Every Buddhist Meditation Group/Center in Portland Oregon

group of meditators
Intro to Buddhism & Meditation in Portland

When I first arrived in Portland, I spent countless hours both online and conversing with others trying to find the various Buddhist communities in town.  After some years of exploration, I’ve learned every single Buddhist group in Portland (I think!), and have organized them here on this page.

At the time of writing, I’ve personally visited about half of these groups.  However, I am not offering any specific endorsements.  The intention of this page is merely to state the options.  I will try my best to keep my comments factual and data-focused.

Although, I will say that the best way to find a group is always just to check a few of them out and get a feel for what seems to resonate.


A Few Notes to Keep in Mind

  • This article is up-to-date as of April, 2024; however, places are always changing their schedules. In turn, I’d recommend following the below links to verify the current status.  Also note that if something is offered as a hybrid event that’s both in-person & online, I just marked it in-person.
  • While every center has its own flavor, some centers have multiple groups throughout the week and/or are led by different instructors, which may have a very different feel from each other.  It can be helpful to check out multiple groups at the same center!
  • You don’t need to join, sign up, become a Buddhist, or go through any initiation process to go to any of these groups.  You just show up as you are and are free to never come back again, or keep returning as long as you like!

If there is any center/group I’ve missed, please let me know and I will add it.


Vipassana / Insight Meditation / Therāvada Buddhism

The oldest lineage, Theravāda Buddhism is also where the whole modern mindfulness movement came from, and tends to be pragmatic, straightforward, and technically precise.  In turn, its approach to philosophy and meditation is usually the most accessible to Westerners. 

1. Path of Sincerity Sangha

  • Logistics: Every morning 8am virtually; 2nd SU evening in SE Portland
  • Lineage: Sayadaw U Tejaniya + general Theravāda
  • Notes: Led by a former monk, explores how to balance meditation practice with living the whole of the Noble Eightfold Path in modern life.  Offers regular daylong retreats, classes, and multi-week courses.  The morning meditation group attracts around 20 to 30 meditators each day.

2. Portland Insight Meditation Community (PIMC)

  • Logistics: SU morning in SE Portland;  SU, M, TU & TH evening virtually; weekday mornings virtually
  • Lineage: General Theravāda – primarily Burmese lineages
  • Notes: They offer retreats, monthly daylongs, deepening study courses, and have several different teachers that lead various classes throughout the week.  Also has a Queer affinity group and a program for children during the Sunday morning program.

3. Portland Friends of the Dhamma

  • Logistics: SU morning in SE Portland; W morning, F evening, and SA afternoon (virtual)
  • Lineage: Ajahn Chah – Thai Forest
  • Notes: They sometimes host monks from a nearby hermitage for dharma talks, and several times a year they host non-residential weekend retreats with prominent monks in the Thai Forest tradition.  They also host periodic courses on Monday nights.

4. Rose City Rebel Dhamma

  • Logistics: W evening (virtual)
  • Lineage: General Theravāda
  • Notes: Was originally a Dharma Punx group, and has since broken off to become independent.

5. Caring Heart

  • Schedule: TU afternoon, 2nd M evening, and 1st & 3rd S Evening (all virtual)
  • Lineage: Sayadaw U Tejaniya & Sayadaw U Pandita – Burmese Theravāda
  • Notes: Uses modern dharma teachings to explore the integration of meditation with daily life.

6. Pine Street Sangha

  • Schedule: Every morning 9am (virtual)
  • Lineage: General Theravāda
  • Notes: This group places special emphasis on reflection and writing about our meditation experiences.  They also host occasional workshops and intensives.  Somewhat geared towards mental health professionals, or those interested in combining therapeutic modalities with Buddhist meditation.




Zen Mahayana Buddhism

Zen-style Mahayana Buddhism has a very earthy feel, and emphasizes bringing awareness into every moment of your life.  Their approach to meditation is usually not as technical & precise, as they focus on effortless here-and-now presence and the immediacy of compassion.  There is also an emphasis on ritual and form.

1. Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple

  • Schedule: SU & F morning, and SU, TU & TH evenings in NE Portland.  M, W & F evening virtual.
  • Lineage: Soto & Rinzai – Maezumi Roshi and Shodo Harada Roshi
  • Notes: They hold regular classes, events, daylongs, and host various affinity groups, like LGBTQIA+ and engaged Buddhism.  They are also the urban offshoot of the Great Vow Zen Monastery, located in Clatskanie Oregon, which has many live-in monastics and offers monthly residential retreats.

2. Dharma Rain Zen Center

  • Schedule: SU morning, W & TH evening in NE Portland.
  • Lineage: Soto Zen – connected with Shasta Abbey
  • Notes: They also have regular ongoing multi-week courses, workshops, daylongs, and residential retreats.  The schedule changes seasonally, and at various points of the year, they host in-person morning meditations.

