Salt Spring Insight Meditation Community is a community of new and experienced meditators dedicated to cultivating happiness and well-being through exploring and practicing the teachings of the Buddha, in both meditation and compassionate action.
We seek to live our lives with mindful awareness, opening our hearts to joy and to suffering, in order to live with the freedom of kindness, clarity and wisdom.
We follow the tradition of the Theravada, as practiced in Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, but also find support within the Zen and Tibetan traditions.
All Buddhist schools consider community or ‘sangha’ an essential refuge on the path towards freedom. The Salt Spring Insight Meditation Community holds the intention of creating such a refuge by providing a space where people may gather to explore how the teachings unfold in their lives in a safe and welcoming environment.
This is an open group. Everyone who attends is a valued member with a place in our community. People with all levels of meditation experience (or none) are invited to attend any of our offerings.
Our resident teacher is Heather Martin. Heather has been meditating for over 50 years and teaching the dharma since 2001. She invites visiting teachers to co-lead our retreats.
Insight or Vipassana Meditation
Insight or Vipassana Meditation is the simple practice of observing one’s direct experience in this very moment, with a gently relaxed, open and careful awareness. By learning to be present with this attitude, we are able to access our natural qualities – a spacious calm clear mind; a warm and peaceful heart.
Life is experienced as a constantly changing process, and all its aspects: pain, fear and joy, can be accepted with increasing balance. As our practice takes root, the fruit it bears is in finding that we respond to the inevitable joys and sorrows of life with increasing sensitivity, stability and kindness.
This central teaching of the Buddha has been practiced continuously throughout South East Asia for over 2,500 years.
Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation
Metta or Loving Kindness Meditation attunes us to our natural and great capacity for connecting with and caring for ourselves and others. It is true friendliness. As we practice, we deliberately nurture our heart’s spontaneous affinity for peacefulness and kindness, acceptance and forgiveness. The practices of Metta (Loving Kindness) and Vipassana (Clear Seeing) intertwine and are mutually supportive.