Andy Furst

AndyThe Buddhist Mediation Group @ UUCR is lead by meditation teacher Andy Furst. He has studied Buddhism as a member of Buddha Heart USA under its spiritual director Richard Sittenger, Vajracharya.

He studied with Rev. Laurie Thibeault and Rev Peg Travers and directly under Sifu Sittenger. He has been granted the title of Buddhist Meditation Teacher,  has taken the Bodhisattva vows and was offered ordination as a priest.

Andy has lead the group since 2009. He has conducted regular retreats, and lead the group in sponsoring events featuring leading figures in Buddhism, including Lama Surya Das. He plays a role in the Greater Boston Buddhist community including sponsoring inter-Sangha retreats and events. He lead a group that conducted a Census of the Greater Boston Buddhist community at the request of the New York Office of His Holiness  the Dalai Lama. This effort was in support of the October 16, 2013 visit by His Holiness to the Kurukulla Center in Medford, MA.

Andy studies Pure Land, Zen, and Tibetan Buddhism. He is currently affiliated with the Lotus Heart Society.

4 thoughts on “Teacher

  1. Dear Sir,
    I got your email from a website that teaches meditation in the name of Buddhism.
    I would like to enquire about your Buddhist meditation teaching methods and the source of your teaching because despite my research I am completely baffled about what people should or should not be doing.
    As a true seeker of the Truth, the problem I have at the moment is that nowhere in any Buddhist texts can I find any description of exactly what meditation truly is and can only see misconceptions.
    For example, many people believe that Buddha became Enlightened through meditation alone, however according to Buddha’s own words He became Enlightened by doing good deeds and refraining from doing bad deeds throughout many lives. Also, people believe that Buddha taught His disciples to meditate, however, despite thousands of Buddhist texts meditation is hardly mentioned at all, nevermind any descriptions of what Buddha taught exactly.
    I have seen that modern meditation techniques teach people various things like counting, breathing, emptying the mind, staring at a fixed point, repeating phrases or trying to answer unsolvable questions, but nowhere in any Buddhist texts is there is any refererence to any of these, and this really confuses me because surely Buddhism means ‘teaching of Buddha’ so I wonder why people teach these things and claim them to be Buddhist when there are absolutely no facts about them in any Buddhist texts ?
    From my understanding of the true meaning of the use of the word ‘meditation’ used in Buddhist texts what Shakyamuni Buddha actually meant was to simply sit somewhere quiet and ‘ponder’. I consider this as just a way of having time to yourself, letting the mind relax and think about things such as what one is doing with ones life, what things one is planning, the events of the day, what things one can do to improve ones life, what good things one can do, what bad things one needs to guard against, dealing with wrong thoughts etc..and Buddha told His followers to do this simply because they had nothing to do and it would prevent their idleness leading to wrong thoughts and desires.
    I consider myself wise, but the more I look at these facts then the more concerned I become because nowadays there are thousands of people teaching and millions of people practicing meditation, yet none of them seem to understand or even care about the real facts.
    Forgive me for my abruptness, but if you are teaching something as Buddhism that Buddha Himself never taught then it is not Buddhism and is exactly what Buddha meant about the blind leading the blind ?
    A wise man would look at the facts, a wise man would not teach things without any facts, a wise man would not lead other people down the wrong path.
    I apologise if I have misunderstood something, but if that is the case then please could you clarify to me about the origin of meditation that you teach and point me in the direction of any Buddhist texts regarding the teaching of meditation so as to make my understanding on this issue clearer.
    It pains me to tell you that if you are teaching these things without evidence that Buddha himself taught them or you have never even attempted to establish the facts then it means every class or course your organisation hosts, every book and tape you sell, every donation you receive is built on a lie and it would mean that you are decieving or helping to decieve people by teaching them things that have no basis in fact whatsoever. If this is not the case then please provide me with any evidence that Buddha Himself taught such things. I am not looking for a debate, I am looking for evidence, without evidence there is no debate. Without evidence your life is a lie because you are teaching or helping to teach others something as a fact that has not been confirmed. Will you choose to continue living this lie or will you choose to embrace the Truth ? Is there any light in your soul ? As a person who claims to be teaching or involved in teaching things that Buddha taught, do you truly understand anything about Buddha ? If so then you will clearly see the importance of my message and at least attempt to establish the facts because choosing to ignore them means choosing to accept a lie.
    I am not telling you to accept my words, I am telling you to look at the facts for yourself and judge for yourself.
    If you have any wisdom then you will see the Truth in my words. I can only urge you not to accept things as true without looking at the facts and to keep on looking at the facts, the more you look the clearer things will become.
    Thank you for your time,
    Yours sincerely.
    Paul Iddon


    • From the teachings I received Buddha simply means “the enlightened one.” This was the name given to the man who’s name was Siddhartha . All My understanding from text is his enlightenment came while meditating under a tree. So to be enlightened is to be Buddha. For me teaching Buddhism is teaching enlightenment, what ever form one may choose to use is not of importance to me. If I could take only one teaching it would be “the root of suffering is desire” All teaching of “religion” are based on folklore beliefs , teachings past down through spoken word., Before ever being written.Most major religions practice some form of meditation. The Chinese have had a tremendous influence on rituals that are practiced which most likely were not practiced by the man who became known as “Buddha” “The Enlightened one”. No one knows for fact the exact words of “Buddha”or even what he never said. But for me it is not Important. The message is Important “Mindfulness”not who said it or why. For me one of my short comings is to judge others. So for me I have to ask myself am I coming from a place of love? If not that is an indicator for myself I am on the wrong track. I ask just what is my intention? then I have my answer.
      Many blessings, Love and kindness.


  2. I have been learning from Theravada monk Yuttodhammo Bikku who wrote a booklet on how to meditate. He can be found on you tube and sirimonglo.org. I have watched hundreds of 30-60 minute videos of him citing text that supports his meditation based Sangha. I will ask him if his techniques which he learned in a monastery in Thailand were original taught by the Buddha
    himself, and what exact text it is in.


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