Neighborhood Sitting Groups
The shared intention of sitting together in meditation creates a sacred space that’s amazingly powerful. If you are looking for support and connection, try one of these established groups.
THERAVADA TRADITION (Mindfulness or Insight Meditation)
Dharma Friends Sitting Group
This new Mindfulness Sitting Group offers an informal format, especially well suited for experienced practitioners. There is a 40-mintue sit with instruction, followed by open discussion.
Where: First Unitarian Church, 5007 Waterman at Kingshighway, 63108 (in the Central West End), enter through the courtyard on the north side of the church
When: Wednesday nights, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Contact: Jan Rosamond for more information
The St. Louis Insight Meditation Group (SLIMG) was founded in 1996 to support the understanding of Mindfulness through the Theravadan Buddhist practice of insight meditation (Vipassana) in the St. Louis area. It is a lay group offering weekly meditation sittings and dharma talks, occasional classes and retreats, a donated library, and community.
Where: Big Bend Yoga Center, 88 N. Gore (at Kirkham), Webster Groves, MO, 63119
When: Sunday nights, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Sponsored by SLIMG, these sessions feature a half-hour sit with Insight Meditation instruction, followed by a brief Dharma talk and/or discussion.
Chesterfield / West County Meditation Group
Sponsored by SLIMG, this Insight Meditation group was formed to meet the needs of West County residents. Please bring a meditation cushion or bench, if you use one. A limited number of chairs will be available.
Sunday Sangha is a mindfulness meditation sitting group that meets Sundays for silent meditation and discussion on topics related to insight meditation and Buddhism. Several times a year the group organizes daylong retreats, which include singing bowl sound meditation and discussion. New and experienced meditators are welcome.
Where: 7700 Clayton Road, Suite 307, Clayton, MO 63105
When: Sundays from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Tranquility-Insight Meditation Group
Laith Naayem, a former Buddhist monk in Burma, offers meditation coaching with an emphasis on sitting and walking meditation, mindfulness of daily activities, a solid foundation in meditation theory.
Where: Healing Arts Center
When: Thursdays, 5:45 to 7:30 pm
Contact: Healing Arts Center at 314-647-8080
White Oak Sangha
This Insight Meditation group meets weekly at a private residence near Cuba, MO (in Crawford County, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis). There is a 30 minute sit, followed by a book discussion. Currently, the group is reading A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. Beginners are welcome and will receive instruction.
Where: Private home in Rolla, MO
When: Saturdays, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
Contact: e-mail or call 573-368-6858
OTHER BUDDHIST TRADITIONS
This group offers traditional Bodhisattvayana (Mahayana) services in English. The center is non-sectarian though the director follows Tibetan Buddhism as his personal practice, so there is some Vajrayana influence within the center itself.
Where: New location – 7921 Forsyth, Clayton MO 63105
When: Sunday Service 10 to 11:30 am (Classes offered throughout the week)
This is a group of Ethical Culturalists who merge the mindfulness meditation techniques of Thich Nhat Hanh with the philosophy of Felix Adler. They meet weekly for meditation, discussion and fellowship.
Where: Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, Clayton MO, 63117
When: Sunday mornings, 8:00 to 9:00 am or later
Where: St. Louis Wellness Center, 425 Marshall Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119
When: Sundays, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Missouri Zen Center
The Missouri Zen Center (MZC) was founded in 1980 by Dr. Rosan Yoshida to foster the study and practice of the teachings of Zen Buddhism. It offers daily zazen practice, classes for both beginners and advanced students, periodic sesshin retreats, and a library on Zen and Buddhism.
Where: 220 Spring Avenue, Webster Groves, MO 63119
When: Daily sittings, scheduled throughout the day
Shinzo Zen Meditation Center
Shinzo Zen Mediation Center was formed in 2005 and moved into its current location in 2008. The founding teacher is Reverend Kalen McAllister. Weekly services, while informal and meant for beginning and advanced practitioners alike, trace their structure and format back to the founder of the Soto Zen School of Buddhism, Master Dogen Zenji. This sangha also supports an outreach program called Inside Dharma, which works with prison inmates and ex-offenders who have recently been released.
Where: 6419 Clemens, University City, MO 63130
When: Thursday evenings, 7:00 – 8:30 pm and Saturday mornings, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (vegetarian lunch included)
Center for Pragmatic Buddhism
The Center for Pragmatic Buddhism hosts weekly meditation practice followed by an open discussion that features concepts from early Buddhism, neuroscience, and training the mind, as well as a weekly reading. The focus of CPB is providing mindfulness training that resonates with westerners and a place for likeminded individuals to come together to discuss practice. There is also a formal study program available for those seeking more in-depth training.
Where: First Unitarian Church, 5007 Waterman Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 (enter through the north side of the building)
When: Thursday evenings, 7:00-9:00 pm
Contact: e-mail for more information
Mid-America Buddhist Association
Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA) is a monastery that offers weekly Sunday services, retreats and workshops, as well as special events and spiritual counseling.
Where: Located on 60 acres of rolling hills and woodlands in Augusta, Missouri, about 45 minutes west of St. Louis.
When: Sunday mornings, 9:45 – 11:45 am