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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 email@example.com 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), 7:00 - 9:00 pm in Richmond District. Includes study of works of Buddhist teachers, and setting practice intentions for the off weeks. Schedule is updated with monthly to bi-monthly e-mails to participants. Please contact Catherine Eisenberger at (415) 516-7990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Francisco – We meet on the second Tuesday of the month from 7:00-9:00 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 email@example.com.
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 7:00 - 9:00 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.
North Berkeley: We are an established, intimate, heart-felt group in Berkeley. Our group meets two Mondays of each month, 7:00-9:00 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 then have a lively discussion about the assigned reading.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 6:00 - 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
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 7:00 - 9:00 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. Open for new members. Contact Bonnie Maeda email@example.com 510-507-1982
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 1:15 - 3:15 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. Group is currently full.
Our closest relationships with family members, lovers, friends, coworkers - those with whom we are most closely connected - present rich and often challenging opportunities to our dharma practices. This Kalyana Mitta group explores teachings and practices that help us experience greater intimacy and fulfillment in these relationships. We study how we can see ourselves and others more clearly, act more wisely, and support one another as we discover our own truths. Regular meetings, based on SRMC’s Kalyana Mitta Guidelines (http://www.spiritrock.org/kalyana-mitta-guidelines) are held bi-monthly in the East Bay. We hope to create a committed, long term sangha of dharma friends. While this group is currently full, we welcome you to contact Patrick Hubbard email@example.com or Melanie Speir firstname.lastname@example.org to see if space might open up or another group is forming.
Fairfax – Weekly Women's Mindfulness Meditation group meets Thursday evenings at 8pm at the Fairfax Youth Center (next to Peri Park). The peer led 30 minute meditation begins at 8:15 pm followed by a discussion on cultivating mindfuolness and loving awareness in our daily lives. We usually wrap up by 9:15 or 9:30 at the latest. All women 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 email@example.com or 415-533-1459.
Larkspur – Bi-monthly 1st and 3rd Sundays 6:30-8:00pm Address: 326 Larkspur Plaza Drive. The Marin Mindful Recovery Group is a group of recovering individuals whose focus is on deepening their spiritual connection through exploration of mindfulness and meditation. We meet to meditate and discuss the challenges of daily practice, both on and off the cushion, as they relate to our recovery, and to to explore readings and other teachings from Buddhist and other comtemplative practices. Currently we are going through Joseph Goldstein's "Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening." All levels of meditation experience and recovery are welcome! This is an open drop-in group. Contact sparkyflashrebob@gmail or (707) 260-4940 for more information.
Mill Valley-Tam Dharma Friends - Monday 7:00 - 9:00pm. 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) 302-4858.
Petaluma--1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, 9:00-10:30am. While this is not a drop-in group and is closed at present, you are welcome to contact Maryann Marks at email@example.com in case they have an opening. Format is as follows: 9:00-9:45am meditation; short break; 9:50-10:30am peer discussion group.
San Rafael--The vision for this gathering is to form a supportive community of Buddhist practitioners who want to inquire, investigate and discuss practice with like minded folks in an ongoing and committed way. We meet in a lovely quiet space at 875 4th St. in downtown San Rafael, above the Sacred Tibet Shop, at 7-9pm every Tuesday. We sit for 25 minutes, walking meditation for 5 minutes and then have group discussion on the reading material for the week that has been posted on the website. Join us! http://www.openeyemeditationgroup.org/.
San Rafael-- We meet the first and third Thursday of each month from 10:15am-12:15pm at a home in San Rafael. Our two-hour session includes the following: an opening meditation; a voluntary check-in in which each member shares her/his spiritual challenges and successes in the preceding two weeks; a discussion on selected readings, audios and videos geared to the spiritual interests of the group; a brief tea; a summation of the session in which any problems are discussed and future agendas are set; a short closing meditation. Both men and women are welcome; currently, five women and one man comprise the group and due to home size restrictions, eight members would be the maximum number of participants easily accommodated at this time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
San Rafael-- Young Adult Meditation Group: Our mission is to create a comfortable environment where we can hold space for one another and support each other in our practice. We will meet on Sundays from 6:45 - 8:00pm. The 30 minute meditation starts at 6:45 followed by a 5 minute walking meditation and time for a check in/discussion. All levels are welcome; no prior meditation experience is required. For more detailed information please visit the Young Adult Meditation Webpage. Snapshot: Who: Young Adults Age 18-35. What: Mindfulness/Meditation Exploration. Where: 875 4th St, San Rafael, CA (above the Sacred Tibet Shop). When: Sundays, 6:45-8:00pm. Why: To explore our own practice and create a community of support.
Sebastopol – Peer led group usually meets the 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 email@example.com or (707) 874-2686.
Sebastopol-- We are a warm, supportive, peer led group that meets two Monday evenings a month at 6:30 PM. We begin with a 30 minute sit, followed by a check in related to the practice of Buddhist teachings in our personal lives. With tea and snacks, we then engage in a heartfelt and thoughtful discussion exploring the way these teachings and practices inform and transform our lives. We conclude with a metta meditation.This group is currently open for new members. Please contact Heidi Pelot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South of San Francisco
Pacifica – Delia McGrath and Philippa Bornstein are co-leaders of a group which meets Tuesday nights from 7:15 to 8:45pm. The first portion of our meeting is devoted to sitting 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.
Folsom -- for the beginner as well as those with more experience. The group meets every Tuesday at 6:30pm.
Contact Will Lister at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530)306-7264 or visit our website http://www.mettameditationgroup.com/
Placerville (foothills) for the beginner as well as those with more experience. The group meets every Thursday at 6:30pm.
Contact Will Lister at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: 3rd Monday of the month, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Where: 4300 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90029
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.
Colorado – Members of the Insight Meditation Community of Colorado have established four Kalyana Mitta groups that meet on alternating Wednesday evenings in South Boulder and in Louisville; on the first and third Monday of each month in Lafayette; and on alternating Monday afternoons in North Boulder. Some of these groups are currently open to new members. Please contact David Mendosa at email@example.com or (720) 319-8423.
Easton, Maryland – 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 7-8:00pm
Contact Larissa Kitenko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelmsford, Massachusetts – Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:30pm
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
Contact: Timothy Little (email@example.com or (978) 937-5652)
Other facilitators: Carrie Little (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brenda Rogers (email@example.com)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Charlotte, North Carolina Mindful Members brings together new and seasoned members in a friendly and supportive environment. We practice insight meditation and apply mindfulness to daily life. Each meeting includes meditation instructions, silent meditation, reflections offered by Ruth King, and Q&A. We meet monthly on Thursdays at a private residence in the South Park area of Charlotte from 6:45-8:30 PM. Contact Ruth King, (510) 333-9255, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ruthking.net for details.
Ashland, Oregon - This is an open group that meets every Monday evening from 7:00 – 9:00pm 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: email@example.com or 541-482-9201.
Portland, Oregon – Daily Practice, meets twice monthly. Sitting group meets every Monday from 7:30- 9:00pm. Contact Nan LeRoy at (503) 230-0665 or firstname.lastname@example.org