Roundup: Meditation Centers
Research shows that meditation, whether as a part of your weekly yoga class or during a guided meditation session, can have some crazy benefits: increased compassion, improved gene expression, and even an improved sex life. And if that’s not enough to convince you, consider that some of Boston’s most practiced yogis, like OmGal’s Rebecca Pacheco and Health Yoga Life’s Allison Jones, say that meditation changed their lives. Try one of these local meditation centers that are strictly dedicated to the practice.
This Brookline-based center was built on the principle that every human being is fundamentally good. At Shambhala, you can participate in open meditation sessions, individual meditation instruction sessions, weeknight classes, and weekend meditation retreats. If you’ve never meditated before, sign up for an introductory program. If you’re already a practiced meditator, stop by for a free open sitting session.
646 Brookline Avenue, Brookline; 617-734-1498; for more information, visit boston.shambhala.org.
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
At CIMC, you’ll learn how to practice insight meditation, also called Vipassana, which is a central meditation teaching in Buddhism. The core of this type of meditation is mindfulness, or an awareness of the present moment without judgment. You’ll learn sitting meditations and walking meditations, and can participate in workshops and classes.
331 Broadway, Cambridge; 617-441-9038; for more information, visit cimc.info.
Dhammakaya Meditation Center Boston
Head to Quincy to learn how to quiet your mind at DMC Boston. Based on ancient Thai meditation traditions, this center offers introductory meditation lessons, retreats, and Buddhist teachings. Classes are taught both in English and in Thai.
65 Roberts Street, Quincy; 617-479-0674; for more information, visit dmcboston.org.
Transcendental Meditation Boston
Transcendental meditation is a form of meditation that is practiced for 15 to 20 minutes twice daily, and at this meditation center you’ll learn the art of meditation (just like Ellen DeGeneres) in seven steps. First, you’ll attend free talks and a free introductory session with a teacher. Then, you’ll continue your practice in classes and you’ll have access to the center’s events for years after your introduction.
29 Farragut Road; 617-939-9374; for more information, visit tm.org/transcendental-meditation-boston.
Greater Boston Zen Center
This Cambridge center offers a place to both learn and practice meditation. The center offers introductory orientation classes, and weekly morning and evening meditation sits. You can also join a study group or a discussion group to deepen your practice, and all-day sits are held once each month.
288 Norfolk Street, Cambridge; 617-299-0065; for more information, visit bostonzen.org.
Advaita Meditation Center
This Waltham meditation center is a volunteer-run organization dedicated to meditation and spiritual inquiry. At the center, you can learn meditation, but you can also study the language of Sanskrit and join reading groups. Introductory and advanced courses are available.
28 Worcester Lane, Waltham; 781-647-0020; for more information, visit advaitameditation.org.