Joel BaehrBoard of Directors, Meditation Teacher
Joel Baehr is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister since 1967, is a graduate of Haverford College, Union Theological Seminary, and the Westchester Institute For Training in Psychoanalysis. He has practiced as a psychotherapist and an organizational consultant since 1970, integrating spiritual practice with psychology and ordinary life. He has studied and practiced with teachers in many traditions including Quaker, Sufi, Roman Catholic, and Siddha Yoga. Joel fell in love with Tibetan Buddhism in 1992 while retreating at Gampo Abbey and thereafter became a student of Lama Surya Das, Lama John Makransky, Chokyi Nyima, Lama Willa Miller, and others.
At the request of Surya Das, Joel wrote and taught for years an online course, “Buddhism and Everyday Life,” which enrolled hundreds of students. He is currently a meditation teacher and Board member of Foundation for Active Compassion (FAC) and a Mitra in the Natural Dharma Fellowship's Margha program.
Joel is a meditation teacher for two weekly FAC groups: A Saturday morning group that gathers at Friends Meeting in Cambridge, and a combination in-person/online group that is based from a private home in Cambridge on Wednesday evenings. Both groups have been practicing together long enough to have had major impact on the practitioners' lives. Joel has found that the signs of effective practice are many, and may include bearing our hardships and daily difficulties with more compassion, and finding it easier to be compassionate to those we do not like.
The Wednesday in-person/online group usually has 6 to 8 participants in Cambridge, and about an equal number on line, from a variety of locations from New Hampshire to California. From 7 to 7:30 pm, the group discusses a book chosen by the group for its relevance to meditation practice. At 7:30 until about 8:15 pm, the focus shifts to meditation practice, guided gently by Joel. All are welcome to participate in any part or all of the Wednesday sessions.