Harvard can be so stressful—it really helps to have places where you can learn techniques to help manage the stress and become more compassionate towards yourself and others. Especially for atheists, agnostics, and the nonreligious, it can be helpful to be able to do that in a non-religious, non-proselytizing, science-friendly atmosphere with great, supportive people.
The Humanist Mindfulness Group is a supportive group of people who help each other use meditation and mindfulness practices to reduce stress, clear our minds, calm our emotions, and enhance our compassion – all good things that are supported by science and have nothing to do with supernaturalism. This is the emotional and visceral side of Humanism.
We generally start off meetings with yoga or stretching, followed by a breath meditation or other type of meditation, and concluding with sharing of joys and concerns. It’s a great place for both those who want to learn how to meditate and for experienced meditators who want to try out new techniques and meet great, like-minded friends.
Meetings take place weekly– we meditate at 7:00pm every Tuesday and at 3pm on selected Sundays, at 12 Eliot Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge.
No RSVP is necessary. We are affiliated with the Harvard Humanist Community but open to all.
If you want reminders, you can join either of these meetup groups:
Here are some of the kinds of things group members have to say about why you should check the HMG out!
“…I started reading about Buddhism over the past couple of years, and started my own informal practice— but I couldn’t really talk to people at work about it. Then I tried a bunch of Buddhist groups but they often involved altars, or things that felt like praying, or Gods, or magical powers…I really like that the Humanist Mindfulness Group is more science-based. I’m not even sure if I’m a Humanist. I know I don’t believe in the supernatural, but I’m open to experience different things…still, I figure if I’m going too far towards either rationality or supernaturalism, I’ll go with rationality, and this group gives me the opportunity to do that and still meditate with others. ”
“…Meditation opens up new experiences for me— it helps me feel more calm, more aware. I’m an atheist who appreciates that there is a lot of wisdom in the non-Karma, non-reincarnation aspects of Buddhism.”
“…The Humanist Mindfulness Group has really great people!”
“…Meditation helps me be a better teacher, a better family member, a better member of the community…”
“…Metta (“lovingkindness”: a meditation technique practiced in the group) meditation makes me more compassionate— and I think that’s what we all need in the 21st century— more compassion.”
“…I like myself better when I meditate— I have greater empathy. It really makes it easier to understand other people and what they’re feeling.”
“…Meditation makes me a better, more effective leader. In her book The Charisma Myth, leadership expert Olivia Fox Cabane argues that one of the keys to being charismatic is truly feeling empathy—and the key to empathy is having compassion, which we work on building in the HMG.”