Insight Meditation South Bay (IMSB), founded by Shaila Catherine in January 2006, offers mindfulness-based meditation practices to awaken heart and mind. Our mission is to support the development of ethical living (sila), meditation (samadhi), and wisdom (panna). We teach skills for developing mindfulness, loving-kindness and compassion, concentration, and practical daily life wisdom.

IMSB is a religious non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, dedicated to the liberating teachings of the Buddha. We are based in the Silicon Valley and South Bay area of Northern California and offer meditation programs in Mountain View, San Jose, Saratoga, Los Altos, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. In addition, we offer online meditation courses and retreats that serve students who live both near and far.

IMSB and our teachers are dedicated to the Buddhist practice of Dana and generosity. Our activities rely upon the generosity of our community in gift or effort.

Everyone is Welcome

Insight Meditation South Bay welcomes newcomers, beginning meditators, and seasoned practitioners. We value the presence of new and old friends. Newcomers are especially welcome to explore mindfulness meditation by dropping in to our San Jose-Saratoga and Mountain View meditation groups.

Our Vision for Growth

We are simultaneously expanding our online offerings and seeking to establish a dedicated facility that will enable the expansion of our programs in the south bay area of Silicon Valley. With a place of our own we will be able to offer a wider range of programs, and nurture an even stronger community of practitioners. To help IMSB find a place to call home, please contact centerAddress_at_imsb.

The Practice

The heart of Insight Meditation, also known as Vipassana, is the clarity of awakening. We use mindfulness-based meditative approaches for spiritual awakening and require no adherence to religious dogma. Freedom is the essence of this meditation training. Attachment is the problem that meditation is designed to solve. Wisdom, peace and calm awareness pervade the silence of formal meditation and also the business of active daily life. We train our minds through meditation and contemplation and apply that clarity to our complex daily interactions where we rest in profound happiness or extract the seeds of suffering.

Our principal teacher, Shaila Catherine, is particularly adept at concentration and jhana practices. Those who wish to develop mastery in jhana meditation can read the Concentration and Jhana FAQ page for more information.

Program Summary

IMSB’s ongoing programs include two weekly meditation groups. Tuesday evenings we meet in Mountain View, and offer a beginner’s orientation the first Tuesday of each month. Thursday evenings we meet in Saratoga and design the sitting group in 5-8 week thematic topics that are especially suitable for new practitioners. We also offer a Day-Long Retreat each month, a monthly Study Course on the Discourses of the Buddha both locally and online, private interviews and consultations with Shaila Catherine, and residential and non-residential meditation retreats. Online courses are co-sponsored with BodhiCourses. Please follow the links for more information about our ongoing programs and the many special events that IMSB offers.

For questions visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Endorsements from Visiting Teachers

“I was struck by the combination of presence of mind and caring heart that I experienced from the people at IMSB. To have this kind of depth of practice in a busy, mainstream, American setting is really wonderful—a credit to Shaila Catherine and everyone else at IMSB.”

—Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist, and visiting teacher

“This sangha most definitely has set up the conditions to empower and enable people to see more clearly—see how things really are rather than how they want things to be.”

—Vimalasara, visiting teacher

“The IMSB Sangha embodies the Buddhas’ teachings in a way rarely seen in these times.”

—Ann Dillon, visiting teacher

Endorsements from Participants

“I feel a lot less anxiety on a daily basis and I attribute it mostly to meditation. It’s not that I never feel anxiety or worry anymore, but it is so much less since I began meditating with IMSB.”

—Annie
"Even though my mind or my kids might come up with excuses why I don't have the time to attend the group Tuesday evening, I have learned to not buy into the excuses. I go anyway and invariably feel the benefits throughout the whole week. I really notice being less frazzled
by the vagaries of life, and feel the sense of deep calm that seems to be always available for me now.”...more...
—Claire

“Shaila brings a clean, concise, and deeply felt commitment to the teachings of truth. Every talk is a gem!”

—Tom

“Remembering to be mindful in the moment is really important for overcoming the stress that sometimes overwhelms my life.”

—Ken
"It is amazing to me how useful it is to realize that thoughts and feelings are temporary, and not just my thoughts and feelings, but the moods of my children and friends are also temporary. When I see that everything is temporary and that everyone is suffering, I have more compassion
for others as they make decisions in their lives. This practice has helped me so much!”...more...
—Elizabeth

“Shaila’s love and passion and faith in the dharma is an inspiration to me! She embodies the joy and happiness that she teaches, and this too, inspires.”

—June

“The meditation guidance was clear, precise, and very helpful. Having the chance to practice with teachers of this caliber is a rare opportunity and a wonderful gift.”

—Phil

“Shaila is a superb teacher. She is amazingly perceptive and dedicated not only to the dharma, but to teaching the dharma. And most of all, her teachings have brought clarity and joy to my meditation practice.”

—Taffy