Find your inner Boston Buddha

"I'm currently teaching a guided meditation (after 30 minutes of gentle yoga) every couple of weeks at Milton Yoga," says Boston Buddha founder and meditation expert Andy Kelley. "Check the schedule for the next class at” And soon, he’ll take his lessons on the road. “I’m excited to be teaching meditation mantras with the Chopra Center on April 22–28, 2012, in Carlsbad, California. They’re hosting their signature six-day meditation retreat called Seduction of Spirit.” But here’s how he describes his day-to-day work in Boston: “I provide mindfulness-based education in the form of meditation, for everyone individuals, families, schools, companies, organizations. I offer one-on-one or small-group meditation classes, which allow for detailed, interactive instructions and individualized attention for all.” It’s rewarding work. As Andy says, “Life is about giving to others by doing what you are meant to do.”



From the Top

"I sit as comfortably as I can in a chair that has good back support," says Boston Buddha founder Andy Kelley, offering a step-by-step account of his meditation method. “A quiet room is ideal, but not required. I close my eyes and start to notice my breath naturally. Then I gently bring my attention to my breath (or my mantra), nice and easily, without forcing it. I allow my thoughts and feelings to come and go and when I notice them, I gently bring my attention back to my breath (or mantra). I don't try to control my thoughts or push them out in any way. I just become aware of them without judgment. When I realize that my attention has drifted away from my breath/mantra (which it does all the time), I gently bring my attention back to my breath/mantra. This is repeated many, many, many, many times.” Ready to try it yourself? “You may experience a deep state of relaxation, but it's totally normal if you don't,” Andy advises. “Meditate for 20 minutes (for children less time). When you're done, take about a minute or two to slowly return to normal activity. It's funny: breathing is the most natural thing in the world that we do, and yet we don’t breathe deeply enough. By focusing on this simple but powerful technique, twice a day, we can better manage our stress and live happier lives." 

Meditation Marvels

According to Boston Buddha founder and meditation expert Andy Kelley, practicing meditation on a daily basis can help you to manage stress, improve your relationships, awaken your intuition, enhance your sleep patterns, lower your blood pressure, and more. "Some of the benefits of meditation will be realized quickly, and others over many months, so don't be discouraged and give up,” Andy explains. “If you can calm the surface of the mind on a daily basis, you'll start to realize that we waste a ton of emotional energy on stuff that we have no control over, or you'll find that we worry about stuff that's really not worth stressing about. When you find that real authentic part of yourself, you'll say, ‘Man! This is who I really am! Why was I so worried about that?’ You get a taste of that authentic YOU that's really quite profound. You'll want to sustain it." 

The Art of Zen

Boston Buddha founder and meditation expert Andy Kelley shared a few of his favorite reads: The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra M.D., Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg, and Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He also suggests turning to tunes like Davidji's guided-meditation CD fill what is empty; empty what is full as well as Music for Deep Meditation: Tibetan Singing Bowl.


Working Man's Buddha


Come on, say it: this guy does not look like a meditation expert. The plaid shirt. The baggy jeans. The glasses. He could be a professor or a librarian or an insurance agent...frankly, anything but a Zen dude. But Andy Kelley is, in fact, a grade-A guru. 

He's been called the blue-collar Buddha and a happiness ambassador, and he's all that and more — the guy you’ve just met but feel like you've known your whole life, the guy who has you doubled over laughing within minutes. And — oh yeah — he's the guy who can teach you how to enjoy life. 

But Andy’s path to Zen didn’t begin on a mountaintop or in a monastery. He grew up as one of eight kids in a passionate Irish Catholic family in Norwood, Massachusetts. His dad worked as a manager at the Carter's clothing company in Needham, and his mom was an interior designer when she wasn't managing her substantial brood. Tragedy struck the clan after she passed away from heart disease at the age of 46. Andy, just about to enter college as a freshman, instead devoted the next two years to taking care of his brothers and sisters. Life, he learned, can change in an instant.

He went on to graduate from Roger Williams University (he worked full-time as a bartender to fund college, often studying at the bar). Then came work as a director and producer for various broadcast TV and corporate production outlets. He looked like a successful professional sprinting up the corporate ladder, but on the inside, he felt disengaged from what he knew really mattered — like spending time with his wife, Catharine Uyenoyama, co-owner of DGA Productions, and his son, Hayden. There were other issues, too: he wasn't sleeping and couldn't relax — not the best combo for someone with a family history of heart problems.

Last year, Andy quit his job to launch the Boston Buddha, a self-help company focused on teaching everyday people how to relax and recharge through meditation. The shift might seem rather abrupt, but off-hours, Andy had spent years studying, researching, and finally practicing meditation, after Catharine gave him a book by guru Dr. Deepak Chopra. Andy is a certified instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation for the Chopra Center as well as a graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School. Meditation had changed his life. It was time to change his life for meditation. 

These days, he spends most mornings teaching elementary school children how to meditate and afternoons working with private clients and corporations. No religious preaching or intimidating days of silence needed, Andy tells them all — just a minutes-a-day ritual that can ultimately lead to inner peace. Pretty simple. Very Boston Buddha.