Welcome to the Meditation Circle

Last modified on 2017-08-16 04:01:12 GMT. 3 comments. Top.




Welcome. The Meditation Circle is a meditation group in the Buddhist tradition, practicing vipassana or insight meditation. We’re based in Charleston, West Virginia, and meet every Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd.

Those wishing instruction in basic, breath-centered Buddhist meditation  are welcome to arrive from 5:30 to 6 p.m., along with seasoned meditators who may wish to sit longer or for whom that time period is better for their schedules.

We’re a lay support group for people interested in meditation or who wish to deepen their practice through the support of a meditation sangha. Our members come from a wide variety of spiritual traditions and backgrounds. You do not need to be Buddhist to enjoy the benefits of a meditation practice. The circle’s facilitators are not teachers and we encourage people to seek out seasoned teachers to further their practice. Cushions, meditation benches and chairs are available or you are welcome to bring your own cushion, if you wish.


The time from 5:30 to 6 p.m. p.m.. is set aside for basic instruction in sitting, standing, and walking meditation for those new to meditation, along with discussion about maintaining a regular meditation practice. Regular meditators are also welcome to come and sit during this period.

From 6 to 7 p.m, time is set aside for seated meditation. The format consists of two rounds of meditation, each lasting about 20 minutes, with a  5 minute period of standing or walking meditation between rounds.  We close the evening with a short Metta meditation. (Metta is the Pali term for loving-kindness or friendliness.) There is an opportunity for questions or discussion about practice at the end of the meditation period. Feedback welcome!

Those new to meditation practice may visit our Resource page for more information about the type of meditation we practice at the Meditation Circle.

There is no cost to join the circle. We do accept donations in a box titled ‘dana’ to offer to the Unitarians for their kind use of the space and also to help defray the costs of occasionally bringing Buddhist monks to town.

Come join the Circle! (Although sometimes it resembles an oblong or parallelogram, but the Meditation Parallelogram of Charleston didn’t have quite the right sound.)

DIRECTIONS TO MEDITATION GROUP: Click here. SUBSCRIBE TO E-MAIL NOTICES: Click here SUBSCRIBE TO RSS NEWS FEEDS: Click here – See more at: http://themeditationcircle.com/about#sthash.cLgUyp8R.dpuf



18 thoughts on “About”

  1. I’ve heard about the benefits of meditation and would like to learn more about it. Clearly I’m a novice and I don’t want to disrupt the group.
    Above it says the best night for beginners is Tuesday, during the guided meditation session. I’d like to know if it would help to arrive a little early, or would you prefer me to show up at that scheduled time?

  2. Dear Andrea: If you come at 5:45 pm, Thad, one of the group’s facilitators, can take you through some basic meditation guidelines. You might also check out Bhante Gunaratana’s book, “Mindfulness in Plain English,” which is something of a Buddhist classic primer on starting up a meditation practice: http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/mindfulness-plain-english/ Hope to see you at the Meditation Circle! | Douglas

  3. I’m so excited to learn of this group and the meditation classes. My wife and I are new avid students of Buddhism. Hope we can come and add this to our lives!

  4. Would love to have you and your wife join the circle, Matt! We’re there every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Congregation building.

  5. I would like to attend meetings as a beginner. Is the group still meeting as described on the web page? Thanks.

  6. We are still meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Unitarians. Beginners we welcome! Would love to have you join the circle.

  7. I am very interested in learning this. I am very nervous and uncomfortable about going new places. I really think this would benefit me tremendously. Is there someone I could talk to about attending here at the meditation circle please.

  8. I practice the Theravada tradition am I welcome to come and practice? Would I benefit joining this group ?

  9. I greatly appreciate all you are doing for people. Bless you for all you are doing. I appreciate that you are teaching meditation without preaching. It is very wise to allow people access to knowledge without the burden of “beliefs” lol On the other hand one “Buddha” called his disciples that learned meditation and rejected the glory of God(s) and compassion “bald headed thieves”. The thing to remember is that both Yoda and Darth Vader use the same meditation techniques. I was first introduced to what I will call western pseudo-Buddhism of Alan Watt , Terrance McKenna and others. I was turned off from Buddhism because I am very religious and I knew their atheist dribble was false. When I then became deeply involved in Tibetan Buddhism with the guidance of genuine Buddhist Masters born in Nepal I found that not only do these Buddhist understand faith and believe in God – their beliefs were virtually identical to the old West Virginia Primitive Baptist-Cathar-Freemason religion in which I was raised. My Maw Maw was born in Boone County 1887 and she was a Gypsy – Scott like many of these people. She was descended from old traditions of Rosicrucian meditation and Cathar Christian culture now near extinct. My Maw Maw’s explanation of the infinite Bardos of reality- demigods- Elves and the migration of souls was almost identical Tibetan Buddhism I learned. Teaching meditation in this current cycle of Kali is perhaps the most noble activity a sentient being can pursue. Again thank you and Bravo! – regards Johnny

  10. Dear Cathy, Sorry for the lateness in replying. We are a sort of meditation support group, in the Buddhist tradition, though the group’s founders are not Buddhist teachers. We can, though, offer suggestions on resources on the Buddha’s teachings. Check out this site’s ‘Resources’ page and also come join the circle some Tuesday and raise that very question. Have a mindful 2016!

  11. Interested in learning how to become more mindful and happy to find your group right here in CRW. Wondering if the meditation practice you follow is related to/similar to the Transcendental meditation practice I’ve been hearing so much about lately.
    Thank you! Hoping to check your Group out soon.

  12. Dear Jennifer: We would love to have you stop by and join the circle. We practice breath-centered meditation in the Buddhist tradition, though you need not be a Buddhist to learn and practice this kind of meditation. For a good introduction to this kind of meditation, check out the classic primer on meditation “Mindfulness in Plain English,” by Bhante Gunaratana or John Haspel’s book “The Truth of Happiness” (which can also be studied as a weekly online course), which situates breath-centered concentration and insight meditation in the context of the Buddha’s teachings, if you wished to explore further.

  13. Do you ever sit as a group on weekends? My wife has been a practitioner for awhile and I am just starting my practice. We would love to attend but live in Bluefield so weeknight travel is prohibitive.

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A meditation group in the Buddhist insight tradition, based in Charleston, W.Va.