Past Events

Ayya Santussika
Passion and Dispassion
Taking Action in the World and Leaving the World Behind

When:  April 1, 2017, 9:30am - 4:30pm

Led by Ayya Santussika: Ven. Santussika Bhikkhuni is an American Theravadan Buddhist nun and abbess of Karuna Buddhist Vihara (Compassion Monastery) in Mountain View, California. She grew up on a farm in Indiana, raised two children and was a software engineer before ordaining as a Theravadan nun in 2005. She teaches Dhamma as it applies to life experience and serves on the Board of Buddhist Global Relief.

Four Foundations of Mindfulness Course Nov. 3 - Dec. 12
Beginning on November 3, 2019, Rebecca will cover the Satipatthana Sutta’s basic instructions for practicing with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: the Body, our Preferences, the Mind, and Dharma. The dates for this series, which will be presented during Alameda Sangha’s regular Sunday evening meetings, will be: November 3 & 10, and December 1 & 12.

Practice guides will be available at the meetings and online, and practice support will be available for those taking the full course. To arrange practice support, email Rebecca or use this Contact form. Drop ins are also welcome. Like all teachings and practice opportunities, this course is offered freely on a dana basis.

Meditation Daylong with Pauletta Chanco and Fresh!

When:  January 21, 2017, 9am - 4:30pm

Come and offer yourself the gift of moving into stillness for a day of practice and learning. In this day and age of too much to do, information overload, pressures to be social, caring for the family, stress at work, keeping up with social media, etc. etc. what is most needed is to learn the tools and practice for compassion towards oneself and others along with kindness, respect and acknowledgement for what can trip up the easeful flow of our buddhanature.

 We were very fortunate to have ASL interpreters for this event. If you are an trained ASL interpreter please consider joining our community of volunteers. More information here.

Guest Teacher, Mary Davis

January 1, 2017, 7pm-9pm

Mary Davis fell in love with meditation in 1997 and has practiced and studied in Tibetan traditions before coming to Insight Meditation ten years ago. She is one three co-leaders of Insight Richmond, a relatively new sangha in her hometown of Richmond. In addition. she is currently enrolled in Spirit Rock's Community Dharma Leader program, and teaches beginning meditation at Mission Dharma in San Francisco as well as serves on its Board of Directors. Mary has taken the lead in bringing mindfulness classes and sitting groups for staff and physicians at Kaiser San Francisco where she works as an administrative manager.

Stillness & Concentration
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 9 am to 4:30 pm

Led by Rebecca Dixon and Deb Kerr. 
Rebecca and Deb are regular teachers at the  Alameda Sangha. For more information read about them in our teachers section here.

Insights can occur when our minds become still enough for us to see the moment-by-moment nature of all experience. 

What is it like to really experience stillness? How can we pacify these restless minds and lay the groundwork for deepening concentration? 

In this day of silent practice with each other, we will weave together classic teaching and techniques to build a foundation of well-being, ease, and playfulness that supports skillful effort for unification of the mind

Turning the Mind Towards Happiness
Saturday, August 27, 9:30-4:30 pm 

Led by Sharda Rogell and Pauletta Chanco 
In this daylong, we have a precious opportunity to explore together the Buddha’s guidance on the importance and the way of turning the mind toward conditions that bring us happiness and ease rather than pain and distress. We will draw on the Buddha’s teaching of the “Second Arrow” and learn how to identify and interrupt difficult patterns of mind which allows for the heart to open in love and equanimity. The day will be held in silence as we engage in sitting and walking practices together, as well as engage in a deepening inquiry into the causes and conditions for our happiness and the ending of suffering. 


Dharma Study Workshop
The Satipatthana Sutta 
A 6-8 week study hosted by Pauletta Chanco
Thursday evenings 7-9 pm
May 26 - June 30, 2016

Please come and join me for an in-depth exploration of The Satipatthana Sutta or the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, a very important teaching of the Buddha. This is a DANA FREE workshop as my gift to all of you for your practice and for your generosity towards yourselves, the sangha and me. It will be a 6-8 week workshop so that we can really spend time with each of the foundations. We will also look at other profound explorations of the sutta by Analayo in his book The Path to Realization .

Hoping that our time together will be beneficial for ourselves and others.

Getting More Skillful with Vedana, a Daylong Meditation Retreat
Saturday February 6, 2016, 9:30 am - 5 pm

Led by: Bhikkhuni Sobhana
Feeling - Vedana in the Pali language of early Buddhism - is the subtle first point where any experience becomes accessible to the conscious mind. We learn from the Buddha’s teaching to see feeling as the trigger for craving, and also the easiest point where we can interrupt the cycle of craving, clinging and suffering. But how to get free from this cycle without an unhealthy detachment from our inner life? 