3. Portland Community of Mindful Living

  • Schedule:  TU & SA evening SE Portland.  SU, M, W & TH evenings + F morning Virtual.  Friday morning in Vancouver.
  • Lineage: Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Notes: Thich Nhat Hanh has a somewhat eclectic style that is very beginner / non-Buddhist friendly.  It uses some Theravada language with the simplicity of Zen and a grounding in the joy and heart aspects of the path. These groups are all peer-led.

4. No Rank Zendo

  • Schedule: SU & W evening in NE Portland.  M-F 6am, 12pm & 8pm silent virtual meditation.  SA morning outdoors in a park in NE Portland.
  • Lineage: Rinzai Zen – Genki Takabayashi
  • Notes: This is the only dedicated Rinzai group in Portland. Hosts occasional retreats and daylongs.

5. Bright Way Zen Center

  • Schedule: TU evening & SU morning in SW Portland.  T-SA virtual morning meditation.
  • Lineage: Soto Zen – stems from the Dharma Rain Zen Center
  • Notes: They also host a virtual book club and Zen podcast study group, along with periodic workshops and daylongs.

6. Portland Buddhist Priory

  • Schedule: W evening & SU in SE Portland; also open for meditation & service TU, W, TH & SA morning + TU, F & SA evenings.
  • Lineage: Soto Zen – Order of Buddhist Contemplatives
  • Notes: Has a very traditional feel. Affiliated with many temples and monasteries along the West Coast and internationally.

7. Ring of Moss Zendo

  • Schedule: W evening & SU morning in SE Portland
  • Lineage: Diamond Sangha – roots in both Soto & Rinzai
  • Notes: Emphasizes koan practice.  Hosts monthly orientations to Zen practice.  Affiliated with another Zendo in California that hosts retreats. They hold periodic intensives, with more meditation sessions, daylongs, and book study programs.

vajrayana picture


Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism

Vajrayana / Tibetan Buddhism has a mystical & devotional feel.  It can initially come across as somewhat esoteric and inaccessible (unless you’re drawn to artful spirituality!), but if you’re open to it, it has a great blend of Theravada and Mahayana, offering a richness of precision with an emphasis on the now.

1. Kagyu Changchub Chuling (KCC)

  • Logistics: SU morning & W evening in NE Portland; SU evening, TU evening, and M-F morning Virtual
  • Lineage: Kagyu – Kalu Rinpoche
  • Notes: They have a resident Lama (someone who completed a traditional 3-year retreat), and offer a full schedule of deepening study classes, daylongs, retreats, children’s programs, and more.

2. Dorje Ling Portland

  • Schedule: SU morning & W evening in NW Portland
  • Lineage: Nyingma – Gyatrul Rinpoche
  • Notes: They offer periodic retreats, deepening study classes, occasional visits from senior Vajrayana teachers, and are affiliated with the Tashi Choling Monastery in Ashland, Oregon.  They also sometimes host a Tuesday night book club.

3. Shambhala Meditation Center of Portland

  • Logistics: SU, M, TH, F virtual morning meditation; TU evening in SE Portland
  • Lineage: Nyingma & Kagyu – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • Notes: They also offer regular classes, workshops, courses (mostly virtual), and during the warmer months, community hikes.  The Shambhala style tends to be the more secular-leaning, least mystical of the Tibetan lineages.

4. Samden Ling

  • Logistics: W mornings Virtual
  • Lineage: Nyingma/Rime’ Dzogchen Nyingthig – Adzom Paylo Rinpoche
  • Notes: Guided by a local Lama, they offer teachings and practices from The Longchen Nyingthig Teaching Series.  They also have a Youtube channel, online resources, and periodic live talks.

5. Diamond Way Buddhist Center

  • Logistics: M & TH evenings in NE Portland
  • Lineage: Kagyu – Lama Ole Nydahl & Hannah Nydahl
  • Notes: Affiliated with the international non-profit Diamond Way organization with 600+ groups in this tradition.

6. Dekeling Community

  • Logistics: M evenings in NE Portland; TU, W, TH afternoon + TU & TR morning Virtual meditation
  • Lineage: Shangpa Kagyu
  • Notes: Led a female Lama, they are dedicated to the awakening of lay people in modern times.  They host deepening study programs & courses, as well as retreats.

7. Mahasiddha Kadampa Buddhist Center

  • Logistics: SU, M & TH mornings, TU & W evening in SW Portland — also TU evening in Beaverton
  • Lineage: New Kadampa – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
  • Notes: They also lead various training & deepening study programs and have many ways to get involved.  This is the only Mahayana / non-Vajrayana Tibetan center in Portland.

8. Tergar Portland Oregon

  • Logistics: TU evening & W morning Virtual
  • Lineage: Kagyu – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
  • Notes: Explores the Joy of Living teachings of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a native Tibetan teacher who travels widely and has a large network of affiliated sanghas across the world.  They also have various deepening study programs and utilize the online courses & materials of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

9. Maitripa College

  • Logistics: SU mornings + monthly Guru Puja in SE Portland
  • Lineage: General Tibetan / Vajrayana
  • Notes: This is an actual college in Portland with master’s degrees and semester-long courses focused on various aspects of Buddhism and meditation.  However, the Sunday morning gathering is open to the public, donation-based, and is often led by Portland’s only “Rinpoche” (roughly defined, someone recognized as the reincarnation of a great sage).

