The Occidental Laguna Sangha is a Zen Buddhist Sangha located in Sebastopol, California. Though our emphasis is primarily Zen we integrate mindfulness and other teachings from the Vipassana and Tibetan traditions into our practice. We believe that everything that comes our way is an opportunity for opening — our work in the world, our everyday tasks, our relationships — everything is an opportunity to practice the Bodhisattva ideals of mindfulness, compassion, generosity and kindness.

Our name incorporates “Occidental,” as this is the town where we first started meeting together. The word also carries the meaning “Western,” where the Buddha Dharma is now being established. “Laguna” is where we currently meet and meditate together, right next to the beautiful Laguna de Santa Rosa in Sebastopol California.

The Sangha is respectful of all the teachings and schools of Buddhism and includes practitioners of all levels, from complete beginners to the very experienced. All are welcome to practice with us.

The guiding teacher for the Sangha is Bruce Fortin. He was ordained a Soto Zen Priest in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi in 1976 and has received Dharma Transmission to teach in that lineage. He has also studied with a number of other teachers in the Tibetan and Vipassana traditions and his teachings reflect their influence.

Petaluma River Sangha is a branch of Occidental Laguna Sangha and meets every Thursday 11:00am - 12:15 pm at 224 A Weller Street, Petaluma, at the Wellness by Design Yoga Studio. 30 minutes of meditation, followed by walking meditation, dharma talk and discussion until 12:15.

Schedule and Events

  • Sunday morning meditation 9:00-9:35, then walking meditation, dharma talk and discussion until 10:30. New meditators welcome (meditation instruction given if requested).  Sebastopol Community Center Teen Annex, 425 Morris Street, Sebastopol CA, next to the large Sebastopol Community Center.

  • Tuesday morning meditation, reading and discussion
    7:00-8:00am 815 Ragel Rd.  Sebastopol (call Bruce at 707-544-1436 for further information).

  • Wednesday Dharma study group and meditation 5:30-7:00 pm, 633 Cherry Street, Santa Rosa (at Bruce's Santa Rosa therapy office. Call Bruce for more information before attending: 707-544-1436).

  • Petaluma River Sangha: Thursday morning meditation, walking meditation, short Dharma talk and discussion, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, 224 A Weller Street, Petaluma (at the Wellness by Design Yoga Studio).

  • Half day extended sittings, usually every other month, announced by Sangha email list and on this website.

  • Longer two or three day retreats, first week in December and May, with practitioners from the Lotus Sangha, co-led with Chris Fortin.
  • Special classes often offered
    Previous classes offered:
    - The Bodhisattva Way of Life
    - The Bodhisattva Precepts
    - Relationship as a Spiritual Practice
    - Basic Zen and the Teachings of Suzuki Roshi
    - Introduction to Buddhism

  • Practice discussion, an integral part of practice, can be arranged by appointment with Bruce.

 image of buddhaMembership

Membership is open to anyone who wishes to practice and support the Occidental Laguna Sangha. Support can be in the form of participation in our activities and through Dana (generosity). We particularly welcome monthly pledges, which help with expenses in renting the meditation hall, supporting teachers and providing some scholarship assistance for retreats.

Contact Bruce Fortin for
more information:
click here to send an E-mail.

Occidental Laguna Sangha
3535 Hillcrest Avenue
Sebastopol, California 95472

© 2010 Occidental Laguna Sangha

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