Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. ~Viktor Frankl
When I first met the Boston Buddha for breakfast, he ordered an egg pizza bagel. I’m not sure what I expected, but it was a refreshing start to our meeting.
Andy Kelley, aka the Boston Buddha, is affectionately called the blue collar Buddha by family, friends, and his wife in particular.
He’s an accomplished meditation teacher and a passionate advocate for the transforming effects of the practice. But perhaps uncommon among spiritual types, Andy’s a die-hard Boston sports fan—a true and unapologetic native son.
In some ways, he’s the last person you might expect to take up the mantle of meditation teacher. A self-described meat and potatoes Irish Catholic, he used to be a director and producer at a local TV broadcasting station.
But eventually, the relentless stress and all-consuming nature of that lifestyle precipitated a shift in the direction of his life. Now, he teaches meditation full time to school students and corporate executives alike.
In this interview, we learn about the events that led to Andy becoming the Boston Buddha, and we explore his approach to teaching meditation in corporations and schools.
I invited Andy to the show because he’s passionate about helping people change their mental habits through meditation to achieve deeper happiness and fulfillment. He’s full of practical wisdom and teaching tips that will help you hone your own meditation practice.
In this interview, the Boston Buddha and I explore:
- How Andy became a meditation teacher
- The benefits of different styles of meditation
- Why he does mantra-based meditation in the morning and mindfulness-based meditation in the afternoon
- How to strengthen the neural networks associated with attention
- How to change the stories we tell ourselves
- Why it’s important to pick one practice technique and stick with it
- How he came to be called the Boston Buddha
- Why he says that everyone is the Boston Buddha
- How he teaches meditation to students from 8-18 years old
- His unique 5-minute email meditation exercise for executives
- Andy’s main advice for new meditators
The Boston Buddha – Andy Kelley
Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra
The Secrets of Meditation by David Ji
Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Mindfulness for Beginners – Jon Kabit-Zinn
Do you want to learn meditation in five easy lessons? Check out our Free How To Meditate Mini Course
Ricky Yanez says
The law of attraction truly exists. I was born and raised in Boston, in Chelsea, MA to be exact. It is a rough area to grow up in, full of negativity everywhere. Two years ago I moved to Rhode Island, mainly to get away from Chelsea and “discover” myself, while attending college. I did a lot of inner work (meditation, intentional meditation, be more aware of my sorroundings, more conscious) and to my surprise I have seen many changes in my reality, or what I call reality. I decided to drop out of college and came back to Boston last month to help others in any way possible, showing them how to think outside the box, theres a big world out there that we ALL are part of. I am glad to see that Boston (being my hometown, and me leaving it for a while) has its own “Buddha” and there’s conscious people everywhere, we can spiritually sense each other and collectively we will be the change that our Earth wants and needs, namasté
Morgan Dix says
That’s a great story. Thanks a lot for sharing it and good luck on your new mission to help others think outside the box. I’m glad you found this site and the Boston Buddha! Keep us posted and keep in touch.
Al X says
I could really relate to what the speaker said about being bammy about some of the connotations of meditation. I too have a Christian background and even had my guard up because he was called ‘buddha’!
That’s why I appreciate insight into the mechanisms of how it works. Not because that’s my focus when I’m doing it, but because it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. The last thing I want to mess up is my mind! I have to say that up to now I have only benefitted from practising and feel that I am a better person for it, in many senses.
Morgan Dix says
That’s great to hear Al re the benefits you’ve experience. And I bet a lot of people can relate to what you’re saying about having your guard up. I also agree with your thoughts about understanding the mechanism and LOL’d when you said you don’t want to mess up your mind. I couldn’t agree more. I think meditation is one of the best ways to un-mess up your mind, at least it was/is for me, but it’s certainly not for everyone.