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7:30pm to 9:30pm, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In the McFarlin Chapel at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 2 Westford Street, Chelmsford

vago1Modern science is finally beginning to offer insight into the contemporary and Buddhist practice of mindfulness meditation. As we train our minds to enter states of emotional and attentional stability, new neural connections are formed and our “mental muscles” become strengthened. David Vago, Ph.D., a contemplative neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a meditation practitioner himself, will offer an introduction to the biology behind the meditative experience and share reflections from his unique perspective at the meeting point of science and spirituality. While a portion of this evening will invite audience participation, no previous meditation experience is required.

Dr. Vago is Associate Psychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He has also held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute. His research interests include clarifying adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric disorders. In this context, he has specifically focused on mindfulness-based interventions in clinical settings, and the functional mechanisms of mindfulness-based practices. Dr. Vago is an avid practitioner of Hatha Yoga as well as Vipassana and Dzogchen meditation.

Cost for this event is $17 per person in advance or $25 per person at the door. Please send advance payment for the “Vago Lecture” via PayPal “friends or family” to tlittle [at] designingminds [dot] com. Separate donations to support First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford will be welcome at the door.

For additional information please contact Tim Little: grommit_2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com

9am to 5pm, Saturday, November 2, 2013

In the McFarlin Chapel at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 2 Westford Street, Chelmsford

Matthew D photoThe practice of mindfulness, simple yet powerful, is the heart of meditation and the supreme antidote to distraction. Being mindful allows us to be more alert, calm and spacious. It truly is the gateway to liberation because we experience our bodies, emotions and thoughts with greater clarity and balance.

The core of insight meditation is the practice of mindfulness, that quality of awareness that sees without judgment. Silent sitting and walking meditation, the first steps in formal practice, become the foundation and continuous inspiration for meeting all aspects of life with a greater openness and willingness to learn.

Matthew Daniell is Guiding Teacher at the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport (IMCN). He has been practicing Buddhist meditation for over 25 years, having studied Zen in Japan, Tibetan Buddhism in India, and Insight Meditation in India, Burma, Thailand, and the United States. His teachers include Munindra, Dipa Ma, Larry Rosenberg, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. In addition to serving as the primary teacher at IMCN, Matthew also teaches at various retreat centers including the Omega Institute, the Philadelphia Meditation Center, the Insight Meditation Society, Kripalu, and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. He teaches Buddhism at the Tufts University Summer School and is a member of the Religious Services Department at Phillips Exeter Academy where he leads meditation groups for students and faculty.

This event is appropriate for both beginners and experienced meditators alike. Participants should bring their own lunches and meditation cushions or benches as desired; chairs will be available. The workshop will take place in the Chapel from 9am to 5pm, followed by an informal tea and discussion.

The workshop is freely offered, however donations to support the teacher and church are welcome.

For more information please contact Tim Little: grommit_2000@yahoo.com

Kindly RSVP by Friday, October 25.

7pm to 9pm, Saturday, August 10, 2013

In the McFarlin Chapel at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 2 Westford Street, Chelmsford

Words such as ‘meditation’, ‘peace’ and ‘mindfulness’ are often used these days, as interest grows in finding ways of achieving calm from within. What do they really mean? How can we find a way to bring greater peace and happiness to the lives we actually live? In his talk on this evening Ajahn Jayanto will reflect on these themes from the perspective of a Buddhist monk. There will be an opportunity to learn and practice some meditation, as well as ask questions.

Born in Boston in 1967, Ajahn Jayanto grew up in Newton and attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, during which time a period of world travel kindled a great interest in the spiritual life. A meditation class at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center led him to live for a while at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he made plans to join the monastic community of Ajahn Sumedho as a postulant at Amaravati Monastery in England in 1989. Taking bhikkhu (monk) ordination at the related Cittaviveka Monastery in 1991, he trained there and at Aruna Ratanagiri Monastery until 1997, at which point he embarked on a period of practice in Thailand and other Asian Buddhist countries. He returned to the UK in 2006, where he has since been living at Amaravati.

Since 2011 Ajahn Jayanto has been involved in helping people in Massachusetts set up the foundations for what they hope will be a future New England forest monastery.

This event is freely offered, however donations to support the Jeta Grove Foundation and First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford are welcome.

To RSVP or for more information please contact Tim Little: grommit_2000@yahoo.com

9am to 5pm, Saturday, March 30, 2013

In the McFarlin Chapel at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 2 Westford Street, Chelmsford

DiCapua.jpgMindfulness of the Body plays an integral role in supporting the development of the Eightfold Path. In the formal practice, through connecting to the sensations of breath and body, the attention gets trained to be present and steady. Through this presence and steadiness of mind, we are able to look at our changing experience and notice what our relationship to it is. We see what brings happiness and what brings unhappiness.

In our daily life practice, Mindfulness of the Body is indispensible in helping us to not get swept away by the fast pace of life. Literally like throwing an anchor out in a storm, the density of the body allows our awareness to connect with it quite easily and serves as a tether to the present moment.

In this day long retreat we will practice sitting and walking meditation as well as speaking meditation, so as to see that Mindfulness of the Body can be a seamless way to develop awareness of the present moment in both formal and daily life practice.

Chas DiCapua has been practicing mindfulness and Buddhist meditation, primarily in the Theravada school, for over 20 years.  He has trained with Burmese meditation masters, western monastics of the Thai Forest tradition and senior western Vipassana teachers. In 2003 Chas was invited to be the Resident Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society where he continues to serve in that role.  He is interested in how the basic material of our everyday lives, including relationships, can be used as a vehicle for awakening. Chas teaches retreats at IMS, at various centers and sanghas throughout the country, and offers Spiritual Counseling for individuals.

This event is appropriate for both beginners and experienced meditators alike. Participants should bring their own lunch and meditation cushions or benches as desired; chairs will be available. The workshop will take place in the Chapel from 9am to 5pm, followed by an informal tea and discussion.

The workshop is freely offered, however donations to support the teacher and church are welcome.

To RSVP or for more information please contact Tim Little: grommit_2000@yahoo.com

In Buddhism, there is a term for speaking “well” – “right speech.” You could say that this is a guideline or a step toward enlightenment – you could also say that this is a way to limit your own and others’ suffering, and encourage your own practice of not harming any person (including yourself).  I think this is a worthy practice for anyone seeking to better themselves and their lives and relationships, regardless of spiritual / religious preference (if any). Continue Reading »

9:30am to 4:00pm, Saturday, June 9, 2012

In the McFarlin Chapel at First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 2 Westford Street,Chelmsford

We are very pleased to offer this opportunity to those who would like additional time to explore their meditation practice. Previous experience with mindfulness and/or lovingkindness meditation is recommended.

Participants should bring their own lunch and meditation cushions or benches as desired; chairs will be available. The retreat will take place in the Chapel from 9:30am to 4pm, followed by tea and informal discussion.  There is no charge, however donations for the church are welcome.

In consideration of the other participants, please arrive promptly and RSVP before June 7. 

(The retreat schedule is posted below.)

    

 

SCHEDULE

 
—————————————————————————
 9:30                 Welcome (housekeeping and introduction)
 —————————————————————————
 9:45                 Introduction to lovingkindness
 10:00               Sit
 10:30               Walk
 —————————————————————————
 11:00               Introduction to mindfulness
 11:15               Sit
 11:45               Walk
 —————————————————————————
 12:15               Check-in and Q&A followed by a “mindful lunch”
 —————————————————————————
 1:15                 Mindfulness (continued)
 1:30                 Sit
 2:00                 Walk
 —————————————————————————
 2:30                 Lovingkindness (continued)
 2:45                 Sit
 3:15                 Walk
 —————————————————————————
 3:45                 Dedication and closing
 4:00                 Tea and informal discussion
 —————————————————————————
 

We’re in the news!

 

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