Frequently Asked Questions

Does the sangha meet every Thursday evening?

Yes, we gather every Thursday from 6:50-8:30 P.M. except during the month of August and between Christmas and New Year’s.  We encourage everybody to arrive a few minutes early to allow themselves time to settle.  We begin promptly at 7:00. 

Are your meetings in-person?

Due to Covid we have been continuing a hybrid model, welcoming people to attend in-person. We do request that people be fully vaccinated and we all wear masks indoors. People can also attend via Zoom.

Please note: one exception is the second Thursday of the month, where we all gather on Zoom to recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings. 

Can anybody come on Thursday evenings?

Absolutely yes.  Our sangha is open and welcoming to everybody. 

Can I participate if I have not meditated before or if I am not Buddhist? 

“This is a Buddhist practice but you don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice” – Kelly Parsons

  • We kindly ask people to complete an orientation session prior to attending.
  • To learn more about our Plum Village tradition: www.plumvillage.org  and/or download the free plum village app. 

Is there a cost to participate at the Thursday evening meditation?

There is no charge to attend.

Our sangha operates on the principle of “dana” (the word for generosity in Sanskrit and Pali).  At the end of each Thursday participants are encouraged to contribute whatever they are able in order to help us pay various Sangha expenses. 

  • Etransfer to: Mindfulnessvictoria@gmail.com
  • By cash donation on Thursday evenings 

At the Thursday evening meditation,  must I sit on the floor?

No.   People are welcome to bring their cushions, zafus and zabutons to sit on the floor.  Other people prefer to sit on a chair.  Many chairs as well as thin cushions are available.  The important thing to remember is to be comfortable yet alert.

What happens on Thursday evening meditation? For more information please read our Thursday Evening Practice page.

Our meditation hall is a sacred space. Please enter the Zendo quietly. We maintain a peaceful and quiet atmosphere during our time together.

Please note: Our capacity is 30 people and there will be a sign on the door if we are full. In this case please join us via Zoom. 

The evening consists of several parts–Welcome, Sit, Walk, Sit, Read/Listen, Talk, Tea.   More specifically, after everybody is welcomed, we sit silently for 20-25 minutes.  This is followed by 7-10 minutes of walking meditation and then another 20-25 silent sit.  The next part changes from week to week and may include a dharma talk or reading, chanting, a recitation, etc.  Usually we then set aside several minutes when people can share their experiences with dharma sharing.  

What is a Sangha?

Traditionally, the Sangha is a community of monks and nuns that follow Buddha’s teachings. More commonly now, the Sangha is the whole community of Buddha’s followers, including lay people. In the Buddhist tradition, the Sangha is one of the Three Jewels, along with the Buddha and the Dharma.

“The next Buddha will be a Sangha” – Thich Nhat Hanh

What is the meaning of the bell ringing and bowing?

Throughout our Thursday evening we invite (or ring) both a large bell (or bowl) as well as a small handbell to help us  focus our awareness as well as to signal the start and finish of various practices. 

Also, on several occasions during the evening we will bow to one another, to an alter and to our chairs/cushions as a simple sign of acknowledgement and respect.   We urge people to relax and simply follow their neighbour—and never to be worried or concerned about making a mistake.