Getting Started with Meditation

What Is Meditation?

The word for meditation in Sanskrit is “shamatha” (Meditation is an ancient practice of self-discovery, primarily from the Buddhist tradition, that is rooted in the simple, but revolutionary premise that every human being has the ability to cultivate the mind’s inherent stability, clarity and strength in order to be more awake and compassionate in everyday life.

Meditation is a way to make the mind more stable and clear. From this point of view, meditation is not purely a Buddhist practice; it’s a practice that anyone can do. It doesn’t tie in with a particular spiritual tradition. If we want to undo confusion, we’re going to have to be responsible for learning what our own mind is and how it works, no matter what beliefs we hold.

(shămă tă) in Sanskrit, which means “peaceful abiding.” Peaceful abiding describes the mind as it naturally is. The word “peace” tells the whole story. This doesn’t mean that we’re peacefully ignoring things. It means that the mind is able to be present, without conflicting with natural reality.

Where to Start?

We offer a path of meditation practice, contemplative arts and social engagement oriented towards modern life.

Both the Wednesday Evening Meditation and Sunday Morning Meditation provide free meditation instruction and an ongoing support for a regular sitting practice. These sessions are an opportunity to meditate in a supportive group setting, to learn how to apply the principles of meditation to everyday life, and to meet and mingle with those interested in mindfulness meditation. Donations gratefully accepted.


Wednesday Evening Meditation   6:30 – 8:30 pm PT

Register here to receive the zoom link.
This evening gathering is open to all, for beginners to seasoned practitioners. We start with a short meet and greet, then move to guided meditation, a contemplation and reflection circle. Occasionally, we have a surprise contemplative art practice included.  

$10 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)


Sunday Morning Meditation  9:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

Register here to receive the Zoom link.
The Group Meditation practice alternates between sitting and walking meditation. Join us any time during the session and stay as long as you wish. Open to all, new or seasoned practitioner. We start with opening chants at 9:00 am and move into guided group meditation practice at approximately 9:15 am and begin sitting practice alternating with walking meditation. At approximately 10:45, a short contemplation is offered and then we break into smaller reflection circle groups, ending back together to close. 

 $10 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)


Meditation Retreats

Click here to learn more about our retreats in the city or check the monthly calendar here


Recommended Readings

Please support independent bookstores. Available at our book store in Eagle Rock or at Shambhala Publications

Pema Chödrön:

  • How To Meditate
  • The Wisdom of No Escape
  • Start Where You Are


Chögyam Trungpa:

  • Meditation in Action
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
  • Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior
  • Smile at Fear


Available at our bookstore in Eagle Rock or online at


More Meditation Programs

Suitable for those new to meditation and Shambhala


Families & Children Fall Semester [In Person]

September 11th—December 11th

One Saturday afternoon a month “Present Parenting” and several children’s groups will meet to experience “Family Groups, Fall Semester, 2021”. Continue »

Sadhana of Mahamudra: Monthly Community Practice [Online]

with Darryl Burnham

October 6th—December 4th

The Sadhana of Mahamudra is both a practice and a teaching on overcoming obstacles and degraded spiritual practices. Open to all! Continue »



Review of the Eagle Rock Meditation Center:

This place is amazing. I went in for one of their Wednesday night open meditation and was so impressed with how awesome this place was. Everyone was really friendly and the environment was perfect for really centering yourself.

I came in because I had begun meditation on my own and after three weeks I was still having a hard time focusing my thoughts and was getting frustrated.

I came with a friend who was completely new to meditation and Jackie instructed us on how and what to d to meditate effectively. She answered all my questions and made me feel at ease that I couldn’t shut my mind down, reminding me to “be gentle” with myself.

A fantastic experience, I also loved that they practice open eye meditation, since I feel like it is more transferable to daily life, and walking meditation was awesome!

I’ll be back (:

I think I’ve found one of my favorite meditation spots in LA. Very deep, ritualized, and helpful. I went to their donation based open meditation in Sunday and it was perfect. So lucky I live nearby 🙂

The real treasure of the Westside Meditation Group is the community of people, or Sangha, you will meet there. They have always been welcoming, warm and generous to share their insight, without any of that creepy “new-agey” aftertaste which often accompanies exploring certain spiritual communities.

I highly recommend the WMG to anyone interested in an authentic and genuine meditation experience or to deepen one’s knowledge of Buddhism.

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Review of the Orange County Meditation Center

If you’re curious about meditation, don’t let nerves about coming alone or never having done it before stop you. Beginner or not, this is a great space to relive some stress, tap into your inner peace, and meet others that are also interested in self exploration. What a gem in Costa Mesa, providing the public with free meditation classes (donations are always welcome!). Gil and Marilyn are SO welcoming, and somehow manage to remember everyone’s names.

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