Lotus in the Desert Sangha offers practice in Vipassana
(insight) meditation. Vipassana is a Pali term that means clear
seeing. The practice includes systematic mindfulness meditation
techniques that direct our attention to the true nature of reality
and to the development of penetrating insight and wisdom.
Due to the recent developments of the COVID-19 virus the Sahara West Library has temporarily suspended group events. This decision was made with the health and well being of all persons who attend such events at heart. Lotus In The Desert is one of the longest running and most appreciated events at the Sahara West Library. We will return when the board feels it is safe enough to do so. We know full well how much our meeting means to all of you and how much you look forward to it each week. This decision was made in the interest of safety and compassion for all of you. In the meantime Greg has been offering an online version of our sangha on Zoom. Please email us if you would like to receive the Link for that online meeting.
Many of you have a dedicated regular practice. Please do not falter! Keep practicing and use internet based support materials like dharmaseed.org, InsightTimer, and those on our Study and Links pages.
Until we meet again, be well and safe.
The core teachings behind Vipassana Meditation go back to the
ancient Theravadan Buddhist traditions of 2,500 years ago and
revolve around seeing things just as they are. Through systematic
training in meditation, we create a space that allows us to see
ourselves and our circumstances with clarity and wisdom. Meditators
typically start by focusing on their breath. As they become more
experienced, they begin to allow their attention to rest on other
bodily sensations, or on the presence of emotions or thoughts.
Though the practice of meditation is simple within itself, it
builds into a powerful tool for learning to be present and engaged
through the inevitable ups and downs in life.
The Vipassana practices direct our attention to the realization of insight through contemplation and investigation of three specific characteristics:
1. Anicca: The impermanence or changing nature of things.
In Vipassana Meditation, we focus our awareness on the ever-changing present moment.
Through seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking,
we cultivate the capacity to perceive the truth of anicca, dukkha
and anatta in all experience. This practice helps develop wisdom
and compassion, giving rise to greater peace and happiness.
2. Dukkha: The unsatisfactory or unreliable nature of things.
3. Anatta: The emptiness of all conditioned things.
Those new to Vipassana Meditation
may want to read Basic
Meditation Instructions by Sayadaw U Pandita as an example
of how to enter this meditative path.
Extended Practice / Retreats
Non-residential weekend retreats are scheduled biannually. They
are generally held in the spring and fall on a Friday night and
all day Saturday and Sunday. An experienced Vipassana teacher
is brought in to lead each retreat. These retreats are a valuable
yet inexpensive tool to help deepen one's meditation practice.
They also serve as an excellent introduction for beginners new
to meditation. Click here for information
on our next retreat.
Lotus in the Desert Sangha began meeting in 1996 to offer support
for people interested in furthering their meditation practice.
Originally, teachings for the Sangha came from a wide variety
of Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions. However, over time, Sangha
members became interested primarily in the traditional Vipassana
practice as offered by the two major Vipassana retreat centers
in the United States: Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts
and Spirit Rock in California. Other than for retreats, fees have
never been charged for Sangha activities. Rather, Sangha expenses
are paid for through dana (donation).
Now in its third decade, Lotus in the Desert has partnered with the Sahara West Library and the meeting is offered freely as a public service. The weekly meditation meetings are led by experienced Sangha members who you can contact for further resources or information via the Contact page.
For more information, please contact us at: