Meditation can have a profound effect on the mind and sometimes even the body. However, it takes practice and there are numerous methods of meditation from which to choose. Meditation centers can help practitioners learn how to reap the benefits of meditation. Boston has several high-quality meditation centers that offer a variety of techniques so every participant in the city can find the right discipline for the changes they need.
Greater Boston Zen Center
288 Norfolk St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
The Greater Boston Zen Center offers, as its name suggests, Zen Buddhist meditation training, guidance and space. As a branch of Boundless Way Zen, members also have access to the facilities at other local centers, which offer meditation retreats and groups. Beginners can come for training in breathing and sitting. Experienced practitioners can engage in shikantaza and much more. All-day sits are also available weekly.
Drikung Meditation Center
15 Bartlett Ave.
Arlington, MA 02476
A Tibetan Buddhist meditation center, Drikung Meditation is affiliated with the Katsel Monastery. Like all responsible meditation centers, Drikung Meditation has beginning lessons for individuals who still need to learn disciplined breathing and the fundamentals of meditation. There are also more advanced groups and international visiting teachers who challenge members to reach new goals in their practice. Those who want to see the center before committing can visit during open hours every Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.
89 South St.
Boston, MA 02111
Not all meditation is attached to spiritualism, as evidenced by the practice that takes place at Mindful Boston. As a secular meditation center, it provides all of the relaxation and mindfulness techniques espoused by Buddhist meditation without all of the spiritual guidance. Bringing talented mental health professionals, stress relief experts and even a martial arts instructor into the practice of meditation makes this center stand out as a place to get modernized relief for a modern lifestyle.
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Cambridge, MA 02139
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center is focused on Vipassana meditation techniques. This means members will learn to sit and be insightful in a moment without judging thoughts, feelings or surroundings. This center also teaches walking meditation, which is quite useful for practitioners who have pain while sitting, like to get exercise or simply want to learn how to meditate at virtually any time. Participation is based on annual membership, so there is a level of commitment expected.
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29 Farragut Road
Boston, MA 02127
A relatively new form of meditation with some serious celebrity backing, Transcendental Meditation may seem a bit trendy, but it has some benefits that practitioners may find refreshing. Those with breathing difficulties or who find structured breathing bothersome will like that this center does not require students to learn meditative breathing. There is also no chanting, but several practices leave that out. Another difference is that students will not be learning a way of life, but will practice briefly at least twice a day. It is easier to fit into a modern lifestyle than other branches.
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.