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.
San Francisco Bay Area
Several folks from San Francisco Insight and other groups have begun a Kalyana Mitta group specializing in the samatha (i.e. concentration) style and jhanas practice. In June, we began listening to the 4-part Introduction to Samadhi lectures by Gil Fronsdal and reading Ajahn Brahm's book Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond. We meet on the first and third Thursday of the month, 7:00-9:00 pm, near the Unitarian-Universalist center in San Francisco. We are welcoming new spiritual friends to join our group. For more information, contact Dave Goggin at email@example.com .
Several folks at San Francisco Insight have begun a Kalyana Mitta group focused on the environmental crisis and our response to it. We began with the teachings of Joanna Macy through her book Active Hope, with Christopher Johnstone, and are currently (as of May 2014) finishing this book and deciding on future readings and teachings. We meet on the second Sunday of the month at the Unitarian Universalist Center in San Francisco (1187 Franklin St) from 4:30-6:30pm, before the Sunday evening sitting group of SFI. We are welcoming new spiritual friends. For more information, please contact Anne Donjacour at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 415-334-5655 (message machine will pick up).
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 – 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.
This Berkeley group just finished reading The Engaged Spiritual Life by Donald Rothberg.
North Berkeley/ El Cerrito Peer-led group for experienced practitioners. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 4-6 pm to enrich our spiritual practice. We come together in quietness and meditate for 45 minutes, then each person has the opportunity to share how things are going for them in their practice, on the cushion and in everyday life, as it relates to the Dharma. For more info, contact Julie Juliepgs@gmail.com (415) 847-1330.
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.
Berkeley --Cultivating Generosity-- We meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 7-8.30pm in a home near Ashby BART. We meditate for 30 minutes, then discuss our ongoing efforts to cultivate generosity both within ourselves, and in our communities. We often use a short reading to prompt reflection and give focus to our discussion. At the end of each meeting, we usually identify a generosity-related practice to explore between meetings. The group is closely engaged with Dharma teachings, but not exclusively Buddhist--we welcome all approaches to cultivating generosity! Also, group members attend regularly--this is not a drop-in group. To learn more, or see if we have openings, contact Ali at email@example.com (and please put 'cultivating generosity' in the subject line.)
North Berkeley: Established, intimate, heart-felt group in Berkeley has an opening for a new member. Our group meets two Mondays of each month, 7:30-9:30 p.m. The meeting location is at a private home near Marin Ave. We read and discuss books about Buddhist teachings and practice, share reflections and connections to our lives and our practices. Our discussions are caring, joyful and punctuated by laughter. Sessions begin with 20 minutes of sitting, followed by a check-in as well as tea and snacks. We end our evening with a dedication of merit. If you are interested, please email or call Joyce Kelley. 510 206-1821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Group is currently full.
North Oakland / Berkeley (Close to Ashby BART) - Saturday Night Sangha meets every Saturday from 6pm to 7:30pm at 1840 Alcatraz Ave. Berkeley, CA 94703. 40-minute meditation, a brief check-in, short talk and peer-facilitated discussion on various topics. We usually go out to dinner afterwards. We are a long-established sangha since 2008 with great diversity in age, ethnicity and spiritual backgrounds. We welcome new members to join our group. You can just show up and sit with us. There is no need to contact us beforehand. Everyone is welcomed. Please visit us on facebook for more information - https://www.facebook.com/sat.night.sangha
North Oakland / Berkeley - Women of Color - Multigenerational. This peer-facilitated group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Our two hour meeting involves: 30 minute meditation, brief check-in, a dialogue on our practice and selected readings and on our engagement with the dharma in our daily lives. We also invite the intention to explore and acknowledge one's own women-of-color of consciousness (however that translates for each person), in the context of the dharma. We then set the intentions for our next meeting and close with a short sit. This is a multigenerational group - we seek and share a dialogue across generations and through all stages of life. Open to those who have/intend to have a daily sitting practice. For more information contact: Veronica Balseiro email@example.com or (510) 595-0408.
