Until further notice the Tuesday evening meditation group will continue to meet in the Sanctuary at First Parish. Please use the ground-floor Vestry entrance and take the stairs to the second floor.


Please note that the Tuesday evening meditation group will continue to meet as scheduled during construction at First Parish. Because of the ongoing construction, the exact location (e.g., Vestry, Sanctuary, or Chapel) may change from week to week, so please refer to the latest newsletter or contact us for the most up-to-date information.

After a 3-week hiatus the Tuesday evening meditation group will resume our regular meetings, starting tomorrow from 7:30pm to 9:30pm in the Vestry.

The sprinkler installation at First Parish did not commence as planned during our break. The installation is now (tentatively) scheduled to begin later this week. We will continue to keep everyone posted on how this may impact next week’s meditation group.


Due to the installation of a new fire sprinkler system at First Parish, the Tuesday evening meditation group will be on hiatus from July 10 through July 24. We expect to resume our regular meetings on July 31. In the meantime, please take this opportunity to join our friends at Souhegan Insight Meditation (Milford, NH), the Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport (West Newbury, MA), and/or the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (Cambridge, MA).


Due to the building renovation at First Parish, the Tuesday evening meditation group will meet in the Sanctuary until further notice. Please use the ground floor Vestry entrance.


9:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday, April 16, 2016

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

IMG_0824The 24/7/365 global news cycle can make it seem impossible to avoid hearing the cries of the world; and then there are the individual burdens each of us bears in our own lives. Yet understanding the ubiquity of dukkha is the first step on the path towards awakening. Rather than remaining trapped in reactive cycles of greed, hatred, and ignorance, there is another possibility: compassion, the ability to respond to suffering with kindness… both for others and for ourselves.

During this day of communal practice we will investigate both faces of compassion. In the morning we will explore the cultivation of karuna as “a quivering of the heart” in response to the suffering of others – especially those with whom we find ourselves at odds. In the afternoon we will turn our attention to meeting our own suffering with an open heart. The day will conclude with tea and the opportunity for informal discussion.

Previous experience with mindfulness and/or lovingkindness meditation is recommended, but not required. We encourage attendance for the full day, however there is the option to come for either the morning (9am to 12 noon) or the afternoon (1pm to 4pm) session only. In consideration of the other participants, please arrive promptly.

Please bring your own lunch and meditation cushions or benches as desired; chairs will be available. There is no charge, however we ask you to consider making a donation to support our hosts at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Chelmsford.

RSVP to grommit_2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com no later than April 9.

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