Beginning A New Year Together
Sangha, Ceremony, & Meditation
Join Chris for a half-day of meditation, conversation, and ceremony emphasizing the ideals of appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness. It is common this time of year to make New Year’s resolutions which, if we are not careful, can be subtly imbued with loathing and grasping, lacking the kindness necessary for wisdom to mature. What if instead, we expressed both the struggles and joys of the spiritual life with non-attachment, thus celebrating the fullness of our humanity and our care for one another? Come and find out how this might be a form of reconciliation with ourselves and others which opens the heart and mind to a spaciousness capable of lasting change?
How is this program different from other BMC programs?
While most programs emphasize multiple periods of silent meditation and formal dharma talks by the teacher, this program is teacher led and community based, emphasizing many people’s voices, personal reflection, and opportunities to connect deeply with others. Coming together to explore the Dharma in this way we express the virtues of friendliness and generosity; we foster sangha (community) and are nurtured by it simultaneously.
Date: Thursday, Jan 21
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.
Living Dharma: Winter Practice Period
3-Month group-mentoring & Dharma study with Chris Crotty
Wisdom arises from spiritual practice;
Without practice it decays.
Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss,
Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows.
Three months (on-line): Oct 24, 2020–January 17, 2021 (program hours will accommodate east coast and west coast students)
Registration: Participation in this program is by application. Download applicationa and apply at Boston Meditation Center.
This 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 this program with two goals in mind: 1) To transform the ‘stay-at-home’ COVID related safety measure into an in-depth period of dedicated Dharma practice; 2) To establish and guide a close group of students who seek the support and nurturance of sangha (community) and who want to live the Dharma more fully in their lives.
This program provides a unique opportunity for a small 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. 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.
Participants will be supported by:
• Individual, structured daily meditation practice based on experience level
• Reading assignments and reflection questions
• Kalayanmita (spiritual friend) dyads
• Monthly small group sessions
• Four day-long retreats with Chris Crotty (Oct 24; Nov 22; Dec 19; Jan 17, 2021. Start time for weekend sessions will be 10am eastern/7am pacific. Day-longs end at 5:oopm eastern)
• Monthly group mentoring with Chris Crotty (3 total 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)
Texts will include (others may be added)
Therigatha: Verses of the Elder Nuns
Udana: Exclamations of the Buddha
Dhammapada: The Buddhas Path of Wisdom
Attachment and Non-attachment: The Dharma of Relationship
with Chris Crotty & Julia Barry, LMFT
(modified schedule* to minimize screen time)
One of the basic tenets of Buddhist practice is that attachment causes suffering. Western psychology, on the other hand, promotes secure attachment in relationship as central to physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
This program explores the ways we can integrate our need for deep connection in relationship alongside our wish for the liberating happiness espoused by Buddhist teachings. How do we resolve this paradox? How can meditation help us achieve greater ease, skill, and satisfaction in our relationships? How can relationship challenges deepen our understanding of the Dharma?
In this program, we will explore Buddhist teachings on impermanence and not-self, as well as attachment theory, which addresses how our early childhood relationships inform our adult views and behaviors. We will practice insight meditation and heart practices to observe and skillfully respond to attachment conditioning in all types of relationships (intimate, professional, familial, friendships), and learn to use mindfulness to transform the difficult somatic and mental states associated with attachment habit patterns.
The format will include meditation instruction, Buddhist and Western teachings on attachment, and relational mindfulness practices. We are all in relationship, whether it be intimate partnership, family, friendship, or community – all are welcome and encouraged to attend this program!
* Modified Schedule to minimize screen time:
Friday Opening Session:
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
– 7:30 am – 8:00 am: Meditation
–10:00 am – 12:00noon Morning Session
– 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Afternoon Session
– 7:00 pm – 7:45 pm: Meditation
7:30 am – 8:00 am: Meditation
– 10:00 am – 12:00 am: Closing Session