Established Kalyana Mitta Groups
Some of these groups are currently seeking new members. If you are interested in joining one please contact the person listed. If you cannot find a group in your area or are interested in starting your own, please contact our Kalyana Mitta volunteers, Giedra and Melanie, who can offer you guidance KalyanaMitta@spiritrock.org or (415) 488-0164 ext 325.
San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco- To deepen our understanding of Tara's work, we will read and discuss her blog posts during bi-weekly Thursday sits in a private home in the Outer Sunset (close to 19th Avenue & Taraval Streets). We get together at 7 PM for 45 minutes of sitting and then check-in with each other, followed by a discussion of Tara's current post, ending at 9 PM. We rotate who leads the discussion to give everybody an opportunity to contribute as facilitator and to experience non-hierarchical organizational structure. If you are interested in Tara's work, have some basic meditation experience, and are willing to give this group a try for a month or so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco (Women's Group) All levels of practice. Meets twice monthly on Tuesdays (dates may vary), 7 - 9 pm in Richmond District. Includes study of works of Buddhist teachers, and setting practice intentions for the off weeks. Monthly 1/2 day silent retreats are available for those interested on one Saturday a month. Schedule is updated with monthly to bi-monthly e-mails to participants.
Catherine Eisenberger at (415) 516-7990 or email@example.com.
San Francisco – meets third Friday 6:30-10 pm.
Requires desire for daily vipassana practice. Contact: Linda K. Deaton at (415) 672-0453.
San Francisco – We meet on the second Tuesday of the month from 7-9 pm in the Outer Sunset District in San Francisco. We're looking forward to having new members join us who are compatible and would like to make an ongoing commitment to our group. In our group, we read “popular and accessible” Buddhist books together, discuss them, meditate and have snacks and tea. It’s a lovely group of people. Unlike other groups, this group is not a drop in. An interview is required. This group is temporarily closed. If you would like to be contacted when we have an opening, please contact Michael at (415) 820-3943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkeley group just finished reading The Engaged Spiritual Life by Donald Rothberg.
Berkeley/Oakland Group meets Monday evenings, 7:00-8:15. We are a peer-led group of 5 who have taken courses from James Baraz. We have been meeting for over a year in each other's homes and would like to add a few new members. We begin with a brief "check-in" of each person, then meditate 30-40 minutes, and close with a discussion of our practice and whatever book or topic we've chosen. Contact Cato at email@example.com or 510-717-1189.
North Berkeley - We are a group of mature women and men open to 2 or 3 new people joining our group. Our leader, David Cook, is a graduate of the Dedicated Practitioner Program at Spirit Rock. We meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays from 7 - 9 pm, at a home on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way near Rose. We usually read a book (recently Ram Dass, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche). We sit for 30 minutes, have tea, and discuss the reading and other dharma topics. After getting acquainted with us, a commitment of 6 months is requested. Please contact David Cook for further details. (510) 387-5270.
Oakland - Women's group meets most Monday nights in a private home. Group focus is the dharma and middle aged women. Meetings include readings from selected books followed by discussion. New members welcome.
Contact Elizabeth firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 532-6573.
Oakland/Berkeley- Women of Color, peer-facilitated group meets twice each month on Monday evenings at members' homes. We meet for two hours to meditate for 30 minutes, check-in briefly, dialogue on readings and our engagement with the dharma in our daily lives, set the intentions for the next meeting, then close with a short sit. Open to those who have/intend to have a daily sitting practice. Contact Veronica Balseiro email@example.com or (510) 595-0408.
Oakland/Rockridge (Close to BART)-- We meet every other Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:30 pm. We start with a 30 minute meditation, followed by a check-in and then we discuss a book we've chosen and talk about the dharma. We end with a short meditation. We are a peer led group. Our group is successful and long-established. We are looking for a few new members.
Contact Adele Mendelson firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 594-9686.
Point Richmond/Berkeley -Two serious practitioners with long-term daily practice and retreat experience looking for others with similar experience and commitment to form a peer-led group, focusing on practice in daily life as well as on the cushion. We are located in Pt. Richmond and Berkeley, and could determine place(s) of meeting based on needs and wishes of group.
Contact Lorin email@example.com.
El Cerrito near Plaza Bart Station - Group meets 4th Monday of the month from 2-4 PM. Meditation and discussion of dharma books chosen by members and read across several months. Open to experienced meditators who have a daily practice, or the intention to develop one, and who have attended two or more retreats.
Contact Giedra firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 508-2680.
Berkeley/Oakland – Women’s group for experienced practitioners who have been on at least one 5-7 day retreat. Meet the second and fourth Monday of the month from 7 to 9 pm. Meditate for 30 minutes, check-in briefly, read aloud and discuss a book, and set intentions for coming two weeks. Rotate meeting place among our homes and rotate facilitation. Our focus is applying the Dharma in our daily lives.
Contact Anne Fitzmaurice email@example.com or (510) 845 8133.
