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Looking for Teacher (Boston)
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9/25/18 10:43 AM
Greetings,

I'm new here, and relatively new to meditation, but I've been using it to recover from an incredibly traumatic series of psychotic experiences that caused my entire reality to unravel and eventually collapse. 

A friend gave me The Mind Illuminated as a gift to help me heal, and I've been doing other kinds of activities to get my life on track, but recently attended a secular retreat with Michael Taft that opened my eyes to a new way of looking at reality. 

I have since been listening to the Deconstructing Yourself podcast and making a lot of progress turning my life around, and also discovering a very deep insight into living a life where I want to share that gift.  Some of my friends have approached me asking me to lead a meditation group, and I have been doing that, but I'm concerned that I don't have a proper support structure, and need a teacher or mentor to make sure I'm on the right path, and that those who sit with me are being lead in the right direction as well.

I live in the Boston area (Somerville), and would prefer to work with someone who is secular, who walks the walk, and shares the same vision of giving meditation as a gift to others. I would preferably work with someone who is not a teacher as a living, and intends on holding down a job, having a family, etc.

Does anyone know of any meditation teachers that have these qualities and also know how to guide those who seek to find a secular path to awakening? 

Thank you for reading,
Dave

RE: Looking for Teacher (Boston)
Answer
9/25/18 1:47 PM as a reply to David Pezzulo.
Hi David,

I've been working with Chris Crotty, who has an office in Central Square and also does sessions via Skype.  Based on the things you mentioned, these are some factors that may make him a better or worse fit for your circumstances:

- He's got experience working with meditation in a trauma-sensitive fashion, and can adapt the practice to work accordingly. I've found it helpful to work with him after some personally stressful experiences.

- He's a householder himself, and also has been a good resource for how to try to integrate meditation and awakening into my job and family life.

- He's done a lot of long insight and metta retreats, and I'm confident that he's fairly attained and has a wide variety of personal meditative experience.

- He's definitely a Buddhist/Theravada teacher rather than secular, and will refer to the suttas and the Visuddhimagga from time to time.  On the other hand, I haven't heard any supernatural or superstitious claims from him.  I'm personally coming from a perspective where I believe that all of these meditation-related experiences can make perfect sense based on current science while still feeling quite supernatural at times, and I've been comfortable with his lack of woo.

- He's not a concentration-focused teacher, so he may be a better fit if you're looking for either a teacher to work with on noting/insight or a teacher to work with on metta.

- He's definitely aware of the maps, has read MCTB and I think may have met Daniel at some point. On the other hand, he doesn't refer to maps much or communicate all that much about where he thinks I am, other than to normalize experiences typical for the stages as they come up.

- He is a teacher for a living.

I haven't been yet, but he's the main teacher at a meditation group that meets on Thursdays in Harvard Square.  It may be worth dropping in if you want to see what he's like as a teacher.  I should also mention that if you're looking for a therapist who really understands both the trauma side of things and the range of meditative experiences that are possible, I've had a great experience working with his partner Julia Barry.  Best of luck!