Rich Ray has practiced Zen Buddhist meditation and the Ashtanga Yoga system for over 20 years. He trained 4 years in silence as a resident monk at a Zen monastery. There he facilitated retreats and was the resident cook. He taught yoga and meditation at state prisons in California and New Hampshire and started a meditation program at a women’s county jail in Boston, Massachusetts.
Rich is a KPJAYI Level 2 authorized teacher and co-directs a Mysore yoga program at Down Under Yoga in Brookline, MA with Kate O’Donnell. He has made multiple trips to India for study. He holds 200 hour and 700 hour yoga certificates. A practicing bodyworker for seven years, he was a licensed LMT. Rich dedicates his time guiding people to realize their inherent wisdom.
Zen Buddhist Meditation
The foundation of practice is sitting meditation: focusing attention on the present moment. This focus brings to light the mind’s constant stream of conditioned thought, which can then be disengaged from. Soon we are able to be with what is “between” or “behind” the thoughts – inner peace, calm, spaciousness and creativity. This experience of inner peace is Who You Really Are. With practice we can choose to drop that which separates us from the authentic experience of ourselves. We can make new choices. We can act differently. We find freedom from unconscious habits that limit our possibility for living whole and happy lives. We learn to be present to Life and take that presence out into our daily lives enriching relationships with our loved ones, co workers and most importantly, ourselves.
Ashtanga Yoga System as prescribed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois
This traditional lineage of yoga practice is often described as a breathing system. Asana (poses) are linked to one another with breath to create a dynamic flowing system that intelligently opens the body, focuses the mind while creating strength, balance, inner cleansing and increased circulation. Much like a following a recipe, the practice builds step by step for overall health and vitality.
Traditionally, the practice is learned from one teacher, in increments, over the course of time. As one posture is mastered, the next is offered. “Mysore style” refers to the way the practice was taught in the city of its origins, Mysore. In this style, students move at their own pace, and the teacher has the ability to observe and adjust students individually. Class is appropriate for absolute beginners, as well as advanced students. All are welcome.
Rich’s seminar was a tremendous boon to our studio and our students. He expertly weaves meditation in to daily practice and cultivates our natural love of yoga. Rich has a wonderful way of helping students achieve more peace in their daily practice.
“Rich Ray is an exceptional teacher with a deep wealth of knowledge. His lighthearted manner is truly refreshing but it is clear that his deep devotion to the Ashtanga yoga method and Zen meditation underlie and inform his teaching.”