The Sangha supports its members through weekly group meditation and the sharing of wisdom from various traditions.
We meet at the Unitarian House every Monday from 7:15 to 8:45pm, typically beginning with a thirty-minute meditation followed by teachings and discussion.
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For more information about the sangha, contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We are an open and welcoming group of people that values the innate wisdom of the sangha. Teachings are offered through facilitations by members of the sangha. We draw from different Buddhist literature, excerpts from recorded dharma talks, and our own experience. We also share wisdom by exploring questions or topics posed by members and in general discussions of the insights and difficulties of practice.
Sangha has been meeting online at the same day and time. For the link to our Zoom meeting, please sign up to receive our newsletter.
Tim will facilitate a groups discussion on "Introduction to Four Noble Truths"
Jared and Al will facilitate a group discussion on "The First Noble Truth"
Dan will facilitate a group discussion on "The Second Noble Truth"
Meditation, daily mindfulness, and following the teachings of the Buddha are our focus. We welcome both traditional and contemporary versions of Buddhism, and we open the embrace of Buddhism to include complementary insights from other spiritual traditions that emphasize mindfulness, awakening, and compassion.
Our Sangha is not a formal Buddhist community in the traditional sense. We have no ordained teacher, master, or monks.
The sangha is intensely practice-based, drawing on different Buddhist traditions—Mahayana, Zen, Vajrayana, Theravada—rather than being formally aligned with one particular tradition.
Some members also participate in more formal communities, such as Thich Nhat Hanh's community and the Big Mind Zen Center of Salt Lake City, or are actively working under teachers in traditions such as Tibetan Buddhism and the Vedanta tradition.
In addition, we have members active in local churches--Catholic, Mormon, and Unitarian Universalist, for example. Many members also participate in the general community through work with local spiritual and charitable programs which are consistent with the teachings of the Buddha. We also, whenever possible, invite formal teachers to present at our Monday evening meetings and mindfulness retreats that occur two to three times per year.
Our focus is on the insights of evolving Buddhist traditions and exploring other teachings of mindfulness practice.
The Buddha’s first and most basic teachings are that:
There is suffering.
There are reasons for suffering.
There is an end to suffering.
There is a path to the end of suffering.
Our path is to embrace every part of our lives – the joy, the sadness, and every experience in between.
Our path is to let go of cravings and aversions, and thereby experience the enlightenment possible in each moment.
Our path is to live in alignment with our values.
The Buddha taught that we awaken and transcend suffering through a combination of ethics, meditation, and wisdom.
In our practice, we aspire to cultivate the Four Limitless Qualities:
These qualities are cultivated through constant and close attention to every part of our lives.
We approach all teachings in the spirit of the Buddha’s advice:
Do not believe anything:
just because it has been handed down for many generations,
just because it is spoken and rumored by many,
just because it is found written in religious books,
just on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Only accept what passes the test by proving useful and beneficial in your life.
We welcome all who would join us in this journey.
A group of members of the sangha organize the meetings, teachings, and events we offer.
Any regular member of the sangha is welcome to join the leadership group.
Currently participating in the leadership group are: Tim Slocum, Gregory Madden, Jim Akers, Anne Shifrer, Byron Ray, Daniel Judd,
Megan Simper, Jeff Sheen, Dhanna Prem, Emily James, and Ariel Blair.
Our mission is to support sangha members who may be facing challenges or sorrows.
We can sit with you, help problem solve, or rally the resources of the larger sangha in times of need. Please contact one of the following people if you or someone else in the sangha might need our support.
For information, contact Anne Shifrer (coordinator), Jim Akers, Katherine Zukor, or Marianne Christian.
Here is a link to an excellent beginning meditation course produced by the Insight Meditation Center. It includes (1) Instruction on how to meditate, (2) Guided meditations you can listen to, and (3) “Homework” – recommendations for creating a regular mediation practice.
Below is a video of Ayya Anandabodhi's talk when she virtually visited our sangha on July 2020. You can also download the audio here.
If you have interest in mindfulness meditation, below is a great resource to practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn shares his view of the the attitudes to cultivate in mindfulness meditation.