About Open Door Sangha

Founded in Santa Barbara in the early 1980’s, Open Door Sangha is a community of meditators dedicated to supporting the development of greater compassion, wisdom, equanimity and happiness through insight/mindfulness meditation and the teachings of The Buddha. Although our foundation is in Theravadan Buddhism, our members come from a variety of spiritual backgrounds and one need not identify as a Buddhist to take part in these practices. We welcome people of all cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, racial identities, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, gender, age, education, and abilities.

Our offerings are provided on a Dana (donation) basis, free of charge. They include:

  • Several weekly meditation sitting groups supporting meditation through connection with the community.
  • Weekly teachings that support deepening meditation practice and cultivating a balanced spiritual life from a Buddhist perspective.
  • Non-residential retreats with our own teachers and with nationally and internationally known teachers invited to offer a wide range of practices and perspectives.
  • Local residential retreats to help deepen the practice.
  • Class series of up to a year-long on the teachings of the Buddha.
  • Social gatherings, including picnics and potlucks.
  • Occasional special offerings include camping trips, lectures, and service activities in the local community.

Teachers: Alice Alldredge, Gary Hill, Shelley Gault, and John O’Connor all have close ties with and training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Insight Meditation Center in the Bay area.

Open Door Sangha Steering Committee: Gary Hill (Chair), Shelley Gault and Alice Alldredge (Secretary/Treasurers), John O’Connor, Hugh Michaels, Dow Jarvis, Christian Layow, Lynn Shoemaker, Allen Weiss