Mindfulness has taken the world by storm. No longer a fringe practice, the benefits of mindfulness meditation are vast and are now recognized by experts and scientists around the globe.
Whether you’re just learning to meditate or you’d like to deepen your practice via joining a meditation group or community, Portland is home to some of the world’s top meditation teachers and studios. You’ll find everything from traditional Buddhist temples to modern studios that take a less dogmatic approach to meditation.
Here are five to explore:
OpenSpace Mindfulness, run by mindfulness teacher Ashley Dahl, offers a variety of meditation gatherings, workshops and retreats. Ashley’s mindfulness meditation teachings involve bringing present moment awareness to your inner and outer experiences, supporting your capacity to respond to life with wisdom and kindness. Whether you’re looking for a drop-in experience, in-depth personal coaching, or an immersive workshop or retreat, she offers all of the above, which you can learn about here.
You can explore Ashley Dahl’s teachings by joining the drop-in Meditation Mondays at 7pm at the beautiful Beam and Anchor or join an upcoming Full Moon Metta gathering, which travels to various locations (check her website). Ashley also offers seasonal workshops to help newbies get started with mindfulness meditation; a beautiful way to rediscover yourself through mindfulness.
The Portland Insight Meditation Society welcomes people of all faith backgrounds and orientations to explore their Buddhist teachings on awakening. A solid and reputable organization worldwide, Insight’s vision is to be a dynamic center for awakening and to support all who seek spiritual guidance – on any level, including beginners. Their purpose is to improve the lives of participants, their families and the greater community through meditative practice and a lifestyle that supports liberation from suffering, the awakening of wisdom and the manifestation of compassion. On their website, you’ll discover regular gatherings and talks with resident teachers Robert Beatty and Christine Gieben, and visiting teachers, such as Caverly Morgan.
Pause Meditation is another solid place to explore and learn meditation practices. They focus on teaching “simple, science-backed practices to train your mind, and live a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.” This studio brings together research from neuroscience, positive psychology, and wisdom traditions, in an effort to make the benefits of meditation more accessible to all.
If you’re looking for a modern, non dogmatic, place to practice you should definitely explore the drop-in meditation classes happening throughout the week at Pause or try on of their in-depth courses that provide education and tools for stress relief, wellbeing, and for connecting with life more fully.
MightWe is dedicated to demystifying the practice of mindfulness, while building action-oriented inclusive community. MightWe creates spaces that foster genuine human connection, courageous dialogue, and action. Currently, the MightWe team hosts a morning lecture series the last Wednesday of every month that is open to all along with meditation and mindfulness events that you can explore at various pop up locations around Portland. Explore their upcoming events here.
If you’ve got teens, be sure to explore the mindfulness meditation work of Caverly Morgan, who founded Peace in Schools, a nonprofit which created the nation’s first for-credit mindfulness class in public high schools. Peace in Schools is pioneering new depths in mindfulness education through teaching youth as well as training educators. Caverly blends the original spirit of Zen with a modern nondual approach, so these teachings feel very accessible no matter what your religious or non religious background may be.
Caverly also runs The Presence Collective, a growing community of practitioners and teachers from diverse wisdom traditions dedicated to personal transformation, social justice and collective liberation. If you’re seeking the support of a mindfulness teacher, you’ll find some greater teachers to explore here.
I always recommend exploring each teacher or studio a couple of times, in order to get a true sense of what’s available to support you. If you’re wanting to dive into other wellness experiences, there are many beautiful sound meditation gatherings in Portland, breathwork events and beautiful yoga communities in Portland all of which incorporate mindfulness practices. Or you might consider trying a meditation retreat or a yoga retreat in Oregon.