Getting Started

Welcome to the Buddhist Center

We invite you to take part in whatever we have to offer, in whatever way you like, and as often as you like. Here’s a short guide to the various activities and offerings of the Buddhist Center.

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What do we do?

There are three ‘legs’ to our community and to the spiritual life in general: 1) study, 2) meditation practice, and 3) community life.

1 We read, listen to and contemplate the teachings in order to refine our understanding of who we are, and the world around us, in a way that is clear and accurate. Such a clear understanding is conducive to a peaceful life and one that is deeply interested in and appreciative of others.

2 We practice meditation so that this understanding can take root in a clear, relaxed and stable mind.

3 We gather in community to share and celebrate the spiritual journey. Friends along the path support us, inspire us and can act as a mirror so we can more clearly see ourselves.

Join in -

The Buddhist Center invites anyone interested in learning to meditate in general, or about Buddhism altogether. We’re open to anyone, of any faith, at any level of experience. Many of our active members also participate in other faith traditions.

Each of our Monday night gatherings are oriented so that both new people and the ‘old hands’ can be enriched. In the beginning, it’s common to feel a bit intimidated, or confused as you hear new terms, or engage in new activities. In fact, the concept of ‘beginner’s mind’ is celebrated in Buddhism as the quality of experience that is already close to the ‘heart of the matter’.  The most important thing is to be a little patient, and to ask a lot of questions. 

How to get involved -

Monday nights – feel free to join us for our Monday night gatherings to meditate together, and discuss the teachings.

Sunday Half-day Mini Retreat -  On the 2nd Sunday of each month we gather for a morning or meditation, 9am - noon - here

Weekend retreats – from time to time we present weekend programs in order to explore some aspect of the spiritual path.

Teacher visits – we have long and deep relationships with many of the most gifted teachers from the Tibetan tradition.  We’re fortunate to be able to host them here in Steamboat from time to time.

Social action – join in for events that benefit the larger Steamboat community, such as our food drives in support of the Lift-Up Food Bank.

Community gatherings – join us for social gatherings, such as our periodic pot-luck dinners.

Resources -

Library – please feel free to check out books from our library. You might want to check our website for recommended readings.

Articles - You’re most welcome to take any of the articles from the racks at the back of the center.  These are a selection from the recent Buddhist press that you might find interesting

Suggestions, and a Few Tips - there are few miscellaneous tips for getting started - here

Website - Please take the time to explore this website. The website is a tremendous resource for new and experienced meditators.

Stay in touch - There are three ways to stay in touch with us:

1. Keep up with us through the website

2. Join our BCSS community group on Yahoo to communicate directly with others in the community. You can announce events, chat about what’s up, offer rooms for rent, look for a job – whatever. If you’d like to join the group, please contact Cathryn Mayer at

3. Sign up to receive our weekly emails - here

Getting started –  Here are some tips for how to get started

1. Watch the 15 minute ‘Guided Meditation’ teaching.  It’s available on the website    on the ‘Recorded Teachings’ page, or on DVD at the center.

2. Listen to Tim’s public talk at the Library -  "Taming the Mind - Finding Freedom",  here, or at the center in CD form.

3. Read from the Buddhist press, especially Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma, and Tricycle magazines.

4. Follow the interactive curriculum available on the website - here

5. Read any of the wonderful books available about meditation and Buddhism. You might want to start with one of these: (available in our library)

You might want to start with one of these: (available in our library)

The Joy of Living                                            Mingyur Rinpoche
Happiness                                                       Matthieu Ricard
Why Meditate                                                 Matthieu Ricard
What Makes You Not a Buddhist                    Dzongsar Khyentse
The Myth of Freedom                                     Chogyam Trungpa
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying           Sogyal Rinpoche
The Buddha and His Teachings                       Bercholz/Kohn
Joyful Wisdom                                                 Mingyur Rinpoche

Books by Pema Chodron:
Practice Peace in Times of War
Taking the Leap
When Things Fall Apart
The Wisdom of No Escape
Start Where You Are