Dharma Friends

Peer-led Dharma Friends classes and events

Insight Santa Cruz offers peer-led classes and events to encourage community in our sangha. All sangha members and their friends are welcome to our Dharma Friends classes and events. Donations are welcome to support Insight Santa Cruz.

How to get involved

Sangha members are encouraged to organize dharma friends groups or activities, based on the following guidelines:

  • Dharma Friends events serve to build community among Insight Santa Cruz sangha members.
  • They meet offsite at people’s homes or other locations.
  • They are organized by people who have been with the sangha for at least one year, and who are known by one or more of the ISC teachers.
  • To suggest an event or group, please fill out this online form Dharma Friends Event Proposal, which asks for a one-paragraph summary of the event and other information. You will be contacted by a coordinator.

Dharma Friends: The People of Color (POC) Sitting Group

This weekly gathering is intended to create a safe space for self-identified people of color.

Each week there will be a 30-minute guided sit followed by a 30-minute
mindful check-in circle and tea.

Date: Every Monday night beginning January 9, 2017

Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

Location: Insight Santa Cruz

How to Register: No registration required

This Dharma Friends group will be led by sit leaders

Sit Leader Bios:
Yasmina Porter is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, dance instructor, and relationship coach in Santa Cruz.

Laura Turner-Essel is a counseling psychologist who has combined mindfulness, mental health, and community activism for 15 years.

Akiko Minami had practiced meditation off and on since 1998. This POC sitting group has inspired her to recommit to a daily practice and to a sangha.

Everyone who identifies as a Person of Color is welcome to attend.

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Dharma Friends: Practice at the Edges – Reflections on Wise Well Being

The Buddha’s teachings focus on suffering and its sources, as well as the path to ending our suffering. Following this path can take us up against our “learning edges” as we acknowledge the reality of our experiences of suffering. Rather than seeking to deny or avoid what we feel at those times we can use these experiences as a rich part of our path to greater depth of wise and compassionate well-being. This dharma friends group is intended to provide a shared supportive space and resources for reflection and practice for cultivating  ease at these “learning edges”. We will share practices to deepen the grounding of our mindfulness and to use that grounding for deepening our contemplative and reflective practices

Date: Beginning in March through June 2017   The 2nd and 4th Tuesdays

Time: 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Cost: Dana (donation)

Location: Please contact Leslie below for location.

How to Register: Contact Leslie Tremaine at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 831 706 6605

Everyone Welcome.

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Dharma-Inspired Book Group

Many dharma-inspired books offer ways to support our practice, and sharing those books in a  small group setting can further enrich this part of our path. This group is being formed for those who share an interest in exploring these resources and engaging in reflections on their relevance for how we live the dharma. We are tentatively planning to begin with Joanna Macy’s inspiring book Active Hope , which offers a dharma-based model  for living  our caring and compassion in a larger world of social  and environmental challenges

We plan to meet monthly to share reflections on the readings, with an opportunity for a brief sit to help guide and ground us

Date: First Tuesday of each month

Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm

Location: This is a dharma friends group, we will meet at members’ homes, cafes, or other community settings

Cost: Dana (donation)

How to Register: Please contact Leslie at email hidden; JavaScript is required to register.

Everyone Welcome.

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Dharma Friends: Circle of Compassion

Each group will start with a silent meditation for at least 10 minutes. That will be followed by short check-ins by each member. Then the members of the circle will have a chance to take part in a reflection as […]

Each group will start with a silent meditation for at least 10 minutes. That will be followed by short check-ins by each member. Then the members of the circle will have a chance to take part in a reflection as the basis for longer and more in depth shares on how compassion both for self and others is experienced as part of their paths of everyday practice. As time allows at the end, we will review what more formal practices support our experiences of compassion, as well as how our time together went and if we   see the need for any changes. The group will be an hour and a half long.

The longer in depth shares are intended to provide members a safe and informal environment for applications and explorations of  the heart practices from the Dharma . The group will be peer-led.

Location: Please contact Andrew Pappin at email hidden; JavaScript is required for location information.

Date: The second Tuesday of every month

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30 pm

How to Register: No registration required, please contact Andrew to indicate your interest.

Everyone Welcome. 

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Tuesday Tea

Would you enjoy getting better acquainted with others in the sangha? You are invited to join others for tea or lunch after the Tuesday noon sit. When: Every Tuesday at the conclusion of the noon sitting Cost: Buy a drink, […]

Would you enjoy getting better acquainted with others in the sangha?
You are invited to join others for tea or lunch after the Tuesday noon sit.

When: Every Tuesday at the conclusion of the noon sitting
Cost: Buy a drink, lunch, or snack in downtown Santa Cruz
Registration: Not required
Location: Will be determined after the sit, we will gather first at Insight Santa Cruz
115 River Street South SC 95060

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The Watsonville Outpost

This group meets every-other Saturday (9:30 – 11:00 AM) at a home in Watsonville. There is a 45 minute meditation followed by a discussion. The discussion topic will be suggested and agreed-upon at the previous meeting. This group is peer-led. […]

This group meets every-other Saturday (9:30 – 11:00 AM) at a home in Watsonville. There is a 45 minute meditation followed by a discussion. The discussion topic will be suggested and agreed-upon at the previous meeting. This group is peer-led. If you are interested, please contact Chris at (831) 763-7617 or by email at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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