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7 Tips for Expanding Happiness

“It’s so deep, it’s so wide. You’re inside Synchronicity” – Sting, The Police

I’ve always known that I’m a lucky guy. My life has been blessed with amazing experiences and events. One of the most personally transforming and rewarding experiences for me was a recent trip to Puerto Rico, at SynchroDestiny.

“It’s so deep, it’s so wide. You’re inside Synchronicity” – Sting, The Police

I’ve always known that I’m a lucky guy.  My life has been blessed with amazing experiences and events.  One of the most personally transforming and rewarding experiences for me was a recent trip to Puerto Rico, at SynchroDestiny.

“Synchro” (as the kids call it…) is based on my favorite Deepak Chopra book, “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire – Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence.”  Like the title suggests, this five day retreat is all about desire, intention, and coincidence.  A great internal education for anyone that’s interested in the adventure – and uncertainty – of self awareness and transformation.

I really needed to get away from the record snowfall in New England and it felt great being back with my extended family from the Chopra Center.  It was a total time out (or ‘time in’ rather) with a group of people whose common interest is improving their lives, their happiness, and the world, by “being the change“.

I started every day by meditating with the group- listening to the sounds of the ocean lap against the shore at 6:30 am.  Pretty cool.  The group was guided IN by the ever present, Dean of the Chopra Center University, Davidji.  I tell you, there’s nothing like closing your eyes when it’s completely dark out… and when you open your eyes, seeing this…

Morning beach run
From here, most people did morning yoga with Claire on the lawn. However, I’m training for the Boston Marathon so I had to substitute morning runs to keep my mileage up while I was away (please don’t tell Claire).  My runs were incredible and a great way for me to get out of my head – and enjoy a little nature before class.  Running really helped me approach each day fully awake.  I even got in a nice 10 miler with some new friends that I met at the retreat (thanks, Eileen and George!).

A quick breakfast with my beautiful wife and son and then I was off to the general session.
Coffee w/ Catharine Ayurvedic doughnut

I do believe that’s an Ayurvedic doughnut.

A little after 9:00 each morning, we would be greeted by our host, Amanda.  She would give us an outline of the days events and gently guide us into meditation before the general session.  It’s impressive how she keeps it all flowing along smoothly- detached.  One morning, Davidji invited all the Primordial Sound Meditation instructors up to the stage to start the morning meditation off with the Shanti Mantra.
Settling into stillness
It was so cool – and they even invited my wife and son to stay and meditate with us. I know it’s my family, but… how cool is it to sit in stillness for 30 minutes with your wife AND 8yr old son? He’s never meditated for more than 10 minutes, so I was amazed he was so still for 30. He particularly liked the OM bath at the end =).

I am always impressed with how much work goes into putting these remote events together and how well the entire Chopra Center team works collectively to pull it all off- and still find time to be available for all of us.  It seemed like every day I had the chance to hang out with – or at least say hi to JC, Gabrielle, Claire, and Amanda – and meet new friends… Alan, Rene, Brett, Heiko, and Janis!  Someone was always asking us, “how is everything?… anything I can do?”.  I was incredibly grateful.

My teacher, Davidji, made time (I’m pretty sure he skipped lunch) to hang out with me and give me a bit of one-on-one guidance.
Davidji and Andy
Spiritual Superhero, Davidji and me  – the… um… vedic sage buddha… from south boston?

And my son Hayden and Deepak spent some time together and even got in some weighty discussions… =)
My two favorite teachers
Two of my favorite teachers.

Both Deepak and Davidji’s sessions were simply outstanding.  Over the past three years I’ve been lucky enough to see both Deepak and Davidji speak many times and as usual they were fully engaged… immersed in the material and the moment – and completely focused on us. I was inspired- and I took a LOT of notes!

Deepak dropped a lot of knowledge on us- but my favorite was when he said,

“Let your life flow from Being to Feeling, from Thinking to Doing.”

It was just an amazing week- An unreal setting in Puerto Rico, the warm breezes, the new friends, the I-Ching, the dancing, the amazing food, the drinks, and some of the deepest meditations I’ve had in years.

We experienced firsthand deeper levels of awareness…. were introduced to new sutras… discussed emotional intelligence, toxic emotions, and the keys to being emotionally free.

I came away more deeply committed to my own practice because intuitively and through my direct experience, I know it has significantly enhanced every aspect of my life.  I have some tips from the course below, but really – the key takeaway for me was from a short video where David Simon summed it all up by suggesting that we, “expand happiness”.

Seven tips for living your meditation… and expanding your happiness.

1. You can really explore new ways of truly knowing and being, by tuning in more carefully to your own present moment experience. Do this by simply observing your breath and asking, “how do I feel right now?”.

2. Write out a list of your intentions and look at them before you meditate.  Ask yourself, “what do I really want?”.

3. Every night before you go to bed, replay the events of your day like a movie, objectively –  like a reporter.  Make special note of any coincidences.  When you take the time to recapitulate your day, you increase your awareness of who you really are-  this is where you can start to make tweaks in what you really want.

4. ‘Catch yourself’ whenever you feel tension, stress, or anger, – and just be aware of the feeling without justifying it.  Remember that any tightness is really your ego being offended over something that it thought it had control over.

5. Be immune to other people’s criticisms, doubts, or praises.  The real you knows that everything is and will be alright- just let the universe work out the details.

6. Eat healthy 90% of the time. Get regular daily exercise and yoga two times a week.  Spend some time outside in nature every day.

7. If you take away one thing from this note it should be this – meditate everyday for 20 to 30 minutes.  Once when you wake up and again at the end of the day.  It’s the foundation for everything I do.

