Weekly Thursday Class (drop-in)
Weekly drop-in class on Zoom: no registration required.
Note: This class meets every Thursday. There is a guest teacher when Chris is not scheduled to teach.
This event is offered in the tradition of dana (Pali for giving or generosity): while there is no set cost of attending, we invite you to consider making a donation to support the teacher and The Boston Meditation Center.
Body, Breath, and Mind: Meditating without Attachment
June 26, 2021
This program is in-person at IMCN!
This half-day retreat brings together the Buddhist ideal of non-attachment and the foundations of insight meditation: body, breath, and mind. Through alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation interspersed with Dharma reflections, together we will undertake a careful investigation of non-attachment in a simple, pragmatic way, aimed at deepening our meditation practice as well as bringing the ideal of non-attachment more alive in our day-to-day lives.
All are welcome and invited. This retreat is open to beginners and experienced meditators.
Foundations of Dharma Practice: The Five Recollections
BMC July 24
Generally when we think of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness comes to mind, or maybe loving kindness. When we consider essential teachings, we often default to the Four Noble truths. However, before the Buddha taught about suffering he taught generosity, and The Five Recollections are the foundation for all of our Dharma activities. Exploring the truth of aging, sickness, and end-of-life, the Five Recollections are an essential foundation of Dharma practice; how attuned we are to these ‘recollections’ contributes to our motivation for practice, and can refine our understanding of why we practice.
In this half-day retreat we will explore the Five Recollections, emphasizing their place in the Buddhist path as motivational forces, and as a framework for meditation practice that fosters non-attachment leading to joy.
All are welcome and invited–both beginners and experienced meditators.
Adhitthāna Day: Nurturing Mind & Heart
A Day-Long Retreat with Chris Crotty and Boston Meditation Center practice leaders
This will be BMC’s inaugural weekend program at the new center. This program will be in-person. Pre registration required.
Saturday, Oct 2
Full Day: 9:30am to 5:00pm ET
Half Day: 9:30am to 1:00pm ET
Boston Meditation Center
Adhitthāna Day is a time of self-nurturance rooted in practicing and hearing the Dharma–an opportunity to unplug, set aside our many responsibilities, and take refuge in the simple rhythms of sitting and walking meditation for a full day. This day of practice combines meditation periods with a Dharma talk by BMC’s guiding teacher, Chris Crotty, along with the opportunity to practice with other community members.
To be offered in both the spring and fall, Adhitthāna Day is intended as a bi-annual tradition, a time to dedicate a day to developing one’s meditation, establishing the conditions for the restorative quiet and calm available to us when we rest our many distractions, habits, and longings.
Adhitthāna Day is open to everyone, beginners and experienced meditators.
Boston Meditation Center
440 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA
Full Day: $50 Base; $70 Sustaining; $90 Contributing
Half Day: $25 Base; $35 Sustaining; $45 Contributing
Paying at the highest level you can afford helps us make our programs available to as many people as possible. There is also an opportunity to offer additional dana (generosity) for the teacher at the end of the program.
Please let us know if finances are an obstacle. Scholarships are available for anyone experiencing financial hardships.
True Dharma: Winter Practice Period
The Heart Teachings: Kindness, Equanimity, Joy, Compassion
3-Month group-mentoring & Dharma study with Chris Crotty
“As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I.”
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.
– Sutta Nipāta 3.710
Three months (on-line): Nov 6, 2021 – January 29, 2022
(program hours will accommodate east coast and west coast students)
Registration: Participation in this program is by application. Download application and apply at Boston Meditation Center
* This is the second annual 3-Month Rains Retreat. Last year’s program filled with a very long waitlist. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. Applying early is recommended.
This highly regarded and innovative program borrows from the tradition of the three-month retreat, often referred to as the rains retreat. Historically the rains retreat was a time when people stayed in one location for a period of three months, gathering to meditate and reflect on the Dharma, often teaching each other and forming a closer community. Chris has created True Dharma: Winter Practice Period with three goals in mind:
1) To establish and guide a diverse, close group of students who seek the support and friendship of sangha (community) and who want to live the Dharma more fully in their lives.
2) To transform the winter season into a nurturing and dedicated time of practice that is rich in personal insight.
3) To Integrate a deep and substantive time of practice with the rest of ones life and responsibilities. As a virtual retreat students will participate from home, wherever they live.
This program provides a unique opportunity for a group of dedicated practitioners to work closely with Chris Crotty over three months, to develop collaborative relationships with other students, and establish a more consistent routine of meditation and personal reflection based on early Buddhist teachings, including the Pali canon and its commentaries. Together we will create and sustain a collaborative container for an engaged and contemplative life aimed at helping us recognize our own conditioning, what blocks the Dharma from flourishing in our own lives, and to break through it with wisdom, kindness, and compassion. We will learn how to use our meditation practice to better understand Buddhist teachings, and learn how to use Buddhist teachings to expand our practice. With this foundation in place we will ask critical questions pertaining to the integration of the Dharma in our personal lives and the wider world.
Practicing in this way students will cultivate greater agency and independence in their meditation practice and contemplation of the Dharma, and will contribute to the preservation of the early teachings of the Buddha while simultaneously making them highly relevant to the world we live in.
Participants will be supported by:
• Individual, structured daily meditation practice based on experience level. This will include the option of attending a virtual daily meditation period with a peer group.
• Reading assignments and reflection questions
• Kalayanmita (spiritual friend) dyads
• Small group sessions
• Five day-long retreats with Chris Crotty
(Nov 6, 2021; Nov 27, 2021; Dec 18, 2021; Jan 8, 2022; Jan 29, 2022). Start time for weekend sessions will be 10am eastern/7am pacific. Day-longs end at 5:00pm eastern)
• Group mentoring with Chris Crotty (scheduled on Monday nights (dates TBD))
This program will help participants to:
1) Deepen their meditation practice by addressing common challenges that meditators face, and through gaining insight into personal habit patterns. Students will be encouraged to gradually increase the time allotted for daily meditation practice, and to keep a meditation journal for the duration of the program.
