Members’ Homes: In 1988 or thereabouts, Joan Granger sent a letter to people in the Albuquerque area who were on the Insight Meditation Society mailing list, inviting them to join her in starting a vipassana sitting group in Albuquerque. Five people came to the first meeting. Three of those continued to meet and were enough to form a little sangha. We met in Joan’s house on Sunday nights and announced our meetings in the IMS newsletter. Soon other people started showing up and we took turns meeting in people’s homes. Sometimes as many as 15 people would crowd into someone’s living room. We’d usually sit and then listen to a taped dharma talk or take turns reading aloud from a book, or have a discussion. We met in members’ homes, on Sunday nights, for approximately 9 years, until Eric became our teacher. A Tuesday night group also met for a number of years during this period.
Unitarian Church: In 1997, Eric Kolvig moved to Santa Fe and was teacher for both the Santa Fe and Albuquerque sanghas. During that time we started meeting on Thursday nights in a large room at the Unitarian Church on Carlisle.
Adelante: In January 1999, when the Unitarians needed to reclaim our meeting room during a remodeling project, sangha member Mike Kivitz, director of Adelante Development Center, graciously allowed us to meet at the Adelante headquarters on Balloon Park Road. We met there on Thursday nights for approximately 2 years.
Nahalot Shalom: In 2001, after we outgrew the meeting room at Adelante, we moved to Nahalot Shalom, a synagogue on Rio Grande Blvd. We met there for 9 months.
The Wat: In 2002, the monks at Wat Buddhasothorn, 145 Madison NE, where we currently meet, generously allowed us to use their temple for our meetings. They have been wonderful dharma friends and host for our sangha.
Thursday Evening Meetings: We began meeting on Thursday evenings in 1997.
Sunday Evening Meetings: In November, 2009, we added Sunday night meetings at Bhava Yoga Studio to our schedule. A sangha member who attended UNM could not attend on Thursday evenings because of classes and took the initiative to find a place to meet on Sunday.
Groups within the sangha have formed and dissolved. We once had a Diversity Study Group (date unknown), a Women’s Support Group (early 2000s), a Consensus Collective (2002-2003), a Sutta Study Group (2004), a one-time “World Café” (2007), an Engaged Buddhism Study Group (2010), a Metta Study Group (2011), and a Dancing With Life group (2012). We have also held fundraising events beginning with the first documented sangha potluck and yard sale in 1998, the proceeds of which went to our teacher, Eric Kolvig. We held a silent auction in 1996 to support visiting teachers. In 2010 and 2011 we hosted brunches to raise funds for the support of Kathryn Turnipseed, who was part of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center Community Dharma Leader Program.
Eric Kolvig: During the years 1997 through 1999, Eric was the resident teacher for the Santa Fe and Albuquerque sanghas and joined our sangha on Thursday nights about twice a month. From 2005 through 2010, he traveled to Albuquerque about once a month to sit with us and give a dharma talk.
Shaila Catherine: Shaila was resident teacher for the Santa Fe and Albuquerque sanghas from September 2001 through July 2003. She joined us on Thursday nights about twice a month.
In June 1999, Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha received its official Certificate of Incorporation from the State of New Mexico. In June 2000, we received tax-exempt status from the IRS. Contributions to Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha are tax deductible.
We started the sangha web site in January or February 1997. Our web address, for nearly four years, was the unwieldy http://www.cs.unm.edu/~richards/sangha. The UNM Computer Science Department graciously let us run the website from their server. We did so until February 2009. In September 2000, we got our own domain name, abqsangha.org. In March 2013 we launched a new web-site designed by Maxcreative LLC.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.