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

Consider joining our email list to stay informed of upcoming retreats, social gatherings, sitting groups, and Buddhist events happening near you.

Meditate In-Person

For updates on meditation groups and announcements about retreats and other subjects, please subscribe to our email list.

Monday Night In-Person Group Meditation

We meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ventura. The church is located at 3290 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, CA 93003. We meet in classroom 13. There is ample parking in the church parking lot. A greeter in the parking lot will direct you to our meeting room and can answer any questions you may have. A disabled ramp is available.

Please arrive by 6:45 to settle in before we lock the gate at 7 p.m.

The meditation period begins promptly at 7:00. We meditate for 30 minutes, then break for conversation and connection before the dhamma talk and discussion. The group adjourns at 8:30 p.m. Due to Covid-19, we are requesting that everyone be vaccinated. Masks are optional

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Wednesday in Ventura

We meet outdoors for a one-hour meeting of meditation and discussion at 11:30 at the Arroyo Verde Park, located at 5000 Foothill Rd, Ventura. Bring a chair, blanket or cushion to sit on. Layered clothing, a water bottle, and sunscreen are recommended.

We meditate for twenty minutes and take turns leading the group. We gather towards the south end of the park, just past the entrance. Turn left into the first parking lot and park. Our group gathers about 100 feet across the grass on a slight incline under a shady tree. You will see a circle of chairs where you can join us. There is no fee for entering the park on weekdays. Please remember to drive slowly.

Meditate Online

The Barre Center for Buddhist Studies offers a 45-minute, daily, online sit through Zoom at 7:30 a.m. PST

Insight Meditation Center offers daily guided meditation through YouTube.


Download the INSIGHT TIMER APP to time your meditation as well as being able to reach out to others who are meditating at the same time, post comments to fellow meditators, and access a large library of guided meditations. This app also helps you chart your daily progress.

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 us if you are interested in attending.

Book Club

Occasionally we offer a monthly book club that features prominent books on Buddhism. Join our email list to be notified when the next group will begin. This is a welcoming, inclusive group which 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