Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville (IMCC) is dedicated to the practice of mindfulness-awareness, also known as Insight or Vipassana Meditation. IMCC provides a full program of weekly meditation, ongoing classes, daylong programs, and retreats.
Just for Women
“Love, Sexuality, and Awakening”
A Half-Day Retreat with Buddhist Nun
Ajahn Thanasanti Sunday, April 26
Ajahn (Amma) Thanasanti returns to IMCC April 26 to lead women in a beginning exploration of love and sexuality as aspects of their journey to health, well-being, and full embodiment on the path to awakening. The half-day workshop is open to anyone who self-identifies as female.
“Understanding desire is a pivotal part of understanding Dhamma,” says Amma, who was ordained as a Bikkhuni in 2010 after 19 years as a nun. “The themes of love, sexuality, and awakening touch the roots of our longing.”
Past participants have highly recommend Amma’s women-only retreats. “The experience of being with a group of very different and very supportive women, exploring love and sexuality in the context of awakening was rich beyond all expectation,” one retreatant said. “Honestly,” said another, “consider sitting this retreat as an act of love and respect to yourself and all those to whom you relate.”
The afternoon will include guided and silent meditation, dharma talk, and small and large group discussions. Participants will leave with the knowledge that, in Amma's words, "Our longing for love and our experience of sexuality are part of our spiritual practice, important and relevant to our health, well-being, and full embodiment of awakening--independent of whether we are celibate or sexually active. As we understand our longings and what underpins them, we can bring more choice and resources to how we navigate what arises. We are not alone in navigating this complex, rich and vital territory."
Indeed, as one participant describes it, “This retreat was less about ‘commercial’ topics of love and sexuality and more deep contemplation and dialogue about the core of me. What is the experience of connection? What is the experience of embodiment and wakefulness in connection? What is the truth of myself in relation with myself? What is the truth of myself in relationship with other?”
Known for blending rigor with gentle, loving encouragement, Amma provides a balance between fierce holding of the dhamma and compassion, tenderness, and empowerment. The founder of Awakening Truth, a nonprofit that supports a Bhikkuni training monastery for Buddhist nuns, she has been teaching meditation internationally since 1996. (Learn more about Amma and her spiritual path.)
Amma will also lead a meditation and dharma talk--open to men and women--during our regular Tuesday session April 28 from 7:30-9:00pm; there is no charge to attend, but dana (donation) for Amma is welcome.
Date: April 26
Time: 1:30-5:30 PM
Location: Sojourners United Church of Christ, 1017 Elliott Ave., CVille.
Cost: $20 toward space rental. Dana (donation) will be accepted for Amma.
Scholarships available. Online registration required.
Chairs provided; bring a cushion or mat if you prefer.
Contact: Sharon Beckman-Brindley at email@example.com.
Note: IMCC guiding teacher Sharon Beckman-Brindley will join Amma June 9 through 16 to teach “Love, Sexuality, and Awakening: A Women's Retreat” in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. (Learn more.)
NY Times Bestselling Author Will Guide Meditation and Discuss Its Proven Benefits at Blue Ridge Prison Project Benefit April 24
Can practicing meditation stimulate the human brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth? According to New York Times bestselling author Rick Hanson, PhD,the answer is yes. Hanson, well known for combining scientific findings and historically based spiritual insights, will offer guided meditation and discussion Friday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Unity of Charlottesville, 2825 Hydraulic Road.
Unity is co-hosting Hanson’s appearance with Insight Meditation of Charlottesville to raise money for the Blue Ridge Prison Project – a program that has brought weekly Mindful Meditation classes to Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women since 1994. A $10 donation at the door is requested.
In his work, Hanson has examined breakthroughs in neuroscience against a backdrop of insights gleaned from research on thousands of years of Mindful Meditation practice. He is the author of Buddha’s Brain, Hardwiring Happiness, Just One Thing andMother Nurture. A psychologist, he serves as senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California-Berkeley, and is founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.
“We’re grateful that Dr. Hanson is donating his time to a project that helps incarcerated women cope better with stressful situations and give them tools that can be used for a better and more successful life when they’re released,” says Allie Rudolph, a guiding teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville.
Hanson’s presentation will include guided meditation, discussion and Q&A, and refreshments. “This is a great opportunity to learn more about Mindful Meditation in a way that will also help others,” says Unity co-minister Rev. Patricia Gulino Lansky. For more information, visit www.imeditation.org or www.unitycville.org.
Space Still Available
Still Thinking about Our Residential Retreat, May 8-15?
