Cambridge

Day

Saturdays

Time

10 - 11 am ET

Location

Google Map

Tamara Daly

Tamara Daly

Meditation Teacher

tamarad714@gmail.com

I was drawn to these practices in 2004, where I was introduced to them by Lama John Makransky. I found them immediately accessible and healing. They became the primary method and focus of my meditation practice, and formed an introduction to the depth of Tibetan Buddhism. Although I didn’t immediately realize it, these practices are a form of guru yoga, but reframed so that a westerner can relate to them. As most westerners can’t relate to Buddhist imagery or even the concept of a guru, instead we use the memory of a loving moment with someone. The beauty of it is that this can be anyone, not necessarily a perfect or idealized person, revealing that “buddha-nature” can be found in any one. Ideally you would recall a loving moment that is so rich in texture that it can re-bless you and flood you again with the warmth of that moment, as if alive still. Receiving that love and then extending it out again, is a source of an ever-deepening wisdom and capacity for love and compassion.

I lead these practices in the Foundation for Active compassion meditation group in Cambridge. I also have been teaching these practices for five years now, for the 2-year meditation course, called the Margha Program, through Natural Dharma Fellowship. These practices are an integral part of the second year of that program.

In my personal life, there is a subtle shift in how I see and relate to people. In the practice of sending love to people, the practice teaches you to uphold them in their “essential goodness”. I find myself seeing people this way and beaming love to them, even strangers on the street.

Marge Houy

Marge Houy

Meditation Teacher

marge.houy@gmail.com

Lama John has the extraordinary ability to translate seemingly opaque ancient Tibetan practices into profound practices that are accessible for the Western mind. For me, he has opened a door to deep, spiritual practices that can change ones life.

Being one of the facilitators for the Boston/Cambridge sangha and working with Dawn-Starr to start a Tucson sangha are important aspects of my practice. Also, my Buddhist practices underlie the secular course I teach in the Arizona State Prison in Tucson on emotional intelligence and mindfulness.

Joel Baehr

Joel Baehr

Board of Directors, Meditation Teacher

joelbaehr@joelbaehr.com

Joel Baehr is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister since 1967, is a graduate of Haverford College, Union Theological Seminary, and the Westchester Institute For Training in Psychoanalysis. He has practiced as a psychotherapist and an organizational consultant since 1970, integrating spiritual practice with psychology and ordinary life. He has studied and practiced with teachers in many traditions including Quaker, Sufi, Roman Catholic, and Siddha Yoga. Joel fell in love with Tibetan Buddhism in 1992 while retreating at Gampo Abbey and thereafter became a student of Lama Surya Das, Lama John Makransky, Chokyi Nyima, Lama Willa Miller, and others.

At the request of Surya Das, Joel wrote and taught for years an online course, “Buddhism and Everyday Life,” which enrolled hundreds of students. He is currently a meditation teacher and Board member of Foundation for Active Compassion (FAC) and a Mitra in the Natural Dharma Fellowship's Margha program.

Joel is a meditation teacher for two weekly FAC groups:  A Saturday morning group that gathers at Friends Meeting in Cambridge, and a combination in-person/online group that is based from a private home in Cambridge on Wednesday evenings. Both groups have been practicing together long enough to have had major impact on the practitioners' lives. Joel has found that the signs of effective practice are many, and may include bearing our hardships and daily difficulties with more compassion, and finding it easier to be compassionate to those we do not like.

The Wednesday in-person/online group usually has 6 to 8 participants in Cambridge, and about an equal number on line, from a variety of locations from New Hampshire to California. From 7 to 7:30 pm, the group discusses a book chosen by the group for its relevance to meditation practice. At 7:30 until about 8:15 pm, the focus shifts to meditation practice, guided gently by Joel. All are welcome to participate in any part or all of the Wednesday sessions.

Ilona O’Connor

Ilona O’Connor

Board of Directors, Meditation Teacher

Enneads@verizon.net

President

My spiritual explorations as a Catholic woman, my experience as a Catholic Worker in Boston, my interactions with patients as an inner city homecare nurse...all of these adventures prepared me to meet the practices of Innate Wisdom and Compassion...a non-dual wisdom from the Buddhist tradition. There was a deep recognition of the truth and integrity of the teachings for both my heart and my mind.

These practices allow me to open more to others, to have the inner space for more creativity, responsiveness and humor. They help me to find the freedom to be increasingly more vulnerable, curious and trusting of the power of innate compassion.

Carol Marsh

Carol Marsh

Board of Directors, Meditation Teacher

cmarsh@heliosdesigngroup.com

These practices have been life-changing for me, helping me to open more and more deeply to the experience of being human, and to simply being. Sharing them is a great joy. I feel such gratitude for being able to witness people relaxing, opening their hearts, and finding courage to live more fully, each in their own way. When our group is sitting, we're all learning together, supporting one another, respectful of one another's deepest nature.

In addition to sitting with the FAC group, I lead a small meditation group in prison. These men are profoundly dedicated to their study and practice. The difficulties that beset all of us from time to time are amplified for them, so it's satisfying to be able to share practices that can help them turn their difficulties right into the path of awakening.

Barbara Waldorf

Barbara Waldorf

Meditation Teacher

Throughout my career as a nurse, I have been “burned out” at various times. Along with the impulse to find spiritual freedom, this journey of burnout and creating resilience has brought me to learning and teaching compassion meditation for nurses and other healthcare providers as well as patients and family members.

There is a particular moment of burnout that can be identified as “hitting the wall”. These moments are the crux point, when things get to be too much and something has to change. My memory of these moments is graphic, even many years later. Handing the tiny silver bracelets of a baby who we had been unable to resuscitate to her grieving parents. Realizing that the patient I had been working with in a community mental health program was not going to stop undermining my every effort to help. That moment of knowing that I needed something more, to find the inner resources, education, time and space, to be able to cope with the work I wanted to do.

These experiences led me to ask many questions. How can we retain the core motivation that inspired us to enter this field of caring? How can we restore ourselves? How can we tap into the resiliency that I knew existed, within the profession and within each of us?

Meditation is one of the ways that we can learn to evoke our natural compassion. Sustainable Compassion Meditation is a practice, a means to cultivate the innate capacity to find our own inner resource for replenishment, to cultivate resiliency, and a sustainable source of compassionate presence to others. We are not seeking to find it outside of ourselves, in a better ‘strategy’, but rather to reveal to oneself our innate capacity for care and compassion.

This involves training in three aspects of care, receiving care, extending care and deepening oneself in the field of care. The practice allows us to touch in on the rich and sustainable source of loving care that surrounds us, and sustains us all whether we are normally aware of it or not.

I am continually impressed by the impact that these seemingly simple practices have on my ability to be present for my patients and myself. The power that these practices seem to unlock in so many, has led me to learn to teach, as I feel they are a key skill for anyone in a caring position and for us to create a culture of care, so that this is our reference point that changes the system.

Eric Brus

Eric Brus

Meditation Teacher

sukhaneric01@yahoo.com

Our Sangha has several meditation teachers who take turns leading. Typical meetings include brief introductions, a guided meditation, discussion, and a dedication of merit. Our Sangha members are friendly and welcoming to experienced and new practitioners alike.

I came to these practices after practicing insight and metta (loving-kindness) meditation in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition for many years. When I first encountered the Innate Wisdom and Compassion teachings in Lama John Makransky's book "Awakening Through Love," they resonated as powerful means for cultivating love and compassion and opening more fully to life as it is. Practicing regularly with our FAC sangha and receiving additional teachings from Lama John and others have helped me recognize opportunities for waking up even in the most difficult life situations. For example, providing ongoing care to a loved one with a chronic illness, and trying to remain sane and open-hearted in the midst of injustice and social and political turmoil.