"People are at their best when they realize they are connected: to one another, to the earth, to all beings."
Launched in 2024 by Dan McFadden, SanghaNYC is a social group that hosts virtual and in-person gatherings aimed at fostering a city-wide, conscious-minded community through teachings on mindfulness meditation and secular Buddhism. Events incorporate guided mindfulness meditation practice and group discussion on topics related to the practice of secular Buddhism and bringing mindfulness into your everyday life. No previous meditation experience or experience with Buddhism is necessary to attend our events. We are welcoming of all individuals regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, political party, ability level or country of origin.
Our teachers are experienced and trained in facilitating mindfulness meditation practice and are equally versed in Buddhist ethics and principles, diversity and inclusivity codes of conduct, trauma-sensitive mindfulness and non-violent communication. Teachers and community members alike are also expected to adhere to our Community Guidelines for Ethical Conduct. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these guidelines. Above all, by joining SanghaNYC you agree to fostering a group dynamic based on values of inclusivity, kindness and respect.
SanghaNYC events are offered by donation, with 100% of donations going to supporting our teachers so that they may continue their education and we may continue to benefit from their teachings. Suggested donation for attending an event is $20 USD, however no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. If you cannot meet the suggested donation, please give from the heart what you are able. Donations may be made via PayPal or Venmo, or you may contact us to donate by other means by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is a mental practice that involves focusing one's attention on the present moment, while observing thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgment. Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist traditions of vipassana meditation practice but has since been adapted and secularized for various psychological and well-being purposes. The primary goal of mindfulness meditation is to cultivate awareness and a non-reactive, non-judgmental attitude towards one's inner experiences.
What is Vipassana?
Vipassana is a form of meditation that has its roots in ancient India and is often associated with Buddhism. The word "Vipassana" is Pali – a language native to India during the time of the Buddha – and can be roughly translated to English as insight or clear seeing. Vipassana meditation is a mindfulness practice aimed at developing insight into the true nature of reality, including the nature of one's own mind and the impermanent and interconnected nature of all things.
Buddhism v. secular Buddhism
Buddhism is a major world religion and philosophical system that originated in ancient India around the 6th century BCE. It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly referred to as the Buddha, which means the awakened one or the enlightened one in Pali. Buddhism is based on the teachings and life experiences of the Buddha, and emphasizes the importance of individual effort and personal realization on the path to enlightenment and the end of suffering.
Secular Buddhism refers to an approach to Buddhist philosophy and practice that emphasizes the teachings of the Buddha without necessarily incorporating the traditional religious or supernatural elements. By secularizing Buddhist teachings, this approach seeks to adapt the core principles and practices of Buddhism, including psychological well-being and ethical living, to be compatible with a non-religious worldview.
What is Sangha?
Sangha roughly translates from Pali to English as community or assembly. In Buddhist terms, "the sangha" can refer to groups of both monastics and laypeople who are actively engaged in the practice of Buddhism. Joining a sangha plays a crucial role in sustaining one’s practice of Buddhism, as it provides both support, guidance and inspiration to its members, serving as a place for learning, discussion and communal practice.