About

Boston Meditation Center (BMC) is a Buddhist sangha in the Insight tradition serving greater Boston and the East Coast. Emphasizing the development of wisdom and kindness through traditional practices made accessible and relevant to modern-day lives, BMC welcomes everyone who seeks greater freedom and happiness in their lives. Central to our vision is the belief that the path of awakening is attainable by all and should be available to all. Our guiding teacher is Chris Crotty.

We offer weekly meditation classes and dharma talks, as well as daylong and residential retreats. We are currently located in Cambridge (Harvard Square).

Weekly Meditation

BMC meets every Thursday from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. at Karma Yoga Studio in Harvard Square (1120 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge). Meetings typically begin with 20 to 30 minutes of guided meditation, followed by a dharma talk and discussion with our guiding teacher, Chris Crotty, or another teacher or facilitator. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Though grounded in the Theravada tradition, we strive to expose our members to diverse approaches to the dharma by occasionally hosting teachers from other traditions, such as Tibetan or Zen Buddhism.

Thursday Schedule

Next Day Program:

March 23: Forgotten Stories of Women and the Sacred Feminine in the Buddha’s Life

A Half-Day Workshop with Wendy Garling

Description
Drawing from the earliest Pali and Sanskrit biographies of the Buddha, Wendy Garling will share little-known stories of women and the sacred feminine that arose during the Buddha’s era but over time were “forgotten” or suppressed by patriarchy. A far cry from the minimally represented, passive, and stock female characters we find in his conventional biography, these stories tell us that women were influential figures in the Buddha’s life and in the emergence of early Buddhism, participating with agency, voice, and their own spiritual aspirations. Now more than ever these stories—of mothers, wives, daughters, solitary seekers, and upholders of the Dharma—offer today’s Buddhist women and men a deeper connection, not just to a more gender-balanced past, but to each other, and to women’s voices rising across a world calling for renewed wisdom, compassion, and nurturance.

In this afternoon retreat we’ll explore several women’s stories in depth, learning more about the Buddha’s mother Maya, his stepmother Gautami, his wife Yasodhara, his harem wives, and others who helped shape the Buddha’s journey to awakening. Together we will read and discuss the stories, followed by periods of silent reflection. How do the stories reshape the roots of Buddhism? How are these first Buddhist women relatable in today’s world? Questions like these are bound to arise. Women and men of any practice level are welcome.

When
Saturday, March 23
1 – 4:30 p.m.

Where
The Arlington Center
369 Mass Ave
Arlington, MA

Cost
$35 Base
$45 Sustaining (actual cost of the program)
$55 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.

Registration
To register, select your preferred pricing option from the drop-down menu below and then click the button to submit payment via PayPal; in a day or two you will receive a confirmation email. Please email us at info@bostonmeditationcenter.org with any questions.

Payment Options

Teacher
Wendy Garling is a writer, mother, independent scholar, and authorized dharma teacher with a BA from Wellesley College and MA in Sanskrit language and literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha’s Life (2016, Shambhala Publications), a groundbreaking biography of the Buddha that relates his journey to awakening through the stories of Buddhism’s first women. Read more about Wendy here.

Next Residential Retreat:

June 6-13: The Path of Peace & Freedom: Spring Insight Meditation Retreat

With Sayadaw U Inndaka, Chris Crotty, & May Myint Oo
Cosponsored by BMC and IMC Newburyport

Description
Insight meditation (vipassana) is the central Buddhist practice aimed at awakening. The Buddha taught that the cause of discontent and suffering can be understood, and this insight, or wisdom, is the natural foundation for greater peace, well-being, and freedom. Through the practice of insight meditation we calm and stabilize the mind, and then we investigate the mind’s true nature. We wake up to the truth of life, and we enjoy the freedom of our awakened mind.

On this retreat, Burmese meditation master Sayadaw U Inndaka and Chris Crotty will guide students in the development of insight through guided meditation, extended silence, individual interviews, and dharma talks. This is a unique opportunity to practice and learn with Sayadaw U Inndaka, and to rest your mind in the quiet natural surroundings of Insight Meditation Center Newburyport.

When
June 6-13, 2019 (Thursday to Thursday)

Where
Insight Meditation Center of Newburyport
West Newbury, MA

Cost
Residential: $630 (base); $770 (sustaining); $980 (contributing)
Commuter: $350 (base); $490 (sustaining); $560 (contributing)
Saturday only: $90
This retreat has both residential and commuter options; the residential option allows for a more immersive retreat experience, while the commuter option allows you to sleep at home each night for a lower cost. There are three payment levels for each option; paying at the highest level you can afford allows us to offer our programs to as many people as possible. In addition, there is a Saturday-only daylong option which runs the full day, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or as late as 9 p.m. (your option).

Registration
To register, click the link below to download the registration form; if you need financial assistance, you may also download the scholarship application form. Fill out and return the registration form either by mail or email; to pay, you may send a $200 deposit along with your registration form, or you may pay in full now by selecting a payment option below and clicking “Register.” Further details are on the forms, but if you have questions, please email us at info@bostonmeditationcenter.org.

Registration Form and Waiver
Scholarship Application Form

Retreat Option

Teachers
Sayadaw U Inndaka was born in 1952 in Upper Burma and ordained in 1972. Starting in 1976 he practiced vipassana meditation in the Mahasi Meditation Center in Mandalay. In 1996 he became the abbot of the newly established Chanmyay Myaing Meditation Center on the outskirts of Yangon, the capital of Burma (now called Myanmar). Sayadaw U Inndaka’s books on the practice of metta meditation and the factors of enlightenment have been translated into English and German.

Chris Crotty is a Buddhist teacher, pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor in alternative medicine. Practicing meditation since 1998, he has taken retreat with Burmese monastics Sayadaw U Inndaka and Sayadaw U Tejaniya, scholar-practitioner Bhikkhu Analayo, western monastics of the Zen and Thai Forest tradition, and senior western Vipassana teachers. Chris was authorized to teach Buddhadharma in 2015, and in 2016 was encouraged to teach vipassana and metta by Sayadaw U Inndaka.