Ananda Marga, “Path of Bliss,” 1305 Whenona Dr, Madison, 608-274-0318, offers group meditations. For serious students, their qualified teachers also provide individualized instruction in mantra meditation. “There are no prerequisites, you need not hold any set of beliefs or provide financial compensation.” anandamargaofmadison.org.
Center for Conscious Living, 849 E. Washington Ave, Madison, 608-843-7740. They include meditation among other offerings, which change over time. Try clicking “weekly events” to check out their regular offerings like heart’s desire meditation, laughter yoga, relax & restore. mylovingspirit.com. Please note: As of 9/3/15, the Center is in the process of looking for a new location. We recommend you call to verify the location before attending events.
Deer Park Center, 4548 Schneider Drive, Oregon, 608-835-5572. A Buddhist center founded by Gheshe Lhundub Sopa, home to a community of monks, nuns and laypersons practicing the Tibetan tradition. They lead regular teachings, pujas, retreats and celebrations. His Holiness the Dalai Lama does a teaching here whenever he is in the area. deerparkcenter.org.
Diamond Way Meditation Center, 104 King St. Suite 302, Madison, 888-391-5083, holds regular public meditations. On the third Wednesday of every month, a detailed talk precedes the meditation session to provide orientation for newcomers. One teacher uses these words to describe this path: “The Diamond Way offers the modern world “effective methods that lead to a direct experience of mind.” diamondway.org.
Eastside Friends of Dharma, 617 Jacobson Ave., Madison, 53714, 608-298-7599, [email protected] This active group follows the same tradition as Thich Naht Hanh, emphasizing service and community action as well as mindfulness and learning. They’re headquartered in an unassuming house in Blooming Grove, but this group is active throughout the Madison area. esfod.org.
Holy Wisdom Monastery 4200 County Road M, Middleton WI 53562, 608-836-1631, x100, holds classes in the basics of meditation, and also welcomes women on retreats. You can rent a room in their monastery, or stay alone in a secluded hermitage. The nuns offer hospitality according to the Benedictine tradition. benedictinewomen.org.
Kadampa Meditation Center Madison, 1825 S. Park Street, Madison, 608-661-3211. This modern Buddhist center offers noontime guided meditations and classes just about every day of the week. They also host celebrations, pujas, a “dharma for kids” program, and more. They also have their own bookstore. One great way to find out more is to download the free ebook available under the “bookstore” tab on their website. meditationinmadison.org
Madison Insight Meditation Group offers weekly group meditation, meditation classes, retreats, and study groups at various locations in the Madison area. They’ve also got some excellent resources on their website. Contact them by email at [email protected]com. madisonmeditation.org.
Madison Tergar Community, 608-513-9642, offers a weekly drop-in meditation group, classes introducing meditation and exploring Buddhism, a Joy of Living workshops and retreats. The Joy of Living meditation is a non-religious way of learning to work with mindful awareness and to move towards happiness. tergar.org/find-a-center-or-group/madison/
Madison Zen Center, 1820 Jefferson Street, Madison, 608-255-4488, offers sitting sessions most days of the week, sometimes followed by teisho (dharma teaching) or chanting. There’s a free, drop-in Introduction to Practice the first Tuesday of every month. madisonzen.org.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs are offered through the University at the University Research Park Integrative Medicine Clinic, 621 Science Drive, Madison, 608/265-8325. Preregistration is required, and it fills up fast. Special classes for children and teens. They also host retreats and mindfulness “graduate” courses. If you’re looking for a secular, science-based approach to meditation, this is a great choice. Classes are open to the public. UWHealth.org.
Shambhala Meditation Center, 408 S. Baldwin Street, Madison, 608-441-8868 offers free meditation instruction for both new and ongoing meditators, open public sitting hours four times a week, a weekly open house and dharma gathering (including instruction and meditation time), and many related workshops, classes, and retreats. shambhala.org.
Siddha Yoga, 102, 702 N N Blackhawk Ave, Madison, WI 53704, (608) 246-8890, [email protected], has both online and live classes in meditation and other aspects of the Siddha path. This tradition is led by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the successor to Swami Muktananda. They offer meditation and chanting, but it’s somewhat difficult to find it on their website; we recommend calling or emailing for information. siddhayoga.org.
Snow Flower Sangha, [email protected] Their practice is based on the practices of Plum Village, the Buddhist community founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. Engaged Buddhism emphasizes using the practices of mindfulness and compassion in one’s community. They host regular meditations and instruction twice a week at the Friends Meeting house at 1704 Roberts Court (in the Monroe Street area), and also hold events at other locations. Newcomers are always welcome. snowflower.org.
The Transcendental Meditation Program of Madison, 826 Sauk Ridge Trail, Madison, 608-566-5662. This unique kind of meditation is best known for attracting celebrities, but plenty of regular people say they benefit from it too. The Madison center has free introductory talks to introduce the system, but the program itself is pricey.TM.org/transcendental-meditation-madison/.
University Health Services, offers drop-in meditation at Union South for UW students, faculty and staff.
Some more informal meditation groups and related activities are listed on Meetup.com.
A free online gong timer, courtesy of Sage Meditation, is available here: http://www.sagemeditation.com/free-online-meditation-gong-timer/