About Us

We are a diverse group of meditation practitioners dedicated to developing greater compassion, wisdom, equanimity and happiness through insight meditation and the teachings of Buddhism. We cultivate the essence of Buddhist wisdom in ways that are compatible with modern science, and applicable for everyone. Although we are anchored in Theravada Buddhism, one need not identify as a Buddhist to take part in these practices. We include people from any (or no) faith tradition. No experience is needed. Drop-ins are welcome.

Susan Pembroke, Guiding Teacher

Insight Meditation of Ventura’s founder and guiding teacher, Susan Pembroke, began meditating in 1986 and has studied with a number of teachers within the Buddhist Theravada tradition. She was drawn to the jhanas (states of concentration) and studied these meditative absorptions with Ayya Khema. Susan emphasizes body scanning, awareness of the rapid rising and disappearing of physical and mental states (the four foundations of mindfulness), the jhanas, and the development of insight.She teaches the Dharma under the tutelage of Rocky Mountain Insight’s Lucinda Green, Ph.D., who authorized her to teach. Dr. Green received Dharma transmission from Ruth Denison. Susan is a retired psychotherapist. She also founded the nonprofit Alliance for Bhikkhunis (AfB). The AfB was formed to support monastic Theravada women in the United States and abroad who are fully ordained or seeking ordination. One of Ayya Khema’s enduring concerns was the revival and support of the Bhikkhuni Sangha. The AfB is a continuation of her efforts.

Insight Meditation of Ventura Board of Directors

Marguerite Stouthamer – President Robin Lerner – Vice President Chris Imgrund – Secretary Miles Glazner – Treasurer Eileen McNally- Member-at-Large Patricia Kochel- Member-at-Large

Join Our Community
Subscribe to our email list

Consider signing up to our email list so that you can stay informed of upcoming retreats, social gatherings, sitting groups, and Buddhist events happening near you.

Meditate with Us
Monday Night Group Meditation

Before you arrive: You may want to arrive ten minutes early, so our greeter can tell you about the evening ahead. Wear comfortable clothes. While most in our group meditate sitting in chairs, there is room for you to sit or spread out on the floor.
We gather at 6:45 p.m. The meditation period begins promptly at 7 for a half hour silent meditation. We break at 7:30 for ten minutes of tea and socializing. A dharma talk and discussion follows. The group adjourns at 8:30 p.m.

Location & Time

Insight Meditation meets on Mondays from 6:45pm to 8:45pm at the First Methodist Church in Ventura.
1338 Santa Clara Street (near intersection with Main).


Centrally located between Downtown and Midtown.
We have a large quiet room, across the courtyard and upstairs in Wesley Hall.
The second floor is accessible by chairlift and there is a large parking lot as well as plenty of off-street parking.

Meditate With Us Online

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.

Connect With Us on Facebook

It helps to get a daily dose of Dharma via Facebook. On our page, you will also find information about local retreats, visiting teachers, online articles, and more.

Sunday Meditation, Munchies, and Mingling

We hold a once a month, half-day retreat on a Sunday each month at one of our member’s private home.These monthly events usually provide time for two 45-60 minute sits, and a Dharma talk followed by light refreshments and socializing. Please contact Deborah if you are interested in attending.

Book Club

We offer a monthly book club that features prominent Buddhist books. This welcoming, inclusive group provides a platform for studying Buddhism as well as learning how to apply the teachings to daily life. The group provides a unique opportunity to discuss your progress with caring, supportive meditators who are walking alongside you on this path. Please contact Patricia for information.

New to meditation?

We invite you to explore.


“I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.”

– Anguttara Nikaya