Mindfulness meditation at the water's edge
Fog Signal Building,
Pt. Montara Lighthouse Hostel
16th Street and Highway 1
Montara, CA 94037
Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 pm
Vipassana, or mindfulness meditation, was first taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago. In this style of meditation, widespread today in Southeast Asia and increasingly popular in the West, one learns to watch what arises without judgment or reaction. In so doing, the mind can become clear and steady, and we begin to see things as they really are, without the distortion of our hopes, fears and confusion. Some apply mindfulness to reduce stress and control pain, and many find the practice a help with daily life, but the Buddha's purpose was clear: this way of seeing leads to freedom from suffering.
We gather on Wednesdays, and welcome others ... the merely curious, the earnest
beginner, the dedicated practitioner ... to join us. We generally begin with
30 minutes of silent meditation with enough guidance to introduce visitors
to the basics. Afterwards we hear a dhamma talk from a visiting teacher (most,
but not all of whom, are primarily grounded in the Theravada
tradition of Buddhist practice). There is usually time for Q&A
at the end of the evening, or for another short sitting. There is no charge
for the teachings, but we welcome
donations to support the teachers and our hosts at the hostel.
Teachers and Topics -- Sometimes we know the topic of a dhamma talk ... such as when we have arranged a series of talks on a specific topic ... but often a visiting teacher will talk on whatever is foremost in their life and practice at the moment.
Summer 2014 (meetings are at the Montara Lighthouse unless otherwise stated)
Misha Merrill was ordained a Zen priest in 1988 by Les Kaye Roshi in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center. She received Dharma Transmission from him in 1998 and has been leading a meditation group in Redwood City since 1993. She also teaches young children at the Peninsula School of Menlo Park. She lives in the hills above Stanford with her husband and joyfully cultivates a large garden.
Jim Podolske is a scientist who has been a Vipassana student of Gil Fronsdal since 1998. He serves the Insight Meditation Center sangha both as a volunteer and introductory meditation instructor, and is a former IMC board member. He has sat Vipassana, Samadhi, and Brahmavihara retreats over the last 15 years, including a six week retreat with Joseph Goldstein in 2003. Jim enjoys sailing on the San Francisco Bay.
Pt. Montara Lighthouse Hostel is located on Highway 1 at 16th Street in Montara. We meet in the Fog Signal building next to the lighthouse. (The building is heated by a wood fire, but can still be a bit chilly on cold, foggy days; dress appropriately. The floor is carpeted, but you might want a pad or folded blanket if you plan to sit on a cushion. There are also plenty of chairs available.)
Please see these directions for getting here safely!
The hostel is run by a non-profit organization with the intent of "helping all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hosteling." Guests of all ages stay at Pt. Montara and at hostels world-wide. We are grateful to the hostel staff for their support.
This page is usually updated at the end of the month.