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Under 30 Retreat: Doing Something Profoundly Important

By: Meghan Misset

Boston's Under 30 Group Retreat

Boston

The Boston Shambhala Center Under 30 Group was formed in 2003 and has a strong core of 20-30 young Sangha members. They recently embarked on a trip to the Shelburn Falls Center, in Western Massachusetts, where they sat in retreat for the weekend. Led by Nicholas Kranz, the retreat’s focus was to deepen their understanding of Authentic Presence and to connect as a community of young Sangha.

PJ Goodwin and Geoff Cox enjoy silent Tea Time

PJ Goodwin and Geoff Cox enjoy silent Tea Time

If someone asked a young person today, “Would you like to leave your comfort zone in the bustling, distracting, stimulating city of Boston and head out to the middle of nowhere with a group of other young people you probably don’t know very well to sit around and breathe…in silence?” I honestly don’t think they would jump at the opportunity and would probably raise their eyebrows at the question, but I’m glad a few of us were brave enough to go for it.

Boston's Under 30 Take a Walk

Boston

I’ve been a familiar face at the Under 30 group at the Boston Shambhala Center for the past year. No matter how mindful I think I have been or how much more significant Shambhala has become for me, nothing could have prepared me for profound exuberance I felt after a two-day meditation retreat with seventeen others from our young Sangha group.

Dylan Bianchi, Joel Tenenbaum, Meghan Misset and Heather Coisineau during a retreat field trip

Dylan Bianchi, Joel Tenenbaum, Meghan Misset and Heather Coisineau during a retreat field trip


The retreat left me almost overwhelmed with gentleness, courage, sadness, loving kindness, lightness, and a most awesome appreciation for the beautiful people who shared it with me. Unbelievable, right? Most of the time I’m sure we looked like we were pretty bored sitting there doing nothing. But I could sense an unexplainable understanding and appreciation that we were doing something profoundly important for ourselves and each other. Whether we were sitting, practicing yoga, sharing meals or tea, practicing being silent, or having fun and talking, I have no doubt that focusing on our breath and synchronizing our minds and bodies helped us connect more deeply with ourselves as well as each other.

Looking back on our interactions that weekend, I appreciate everyone for having the courage to boldly be who they are as well as kind and authentically present with themselves and others. Seeing that in my new friends helped me find bravery within myself. It was absolutely liberating to feel so close and uninhibited around people I basically only knew through the meditation group, a few whom I only had just met that weekend. It was difficult to return from the retreat, but I have definitely felt that genuine kindness and mindfulness pervading every aspect of my life since.

U30 Enjoys a dinner out on retreat

U30 Enjoys a dinner out on retreat

Although our young Sangha group has been around for some time, it has certainly blossomed over the last few months and the meditation retreat has only enhanced that. I think each person who attended the retreat has given back to the group as a whole by being even more genuine, kind, and open to everyone that walks through the center’s doors. In addition to its fearless leadership, one of the key aspects of Under 30’s success is that everyone plays a role in facilitating the creation of a safe space in which to be mindful and to have an open heart, which can be both challenging and uplifting. We have bravely made it our own. I’m so thankful that it exists and brings so much energy into my life, but I am even more grateful to everyone who has made it what it is today.

For more information on the Under 30 Group at the Boston Shambhala Center please contact the coordinator: Heather Coisineau @ [email protected]

Mason Kramer and Travis DeTour on the U30 retreat

Mason Kramer and Travis DeTour on the U30 retreat

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