The Birth and Vision of the Pine Street Sangha

The Birth and Vision of the Pine Street Sangha

As told by Nelly Kaufer

I had been teaching Recollective Awareness meditation groups and workshops at my psychotherapy office, renting a larger office for larger groups. I could not get the idea of a place of our own out of my meditations and my mind. I wanted a place that was primarily dedicated to meditation and was more physically accessible.

Interest in Recollective Awareness Meditation had been slowly and steadily growing over the 7 years that I had been teaching it here in Portland. Many dedicated students had deepened their understanding of dharma, finding this knowledge within their meditation. New students were expressing interest. I wanted to teach more.

The vision kept incubating. Did the community need another meditation center? I consulted with a colleague, she concurred with my vision. I started searching. At the end of 2011 I purchased a cozy older home on Pine Street in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland. There was an outpouring of generosity; the hard work and money necessary to transform and move into our new home, the “Pine Street Sangha”.

The Buddha left home and went into homelessness. Yet I wanted a home or homelike setting for our new meditation center, a home that would provide the comfort and grounding needed to enter into another kind of homelessness, one in which we leave behind the familiar habit patterns and reactions that cause pain to ourselves and to others.

Now we have a home… to meditate in and to grow into. Now we have a home to sustain. It is with great respect to your dharma practice and your capacity for liberation that I offer you this meditation home.