About Us

Committed to the Dhamma and inclusivity

Insight Santa Cruz is a meditation community, with a center in downtown Santa Cruz. Insight Meditation, also known as Vipassana, develops mindfulness and cultivates wisdom. Through practice, we learn to live more wisely, to stay present, and to open our hearts.

People come to ISC for many reasons. Some are looking for refuge from stress and the burdens of daily life; others enjoy the opportunity to practice in community; others wish to learn about Buddhist teachings. Whatever their reason, everyone is welcome.

New Guiding Teacher Ceremony with JD Doyle, Yasmina Porter, and Bob Stahl

Guided by Dawn Neal with the support of our dedicated teachers and facilitators, ISC offers regular meditation sits, classes for newcomers, and programs to help individuals deepen their practice.  There are groups for People of Color, Rainbow Sangha, and other Dhamma Friends groups. Everyone who practices together creates the “Sangha,” or community.

The center was founded in 1989 by Mary Grace Orr, who remains an advisor.

Programs are offered almost every day—often more than once a day. Over nine hundred individual events are hosted annually, including an in-house retreat and several residential retreats.    

ISC programs and events are offered freely, without charge. Center operations are supported by donations.  Our teachers are volunteers and receive donations (or “dana”) from those in their classes. Others in the Sangha volunteer to perform the work required to run and maintain the center. We are grateful for the on-going generosity of our community. 

Insight Santa Cruz is a 501(c)(3) organization, tax ID EIN 77-0567516.