West Berkeley – New diverse, peer-led group for people of all colors, ages, and experiences. Focus on Equanimity and Lovingkindness. Twice a month, Tuesday evenings, 2 hours. Meditate for 40 minutes, brief check-in, book discussion, intention setting. Seeking co-facilitator.
Contact Verna Lim firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 684-0884.
Orinda – Orinda, Moraga. Group meets twice a month, usually Sunday evenings 6:30 - 8pm, rotating locations in member homes. Group is currently full; we are open to new members as space becomes available. Meditation and discussion of dharma books chosen by members and read across several months.
Contact Wendy Larson email@example.com.
Berkeley – Men’s group for experienced male practitioners age 50-65 with a regular practice who have attended at least one 3-day or longer retreat. Our focus is how we apply the Dharma in our daily lives, particularly to meet the challenges and opportunities of this stage of life. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:50 to 9:30 PM. Arrive/settle in, meditate for 40 minutes; check-in briefly to become present; break, explore a common theme or discuss a chapter from a book we’ve been reading; offer/request support; set intentions for coming two weeks; conduct short debrief; end with brief metta meditation. Rotate meeting place among our homes and rotate facilitation.
Contact Barry Rosen firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 409-6801 Timothy Swords email@example.com or (415) 606-6441.
East Bay Mindful Parenting is a group to support parents (particularly of young children) in parenting and living more mindfully. We meet monthly and discuss a reading of some literature on the topic of parenting from a Buddhist perspective. There is a brief period of meditation at each meeting, but they are mostly conversational and social. Parents are encouraged to find childcare (except nursing infants) so that the adults can get the most from the brief time we have together.
Contact Vanessa firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hercules - Wednesdays from 7 - 8:30 pm. Our purpose is to provide a supportive environment for spiritual growth by exploring the dharma and deepening our meditation practice. We sit for 30 - 45 minutes, check in about how our practice is going, and then discuss a book or recorded dharma talk. We put an emphasis on how our practice and the readings integrate into our daily lives. This is a peer led and co-facilitated group.
Contact Fran 510-915-2647 email@example.com or (510) 915-2647.
East Bay, North Bay & San Francisco – Green Sangha - A spiritual community committed to environmental action. We meet to meditate, educate and support each other, and to plan direct environmental actions. Meetings held on Sundays, in San Francisco, Marin, Sebastopol and the East Bay. If you'd like to host a retreat in your town, please call.
Contact Elizabeth Little firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 532-6574 for more information as retreat hosts will vary from time to time.
Berkeley/Kensington - A Satipatthana Sutta Study and Practice Group is meeting in the North Berkeley area on the 4th Wednesday evening of each month. The Satipatthana Sutta is the most important practice text of original Buddhism. The format is to alternate between reading a short section of the text, discussion, and meditation in the manner suggested in the text. The emphasis is on practice. A prerequisite for the group is a regular meditation practice and a commitment to practice the text between meetings. This group, facilitated by Catya de Neergaard, is open. Contact Catya at email@example.com or (510) 525 5779.
Mill Valley-Tam Dharma Friends - Thursdays 7-9pm A 35 minute meditation, check-ins on how the reading/topic applies to our lives, and a taste of chanting. Our intention is to create connections through speaking in truth and listening in kindness. 30 Catalpa Ave
Contact Victoria EchoRock.firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 383-6048.
The Petaluma Dharma Friends Group is a sangha supporting the intention to study and practice awareness in the midst of living the daily Dharma. We come together two Sundays a month to deepen our understanding of the Buddhist path by exploring how we relate to direct experience from the perspective of spiritual practice. Our two-hour meeting begins in silence with thirty minutes of sitting and a short walking period. Group discussion on a monthly Dharma topic of choice concludes with Metta and optional social tea. The group is open to those who have sat at least one five-day silent residential retreat and who have, or are seeking to establish, a regular meditation practice. Facilitated by Julia Harris and Stacey Evans. Please email for further information email@example.com.
Sebastopol – Peer led group meets 3rd Sunday of the month 5:15 – 7:30 PM
We work with the process of "Dharma Contemplation", developed by Gregory Kramer as part of "Insight Dialogue." It is a way of deeply reflecting together on a passage of the Buddha’s words (from the Suttas). We sit for 15 minutes before and after the process, and do a brief personal check-in at the end. We then gather for tea, snacks, and socializing (optional) until 8.
Contact Beverly McArthur firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 874-2686.
South of San Francisco
Pacifica – Every Tuesday, 7:15-9 pm A new Kalyana Mitta group is forming to study Tara Brach's teachings and integrate them with engaged Buddhism. Tara's work combines the Dharma with awareness of shame/unworthiness thus updating the Dharma with Western stumbling blocks to freedom. She names the connection of our trance of unworthiness to the culture at large, a connection not everyone is comfortable making and which enable us to tie her teachings to inner and outer transformation, the foundation of engaged Buddhism.
Contact Philippa Bornstein email@example.com or Delia McGrath firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 359-0339.
