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Sangha Meetings

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 suspension is lifted, which is tentatively scheduled for June 30, 2020. 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.

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.
Boundless Metta,
Greg


Vipassana Meditation

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.
2. Dukkha: The unsatisfactory or unreliable nature of things.
3. Anatta:  The emptiness of all conditioned 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.

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


Weekend 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.


Our History

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.


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