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”

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”

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!

The Mindful Olympics

Last Morning Mindfulness class of the semester. The Mindful Olympics! 15288686_10154730770488245_8990616644689605828_oThe kids favorite class. We tried to put all together as the students collaborate and combine their efforts to make an important difference in the world – and connect them to the larger community… and let’s be honest, they just really want to beat me in the competition😜.

We worked on our perspective taking these last few weeks. We played “Mirrors” and tried to mindfully consider other viewpoints – besides our own. We discussed how we can’t literally put ourselves in certain peoples shoes because they won’t fit – or we wouldn’t choose to wear them because we are all so different – and that’s great! Amazing group of kids!

Does Meditation get easier over time?

 

“Every meditation is like a snowflake, no two are the same.” – davidji

It’s a great question and one that students, friends, and colleagues ask me often.  There are plenty of days I ask myself the same thsnowgaing.  My answer is that for me personally, some days are easier than others and we need to try to accept the present moment as it is – without trying to change it or make it different.
Continue reading “Does Meditation get easier over time?”

“Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut

Let’s face it, we all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Repeating the same old boring choices over and over again.  It’s like we’re on autopilot, just going through the daily grind, in a trance, where we are sleepwalking through the choices of our day.  And even when we thiFJ0A0252nk we’re here, present, in the room, we’re usually thinking… about the past, the future, judging something, or reacting.

In order to get ourselves out of these ruts, we need to become more aware of the choices we make ‘in the moment’ and ask ourselves how these choices make us feel.

Continue reading ““Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut”

Move & Meditate on Nantucket – Weekend Getaway!

Nantucket Get Away!
The Nantucket Hotel & Resort

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 routines, to recharge the batteries and connect deeply with ourselves and others in nature.  When was the last time you took a weekend for yourself and disconnected from your phone, your laptop, your weekend routine and just recharged?

Continue reading “Move & Meditate on Nantucket – Weekend Getaway!”