Founded in 2014, Against the Stream Boston is a Buddhist community in the Western insight (vipassana) tradition, rooted in the Theravada lineage preserved today mainly in Southeast Asia. We offer weekly group meditation and dharma talks as well as daylong and residential retreats. Our guiding teacher is Chris Crotty.
We are affiliated with Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, founded in 2007 in Los Angeles. The mission of Against the Stream is to make the teachings of the Buddha available to all who are interested. We wish to create and sustain communities of healthy, accountable, wise, and compassionate people from all walks of life. We welcome people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political, and religious backgrounds and preferences and believe that the path of awakening is attainable by all and should be available to all. We strive to create a safe environment for all who come to practice.
ATS Boston meets every Thursday from 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. at Karma Yoga Studio in Harvard Square (1120 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge). Meetings typically begin with 20 to 30 minutes of guided meditation, followed by a dharma talk and discussion with our guiding teacher, Chris Crotty, or another teacher or facilitator.
Though grounded in the Theravada tradition, we strive to expose our members to diverse approaches to the dharma by occasionally hosting teachers from other traditions, such as Tibetan or Zen Buddhism.
With Chris Crotty, Cheryl Slean, and Vinny Ferraro
At this well-loved annual Against the Stream retreat featuring teachers from across the organization, we focus our attention on breath, body, heart, and mind. The instructions will be based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, in combination with exercises in lovingkindness and compassion. Each day will include periods of sitting and walking meditation, dharma talks and interviews. This retreat is suitable for both beginning and experienced dharma students.
August 19-26 (Sunday to Sunday)
Dharma Drum Retreat Center
Pine Bush, NY
For pricing and to register for this retreat, please visit the Against the Stream website.
Chris Crotty is the guiding teacher at ATS Boston. He is a Buddhist teacher and pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor in wellness and alternative medicine. Practicing meditation since 1998, Chris was authorized to teach Buddhadharma in 2015 by senior teachers in the western Insight (vipassana) tradition, and in 2016 was encouraged to teach vipassana and metta by Sayadaw U Inndaka of Burma. Read more about Chris here.
Cheryl Slean has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 1995 and studying in the Theravada Buddhist (Insight) tradition since 1998. After completing Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioner Program in 2007, she received authorization to teach from Rodney Smith of Seattle Insight (SIMS). Now based in Southern California, Cheryl is a member of the teachers councils at Against the Stream L.A. and Insight Community of the Desert. Read more about Cheryl here.
Vinnie Ferraro has been a practitioner of insight meditation (vipassana) since the early 1990s. He is a cofounder of Dharma Punx and co-guiding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He is also a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents and is currently senior trainer for Mindful Schools. Read more about Vinnie here.
Chris Crotty is a Buddhist teacher, pastoral counselor, and adjunct professor in wellness and alternative medicine. Practicing meditation since 1998, he has taken retreat with Burmese monastics Sayadaw U Inndaka and Sayadaw U Tejaniya, scholar-practitioner Bhikkhu Analayo, western monastics of the Zen and Thai Forest tradition, and senior western Vipassana teachers. Chris was authorized to teach Buddhadharma in 2015 by Noah Levine and in 2016 was encouraged to teach vipassana and metta by Sayadaw U Inndaka (Chanmyay Myaing, Myanmar).
Chris’s teaching combines Theravada Buddhism’s emphasis on insight and ethics with the Mahayana ideal of compassionate action, along with the synthesis of practice and study. He is also influenced by the fields of ecopsychology, attachment theory, and contemplative, pastoral, and palliative approaches to sickness, aging, and end-of-life care.
Prior to focusing on Buddhist practices, Chris taught Hatha yoga, directing a community yoga center in Gloucester, Mass., and training yoga teachers internationally at the 200-hour and 500-hour levels. Chris’s yoga combines yin, viniyoga, and kripalu with trauma-sensitive methodologies and mindfulness. His weekend-format yoga teacher training, Hatha-Dharma, developed to help students practice and teach a more awareness-based yoga, has been offered at yoga centers internationally.
Chris has taught at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Institute for Integrated Leadership, as well as the Trauma Center in Brookline, Mass., and he was active in yoga research with Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living and at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. For Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) he taught retreats and managed the development of iBme’s Mindfulness Teacher Training program. His course “Living the Good Life: Practicing Health and Wellbeing” is a core course in Wellness and Alternative Medicine at Johnson State College. As a visiting lecturer Chris has taught at Endicott College’s nursing program and at Tufts University. He holds a master’s degree in ecopsychology, sustainable leadership, and Buddhist practice, and is currently an active member of the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation (CSCPF). Chris regularly teaches workshops and retreats nationally and offers individual mentoring and Buddhist pastoral counseling. To learn more about Chris and to view his full schedule, visit chriscrottydharma.org.