Group Meditation

All Are Welcome

The Winnipeg Insight Meditation Group is a peer-led community dedicated to cultivating compassionate wisdom through insight meditation (vipassana), lovingkindness (metta), mindfulness (sati) and other practices taught by the Buddha.

The group shares a commitment to the investigation and practice of the Buddha's teachings (dharma) as a means of freeing ourselves from unnecessary suffering. As a community (sangha), we come together with the intention of supporting each other on the path and bringing our spiritual practice into daily life.

We offer twice-weekly practice sessions, as well as retreats, study groups, and other activities.

Wednesday Sittings

Location: St Peter's Anglican Church 755 Elm Street, (Grant at Elm), Winnipeg, .  

Time: Doors open at 7 pm. Formal group practice begins at 7:30 m. A 20-minute dharma talk begins at 7:50 pm. Mindful group dharma discussion practice follows. The session ends at 8:30 pm.

Wednesday sittings are year-round.

Sunday Sittings

Location: Yoga North, 894 Westminster Avenue, Winnipeg.

Time: Doors open at 9:30 am. Formal group practice begins at 10 am. A 20-minute dharma talk begins at 10:20 am. Mindful group discussion practice follows. The session ends at 11 am.

Sunday sittings run from September to the end of May. There are no Sunday sessions from June through August. In addition, some Sunday sessions may be cancelled due to the needs of the yoga studio.

In order to be notified of any changes to our sitting schedule please join our mailing list here or check our online calendar.

What to Expect

  • If you are new, someone will welcome you as you enter and will answer any questions you may have.

  • All meditators are asked to turn off their cellphones and remove their shoes before entering the meditation hall in silence.

  • A dana bowl (for donations) is at the entrance to the hall. See more on this below.

  • Chairs, cushions, and blankets are available for your use. You are welcome to bring your own sitting props.

  •  First 30 minutes: Noble silence. Participants may enter the hall in silence at anytime within this first 30-minute time slot and sit quietly in meditation. For safety, doors will be locked following this half-hour session.

  • Next 20 minutes: Group sitting. This period will commence with one soft strike of the meditation bowl. This can be a guided or silent meditation period. It ends with three strikes of the bowl. 

  • Next 20 minutes: Dharma offering. This talk or reading is offered by the group practice leader.

  • Next 15 minutes: Dharma discussion. This is an opportunity for participants to engage in mindful speaking and listening as we share our insights, experiences, and questions relating to dharma practice. When we practice deep listening, we help to create a calm and receptive environment.  When we practise mindful speaking, we learn to identify our motivations for being heard. The acronym THINK is a handy guideline: T: Is it True? H: Is it Helpful? I: Is it Insightful? N: Is it Necessary? K: Is it Kind? Please remember that whatever is shared during dharma discussion time is confidential. 

  • Closing: Announcements and Dedication of Merit. All sessions end with a brief dedication. This is the wish that the blessings that arise from our practice — such as compassion, peace, wisdom, clarity of mind — will benefit those around us. The session ends with three strikes of the bowl.

Bowing

Bowing (optional) occurs after the third strike of the bowl.  You may see some participants bowing to each other during the discussion period. Bowing is a show of respect and gratitude for each other and for the teachings. It is not a sign of worship; it is a call to mindfulness and a way of saying thank you. Bowing is completely optional and left to the individual.

Dana

Sittings are offered freely under an ancient Buddhist tradition known as dana. Dana (a Pali word meaning generosity) is a 2,600-year-old tradition that ensures that no one is barred from receiving teachings for economic reasons. There will be a donation box at each sitting and you may confidentially offer an amount of your choosing. Your contributions help to ensure that others will be able to receive teachings in the future.

“Supported by the Sangha Body
my practice flows easier,
allowing me to swiftly realize
my great determination to love and understand all beings.

— Thich Nhat Hanh