In this daylong retreat we will aim to more fully know and experience feelings. We will appreciate what feelings are good for, how feeling helps us to focus, to decide, and to intuitively look after our own welfare and the welfare of who we care about. This retreat continues Ayya Sobhana's investigation of fundamental Dhamma in the light of modern neuroscience and new thinking about emotion. 

There will be periods of sitting and walking meditation, Dhamma reflections, and time for questions and answers.

Ayya Sobhana
 is the Prioress of Aranya Bodhi, a new community for monastic women located on the Sonoma Coast of California. Together with Ayya Tathaaloka Theri, Ayya Sobhana has been deeply involved in the recent restoration of Bhikkhuni full ordination in the Theravada tradition. 

Ayya Sobhana has meditated and trained with Bhante Henepola Gunaratana since 1989. Her primary practice is the Eightfold Noble Path, that is, integration of meditation with ethical living and compassionate relationships for the sake of liberation.

 Please read more about Ayya Sobhana here

Guest Speaker - Ayya Tathaaloka 
Sunday, December 6, 2015. 7-9pm

Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni is an American-born member of the Buddhist Monastic Sangha with a background in Zen and Theravadan Buddhism. In 2010​ she ​co-founded a ​simple​ off-grid women's monastic ​retreat​ on the Sonoma Coast​​ named Aranya Bodhi: Awakening Forest Hermitage​. 

She continues her work for the revival of the Bhikkhuni Sangha as an integral part of the Four-fold​ Sangha of the Buddha through scholarship of Buddhist women's history or "her-story," together with grass-roots activism. With the ten year anniversary of the Dhammadharini in 2015, she is working to establish a permanent bhikkhuni's community monastery in our area, that the sangha may put down roots in the community, and have a good, solid base both to train new women aspirants and to share Dhamma widely. See:

A Day of Refuge with Lulu Cook and Rebecca Dixon
Saturday, December 12, 2015.  9:30 am - 4:30 pm 
Offer yourself the gift of serenity during this often hectic season with a day surrounded by the Triple Gems of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.  

Dharma talks will provide practical ways to use these teachings, and there will be time for group inquiry and personal exploration through silent meditation. 

Please arrive 15 minutes early to get settled so we can begin on time. Tea will be provided. Bring a sack lunch, and your own sitting equipment if you plan to sit on the floor. Plenty of comfortable chairs are available.  
How To Be An Earthling
Mindfulness Meditation and Modern Science:
A Path of Self-Liberation and Amazement with Wes Nisker

Together we made creative use of classic Buddhist meditation techniques in order to explore and embody our lives as interconnected earthlings. We examind the evolutionary origin of our body and emotions; experienced our nature "as" nature; practiced traditional Buddhist reflections on death and dying; all the while exploring the tricky delusions of mind and the mystery of consciousness itself. And enjoyed plenty of poetry, and a little crazy wisdom as well.

When: Saturday, August 22, 2015, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Buena Vista Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda
Led by: Wes Nisker

Wes Nisker has practiced Buddhist meditation for over 35 years with various teachers in Asia and the West. He is the author of the bestselling books Buddha's Nature; The Big Bang, the Buddha, and the Baby Boom;and Essential Crazy Wisdom, and the founder and co-editor of the Buddhist journal "Inquiring Mind." Wes is a teacher at Spirit Rock and also teaches retreats and workshops internationally.Visit his website for more information.

Fifth Annual Sangha Picnic
The annual Sangha Potluck Picnic was held at Sunday August 23, 2015 from 5-6:30 pm at McKinley Park, 2165 Buena Vista Avenue, Alameda. 

Together and with new friends we enjoyed our lovely community, enjoy delicious food and even practiced a little mindfulness of eating. Thank you all for your wonderful contributions.

Stable Heart – Stable Climate
A Meditation Daylong
This daylong is a Buddhist response to climate change

Join Ayya Santacitta ( Ayya Santussika (, two Theravadan Buddhist nuns, for a day of exploration and cultivation. We will use the Buddha’s core teachings to bring forth the inner strength and resilience to wisely respond to the most important issue of our times. Connecting to our own true purpose and to one another, we rise together to a higher level of understanding, stability and action.

Also, Isabelita Papa, a wonderful Qigong teacher, will be offering movement teachings.

