SnowFlower Sangha is a community of practitioners who come together to support one another in the practice of mindfulness in the spirit of Plum Village. Mindfulness practice refers to training ourselves to be fully and consciously present in the current moment, free of concerns, self-judgments about the past and worries or plans about the future.
Our sangha has been practicing together in Madison since 1991 and we follow the Plum Village tradition of Buddhist practice established by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnam in 1966. We often refer to him as “Thây” (pronounced ‘tie’), a term of endearment and respect that means “teacher” in Vietnamese.
Thây has said that it is difficult if not impossible to practice well without a sangha. Teachers and teachings are important, but a community of friends who support our practice is ‘the most essential ingredient. The main concern is to build a happy sangha – to take care of each person, their pain, difficulties, aspirations, fears, hopes, in order to “make everyone comfortable and happy.”
Our community is made up of long-term practitioners and novices alike, we are young and old, of many races, cultural and spiritual backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, gender identities, sexual orientations and myriad other differences. We walk this path together though and support each other in our practice and community building. Regardless of who you are, we welcome you wholeheartedly into our community. There is no formal membership and you’re welcome to visit for a time or come as often as you wish. We simply ask that you are interested in living mindfully and have a desire to cultivate peace and understanding. We hope you will find a safe and welcoming home for your practice at SnowFlower.
We are fortunate to have four weekly gatherings (see When and Where for details), and we endeavor to engage our mindfulness practice as fully as possible throughout our day. By making the effort to bring mindful and respectful attention both to sangha and to daily activities, we nurture mindfulness in ourselves and support it in each other.
To learn more about what happens at a gathering, how this practice might fit in with any existing spiritual path you may be on, and details on getting on our listserv and how to grow with us, please visit Newcomer Resources. For questions or to share information with our sangha, please email all inquiries or other information to firstname.lastname@example.org