Delta Insight Group - Dharma Memphis

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.

Phone: 901-278-0961


In 1993, Mark W. Muesser, a professor of religion at Rhodes College with a PhD from Harvard University, and Clark A. Buchner founded Delta Insight Group, the first meditation group in Memphis. This group’s initial focus was meditation and later gravitated towards Buddhism with a focus on Vipassana meditation. As the Memphis Buddhist community began to grow with the influx of Vietnamese and Tibetan Buddhists, Dharma Memphis was formed as the umbrella group to provide the community structure to support the practice of Buddhism. Dharma Memphis is described as, “a Mid-South Collective dedicated to the practice of meditation and the teachings of Buddha," and is a partnership of a number of Buddhist groups in the Memphis area. Presently, the leadership and administration of Delta Insight Group and Dharma Memphis have merged into one.


The Dharma Memphis community is composed of approximately 75 members of which 15 to 20 attend weekly meditation sessions. The majority of the community consists of Caucasians but also includes Sri Lankans, Vietnamese, African-American, Pakistanis, and Indians. Most of the members' ages range from 40 to 60 with a few high school and college students in attendance. The group focuses on meditation and individual spiritual development and thus attracts more individuals than families to attend the weekly sessions. The occupations of the community consist of doctors, professors, lawyers, and architects with the majority of the community having a post-graduate degree.

Activities and Schedule

The Delta Insight Group meets every Sunday at 7:30 am for meditation and discussion. Usually, there is no formal speaker; instead a book, presently When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron, is read in silence and comments are welcome when inspired. Bimonthly day retreats are offered at the Oakcrest Retreat Center located in Memphis. These retreats offer meditation and sesssions led by inspirational teachers, such as monks and nuns. Dharma Memphis has been instrumental in obtaining Thich Nat Hanh, a renown monk, who will visit Memphis to participate in the annual Peace Walk. The center director, Mark Muesse, has organized the Buddhist Film Society of Memphis. This group meets occasionally to view and discuss films, some of which have been The Burmese Harp, Meetings with Remarkable Men, and The Harp.
Dharma Memphis and Delta Insight Group are interested in developing individual spirituality. Therefore without being associated with a specific ethnicity, the organization focuses less on cultural preservation and more on individual spiritual growth. Early Sunday meetings are held at Eastern Sun Yoga Studio.
Dharma Memphis conducts memorial services for those who have passed. The ceremonies include meditation, Sutra readings, and a dedication of merits.

Organizational Structure

Dharma Memphis and the Delta Insight Group resist institutionalization because in their interpretation it goes against the fundamentals of Buddhism. As a result, they do not have 501(c) non-profit status nor any formal bi-laws. Monetary support is given freely without solicitation. The meeting space, Eastern Sun Yoga, is donated Sunday mornings by a member of the group. Delta Insight Group does have a Teacher’s Counsel consisting of four people. Their responsibilities include weekly correspondence, retreat organization, financial matters, and other managerial activities.