When: Saturday, June 27, 2015, 9:30 am to 5 pm
Where: Buena Vista United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave,  Alameda, California

Please bring a vegetarian dish to share with the nuns for the meal at 12:00 noon. Since the beginning of Buddhism over 2500 years ago, Buddhist nuns and monks have depended on almsfood. In this spirit, you are invited to bring 
food to offer and to share with others.

Meditation in Movement and Stillness

Come and spend the day exploring the fruits of the interconnected practices of yoga and meditation. Increased body awareness, concentration, and overall mindfulness are some of the many benefits that can come from incorporating both practices into one's life.

Yoga is meditation in action. Opening the body, using the breath, and moving inwards brings a stable and grounded mind that is less likely to chase after mental distractions. Join us to experience how yoga helps settle the mind into stillness for sitting meditation and how the two mechanisms for concentration complement one another.

Led by: Pauletta Chanco and Dina Hondrogen
When: May 25, 2015, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Island Yoga, 911 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA 

Please bring a bag lunch and wear comfortable clothing. There are 14 places available. And please come 15 minutes early to settle in. This event is given on a donation basis to to provide an opportunity to practice generosity and to make teachings available to all. 

Deepening Your Practice
Richard Shankman and Pauletta Chanco offer you a day to deepen your practice. They will guide you in a day of sitting and walking meditation. Both beginning and experienced mediators are welcome. 

Pauletta is thrilled and honored to to offer Richard's wisdom, deep kindness, and compassion.Richard Shankman is one of Pauletta's primary teachers. She learned concentration practice from him and he was instrumental in helping her cope with the reality of leaving her family, dear ones in the sangha, friends and acquaintances through death, during retreats that she sat with him in the last two years, particularly during the peak of her cancer. For more information about Pauletta go here. For more information about Richard's organization Metta Dharma go here.

Three Teachers Daylong
The Roots of Suffering: Greed, Hatred and Delusion

Come and explore the wisdom teachings of the Buddha with our three dharma teachers.  The day will be in silence, including lunch.  We will be guided in sitting and walking meditations in addition to the dharma talks on the topic of The Roots of Suffering. Tea will be available in the social hall, where we can eat and do walking meditation.

We welcome experienced and beginning mediators. 

Sangha Picnic
The fourth Annual Sangha picnic was held on Sunday October 12  at McKinley Park. Wonderful time friends and family, not to mention the delicious food.

Saturday, September 20, a daylong meditation retreat with Aloka nuns 
Sad Globe by John LeGear on Flicker Share
Bringing Kindness to Our World
Ayya Anandabodhi and Sister Jayati will lead us in a meditation daylong. They will guide us in sitting and walking in meditation, and offer us dharma teaching on metta and compassion. 

Ayya Anandabodhi and Sister Jayati are Aloka Vihara nuns. For more information on Aloka Vihara please visit their website at

We will be together from 9:30-5:00, with a break for lunch. Meditation will begin at 9:30. Please come a little early to settle in. 

The daylong will be held at our usual meeting place, the United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda.

Saturday, May 17, 2014,  a daylong mediation retreat 

Exploring the Buddha's Teachings
Welcome to experienced and beginning spiritual seekers and mediators.

Come and explore the wisdom teachings of the Buddha, mainly the cultivation of wisdom and the transformation of big and small suffering. Be prepared to move into difficult places with the support of the sangha. 

Meditation Daylong
C o n c e n t r a t i o n
Rebecca Dixon and Deb Kerr lead a day of practice to help strengthen our concentration and explore the peace it brings. The day was held in silence, with periods of instruction and sitting and walking meditation. 

This retreat was suitable for people at all levels of experience.

When: March 29, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda, CA. 

Meditation Daylong
Deepening One's Practice
This retreat was suitable for people at all levels of experience.

Paulette Chanco and Baruch Golden lead a day of continuous, silent practice with alternating periods of sitting, walking, and dharma talks

Held on Saturday, February 22, from 9am to 4:30pm at the
United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda

Sangha Picnic
The third Annual Sangha picnic was held on Sunday August 11 at McMcKinley Park. Wonderful time friends and family, not to mention the delicious food. 
Deepening Our Practice
Saturday, June 29 from 9am to 1pm,United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda, CA

This opportunity to practice with all four Alameda Sangha teachers, Pauletta Chanco, Rebecca Dixon, Baruch Golden and Deb Kerr was of the following format: a brief dharma talk by Pauletta and Rebecca, and meditations led by Baruch and Debra. The rest of the retreat will be spent in silent meditation.

