Every Wednesday, between 7:00 and 9:00 PM, a gathering of people come together to meditate and support one another in their meditation practice. We meet at the Quaker Friends Meetinghouse on the corner of Sheridan and 19th Aves in Port Townsend, WA. The green arrow on this map points to the building we meet in.
We start promptly at 7:00 with a 45 minute silent sitting period. (Meditators are welcome to sit or practice walking meditation during this time). We then break for a brief break period. Noble silence is held from the start to the finish of the meditation period.
During the second hour we have a shared session, which varies according to the week of the month (see schedule below) and may include a shared reading or listening to a recorded talk from a meditation teacher. Most of these readings tend to come from teachers of Vipassana, or Insight Meditation (usually from the lineage of Theravadin Buddhism — although we have also included such teachers as Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron and Adyashanti). A brief discussion on the talk may follow. These discussions are usually structured and follow the guidelines provided by the Insight Meditation practice. View the Sangha Discussion Guidelines here.
Schedule of weeks:
First & Third Wednesdays – Talks and discussion on monthly Dharma themes will take place on the first and third Wednesdays, facilitated by a sangha member. While the curriculum will include suggested Dharma talks, facilitators need not follow it strictly. Individual flexibility in addressing monthly themes is encouraged (for example, choosing a different talk, sharing a reading or other dharma-related material, listening to an entire talk without follow-up discussion, etc). See Resources page for ideas. Dispersing before 9pm is also an option.
Second & Fourth Wednesdays – The second and fourth Wednesdays of each month will be devoted to sharing our practice, facilitated by a sangha member. Again, individual creativity is encouraged, along with a careful consideration of one’s approach. Facilitators could start with a topic or question of personal significance—related to the monthly theme or not—and open it up to small- or large-group discussion. Or, find a short (10-15 minute) “practice notes” recording to stimulate group sharing. We will also set out the tea service on these evenings.
Fifth Wednesday (if applicable) – “Sit & Sip” offers members of the sangha a chance for socialization and personal sharing in an informal manner – a great way to get to know each other and strengthen our bonds. These sessions end at 8.30pm.
The groups are peer led. Each meditation sitting is led by different members of the sangha, as is each discussion period after the break. Everything is done on a volunteer basis and new members are invited to sign up for any of the several tasks involved in running the sangha each week.
Sign up for a volunteer task on Wednesday evening. To view descriptions of all Wednesday evening Volunteer tasks, click here.
Dana is offered during our Wednesday gatherings: a donation is requested to cover the cost of the venue rental ($50/night), and you may also wish to support the activities of the meditation group by offering a small donation. These donations are used to run retreats and other activities, and provide scholarships for members wishing to deepen their practice through a sustained period at a retreat center.