Watsonville- Dharma Friends Watsonville Outpost Discussion Group meets every other Saturday morning, 9:30 to 11:00, in my home. We have a 45 minute meditation, a reading by anyone/everyone who wishes to do so, followed by a discussion. We have a leader (not a teacher) most of the time, but we meet even if he isn't here. There are about 5 regular attendees, with drop-ins always welcome. Afterwards I put the tea on. We are a small sangha, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be together for our sittings. Contact Nancy @ 831-722-4584 or email@example.com.
Other California Locations
Arcata – Our group meets every other Wednesday from 7-9pm. Our goal is to deepen our meditation practice and provide a supportive environment for spiritual growth. We are an eclectic group. We sit for 45 minutes, check in about how our practice is going, and then discuss the book we are currently reading. We have an emphasis on how our practice and the readings integrate into our daily life.
Contact Len Wolff, (707) 845-3395 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chico – Thursdays, 7-9 pm. 40 minute sitting, tea, personal check-in, and discussion of an agreed upon non-scholarly dharma book. Reading and discussion is on integration of daily life with one's practice and Buddhist principles. One's Intention is more important than length of one's personal meditation practice. Contact Nancie Brown (530) 898-9139 or email@example.com
Davis – Meets monthly. Requires daily practice and three 1-day retreats per year.
Contact Tony & Toni Bernhard at (530) 758-2904 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Placerville (foothills) for the beginner as well as those with more experience. The group meets every Thursday at 7pm.
Contact Will Lister at email@example.com.
Sacramento – Two groups, one meeting in the evening on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, and the other meeting on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. After a 20-minute sit, we check in, then have an open discussion on the topic of choice, then check out. The groups are co-facilitated. They choose a theme to focus on for a 6-session commitment. Both are exploring the dharma as it manifests in the nitty gritty of daily life. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Aliso Viejo (Orange County) – Dharma Study, Sundays from 8-10 AM. We have been sitting as a group since 2002. This is a user-friendly group for beginners to advanced. A Dharma Talk with questions and answers, then sitting. We guide you in your practice to become free, liberated and live with ease. We end in Metta. Contact Wayne Champa at (949) 581-3459 or email@example.com
Los Angeles, Santa Monica – changing Dharma topics, every other Wednesday, 7:30-9pm
Contact Ben Brown at (310) 392-6235
Los Angeles, West LA – changing Dharma topics , Mondays, 7:30-9pm.
Contact Michael Shiffman at (310) 226-6113
Los Angeles – People of Color Group – Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society (ATSBMS)
When: 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month, 7:30 - 9 pm
Where: 4300 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029
Co-facilitators: Eileen Ybarra & Erica Shehane
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 665-4300
All individuals who self-identify as a person of color are invited to attend. The group includes silent sitting and/or walking meditation, check-ins & discussion. The aim of this group is to support and address the issues that people of color may be struggling with in the American Buddhist traditions. The intention is not to divide, but rather to explore feelings of separateness and disconnectedness, cultivate connections independent of external conditions, and find true freedom in a way that does not ignore difficult social realities.
Easton, Maryland – 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 7-8:00pm
Contact Larissa Kitenko at email@example.com.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts –- Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
Contact: Timothy Little (firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 937-5652)
Other facilitators: Carrie Little (email@example.com) and Brenda Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
St. Louis, Missouri -- several peer-led groups have recently formed in the St. Louis area and more are forming soon. For more information contact Jan Rosamond at (314) 210-8820 or email@example.com, or check the DharmaTown website at http://dharmatown.org/km-condos/
Albuquerque, New Mexico – Our Dharma Friends groups are fluid and open to change. New groups form, and current groups change or dissolve at the end of a program. Contact us for general information, and we can give current information at the time of inquiry.
Contact Valerie Roth at (505) 345-3312 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Debra Serrino (505) 792-1101 or email@example.com.
Charlotte, North Carolina – Insight Meditation Charlotte, a weekly group with seasoned students meets Wednesdays with 7 pm meditation instruction; 7:30 pm meditation and talk. Contact Joy LiBethe at (704) 544-0003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlotte, North Carolina Mindful Members brings together new and seasoned members of the mindfulness community to study and share practice experiences in a friendly, supportive environment. Our focus is on applying mindfulness practices to daily life. Each meeting includes meditation instructions, silent meditation, a talk offered by Ruth King, and Q&A. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at a private residence in the South Park area of Charlotte from 7:00-8:30 PM. Contact Ruth King, (510) 333-9255, email@example.com details.
Edmond/OKC, Oklahoma – Study of Buddhism & Vipassana Meditation
Contact Arpita Brown at (405) 478-8407
Ashland, Oregon – Every Monday evening, 7-9pm, requires a meditation. This is a peer led sangha.
Contact Kim Shelton (541) 482-7090 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland, Oregon – Daily Practice, meets twice monthly. Sitting group meets every Monday from 7:30- 9pm. Contact Nan LeRoy at (503) 230-0665 or email@example.com