What We Offer
White Heron Sangha has no formal affiliation with any outside groups, lineages, or styles of Buddhism, or with any particular teacher. We accept the value and usefulness of all traditions and attempt to learn whatever we can from the unique approach of each.
We are peer-led. Talks and introductory meditation instruction are often given by our members. We periodically invite teachers from various Buddhist traditions to lead weekend retreats.
Click on a link below for more info on:
Sunday Evening Meetings
We have a regular meeting every Sunday at 6:00 pm at White Heron Sangha Meditation Center in Avila Village (see map). Most meetings begin with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by announcements and a 10 minute break, then a 45 minute program that goes until 7:30. The schedule is listed in the Events section of this website.
Tuesday evening sittings are held at our center in Avila Village at 5:45pm. see more
We also have Wednesday evening sittings at 6pm. see more
The White Heron Sangha offers Meditation Instruction on the first Sunday of each month at 5:00 pm in the Unity bookshop. If you are new to meditation, or if you are experienced but have questions, or have hit an impasse, or just want to share your insights, you are welcome to come and discuss your practice.
Instruction will be alternately facilitated by James Coleman and Arlene Winn. (It may be cancelled during weekends when retreats are held -- please check the schedule.)
Retreats and Workshops
Teachers from outside our community from time to time are invited to lead weekend meditation retreats and workshops. Occasionally workshops and peer-led practice days (which we call "Days of Mindfulness") are conducted by our own members.
If you sign up with us (click on the "Membership" tab above), you'll be notified whenever a new e-newsletter is posted to the website, and when a retreat or other major event is coming up. We will only use your email address for important sangha business. For communications that may not be about essential White Heron Sangha matters, such as notices of relevant events sponsored by other organizations, or personal messages from sangha members, we use shareWHS, which is described below.
Informal Email List - shareWHS
In addition to the features available on our website, the sangha has a less formal email group (list-serve), which allows members to post notices that are automatically sent to all of the other list-serve participants. It is a valuable way for us to share our dharma-related thoughts and concerns. The sangha also uses it to forward information from other organizations about events that may be of interest to our members, such as a Buddhist event sponsored by a group other than the White Heron Sangha. (more information)
We offer various classes on Buddhism and practice. To see our current class offerings, click here.
Many sangha members belong to a small group for reading, meditation, and discussion. These groups are usually formed spontaneously by members. You are invited to announce your interest in forming or joining a group during the announcement period at a Sunday evening meeting, or by means of a message to the list-serve (see above).
When a new group has decided to form, Rosemary Donnell (email@example.com) is available to provide initial consultation on organizational approaches that have been successful with other groups.
For people living in the North and South parts of the county, there are additional/alternative meditation groups affiliated with White Heron Sangha.
North County Sangha
South County Meditation Group
A number of our members help facilitate Buddhist groups in local prisons (California Men's Colony and Avenal State Prison). Others teach meditation in our county jails under the Restorative Partners program.
All of the functions of the Sangha are accomplished through the efforts of volunteers. We encourage everyone to help out in some capacity. Volunteering is a great great way to become more connected to the Sangha while developing your practice of generosity. If you would like to help, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Marianne Palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We have no membership fees--all activities are supported by contributions (called dana), with the exception of suggested fees to cover the costs of weekend retreats (special arrangements can be made for anyone who can't afford the fee for a retreat). Your tax-deductible contribution is always appreciated.
Feed the Hungry
White Heron Sangha members join with volunteers from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship one Sunday per month in preparing and serving lunch at the Prado Day Center. As a Sangha following the Buddha's teachings on compassion, we have a chance to practice and make a difference locally. see more
Meditation Mentoring Program
Our meditation mentoring program provides interested meditators one-on-one guidance from experienced practitioners who have had extensive retreat practice as well as strong daily sitting practices. (see more)