What we're about
The Tower Meditation Sangha is a community of people who are committed to learning about and practicing Buddhist mindfulness meditation. The Sangha takes its name from its weekly meeting place, Fresno’s Tower District, a neighborhood where Fresno’s diverse peoples and cultures come together. In keeping with the Tower District’s vibrant diversity, we welcome everyone regardless of meditation tradition or experience.
The Sangha’s mission is to bring people together to meditate, reflect in a group setting on meditation experiences and practices, and to explore Buddhist teachings. Practicing together regularly strengthens both the community and the individuals in it: our vision is to support one another' meditation practice as we develop wisdom and loving-kindness and create peace in our hearts and the world.
The Sangha meets weekly, on Monday nights, year-round, 6:15PM – 8PM. Typically, the group sits in meditation for half an hour, does walking meditation for 10–15 minutes, and then discusses Buddhist teachings and meditation practice. The evening closes with a healing circle that builds the habit of goodwill (metta) toward all beings. Meditation begins promptly at 6:30—please arrive with enough time to "'settle" yourself before meditation begins. If you arrive after meditation has begun, just enter quietly and find a seat.
If you are joining us for the first time, please arrive between 6:00 and 6:15 so that we may welcome you and provide a brief introduction to our meditation practice.
The first Monday of each month is devoted to a silent practice of two sitting-meditation and two walking-meditation periods. This more intense practice may not be suitable for first-time meditators.
Our meditation practice is informed principally by two Buddhist traditions: Zen and Vipassana/Insight. Both of these traditions train practitioners to be more mindful and awake, more alive in the present moment, and more active in reducing suffering for ourselves and for the world.
The Sangha’s founding teacher is Kenshin Karuna (Renee Potik), who has been a Buddhist practitioner in the Vietnamese Mahayana Zen tradition for the past 30 years and in the Vipassana/Insight tradition for the past 10. She has taken Sramenerika and Boddhisatva vows and has taught meditation classes for many years under the guidance of Rev. Shinzen Young and Venerable Rev. Karuna Dharma. She is a retired Nurse Practitioner interested in creating a healthier and more peaceful world. The Sangha is co-led by David Lorey, a practitioner in the Insight/Vipassana tradition and student of Gil Fronsdal. Both Renee and David make themselves available to provide one-on-one support of Dharma practice to members of the Sangha.
The Sangha organizes two day-long retreats each year and offers occasional special programs.
There is no fee, but donations (dana) of any amount are greatly appreciated: we share donations with our generous hosts at the Fresno Tai Chi Center and also use dana to support visiting teachers and Sangha teaching supplies.
All are welcome. Come and sit with us!