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Insight Meditation Houston was founded in 1980 by Rodney Smith, who had ordained with Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma and then had practiced for three years with Ajahn Buddhadasa in Thailand. Since Rodney left Houston in 1983, IMH has continued to meet weekly and to sponsor retreats at the Margaret Austin Center, which is located in a tranquil rural setting near Chappell Hill, Texas.
Weekly sittings are held on Monday nights from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5200 Fannin Street. They are open to people of all faiths, or none. Currently, they are led by Ginger Clarkson, a Community Dharma Leader trained by James Baraz, Jack Kornfield and other teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Typically, the sessions begin with Qi Gong exercises, followed by approximately half an hour of silent meditation. A talk applying principles of Buddhist philosophy to everyday life often follows, succeeded by discussion.