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.
No dogs are allowed in the Meditation Center except for trained service dogs in ADA-specified service. Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals and are not permitted in the meditation center. All service dogs, while on-site, must remain at all times with their human who needs their service.
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 silent meditation, followed by announcements and a 30-45 minute program. We then enjoy tea and light refreshments until 7:30. The schedule is listed in the Events section of this website. You are invited to arrive any time after 5:30 for socializing before the start of meditation.
Awakened Parenting Sitting Group is offered on the 1st and 3rd Mondays each month at 6:30pm.
The Somatic Meditation Practice Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 5:30.
Tuesday evening sittings are held at our center at 5:45pm.
Wednesday evenings Mindfulness for Everyone sittings are held at our center at 6pm.
Socially Engaged Buddhist Study Group is held on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month at our center at 11:30AM.
Tara meditation practice is occasionally offered on a Saturday at our center.
Reflective Insight Meditation is offered on the first Saturday of each month at 3:00pm at Crow's End.
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.
For general information about White Heron Sangha retreats click here. For a listing of currently scheduled retreats and workshops click here.
Mindful Movement & Meditation
We offer sessions of mindful movement, followed by sitting meditation, on Saturdays from 9-10:15am. see more
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 and Social Media
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. To be added to shareWHS please send your request to email@example.com.
In addition, White Heron Sangha has a Facebook page where members can post. (more information)
We offer a variety of classes on Buddhism and practice. To see our 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 North County members help facilitate Buddhist groups in Avenal State Prison and 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 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 (email@example.com).
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 40Prado. As a Sangha following the Buddha's teachings on compassion, we have a chance to practice and make a difference locally. see more
Karuna (Compassion) Team
White Heron Sangha members volunteer to serve other Sangha members who could use some help while recovering from illness, injury, surgery, etc. see more
Mentoring and Meditation Instruction
Our mentoring and meditation instruction 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)