Green Sangha of Western North Carolina

Information about this center is no longer updated.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

Phone: 828-645-0469
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A non-traditional Buddhist group, the Green Sangha members have come together to explore ways to integrate Dharma practice with their environmentalist values and activism. The members hail from a variety of Buddhist denominations, but are virtually all united as converts to meditation-oriented traditions such as Zen and Vipassana; they are also virtually all Caucasian and Baby Boomers in their fifties and sixties. Among this traditionally active and concerned demographic the Green Buddhas have found a ready audience—meetings typically attract thirteen to fifteen people, but their email discussion list has eighty-four recipients, rapid growth for an unaffiliated group that only started in May 2001.

Activities and Schedule

Meetings are held monthly at a member’s home, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Members bring cushions and sit in a circle around a simple arrangement of flowers and a candle. After ten minutes of silent meditation, the attendees introduce themselves and proceed to discuss upcoming opportunities for environmental activism and/or Buddhist activities in Western North Carolina. After thirty or forty minutes of discussion, an exercise for meditation is introduced. For instance, a Buddhist concept may be raised, and then the attendees will meditate on it silently for ten minutes, followed by forty-five minutes or so of discussion on the topic. Meetings end with another five minutes of silent meditation. Most meetings last about two hours.
The group has no formal leader or teacher; Richard Fireman, who began the group, typically officiates but has no official authority. Besides monthly meetings, the group also holds quarterly one-day retreats and sponsors speakers in Asheville on appropriate subjects. They frequently network with non-Buddhist groups that share their environmental and pacifist values.