2) Expand their understanding of core Buddhist teachings through both self-directed and teacher-led reading and reflection. This study component of the program will emphasize focused reflection based on short readings rather than consuming a lot of material, in this way we can turn our full attention to the true meaning and spirit of Buddhist wisdom, exploring how it relates to our personal lives and the world we live in today.
3) Establish and sustain a spirited and cheerful sangha aimed at mutual support. Together we will explore new ways to experience the Dharma by working closely with peers to co-create a learning community grounded in spiritual friendship, encouragement, and accountability.
Who this program is for:
This program is for students who have been meditating for at least one year and who identify with any of the below:
1) You feel that it is time to further develop a personal daily meditation practice; you want to be both challenged and supported in this goal.
2) You want to embark more wholeheartedly on a spiritual path within the insight tradition of practice, using early Buddhist teachings to support an inquiry into what it means to live life more fully and authentically
3) You are interested in having structure for Dharma practice and Study.
4) Students who plan to apply to BMC’s Community Dharma Facilitator Training (CDFT)
Teachings: This years Winter Retreat will focus on the Brahma Viharas, the heart teachings: Kindness, Equanimity, Compassion, Joy.
Community Dharma Facilitator Training (CDFT)
Embodying wisdom and kindness: an in-depth dharma training for our times
with Chris Crotty and Contributing Teachers
If one going down into a river,
swollen and swiftly flowing,
is carried away by the current –
how can one help others across?
– Sutta Nipāta 2.321
BMC’s guiding teacher, Chris Crotty, along with a highly skilled group of Contributing Teachers, will support a cohort of dedicated dharma practitioners to develop the foundational skills required to better serve their communities by applying the Dharma to matters of individual and social suffering.
Community Dharma Facilitator Training (CDFT) reflects BMC’s vision to create and guide a ‘culture of care’, where the virtues of wisdom and kindness help sustain wellbeing for all people everywhere. Building on the premise that Buddhist teachings provide a framework for a purposeful life, CDFT offers an in–depth opportunity to broaden one’s own relationship to the Dharma while training in the skills required to embody and facilitate the Buddha’s highest ideals.
Through ongoing reflection of what it means to create and sustain a culture of care, the CDFT explores the intersection of individual practice, group facilitation, and leadership, to form a contemplative personal training that is also socially relevant and applicable to the world we live in, and which specifically supports participants to bring the Dharma more fully into their life and work.
As a Dharma student preparing to better serve your community (or communities) the CDFT will help you to recognize service as practice, and will support you in translating the Dharma in ways that are personally meaningful and relevant to the challenges of our times, while grounding such skills in a lineage of authentic Dharma practice originating with the Buddha.
Who this training is for
CDFT is for students who are ready to become stewards of the Dharma, who want to help sustain the Buddha’s tradition of awakening, while evolving the way modern communities address human suffering. What all participants will have in common is a deep commitment to the Dharma, an ability and desire to work closely with like-minded practitioners to foster mutually supportive relationships, and a sincere commitment to integrating dharma practice into one’s vocational life.
CDFT is designed around many of the challenges and opportunities that progressive spiritual communities are currently facing, and will face in the years ahead. It is ideally suited for you if you want to better serve your Dharma center as a facilitator, peer-leader, staff, volunteer, or board member, and/or you want to establish a foundation in the insight lineage for ongoing long-term Dharma training. CDFT may also offer critical learning opportunities for anyone interested in Buddhist chaplaincy and pastoral care, including M.Div. and CPE students.
CDFT might also be for you if:
• You are an educator or teacher who wants to explore ways to integrate Buddhist principles, teachings, and meditation into the communities where you teach.
• You are a community organizer and/or leader interested in grounding your vision, leadership, and strategic thinking in the principles and practices of a “Buddhism” that merges the traditional and contemporary.
• You are a social service or mental health care worker who seeks the personal support and nurturance of the Dharma, while broadening your professional skills and enhancing your capacity for presence based caregiving, grounded in a long-standing tradition of wisdom and kindness.
• You are a student of any discipline who is interested in furthering your Dharma practice and developing self-awareness, while exploring if and how the Dharma might fit into your educational studies and vocational path.
BMC originally planned to begin the CDFT in 2020, however due to COVID and the in-depth nature of the training – which includes in-person sessions at our new meditation center in Somerville, MA – we have had to postpone the start. We currently anticipate the program to begin early 2022, with applications being accepted during the fall of 2021.
The program will consist of four, three-day modules held at Boston Meditation Center over the course of approximately 16 months. As such, CDFT is open to students who live anywhere who can travel to Boston for the required three-day modules which will take place Friday through Sunday.
Applying to CDFT
Acceptance into the CDFT is by application and the cohort size will be limited. Tuition costs have not been finalized though will be equivalent to similar professional and vocational trainings.
Students representing marginalized populations are encouraged to apply. BMC is establishing a scholarship fund to support you. Allowances per person will be partial scholarships in order to disperse these limited funds to as many people as possible across BMC’s programming. Our approach to scholarships are needs based and equity focused, meaning that we distribute a greater percentage of our overall scholarship budget to those who have been historically under-represented.
If you wan’t more information about the CDFT please let us know. Your name will be added to a list of interested candidates for this program and we will write to you and let you know when the CDFT application is available.
If you want more information about the CDFT please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your name will be added to a list of interested candidates for this program and we will write to you and let you know when the CDFT application is available.