Today we have a guest blog post by Trudy Goodman, the founder and guiding teacher of InsightLA. InsightLA is one of the leading organizations in the country providing meditation and stress reduction courses to individuals and groups. On October 13th, they will be celebrating their ten-year anniversary, hosted by Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy fame and with Jack Kornfield as the keynote speaker. You can buy tickets to the event and learn more about it here.

I’m sitting on a stone wall, overlooking the magnificent estate of Pamela and Jef Levy in Beverly Hills, where we are kicking off InsightLA’s 10th anniversary with a special fundraiser on October 13th.

Sitting beneath the Levys’ magical pine forest, where Sandra Oh and Jack Kornfield will join us to lead a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enjoy spiritual friendship and festivities, I’m grateful. The teachings of mindfulness are just like these tall pine trees—a quiet wood in the noisy city, cool shade in the hot sun, an oasis in the desert.

Ten years ago, three of us were sitting the first day-long retreat I taught in Santa Monica, held in the small office of one of my first friends in LA, Susan Kaiser Greenland (author of The Mindful Child and founder of Inner Kids). We talked about our need for sangha, for a place to go and practice together. We all need refuge, inner and outer. We all need a home for the heart.

At that moment, InsightLA was born. We had no master plan except to share our love of the dharma, and yet, here we are, ten years later, a beautiful community of teachers and practitioners dedicated to loving awareness, to the opening of the heart, and to the tending of the world.

I’m so proud that InsightLA has, over these past ten years, become a refuge for thousands of Angelenos—from everyday stressed-out people to returning veterans, to parents and professional caregivers at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and other area hospitals and hospices, and to community service agencies and beyond.

We offer classes and programs in Santa Monica, Los Feliz and Studio City, and sitting groups throughout Los Angeles County.

The funds we raise with this anniversary celebration will help us offer more services and retreats throughout the Los Angeles community and sustain our policy of welcoming people from all walks of life and of all abilities, colors and genders.

Especially close to my heart is our unique core faculty of teachers, who approach their teaching with integrity and humility as part of their own understanding. Long after my life is over, they will continue living and sharing the teachings we have all been so privileged to learn.

Reflecting on our first ten years, I’m so proud of our strong community of amazing people, whose lives are being transformed by their dedication to learning how to live mindfully with increasing self-compassion and commitment to helping our world.

We are hoping in the next ten years to develop our new property in Dutton Canyon as a retreat in nature, right in the heart of Beverly Hills. We also want to create a “mindfulness mobile,” a traveling classroom for underserved communities. And of course we want to continue working with veterans, professional caregivers and all those who long to live a fulfilling, purposeful life. 

May loving awareness ripple out in widening circles to all those whose lives we touch.

You can find more information about InsightLA and their 10th anniversary event here.