“Meditation has to do with opening what is closed in us, balancing what is reactive, and exploring and investigating what is hidden. That is the why of practice. We practice to open, to balance, and to explore.”
– Joseph Goldstein
Insight Meditation also known as Vipassana Meditation is the practice of developing a calm abiding and mindful investigation, while seeing clearly into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion and the end of suffering. Our guiding teachers, Kittisaro and Thanissara were inspired by the great Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah to ordain as monastics. Ajahn Chah was instrumental in guiding the Forest monastic training where they developed their practice and understanding of the Dhamma. By the time of his death Ajahn Chah had overseen the founding of over 100 monasteries in Thailand, England, Switzerland, Italy, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Ajahn Chah highly influenced Jack Kornfield and the Vipassana movement in the USA which founded Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. For a lovely history of the development of Insight Meditation, Gil Fronsdal of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City has written an essay entitled Insight Meditation in the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness which is available here.
While our meditation group is grounded in Insight Meditation, we honor and embrace the practices and teachings of the many traditions within Buddhism, as well as from the other great wisdom traditions of the world.
What is Sangha?
Sangha is the Pali language word meaning community or assembly. Traditionally, it referred to the monastic community of ordained Buddhist monks and nuns. Sangha, in a more general and contemporary sense includes our community of friends and lay practitioners. We practice and support each other wherever we may be on the path, forming refuge from friendship. The importance of sangha cannot be overestimated. Our aspiration is to provide a community for all those in the Chattanooga area who seek to explore, practice and learn these profound teachings.