Oakland - Our group is looking for new members. We meet every other Monday at 4pm. Open to all. We are currently reading A Lamp in the Darkness by Jack Kornfield. The group is facilitated by Elizabeth Little: firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 532-6573.
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 email@example.com or (510) 594-9686.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 845 8133. Group is currently full.
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 email@example.com or (510) 684-0884.
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 or 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.
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 (510) 532-6574 for more information as retreat hosts will vary from time to time.
El Cerrito - 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 email@example.com or (510) 508-2680. Group is currently full.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Pat Shanahan, email@example.com. Group is currently full.
Fairfax: Meditating Mama's group meets Thursday evenings at 8pm at the Fairfax Youth Center (next to Peri Park). The peer led 20 minute meditation begins at 8:15 pm followed by a discussion on cultivating the teachings of the Dhamma with the challenges inherent in parenting and daily life. We usually wrap up by 9:15 or 9:30 at the latest. All mothers are welcome to drop in and sit with us, there is no need to contact us beforehand but if you have further questions please contact Lisa Goddard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-533-1459.
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.email@example.com or (415) 383-6048.
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.
Sonoma, Dhammadharini Vihara, (close to Sonoma State University) 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. 9-10:30 am, optional to stay until 2 pm
We have the good fortune to have our Kaylana Mitta Group with the Dhammadaharini Bhukkihunis joining us for meditation and discussion. We are looking for dedicated experienced Theravada (Vipassana) meditation practitioners to join this group on a regular basis. Not a drop-in group. Please contact Maryann Marks at 707-322-2523 before joining the group.
Format is as follows:
9-9:45 am meditation
9:50-10:30am peer discussion group
After 10:30am, optional dana meal offering set up, offering, clean-up from 10:30-1 pm
1-2 pm Q & A time with the Bhikkhunis
South of San Francisco
Pacifica – Delia McGrath and Philippa Bornstein are co-leaders of a group which meets Tuesday nights from 7:15 to 9 pm. The first half of our meeting is devoted to sitting meditation and walking meditation. Then Delia or Philippa give a short talk on an aspect of the Dharma, followed by discussion and sharing. We end with a dedication of merit. We are open to new members. Contact Delia at 650-359-0339 or email@example.com. Contact Philippa at 650-200-7387 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watsonville- This group meets every-other Saturday (9:30 – 11:00 AM) at a home in Watsonville. There is a 45 minute meditation followed by a discussion. The discussion topic will be suggested and agreed-upon at the previous meeting. This group is led by Chris Basiletti, a teacher in training at Insight Santa Cruz. If you are interested, please contact Chris at (831) 763-7617.
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 email@example.com
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 Ferguson (530) 898-9139 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Davis – We've been meeting monthly for 15 years. We require a daily practice and three 1-day retreats per year.
Contact Tony & Toni Bernhard at (530) 758-2904 or email@example.com This group is currently full.
Placerville (foothills) for the beginner as well as those with more experience. The group meets every Thursday at 7pm.
Contact Will Lister at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530)306-7264 or visit our website http://www.mettameditationgroup.com/
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, starting 2014 with Jack Kornfield's book A Path with Heart
El Segundo, every Friday evening from 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 Fridays of the month, 7:30 - 9 pm
Where: 4300 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029
Co-facilitators: Erica Shehane & Valerie Cusson
Contact: Mary@againstthestream.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.
Group meets in South Boulder every other Wednesday evening and is studying Joseph Goldstein's book Mindfulness. This group has nine members and at present is closed. David Mendosa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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/
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.
Ashland, Oregon - This is an open group that meets every Monday evening from 7-9pm for meditation, a reading and a discussion of how the dharma relates to our current lives. We have been meeting for fifteen years. Most of us consider our main teachers to be at Spirit Rock but there is no teacher for this group. We call ourselves Club Med. It's a group with a sense of humor. Contact Ann Strauss: firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-482-9201.
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