10. Buddhist Henjyogi Temple

  • Logistics: W & TH evening in SE Portland
  • Lineage: Shingon Buddhism (Japanese)
  • Notes:  A little different than everything else on this page, Shingon Buddhism is one of the few ways to access Vajrayana Buddhism separate from Tibetan Buddhism.  They also host occasional book clubs & other events.

11. Nritya Mandala Mahavihara (Dance Mandal)

  • Logistics: Every morning silent meditation, F morning diety singing, and W evening in SE Portland.  TU evening Virtual.
  • Lineage: Newar Vajrachariya (Nepalese)
  • Notes: Their temple is open every morning for silent meditation.  The founder is an international Vajrayana Sacred Ritual Dance teacher & performer.  He offers donation-based Buddhist dance workshops in the temple, both scheduled and on request.  They also host a number of workshops and events, particularly around chanting, mantra, singing, and other spiritual embodiment forms.

pure land buddhism temple

Traditional Buddhist Temples & Centers

Note: the majority of meditation centers in the West (see all of the above) tend to place prime importance on meditation, and are generally filled with Westerners interested in “spiritual Buddhism.”

In Asia, many Buddhist monasteries give equal if not more emphasis to community, study, chanting, devotional practice, etc.  For the most part, the following temples are more in this style.

Some of the temples might be of interest to Westerners for meditation teaching (such as Miao Fa), but more generally, unless you are from the listed country and/or speak that language, it’s likely the primary value you’ll find is in having a neat cultural experience or getting to dialogue with some monks (which is actually kinda cool!).

1. Mahayana Temples & Centers

2. Theravadan Monasteries, Viharas & Temples

buddhism pic

Buddhist Inspired Groups

1. Recovery Dharma PDX

  • Logistics: Several gatherings every day across the greater Portland area, as well as multiple local meetings every day virtually
  • Lineage: General Buddhism
  • Notes: An alternative to AA and other recovery programs, Recovery Dharma is a community that uses Buddhist principles, mindfulness & loving-kindness practices as a basis for recovery from all types of addictions.

2. Portland Young Meditators

  • Logistics: W evening in SE Portland
  • Lineage: Secular (was formerly affiliated with a local Buddhist organization)
  • Notes: Their Wednesday evening gathering is a “social meditation,” and the general thrust is to develop community & mindful relating.

meditation community pic 1

Where To Go On Retreat Near Portland

I’ve previously written an in-depth guide to why & where to go on Meditation retreat, including places near Portland and also across the country/world.   However, I’ll provide some highlights here:

1. Retreat Centers that lead 10+ retreats per year within 90 miles of Portland

  • The Great Vow Zen Monastery – offers monthly Zen retreats, plus opportunities for long-term residential practice.
  • Cloud Mountain – offers Vipassana retreats from 2 – 30 days with some of the most senior Vipassana teachers in the country.
  • Northwest Vipassana Center – offers donation-based 10-day Vipassana retreats in the style of S.N. Goenka.

2. Communities that lead 1 to 9 retreats per year within 90 miles of Portland

  • Vipassana: Portland Insight Meditation Center (see the Vipassana section above)
  • Zen: Mount Adams Zen Buddhist Temple, Bright Way Zen Center, Dharma Rain Zen Center & No Rank Zendo (see the Zen section above)
  • Vajrayana: Dorje Ling & Kagyu Changchub Chuling (see the Vajrayana section above)

3. Places to do self-retreat within 90 miles of Portland

If you don’t need any guidance and are okay with structuring your own retreat/schedule, here are some places that will offer lodging, food, and quiet:

  • Repeats from #1 and 2: The Great Vow Zen Monastery, Dorje Ling & Mount Adams Zen Buddhist Temple.
  • Other Spiritual Traditions: Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, a long list of Catholic Retreat Centers, and probably several others.
  • Places you won’t get fed: Find a cabin in the woods, rent an AirBnB, go backcountry camping, and probably several others.

If you have any questions about a particular center/group, or would like me to add something to the list, feel free to comment below or email me!

9 thoughts on “Every Buddhist Meditation Group/Center in Portland Oregon

    1. Dharma Rain has a residency program in the city; however, one needs to already be part of that practice community to live on-site. Also, about 90 minutes outside of the city, Great Vow also has a residency program, though I think they usually want longer than a one-month commitment. You could inquire with either place for more information. I’m not aware of any other communities in Portland with a residential community, though that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

    1. I would check out the retreats by Jason Bartlett at Cloud Mountain. He has a two-week in September that would be a good opportunity for jhana practice. I’m not aware of any centers in Portland explicitly teaching jhana, largely because it’s made considerably more likely to happen on retreat.

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