In “Why Should I Meditate?” renowned Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard discusses consciousness, training the mind, and misconceptions about meditation in answersing this most important question.

“The Dharma of Distraction” by Judy Lief, January 19, 2018 , an article that addresses the suffering that comes with our distracted and screen-addicted culture.

Online Magazines

Tricycle: The Buddhist Review,  first magazine  to present Buddhist perspectives to a Western readership. Tricycle is a widely read vehicle for the dissemination of Buddhist views and values.

Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly  published by Lion’s Roar, which is an independent non-profit foundation whose stated mission is “to communicate Buddhist wisdom and practices in order to benefit people’s lives and our society, and to support the development of Buddhism in the modern world.”


In this talk  Vipassana teacher and co-founder of Insight Meditation Society, Joseph Goldstein,  explains key concepts in Buddhism in a pragmatic and accessible way.  

In “Commitment to Enlightenment,” Shaila Catherine discusses the purpose of a meditative practice. She is the.founder of Insight Meditation South Bay(IMSB) and the on-line Bodhi Course.

In this hour long presentation, evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright author of “Why Buddhism is True,”  integrates psychology and neuroscience to explain what Buddhist meditation does and why it is so profoundly helpful. 

Online Meditation Course

Insight Meditation Center guiding teacher, Gil Fronsdal, offers a 5-week instructional series for beginning meditators. These classes provide a good overview of insight meditation practice as well as many guided meditation sessions which help the student learn how to establish and sustain a daily meditation practice.


“Mindfulness in Plain English” by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana, is  a clear, pragmatic guide to mindfulness meditation, written for a newcomer to meditation. Available for on-line reading or purchase.

“The Issue at Hand” PDF by Gil Fronsdal, essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice. An inspiring and very accessible compilation of essays and edited talks on the Buddhist practice of mindfulness.

“What the Buddha Taught” by Walpola Rahula remains a classic introductory yet comprehensive book on Buddhism even though it was published decades ago. Ideal for those who want an education in core Buddhist concepts. Free copy available here 


Much of the information provided in this glossary comes to us through the generosity of Access to Insight and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Contributions to this glossary by members of Insight Meditation of Ventura (IMV) are indicated in parentheses. Insight Meditation of Ventura is deeply grateful for the opportunity to make this content available as a way to contribute to the turning of the wheel of the Dhamma for current and future generations.

Go to Glossary

Insight Meditation Communities

Neighboring sanghas

Ventura Buddhist Center
Offers evening meditation and half-day Zen retreats once a month.

Open Door Sangha of Santa Barbara
Offers meditation sitting groups, half-day retreats as well as weekend retreats.

White Heron Sangha, San Luis Obispo
Offers meditation groups, mentoring, classes, and retreats.

Places to Meditate

Lay retreat and study centers

Spirit Rock, an Insight Meditation Center
Woodacre, California
Classes, retreats, Dharma training programs.

Insight Retreat Center
Outside Santa Cruz, California
Silent vipassana retreats offered throughout the year.

California Vipassana Center
North Fork and Twentynine Palms, California
Offering courses in body sweeping as taught by S. N. Goenka.

Insight Meditation Society
Barre, Massachusetts
One-week to 3-month vipassana and metta retreats offered throughout the year at the retreat Center.
At the Forest Refuge, experience meditators can do longer-term retreats.

Barre Center for Buddhist Studies
Barre, Massachusetts
Residential and online programs.

Cloud Mountain
Located in southwest Washington
Non-sectarian Buddhist center hosting residential retreats year round.


A directory of bhikkhuni monasteries in the U.S. and abroad.Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Abhayagiri: In the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah
Redwood Valley, California
Day and overnight visits.

Metta Forest Monastery
Valley Center, California
Day and overnight visits.

Bhavana Society
High View, West Virginia
Sutta and Pali classes, youth and family retreats, 3- to 6-night retreats for individuals.

Meditation Retreats at Other Locations

The Buddhist Insight Network provides an extensive listing of sanghas worldwide that offer retreats at locations outside dedicated meditation centers:

Helpful Links

Audio Dharma of Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California offers an extensive library of Dharma talks from their teachers as well as visiting teachers.

Dharma Seed offers many talks from a variety of teachers with diverse teaching styles. Subjects can be searched through their directory. 

BuddhaNet is a Buddhist education and information network that offers a list of important Theravada sites.

Dhamma Lists, from Insight Meditation Center contains extensive information about Buddhism


Download the INSIGHT TIMER APP to meditate with us online, post comments to fellow meditators, encourage others, as well as access a large library of guided meditations. This app also helps you chart your daily progress. To join us, search the app for our group Insight Meditation Ventura.


New to meditation?

We invite you to explore.


“A jug fills drop by drop.”

Dhammapada Dhp IX PTS: 122