Participation at Downtown Meditation is open to all interested students. We suggest that beginners take a New Students Course to learn the basics of Insight Meditation.

Please note that fees for most programs cover only the expenses for putting on the programs. There will be an opportunity to make a donation (dana) to the teacher at classes and retreats. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Pre-register for courses & retreats by sending a check made out to Paul Weinfield:
Paul Weinfield
PO Box 1033
NY, NY 10009

Questions? Contact us!


weekly meditation

Every Wednesday
Middle Collegiate Church
Community Room
50 East 7th Street @ 2nd Avenue
7 – 8:30 PM

This ongoing weekly class includes sitting meditation, a dharma talk, discussion, and time for getting to know one another. Please arrive on time to the class.

Some meditation experience is expected, but not required.

Wednesday Sittings in September:
‘Good Enough’ Practice

We have a lot of ideas about what we should be doing with our lives. Rarely, however, do we see the mindset of scarcity that we so often bring to our days and projects. The “not-enough mind” can infect even wholesome activities such as meditation, causing us to believe that the answer is always “more”: more sittings, more retreats, more concepts, more techniques. An important part of our growth as dharma students is shifting from an attitude of “more” to an attitude of “good enough.” What does it look and feel like to have a “good enough” practice? For though we sometimes equate “good enough” with mediocrity, it is actually a heartfelt understanding of sufficiency that causes us to move forward on our paths and do exceptional things with our lives.

The four Wednesday night classes in September will approach this theme from different angles. Each class stands alone, but there will be continuity to the teachings:

9/4 - ‘Good Enough’ Conditions
9/11 - ‘Good Enough’ Effort
9/18 - ‘Good Enough’ Concentration
9/25 - A ‘Good Enough’ Life

This four-week course provides instruction in the fundamentals of Insight Meditation. Emphasis is placed on learning the practices of sitting and walking meditation, and developing mindfulness in daily life. Explanation of the teachings central to Insight Meditation is part of each class. Each class includes time for discussion and questions. 

This course is suitable for students with no previous experience, as well as experienced meditators who are new to Insight Meditation or wish to renew their practice.

Please contact us to preregister.

New students course

with Debra Flics

4 weeks: 
October 28 – November 18
Middle Collegiate Church
50 East 7th Street @ 2nd Avenue
7 – 8:30 PM

Generating Self-Compassion

with Debra Flics

4 weeks:
September 9, 16, 23 & October 7
no class September 30
Middle Collegiate Church
50 East 7th Street @ 2nd Avenue
7 – 8:30 PM

Searching in all directions
With your awareness,
you find no one dearer
than yourself.
In the same way, others 
are thickly dear to themselves. 
So you shouldn't hurt others 
if you love yourself. 

— Udana 5:1  Pali canon, Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation

In this short utterance of the Buddha, he speaks about the recognition that we are the one who is most dear to ourself. When we realize that others feel this way about themselves we resolve not to hurt them. 

Many of us, however, tend to judge, blame, and criticize ourselves. We find it difficult to love ourselves, to hold ourselves dear, and to extend compassion toward ourselves. 

In this highly participatory four week class, we will practice developing self-compassion. Through practice, homework, and discussion we will learn how to work with self-judging, self-critical, and self-doubting mind states. We will practice treating ourselves with love and care. From this base of self-compassion we may then recognize the desire for compassion in others. Please note that this class is highly participatory and experiential rather than didactic. 

This course is open to all levels of students.

Please contact us to pre-register as we will need a minimum number of people for the class to proceed. 

daylong retreats

September 28
October 26
November 9
December 7
January 11
February 22
March 7
April 18
May 23
June 6

PS 3 at Hudson & Grove Streets
10 AM – 5 PM
$30 / retreat

Daylong retreats are held in the traditional Insight Meditation form, allowing participants to experience stillness and insight in a supportive environment. The day includes periods of sitting and walking meditation, opportunities for interviews, and a dharma talk.

Please note that this is a program for students with some experience in Insight Meditation. 

Daylong retreats are held once a month from September to June. The retreats will resume in September 2019. Please check back for date schedule.

Sutta study

with Paul Weinfield

August 1
7 - 8:30 PM

In this class we explore one of the suttas (discourses of the Buddha). The class includes instruction, discussion and meditation. Particular attention is paid to the relevance of the teaching to our contemporary urban lives.

Contact us for location.

For information go to retreats.

residential retreats