White Hall Meditation Guide

White Hall Meditation (founded in 2013) is dedicated to making the study and practice of Insight Meditation (Vipassana) available to the local community of Western Albemarle County including Crozet and Charlottesville.

White Hall Meditation is committed to honoring the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom, compassion, interdependence, and the end of suffering.  By practicing concentration, awareness, and insight, we cultivate peace, joy, and balance.

What is Insight Meditation?
“Vipassana (Insight meditation) is a form of mental training that will teach you to experience the world in an entirely new way. You will learn for the first time what is truly happening to you, around you and within you. It is a process of self-discovery, a participatory investigation in which you observe your own experiences while participating in them, and as they occur. The practice must be approached with this attitude.”  From Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.

What are the benefits of Insight Meditation?
For many of us, life can seem like a hardship when we are exposed to the stresses and the challenges of loss, aging, sickness, separation from loved ones, and dying.  We often respond with anxiety, fear, anger, disappointment, and separation.  Life is simply not meeting our expectations! 

Through the teachings and the practice of insight meditation as prescribed by the Buddha, it is possible to gain insight into why we suffer and to achieve joy, peace and happiness in this life.

Is White Hall Meditation a religious group?
White Hall Meditation is not affiliated with any religious organization.  The teachings of the Buddha are open to all with no obligation.

Who can attend?
All are welcome to participate; no prior meditation experience is necessary.

Where and when do we meet?
Meetings are held each Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 PM at the Farmhouse at Wyndefields, 2766 Browns Gap Turnpike, Charlottesville near White Hall.  We remove our shoes in the entry way; you can bring slippers if you wish.

What do you do at the meeting?
At each session, we meditate for 30 minutes (guidance is provided), take a short tea break and then have a dharma (teaching) talk with discussion.  We end promptly at 8:30.

How do I meditate?
You will be given instructions as we meditate.  It is not that hard!  Most of us mediate in a chair (provided) and you can bring a cushion if you would like to sit on the floor.

Do you have a website and email communications?
Please visit our website at whitehallmeditation.org.  There is also an email list that you can sign up for that provides two weekly emails:  a Monday reminder of the teaching topic and a Thursday recap of the teaching talk.  To sign up, go to the website and select the Contact link at the top of the page.  You can opt out of the email list at any time.

Who are the teachers?
Robert Hodge MD (Bob) is the founder guiding teacher.  He first came to White Hall in 1976 and returned in 2013 after 16 years in Columbia, Missouri.  In addition to his professional career at the University of Missouri, he was an Insight Meditation teacher at Show Me Dharma.  He has studied under Matt Flickstein and the late Ginny Morgan, in addition to attending numerous meditation retreats and teacher-training courses.

Laura Good has practiced mediation for most of her life and began studying Vipassana in 1999 with Howard Cohn at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. While living on the west coast, she also practiced with many Spirit Rock teachers during numerous retreats, workshops and weekly sanghas and has led KM groups in Los Angeles and Nashville.  Throughout her travels around the world as a professional musician, she has studied many forms of Buddhism and uses her knowledge of Pali chanting, music, art and yoga in her life and work.  She is graduate of Columbia College, where she was a Weisman Scholar and earned a degree in Music and Creative Writing.

Is there a fee to participate?
In the tradition, all teachings are freely given.  Donations (dana in Pali) are gratefully accepted to defray operating expenses.  There is a dana basket in the Farmhouse for donations.

Are there other activities and services?
To deepen our practice, we hold periodic half-day retreats on a Sunday mornings and occasional non-residential weekend retreats.
We have a library in the Farmhouse from which you can check out books.
There is a caring committee that you can join to provide caring services to others in need.

What if I have more questions? 
Please feel free to contact Bob Hodge.