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About Marin Sangha
Marin Sangha is an insight meditation (vipassana) sitting group in Northern California. The group was founded by Phillip Moffitt and, as of January 2014, is now a self governng entitity. Marin Sangha meets every Sunday night with a rotation of vipassana teachers. Phillip teaches about once a month and his specific teaching dates can be found on his calendar. The Sangha offers a mind-body orientation to vipassana with an emphasis on direct experience and a special focus on living the dharma in daily life. Marin Sangha was established in 1998 with just a dozen members; we now have more than 300 active members.
Sangha means community. The Marin Sangha holds the intention of building community by creating a space where dharma students may gather to explore the unfolding of the teachings in their lives in a safe and welcoming environment. Everyone who attends is a valued member with a place in our community. This is an open sitting group. New students are welcome. People with all levels of meditation experience are invited to attend.
Sundays, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
St. Luke Presbyterian Church
10 Bayview Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901
Chairs are provided, but bring your own meditation cushions. Wheelchair accessible. The class begins with a 45-minute sitting meditation, followed by a short period of mindful movement, a 45-minute dharma talk, and a question and answer period. We close with a five-minute meditation that includes metta practice (see the explanation of metta practice below). Afterward, we have a tea social.
Metta (loving-kindness) Practice
Metta means unconditional loving-kindness. It is cultivated and practiced as one of the four sublime states known as the brahma-viharas. It is also one of the ten paramitas, or perfections of character. There are many versions of metta; here are the phrases we use:
May you be safe from internal and external harm.
May you have a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart.
May you be physically strong, healthy, and vital.
May you experience love, joy, wonder, and wisdom, in this life, just as it is.
Read more about metta.
Dana (generosity) Practice
In the Buddhist tradition, the teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless; therefore, there is no fee for attending the Marin Sangha weekly meditation class. However, in the Buddhist tradition we also practice dana, or generosity, by making monetary offerings for the teachings. Dana is not payment for goods or services rendered; it is given from the heart. Your generosity is a gift that supports not just the teachers, but also the Sangha, the larger dharma community, and your own practice. The Marin Sangha accepts dana for the teacher, the rental of our meeting space, and the monthly small group interviews.
We tape Phillip's dharma talks and often post them on this Web site, as well as other dharma related Web sites. Please keep in mind that in some cases, the Q&A's that are part of the talk will be posted as well.
Marin Sangha Daylong Retreats
Once a year Phillip teaches a daylong retreat exclusively for members of Marin Sangha. These are held at an off-site location for a modest fee to cover expenses. However, no one is turned away for lack of funds. Announcements about upcoming daylong retreats are made in the Sangha, via email, and on this website.
A substantial amount of effort goes into ensuring that each class goes smoothly. Sangha members are encouraged to volunteer to help set up before class and straighten up afterwards. You may help on a regular or occasional basis. Jobs include setting up chairs, hanging Buddha’s portraits, greeting new sangha members, and more. This is another opportunity to practice dana and to serve and participate in the Sangha.
An ever-changing contingent of Sangha members goes out for dinner after class. Anyone with an appetite for food and the company of dharma friends is welcome. If you are interested, please ask the newcomer greeters for more information.