Madison Insight Meditation Group

This profile was last updated in 2002

History and Description

The Madison Insight Meditation Group (MIMG) is an informal gathering of area residents interested in practicing Vipassana meditation in a group setting. The group had its origin in a teaching given is Madison by Howie Cohen, who received his training in Vipassana meditation in Southeast Asia. This teaching was requested by Madison area Buddhist practitioners who had attended a retreat at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and who had been impressed by Cohen’s instruction. After the teaching, many of the audience members decided to meet regularly to perform sitting and walking meditations, and to discuss dharma teachings. The First Unitarian Society, with which one of the MIMG members was affiliated, donated space for the group’s weekly meetings, and the Madison Insight Meditation Group became official. Only two of the original members are still with the group, John Meyer and Cindy McCallum. Both Meyer and McCallum teach introductory classes on insight meditation, along with assisting in the organization of the group. Membership in the group and attendance at the meetings are both in constant flux. As of 2001, summer meditation gatherings might attract roughly twenty participants, but attendance during the rest of the year was expected to expand considerably. No fee is requested for participation, but donations to the Madison Insight Meditation Group and to the First Unitarian Society are encouraged. Along with weekly meditation meetings, retreats of longer duration are organized occasionally. Attendance at such occasions, however, requires payment.

Activities and Schedule

Meditation/discussion sessions are on Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Longer meditation retreats are held periodically.