First and Third Thursday Sitting Meditation
Gatherings are on the 1st and 3rd Thursday evening of each month from 7:15pm-8:45pm. Everyone is warmly welcome, including both experienced meditators and those new to meditation. We begin at 7:15 PM with forty minutes of sitting meditation practice. Afterward, we read aloud from the work of a Dharma teacher or another relevant resource for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. After the Dharma reading, we have a 20-30 minute facilitated time for reflections and sharing about the reading and the practice. We generally finish with 1-2 minutes of sitting practice. The gathering ends at 8:45 PM.
*Both cushions and chairs are available for sitting.
Who we are
We are a growing community dedicated to supporting the practice of Insight (Vipassana) Meditation and the study of the Dharma, the Buddha's teachings on how to live a fulfilling and helpful life that addresses the suffering of each person and all beings. Our community exists to support and nurture the practice and study of the Dharma for anyone in the greater Providence area and beyond. We seek to know each other and to help one another along this path. We welcome newcomers warmly! We are aligned with the Insight Meditation Society, and look to teachers affiliated with it for most of our Dharma teaching. The Insight Meditation Society was founded in 1976. Located in Barre, Massachusetts, IMS describes itself as a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. It offers meditation retreats rooted in the Theravada Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration and wisdom. These practices help develop awareness and compassion, giving rise to greater peace and happiness in the world.
What is Insight Meditation
Vipassana meditation, which can be translated as insight meditation, is a simple yet profound practice from among the central teachings of the Buddha. Fundamentally, we simply sit, and know, with full awareness, that we are sitting. More specifically, the practice encompasses two interwoven phases: the development of tranquility (shamatha) that makes way for clear seeing (vipassana) of things as they really are. The practice helps participants cultivate deeper awareness that fosters compassion for self, others, and the world.
Sitting meditation practice is the cornerstone of our 1st & 3rd Thursday sittings. However, other practices, including walking meditation and loving-kindness (metta) practice, are also central to the insight meditation tradition, and are incorporated into periodic community practice events. All are also encouraged to incorporate these practices, as well as the awareness and kindness that they help cultivate, into everyday life in whatever way fits best. Participants are able to discuss these during the sharing time at our Thursday gatherings, an experience that can provide encouragement through the group’s support.
The Buddha taught that the practice of generosity (dana) is a vital component of achieving freedom from suffering, in fact, many schools of Buddhism see it as even more fundamental than meditation itself! Financial generosity is only a tiny part of that transformative practice, but it offers an intersection of our individual practices and the needs of our collective community. In other words, please help us sustain our community and continue our growth by making any kind of financial donation that is right for you. You can just leave it in the dana bowl when you come sit with us, or feel free to contact us for more information on how to donate without attending. All donations will be gratefully received and will go toward the expenses of the community.