Meditation Mentoring Program (MMP)

Chris is currently working individually with students through his Meditation Mentoring Program, which now includes a monthly group meditation practice period and discussion.

This group is intentionally kept small. Currently there are a few spaces available.

Meditation Mentoring Program


Meditation class and dharma discussion. Beginners and experienced meditators welcome.

Aug 23, Wednesday. 7:00-8:30pm

Pre-registration required (space limited)

Center for Mindfulness & Insight Meditation, Wenham, MA.

Dharma & Justice Dialogue: Power and Authority in Buddhist Sanghas

When/Where: September 20, 2023, Union Theological Institute


Public event: open to all who are interested.

Event Description
For many Buddhist practitioners, the abuse of power within sanghas is a central concern.  This Dharma and Justice Dialogue with Insight teacher Chris Crotty addresses difficult questions regarding structure, governance, and transmission of spiritual authority.  How might we think about and implement horizontal structures of power in lineages that have been hierarchical since their founding?  How can we skillfully navigate the power dynamics in a student-teacher relationship, especially in exploring the complicated nuances of spiritual power and social power?  What governance structures within sanghas support leaders in helping them address their own personal shortcomings?

Gone Tomorrow, Here Today: Practicing with the Truth of Aging, Sickness, and Death

Saturday, September 23. 10:00am-5:30pm (with a break for lunch)

Cambridge Insight Meditation Center


Both provocative and compelling, Buddhist teachings on aging, sickness, and death convey a truth about our lives so significant that exploring them can enrich our meditation practice and our whole life in profound ways. While there may be a tendency to dismiss or turn away from these existential “truths”, there is an opportunity to use our practice to contemplate them in a manner consistent with the Dharma’s goal of insight and freedom.

  • How does turning towards these truths facilitate greater meaning and purpose in our lives?
  • How might these teachings foster non-attachment and joy?
  • How might we use our practice to cultivate kind and compassionate responses to these inevitable challenges of being human?
  • How do centuries-old Buddhist practices centered around aging, sickness, and death support us in living with more equanimity and fearlessness in the days we have left?

In this workshop, we will explore these questions in depth. We will integrate silent periods of sitting and walking meditation with periods of guided meditation, teacher reflections, and group discussions, as well as time for personal reflection.

This program is open to all, including beginners and experienced meditators, those confronting difficulties associated with aging, sickness, and death, and anyone interested in exploring how the tradition of Dharma practice draws upon these teachings as daily reminders. Everyone is welcome.

This program will not be recorded. Full and partial scholarships are available up to 72 hours before the start of the program.

Integrating Practice & Study: Pariyatti Workshop

Saturday Nov 4

Pariyatti (Pali) means to study or learn. In this workshop led by CfMIM guiding-teacher, Chris Crotty, students will have an opportunity to begin exploring ways to integrate Buddhist teachings into the path of meditative development. First, we will consider how study offers both context and practical instructions for meditation. Second, we will examine how meditation practice tests, clarifies, and confirms the Buddha’s teachings, helping to render them personally relevant and meaningful. Through the integration of practice and study the dhamma is said to unfold naturally.    

This is the first Pariyatti Workshop offered at CfMIM. As a foundational program, which introduces the Pali canon and covers basic concepts related to studying suttas and commentaries, it is encouraged for anyone who is curious about study or who thinks future Pariyatti Workshops might be of interest to them.    

Pariyatti Workshops will include periods of meditation, instructional talks and teacher presentations, mindful communication, and time for personal reflection. Tea, coffee, and light snacks will be provided; please bring your own lunch.

No prior experience necessary; everyone is welcome–beginners and experienced meditators encouraged to attend. 


A Year of Refuge: A Twelve-Month Immersion in the Triple Gem

Program Dates:
-Retreat I: November 1-6, 2024
-Retreat II: January 31 – February 5, 2025
-Retreat III: May 2-7, 2025
-Retreat IV: August 8-13, 2025

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies

Program Overview
The premise of refuge is that we learn to use traditional practice forms to shelter the mind from all that hinders clear seeing, and in turn, insight that leads to our own wisdom becomes the ultimate sanctuary, sheltering us from life’s many forms of suffering while empowering us with a greater capacity for skillful living. A Year of Refuge borrows from the tradition of taking refuge in the Triple Gem–buddha, dharma, sangha–by establishing a twelve-month immersive practice and study opportunity for dedicated practitioners who seek to experience the fruit of the Dharma more fully in their own lives. 

Participants in A Year of Refuge will work closely with Chris Crotty, and with each other, to establish and maintain a container for exploring the dharma which integrates the support of community, the determination of self-sustained practice, and teacher guidance. Throughout the program participants are provided opportunities to engage in the framework of the Triple Gem as a basis for deepening their meditation practice, and as a form for studying a wide range of Buddhist teachings with the goal of better understanding their relevance to their own personal lives. 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.

