEL app.

Research shows that how we spend the first hour of the morning often sets the pace for the day. Why not, wake up and start the day & work week feeling relaxed and recharged? Attend ‘Meditation Mondays’ in PJs, athleticwear or business clothes and leave feeling happier, focused and energized. The series is a definite antidote for anyone with a case of the Mondays!

WHEN:     Monday mornings starting September 18th, 8-8:30am

COST:     $15 per session; complimentary for YOTEL guests

To book reservations, visit: https://yotelmeditationmondays.eventbrite.com

CONTACT:            Phone: (617) 377-4747

Web:     www.yotel.com/boston

Freedom To Choose

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”   – Victor Frankl

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South Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

This has always been my favorite mindfulness quote.  We all need to look for the spaces between the stimulus and the response. That awareness begins with a pause. That self reflecting ability – in the moment noticing. In that pause we begin to notice what’s really happening (worrying about the future… a flash of irritation – a craving for food). With that realization, we allow what’s there – to be there – without reacting. In these moments, we enter a space of freedom – the freedom to choose.

After your meditation – or at a time where you feel relaxed – identify several situations during the day where you become or slip into a moderately reactive mode. Look for signs of anxiety or irritation. For example, for me it’s getting my son up for school. I can catch myself “mindful yelling”.  For you it may be, getting caught in traffic, a deadline for a project, feeling tired, overwhelmed at work, or being criticized by a loved one.

Select ONE area and for the next week have the intention to pause for a few breaths and become aware inwardly when you’re in those situations.

In that moment of pausing – that awareness – take real interest in what’s happening inside you… An uneasy feeling? Tension? Numbness? Pressure? Are you aware of anger, anxiety, or cravings? What are you feeling? Be with whatever sensation or emotion is present.

Then, take a few full breaths relaxing with each of breath and then resume your daily activity.

Notice the difference between being caught reacting all the time and being aware and awake. Honor these moments because it’s a deep awakening inside you.

Let me know how it goes.

-Andy

Breathing Yourself Back To The Moment

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – Tao Te Ching

 
Whenever I’m creating a new guided meditation, it gives me the opportunity to work with my own experiences with the subject matter. I had plenty of time to explore my experience with impatience last week – with a stomach bug that is going around – that’s for sure.  I was trying to rush things and trying to move a little too fast before my body was ready… until I realized that I could just “breathe myself back

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Impatience

to this moment” and not worry so much about the future.  This helped me relax and get back into the natural flow of my life and let my body heal naturally.  I notice when we’re impatient, we are really just trying to make things different or better than they are.

When we want to change our lives in some way, we tend to focus a lot on the future – how awesome it’s going to be when we reach that goal. We look to that immediate result.  It’s like when we’re riding a bicycle… we’re always pedaling past the present moment.  Say we want to go from Southie to Cape Cod… we’re in Southie, but our attention is really focused on how great it will be when we get to the Cape.  We feel that things will be so much better when we get to the Cape, so we push and try to pedal as fast as we can to get away from Southie.

Our present moment patience is also constantly being hijacked by our smart phones, autopilot choices, and our knee jerk reactions to the speed of our lives.  We constantly react to stressful situations and become way too ridged and inflexible in our choice making ability.  Mindfulness can help us drop down into the actual feelings that are there, so we can reflect and get a sense of what’s really going on.  Using the breath as our anchor, we breathe ourselves back to the moment.  This helps us disconnect from that reactive panic button that we all have, and frees up a little space – allowing more thoughtful and creative choices to bring us back to the moment. Be patient… this takes time.

The next time you feel impatient, check in with your body. What do you feel? Chances are you’ll feel some irritation. Let yourself be with that. You might find that “breathing yourself back to the present moment” helps. Take a moment for yourself to recognize that your life can become your meditation if you choose to approach it with this kind of awareness.

As we move into next week, I put the challenge out there for all of us to meditate for 10 minutes every morning and anytime throughout the day you feel impatient – work on enduring the present moment by “breathing yourself back to the moment”!

I hope this helps!