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 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, Patricia Kochel – Secretary, Miles Glazner – Treasurer, Eileen McNally- Member-at-Large, Andrew Bassuk – 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

We meet in person on Mondays, but we also offer a Zoom link for those unable to attend in person. Please be advised that we have revised the Zoom link, effective September 13, 2021.

Format: Guided meditation, Dhamma talk followed by discussion and sharing.

The meeting ID: 820 1353 8875
Passcode: awakening

For updates on the Monday evening group and announcements about retreats and other subjects, please subscribe to our email list which is also located on the Community page.

Location and Time

We meet on Mondays from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at the lower level of the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 101 S. Laurel Street, Ventura. There are two entrances. The entrance near the street has stairs. The one on the side of the building has no stairs. The meditation period begins promptly at 7:00 for a 30 minutes of silent meditation. We break at 7:30 for fifteen minutes of conversation and connection. A dharma talk and discussion follow. The group adjourns at 8:30 p.m. Feel free to bring your own beverage. Due to Covid-19, we are requesting that everyone be vaccinated. Masks are optional.


Centrally located in Midtown, we have a large quiet room. Street parking is available.

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

We periodically offer half-day retreats on Sundays, There are alternating periods of guided and silent meditation as well meditation instruction and dharma talks. These mini-retreats not only strengthen our practice but also provide the opportunity to build friendships with like-minded practitioners. Please contact Brook 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