SynchroDestiny is coincidence with a purpose.  It has meaning, it gives direction- and it has intention.  I honestly thought that the retreat would be restful and restorative.  I had no idea that it would prompt such a fundamental shift in my focus and intentions.  Sitting quietly, emptying the turbulent thoughts from my mind, gave me such moments of clarity-  just an incredible place to reconnect with what is most important in my life.

Peace in!

-Andy

New Year, New You! Today's Meditation Workshop

What a great meditation workshop today! We’re still buzzing about it at TBB studio. Just a great vibe from all the folks that came out. Thank you so much!

What a great meditation workshop today! We’re still buzzing about it at TBB studio. Just a great vibe from all the folks that came out. Thank you so much!

Special thanks to Catharine and Haydy – who help me put on ALL my workshops! My favorite parts? Meditating with 30 of my closest meditation friends- and chatting with them afterward!

Group Meditation

Pure awareness...

The End =)

Free Introduction to Meditation Workshop

On January 22, 2011 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM Chopra Center Certified Meditation Instructor, Andrew Kelley will offer a free “Introduction to Meditation” class at the Milton Public Library. 476 Canton Avenue.

On January 22, 2011 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM Chopra Center Certified Meditation Instructor, Andrew Kelley will offer a free “Introduction to Meditation” class at the Milton Public Library. 476 Canton Avenue. For more information email: info@thebostonbuddha.com

Primordial Sound Meditation Course

Why I meditate.

There is no need for incense, a yogi/guru, wind chimes, gongs, or synthesized new age music. You just need yourself, a quiet place (not mandatory) and the will to give it a try for 30 days.

There is no need for incense, a yogi/guru, wind chimes, gongs, or synthesized new age music.  You just need yourself, a quiet place (not mandatory) and the will to give it a try for 30 days.

Anyone Can Meditate!

There is such a big misconception that even I made about Meditation. People think you have to be a hippie, wear patchouli, burn incense and maybe even worship the Dalai Lama

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e-FYlstInE[/youtube]

“There is such a big misconception that even I made about Meditation. People think you have to be a hippie, wear patchouli, burn incense and maybe even worship the Dalai Lama in order to be a successful Meditator. But because even I was able to find the quiet that exists in all of us, I knew I wanted to share this with others. And trust me, if someone like me can find this stillness, you can too… anyone can Meditate. It is as simple to incorporate into your daily life as taking a shower or brushing your teeth.”

Andy's presenting at The Center for Mindfulness Conference!

Registration is now open for the 11th Annual International Scientific Conference – “Investigating and Integrating Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society”.

I’m so excited to be a presenter this year! I will be discussing:  Integrating Mindfulness In Public Schools – Lessons learned from teaching mindfulness to students and teachers K-12.

We need to give greater emphasis on teaching our kids social emotional skills that can help reduce stress, strengthen attention, and increase our capacity to effectively manage our days.

When students learn to develop their own self-awareness, they learn to become less reactive in class.  This changes their behavior and they realize they have more choices.  When the students become more aware of their behavior – they’re able to shift their behavior – and the whole classroom environment changes.  Mindfulness has the potential to change the entire schools culture.
A great opportunity to learn more and explore how mindfulness is being taught in public schools.  We’re in our third year teaching mindfulness-based education in the public schools in Milton, MA.

Anyone interested in bringing mindfulness to schools would enjoy Andy’s Breakfast Roundtable on Friday, April 19th, from 7:00-8:00 AM.  We will discuss how the program started, what’s involved in the classes, the general issues that arise when you attempt to bring mindfulness in schools – and how you can integrate this into the classroom without dismantling the system that’s already in place.

Here’s what Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA, Executive Director, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, says about this event : “It is a unique conference because it holds strongly to the science and to the scientific process of investigating mindfulness, MBSR, and a whole range of what we call MBI’s, or ‘Mindfulness Based Interventions’, while also seamlessly integrating meditation practice throughout the entire program for five days.”

Check out the link below for more information. Sign up by February 20th and receive a 10% discount on a full five-day conference package.

Register Here:  http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/conference/index.aspx

Hope to see you in April!

Peace IN!

-Andy

 

Gaining Valuable Information From Inside

We tend not to pay attention to what’s happening in our bodies all that much.  Sometimes were too busy to notice the subtle warning signs of stress.  If we’re feeling some kind of general discomfort we jump right in and immediately react – trying to figure out a way to make it feel better.

We need to look carefully at what’s happening in our bodies to help us understand what’s really going on in our inner landscape.  A consistent yoga and meditation practice can help you get more in touch with what’s really going on in your body and mind.  Regular practice helps you tune into the moment and be less critical of yourself – because you’re learning to have a greater awareness of your mood, flexibility, and energy levels.  You’re able to adapt and accommodate to your body needs in that moment  – instead of forcing or pushing an emotion away and demanding that your body do certain things you may not be ready for .

So join Betty and The Boston Buddha at STIL Studio on Mondays and if you’re in the Hanover area I hope to see you at one of my Monthly Meditation classes with Rose and Maryellen at WillowRock!

Move & Meditate – Moves to Mondays

Join Betty Riaz and Andy Kelley as they lead you through 30 minutes of a simple slow flow Vinyasa series and a 30 minute meditation.

Cost of class is $17.  To register, go to: www.stilstudio.com or click on the logo above and search SCHEDULE.

Beginning 2/4/13, every Mindful Monday from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM.

Guided Meditation

Join Andy Kelley as he leads you through a guided meditation using your awareness of the present moment and breath.  This hour class will end with an interactive Q&A session.

Cost of class is $15.  To register, go to: www.willowrockhealing.com or click on the logo above and search SPECIALTY CLASSES.

One Saturday a month from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – come once or come to all.

2/2/13, 3/9/13, 4/6/13, 5/11/13, 6/1/13