Dharma Talk by the Nuns of Aloka Vihara

On December 2  Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Anandabodhi spoke to us on the Dharma. These nuns practice in the traditions of the Thai Forest Monastery  They offer regular opportunities to hear the dharma and practice at their monastary in Sunset District. For more information about their order please their website: Aloka Vihara Nuns 

Outdoor Meditation - Suspended for the Winter
John, a sangha member, has kindly organized a weekly outdoor sit at the shoreline bird sanctuary in Alameda.
Please join us on Tuesdays at 4:30. We meet on the deck east of Broadway, adjoining the shoreline foot path.
Alternate access is at 2812 Bayview Drive via a gravel path between the houses in this South shore neighborhood.

Meditation Daylong 
On November 10, our three teachers, Rebecca, Anthony and Pauletta will offer a day of silent meditation at the Buena Vista United Methodist Church. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our practice.  

Sangha Picnic
The second Annual Sangha picnic was held on Sunday August 26 at McMcKinley Park, 2165 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda. We had a wonderful time with our friends and fellow travelers..


The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness from the Satipatthana Sutta. Deepen your meditation practice by exploring the five lists of "dhammas" or mental qualities. They the Four Noble Truths, the Seven Factors of Awakening, the Six Sense-Spheres, the Five Aggregates, and the Five Hindrances. 

This 5 week workshop is offered by Baruch Golden and Pauletta Chanco. 
Please join them on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Buena Vista United Methodist Church. 
The workshop will be held on the following Thursdays:
May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14 and June 21. 

Daylong Meditation

Deepen your practice with the opportunity to spend an extended period in meditation. 
Both sitting and walking meditation will be practiced. 

Meditation guides and dharma reflections by Anthony Rodgers and Pauletta Chanco.

The event is provided on a donation basis to encourage the ancient practice of "dana" or generosity. 

Saturday, June 2 from Noon to 6pm

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

A study of the form of meditation practice which the Buddha called "the direct path ... for the disappearance of pain and grief." This course was based on the Satipatthana Sutta and was designed to give you a better understanding of the heart of the Buddha's teachings, a working method for making life better. 

This 4-week course will be held on the following Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:30:
Jan 28, Feb 4, Feb 11, and Feb 18, 2012 at Island Yoga, 911 Central Avenue, Alameda.

The course was offered by Baruch Golden and Pauletta Chanco.

Day-Long Rejuvenation
Anthony and Pauletta will lead a day of sitting and walking meditation, and yoga. 

Come rejuvenate and retrain your mind. Your family and friends will enjoy the benefits of a calmer mental and physical states whether they join you or not. 

Saturday, Nov. 5th, Noon to 6 pm at Island Yoga. 

Being With - Working with Grief

5 consecutive Thursdays starting October 13
7-9pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Ave.

Includes on October 27 a viewing of the film "Gifts of Grief" and discussion with the film maker.

Mind Training and 
The Art of Happiness

Taught by Pauletta Chanco, October 1 and 8,  from 1-3 pm  

In the Dalai Lama's book The Art of Happiness, when asked by a psychologist interviewing him whether happiness was truly possible for anyone, he responded by saying, 'Yes, with mind training.' 

There will be a mediation sitting each session and teaching on the important practices of observing causes suffering and of letting go.

Recommended reading: 
The Art of Happiness - A Handbook for Living by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Buddhism and Beauty and Aging - Guest Speaker, Baruch Golden
August 3    Part 1: Beauty and Buddhism
August 11  Part 2: Aging and Buddhism

Baruch Golden started insight meditation practice in 2000. He teaches mindfulness in elementary schools in SF and Oakland with the Mindful Schools Program and teaches in the Family Program at Spirit Rock Medication Center. In addition, he volunteers in the SF County Jail teaching meditation and yoga. He is currently in the Community Dharma Leaders Program, a 2 year Spirit Rock program to help develop community dharma leaders. He has been doing hospice nursing for the past 12 years.

Working with the Inner Critic
Taught by Anthony Rogers and Paulette Chanco.
At times, there is a voice in our heads that likes to tell us we aren't good enough, that we are inadequate or undeserving of the world around us. Sound familiar? Come and join us in exploring how to get a handle on our inner critic.

Four Saturdays: May 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2011

Deepening Our Practice

On Saturday, Feb 26, 2011 Pauletta and Anthony lead a half day retreat to support us in deepening our practice.

Coincidentally it's called Deepening Our Practice.