Program Format
Participants will be supported by:

  • Four residential retreats
  • Monthly teacher-led sessions between residential retreats (Zoom)
  • Individualized daily meditation practice based on experience level
  • Monthly reading assignments and reflection questions
  • Monthly Kalayanamita (spiritual friendship) dyads (Zoom)

Retreats will be structured thematically around the Triple Gem: buddha, dharma, sangha. These three gems will serve as an organizing principle or framework upon which a range of related dharma teachings and topics will be explored.   

Residential Retreat commitment
Full participation is required in the four residential retreats. Retreats will blend periods of silent meditation emphasizing the simplicity and quietude of renunciation, along with dyads, small group discussion, and teacher-led periods of reflection. All forms of mindful communication will be held in the spirit of contemplative practice, aimed at enriching both meditative development and peer relationships. It is expected that participants will eliminate the use of their phone and other forms of technology for the duration of the retreat. The last day of each retreat will include specific practices and activities to support the transition from the retreat environment to program activities that take place at home and between retreats.    

Meditation commitment outside of retreat
Participants are required to develop an on-going daily meditation practice that may include insight (vipassana), loving-kindness (metta), compassion (
karuna), and the Five Recollections. Chris will work with each student to help them establish an approach to daily practice that reflects their experience level and lifestyle. Daily meditation practice between retreats can accommodate various work schedules and commitments, though students are expected to dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes per day to their meditation practice for the duration of the program. Keeping a meditation journal is encouraged.  

Other Expectations
This program is designed specifically to help practitioners who want to create more structure and time in their lives for dharma activities. In addition to daily meditation practice between retreats, students will be expected to complete reading assignments, engage with reflection questions by keeping a journal, and participate in dyads and group discussions. Participants should plan for two-four hours per week for these activities. (Students who are interested in spending more time studying and reading can elect to take advantage of an optional supplementary reading list).   

-A minimum of one silent, teacher led insight meditation retreat consisting of at least seven nights in duration. 

-A daily meditation practice or a sincere commitment to beginning and sustaining a daily meditation practice for the duration of the twelve month program.   

Who this program is for
This program is for dedicated students who meet the prerequisites and who want to:

1) Deepen their meditation practice by addressing common challenges that meditators face and gaining insight into personal habit patterns.

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 discernment and focused reflection based on short readings rather than consuming a lot of material.

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, collaboration, and encouragement. 

Residential Retreat Descriptions
Retreat I: Taking Refuge in the Buddha

This retreat examines the archetype of Buddha as a representation of one’s own awakened potential, and as a starting point to consider how those of us practicing today might find in the legacy and teachings of the historical Buddha time-tested guidance to cultivate our own mind. Examples will also be drawn from the spiritual biographies of other notable practitioners. This retreat will also look to the canonical story of the Buddha’s encounters with aging, sickness, and death in order to better understand their relationship to aspiration and motivation.   

Retreat II: Taking Refuge in the Dharma

This retreat explores the ideal of living in accordance with the dharma, described in the suttas as “subtle and hard to see.” How do we live and practice in accordance with something subtle and hard to see, and not yet fully realized? This second retreat explores the whole of the Dharma as an integrated system of practice, study, and personal reflection that leads to a way of seeing and perceiving self, others, and the world around us, which leads to greater freedom. Though we “study” the Dharma this retreat will ultimately support students to recognize their own direct experience as the greatest source of insight. 

Retreat III: Taking Refuge in the Sangha 

This retreat explores the potential of sangha, the community of practitioners who support each other’s progress on the Path. More broadly we will reflect on the role of relationships (work, family, friendships) in our lives to provide valuable–and sometimes challenging–opportunities to see and transform our habits. In this way, all of life’s relationships become vehicles for transforming our mind and heart, improving our ability to engage all of life with greater equanimity and joy. In this retreat we will also consider the role of loving-kindness and compassion in the formation of skillful relationships, and in the purification of our own mind.   

Retreat IV: Incorporating the Fruit of the Dharma

Returning to the question, what does it mean to live in accordance with the dharma?, the final retreat will be a time to focus on incorporating what we have learned through A Year of Refuge (as well as how we have learned). Using the Ten Perfections (Paramis) as a guide–alongside journaling, dyads, small groups, and teacher-led discussion, we will carefully and systematically reflect on our own practice throughout the year. As part of the final retreat each student will have the opportunity to reexamine the traditional model of taking refuge in the three jewels in light of their own experience  Both individually, and together as a community, we will support each other in establishing supportive guidelines for continuing to live and practice in a way that is both personally meaningful and aligned with the highest goals of Buddhist practice. 

Dates for monthly online meetings
Monthly on-line teacher-led sessions will be on Tuesday of the second week of each month from 6:30-8:30 EST. Peer dyads will be once per month at a time convenient for both students. 

Dates for monthly teacher-led group sessions:
Dec 10, 2024

2025: Jan 7, Feb 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10, July 8