North America

Gold Buddha hand

The Samatha Foundation of North America

Samatha meditation classes and courses in North America are offered under the auspices of the Samatha Foundation of North America, a 501(c)(3) religious charity based in Chicago, IL. The Foundation’s purpose is to support, foster and advance the teachings and practices of Buddhism in North America, and especially the tradition of Samatha meditation as taught by Nai Boonman Poonyathiro. Amongst other things, the Foundation provides logistical and financial support for Samatha meditation groups, courses and events in North America.

The Samatha Foundation of North America is an independent organization, not formally associated with the Samatha Trust.

For more details about Samatha meditation in North America or the Samatha Foundation of North America, please e-mail

Beginners classes

Beginners' meditation classes in the Buddhist Samatha tradition are currently offered in five cities in the United States of America. All beginners' classes are open to all, and are offered free of charge (although you are welcome to make a donation to help cover the costs of refreshments and room rental).

In the Midwest, classes are offered in Chicago: on the South Side in Hyde Park, at Chaturanga Holistic Fitness, in the Deco Arts Building; and on the North Side in the Chicago Center for Psychophysical Healing, near Clark and Devon. For more details, visit

In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, a beginners' meditation class is offered each fall at the Alameda Center for Buddhist Meditation on Ballena Bay Isle, Alameda, near Oakland and Berkeley. At other times of year, individual or small group instruction can usually be arranged on request. For more details, visit

In New England, a beginners' class and ongoing group meets in Holden, Massachusetts, just outside of Worcester. The class is offered on Thursday evenings, 7pm - 8pm, beginning on March 15, 2018, but newcomers are welcome at any time.  We gather at UnCommon Ground Spirituality Center, 70 Highland St. Holden, MA (the house to the right of the main parking lot). More information is available at, and via email at

In Philadelphia, a beginners' class meets on the University of Pennsylvania campus. For more details, visit

We offer classes in the Auburn/Opelika area of Alabama. Typically we meet in Opelika at 8pm on Tuesdays during the academic year. For the latest details, please visit

Occasionally, one of these groups will organize a day of meditation instruction for beginners. Details will appear on the web page of the organizing group.

Other Activities

There are a number of opportunities for those who have completed a first course of instruction in Samatha meditation. In Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area, there are advanced groups who regularly meet to practice Samatha meditation and explore and discuss related Buddhist teachings.

In Chicago, there is a group who meet to practice chanting Pali Buddhist texts. Residential courses are offered to those who have some experience with Samatha Buddhist meditation. There is a week long residential course every year, and shorter residential courses are occasionally organized. You can find out more about residential courses by asking your meditation teacher.

The Samatha Journal (an occasional journal published by the UK Samatha Trust and of interest to those who practice all forms of meditation) is currently edited in California. See: