Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I participate with Mindful Boston?
Attend a class.
Listen to our Youtube channel.
Once you have attended a class, you can then apply for membership at our studio. Members can attend our quarterly silent sits.
We refer to our network for other offerings.
2. What does Mindful Boston do?
Mindful Boston offers classes on meditation skills building.
Mindful Boston is a place you can go to for a structured and sane approach to meditation practice. Mindfulness-building practices can be simple in their form, but mindfulness itself is not necessarily easy to make a part of your everyday life. We offer a structured learning pathway and a community setting.
Our long-term practitioners answer your questions about the process of establishing your own meditation practice.
Our training pathway shows a way of building your own skills as a meditator today. …and maybe even someday becoming a teacher yourself!
We are creating audio recordings and podcasts.
We have live classes in the greater Boston area that you can attend.
All of our locations are near a subway stop.
3. What doesn’t Mindful Boston do?
We don’t really like the the term “hacking your brain” ourselves, even though pop media articles use it to describe meditation. The phrase has a connotation of forcing the brain to do more than it was meant to. We support your brain in its healthy expressions.
Also, some of the brain “hacks” out there are medically suspect. Neuroenhancement and neurostimulation are medical procedures that are not yet properly regulated and we do not endorse them.
We will not be giving you “quick easy tips.”
Mindfulness and compassion are multidimensional qualities of the human heart, and therefore are too complex to fit into a meme. Since studying mindfulness is a lifelong process, our studio will be here for you for the long term. This work is worthy of commitment and investment on the part of students and on the part of teachers.
That being said, if you want to just drop into our beginner level classes, you can.
We don’t require a long-term commitment from beginners. What we are saying is that once you are operating at intermediate levels, we will continue to support your growth.
We will not help you to “get your zen on” or give you “enlightenment.” These words are now being used in pop culture as buzzwords. The words ‘zen’ and ‘enlightenment’ entered popular usage because they have actual meanings within Buddhist lineages. We are not a Buddhist center. We deeply respect our Buddhist colleagues and therefore we will not appropriate, muddy, or misuse Buddhist terms for the sake of marketing.
That’s right, we are not Buddhist.
If you would prefer Buddhism, there is an excellent article about Buddhist meditation practices with lots of links to get you started at https://www.lionsroar.com/category/how-to/ If you are instead interested in Mindful Boston’s secular approach to meditation, we’d love to see you at our classes.
We will not be replacing therapy, prescribed medication or medical interventions.
Meditation practice is a wholesome support for the healing you are doing elsewhere. It cannot be a solo replacement.
4. What about the religious roots of meditation practices?
Mindfulness and compassion are not outside of you, you were born with them. If you would like to grow your inborn abilities, practicing meditation is a way to grow.
Martial Arts studios have offered secular forms of practice since coming to the US in the 1950s. It is very common for students at martial arts centers to have their own religious beliefs alongside their martial arts practice without conflicts of spirit.
Mindful Boston’s business structure is most similar to a martial arts studio. That’s why we are called a meditative arts studio.
Historically, people who wanted to learn how to build qualities of heart, such as mindfulness and compassion, did so within religious settings. Mindful Boston is one of a number of organizations who are now attempting to offer non-religious contexts for learning these skills.
If your would prefer to study within a religious tradition, that’s great too! We just don’t offer a religious belief here at Mindful Boston, we can refer you to other organizations. Mindful Boston has a stance that is multi-faith and includes atheist and agnostic/questioning meditators. Whatever it is you already are is a-okay here.
The MBSR program itself does have roots in Buddhist study. Please go to the UMass Medical School page to get a full understanding of how they developed the MBSR course to be secular enough for medical and educational setting.
Yoga studios have roots in Hindu study. We do not yet have a website to refer to for more info about the Hindu roots of western yoga studios and the ways in which they could be considered secular or not.