It's not too late to register for our weeklong residential led byChas DiCapua, Pat Coffey, and Sharon Beckman-Brindley. Once again, the setting is Serenity Ridge in beautiful Nelson County, which attendees last fall reported as a stunning and restorative setting for deepening their practice. Online registration is still open. Space is limited and rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. For more information about the spring retreat and other IMCC events, please visit our Events page.
IMCC provides a welcoming environment for people to engage in Insight Meditation and related practices. IMCC offers ongoing weekly group meditation sessions and dharma talks as well as a variety of educational opportunities designed to increase the understanding, knowledge, and practice of Insight Meditation. IMCC is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible. These events are open to all people, whether they are newcomers, regular visitors, or members (see below).
Insight or Vipassana Meditation draws on the Buddhist tradition and the central techniques taught by the Buddha upon his enlightenment. IMCC embraces this tradition yet is nonsectarian and open to anyone with a desire to practice meditation.
Participation is free. Attendees are invited contribute donations or dana to help cover space rental, web hosting, and other expenses. Fees are required for some retreats and classes. Donations do sustain us and are always welcome.
Membership in IMCC
In June 2014, the IMCC Board of Directors implemented a new Membership Structure designed to encourage community participation, with the goals of helping to sustain our mission and activities and providing opportunities for people to deepen their practice. As always, however, everyone is welcome at IMCC events, whether a member or not.
Everyone who received our bimonthly e-newsletter will continue to do so, and new contacts may sign up online to receive it without becoming members (see above).
What does becoming a Member mean? Registering as a “Member” of IMCC is an expression of one’s commitment to:
1. Maintain a regular meditation practice, including a commitment to integrating the principles of mindfulness-awareness into one’s daily life
2. Volunteer service to our community in keeping with one’s skills, personal interests, and availability
3. Make a financial contribution to our community as one’s personal circumstances permit.
Who can become a member? Anyone can become a member, provided he or she embraces the three Membership Commitments.
Why become a member? Membership in IMCC is a commitment to your practice and your community. These are some of the benefits:
• To deepen your practice by greater participation in IMCC.
• To have the chance to offer Dana by volunteering for IMCC.
• To access early registration for workshops and retreats.
• To receive individual welcome meeting with an IMCC teacher.
• Access to the Members section of the IMCC website where Board meeting minutes and the budget will be posted.
Am I already a member? Unless you have visited imeditation.org and registered as a Member after June 15, 2014, you are not a member under the new Membership Structure. If you were registered in the past, you will continue to receive our e-blasts. But you must re-register to become a Member.
Who can answer other questions? If you have any questions about Membership in IMCC, please contact Board President Jeff Fracher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Practice of Dana: Making a Donation
IMCC relies on the time-honored tradition of dana, or generosity, to support its weekly programs and special events. Donations are used to cover expenses such as space rental, web hosting, supplies, and other costs. Attendees have opportunities to make a contribution at every event.
Tuesday Evening and Weekday Donations. IMCC accepts donations to offset its expenses at each Tuesday evening meditation and Dharma talk as well as at its weekday meditation sessions. This voluntary expression of gratitude for the teachings we receive helps cover space rental and other IMCC costs and support our dedicated teachers. Any offering is welcome, though none is required, and people typically contribute $5 to $15.
Other Opportunities to Donate. Individuals and corporations can make a tax-deductible annual, quarterly, or monthly contribution to help us. You may send a check made payable to IMCC in care of Maggie MacInnis, 8 Winchat Ln., Palmyra, VA 22963. To pay via credit card, debit card, or direct debit from your checking account, use our secure PayPal account (no service fee applied).
Yes, Donations Are Tax-Deductible. Contributions made before December 31 of each calendar year are tax-deductible for that year; you may request a receipt for tax purposes.
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Weekly Opportunities for IMCC Meditation
Tuesdays,7:30-9:00 pm, Meditation and Dharma Talk. JABA, 674 Hillsdale Dr., CVille. Free admission; donations welcome ($5 to $15 is customary).
Wednesdays,12-1 pm, Meditation and Discussion. Common Ground, Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th St. NW #219, CVille (enter at left). Free admission; donations welcome.
Fridays, 12-1 pm, Meditation and Discussion. Common Ground, Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th St. NW #219, CVille (enter at left). Free admission; donations welcome.
Please check our EVENTS page to learn more about classes, retreats, and other offerings.
is a nonprofit organization established in 1996. Its primary mission is to
promote the instruction and practice of Buddhist Insight Meditation and related
teachings that awaken an individual’s natural wisdom and compassion. IMCC is
located in Charlottesville, Virginia.