The Path to Freedom Buddhist Meditation Center provides in person and online training, events, workshops, retreats, and support focused on transforming lives through mindfulness meditation and American secular Buddhism.

My Story

In the midst of a life crisis over 15 years ago my friend, Ed, said "You should sit."  At that time I would have been viewed as "successful" but I felt miserable & lost; and my misery was impacting my ability to be a good husband, father, and friend.   When all previous approaches had failed, my earnest focus on Buddhism commenced …

… and it was not easy.   I sought out many sources, resources, and teachers.  Quickly I became confused at the wide range of traditions and language.  Do I need to learn Sanskrit? Or Pali?  Do I restrict myself to the Theravada tradition or are the augmentations of Mahayana Buddhism critical?  I visited a wide range of centers and noticed how different they are, ranging from very informal gatherings to highly-regimented chanting in different languages.

Culminating from years of exploration, including various stages of confusion!, it became clear for me that I should retain and embrace the things that fit with my experience and are useful in living a more genuine, wholesome life with a focus on its most important areas.  American secular Buddhism is a good fit for me because of its focus on the core principles, updated in modern language and cultural context.  It stripped away ritual & hierarchy and the need to embrace a rigid dogma.

About 10 years ago a minister at my spiritual home at the time (a Unitarian Universalist church in Philadelphia) who was aware of my practice asked me to start a weekly meditation group.  At first I was reluctant but I was convinced that it could be of service to the spiritual community and I was motivated to help.  Over the course of 8 years what started with 1 weekly meditation gathering grew into multiple groups throughout the week. It grew from a few regulars to much larger groups. Eventually it expanded into a program leadership team of several experienced 'meditators.'  My practice and understanding continued to deepen from the experience of facilitating those programs and was informed by the many people who participated in those groups.

Buddhism has changed my life, including:

  • Dealing with desire and distraction:  In the past, in moments of crisis and weakness my "go-to" reactive pattern was to seek meaning in physical & emotional pleasures including sex and love.  In more recent experiences of loss, including the loss of a marriage, friendships, & a house, I developed more effective and meaningful approaches.  I continue to learn much about the impacts of my behavior, the powerful karma of my thoughts, speech, and actions, the impermanence & preciousness of all things, and where to focus my energies & efforts.
  • Authenticity and emotional awareness: Therapy, Buddhism, and mindfulness have expanded my understanding of my emotional repertoire, opening up my awareness and providing language to communicate what I am feeling both to me and others.  Fast forward to now when I have a much fuller immediate awareness of the feelings in my body and the categories of thoughts with which they are associated.

Through the wisdom of many teachers I learned of the path to freedom in bringing moment to moment awareness & the wisdom of understanding how things work to guide the choices of my life.  I started the Path of Freedom Buddhist Meditation Center to support the cultivation of that understanding with others.

- Rob Eames
September 2018

Meet the Team

Rob Eames

Director

Rob earned an M.A. in Psychology and has decades of experience in how people learn new things & change.  He draws upon countless hours in the delivery of training ranging from computer software, statistics, computer programming, and digital audio/video production.  He is a musician (guitar, drums) and music/video engineer & producer.

When you are ready for personal transformation ...

Please reach out to join us in our exploration of American secular Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness.