The ideal way to grow and deepen your meditation practice in today's world.

Our Inspiration:

The past is past. The future is important. You in the West should be creative in adapting the timeless essence of the Dharma to your own cultural times and circumstances. 

— His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddhist Teacher and Author

Sitting is stepping back and turning inward to be fully present, here and now. 

It's stepping back from habitual ways of thinking. It's turning inward to open up to a spacious sense of awareness and possibility. It's being fully present with yourself and everything around you.  

Sitting is resting in awareness of how things truly are. It's allowing yourself to not know, and instead, to be open and curious to whatever is arising. When you stop trying to figure things out and return to sitting quiet and still, you enable the fully present experience being "awake."

Our Inspiration:

The most radical thing any of us can do at this time is to be fully present to what is happening in the world.

— Joanna Macy, Buddhist Teacher and Author

You learn to sit by sitting. That's why showing up is the most important thing.

Just showing up––with an open and curious mind––is the way you learn to sit. Returning to sit, over and over again, is how your body learns to practice. 

To grow a sitting practice, begin wherever you are. Show up with a beginner's mind. We sit for 24 minutes in half-hour sessions with a check-in at the end. As you experiment and try new things, you get a feel for what will work best for you. 

Our Inspiration:

When we sit, we bring joy and nourishment to ourselves and others. Every time we sit, we can sit in such a way that the world can profit from our sitting.

–– Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Teacher and Activist

Those who can establish a daily practice, notice that everything is now different.

With a regular, everyday sitting practice, you see different, think different, feel different, work different, care different, create different, and love different. 

With a daily sitting practice, your life changes in ways that you could have never imagined. Everything is different. You feel more connected, present, and awake for your life, able to meet each moment with greater kindness, acceptance, and understanding. You begin to see yourself and experience your world in a very different way.  

Our Inspiration:

(When we sit) we see that nothing is stagnant, and nothing is fully separate, that who we are, what we are is intimately woven into the nature of life itself. Out of this sense of connection, love and compassion arise.” 

— Sharon Salzberg, Buddhist Teacher and Author

When you grow a regular practice, the benefits begin to increase exponentially. 

A regular sitting practice is the path to creating profound and lasting changes in your life. The way you establish a practice is by taking small steps and then repeating them again and again.

By taking small steps, you can avoid resistance to change as you create new neural pathways and patterns of behavior. With commitment and repetition, you establish a daily practice that sets you on a deepening path. This enables you to experience the benefits of your sitting as the inter-play of "inter-being" and "inter-becoming." 

Anyone who has the ability to play simultaneously in the vast interconnected field of "inter-being" and the constantly changing emergence of "inter-becoming" is creating the powerful conditions for personal and collective flourishing. SittingLab helps you do this by cultivating vitality, cooperation, adaptivity, and understanding in your everyday practice and life. 

–– Robert Thomas, SittingLab Founder and Meditator

The best way to grow and deepen your sitting practice is together with friends.

It's really hard to establish a regular sitting practice. It's even harder to stick with it and go deeper. The support and encouragement of our practice friends is what makes it possible.

Research shows that the best way to have a daily, deepening sitting practice is to do it together with other practitioners. Nothing helps a sitting practice develop and go deeper better than caring friends supporting you on your path. At SittingLab, we help each other grow and deepen our practice.

Our Inspiration:

Meditation practice in the 21st Century should become a collective practice. Without a community of friends, we cannot achieve much." 

— Thich Nhat Hanh

SittingLab is minimalist yet meaningful––we made it for real human experiences. 

We're not a technology or media company. We're about connecting deeply with ourselves and other practitioners to share and enjoy the benefits of a regular sitting practice.

When people sit quietly together, there's a feeling of connection and belonging that naturally occurs. At SittingLab, our goal is for the technology to be transparent. What reveals itself is the profoundly nurturing experience of being fully present together with other human beings.

Our Inspiration:

My teaching is not a philosophy. It is the result of direct experience. My teaching is a means of practice, not something to hold onto or worship.  

— The Buddha

How it works: Block out time in your calendar then click to log on and sit with others. 

We try to keep things as simple as possible. Use our easy scheduler to map out your practice events. Reserve your spot, add it to your everyday calendar, get a reminder, and then show up! 

Easily schedule your practice events and integrate them into your everyday calendar. Get a reminder and in a click you're there. Our platform enables you to create a robust profile, message members, join a practice group, and access helpful resources.                                     

Above: Screenshots from SittingLab's practice event calendar.

Our Inspiration:

Friendship is the most important element in the spiritual path. Everything else naturally flows from it. 

–– Norman Fischer, Buddhist Teacher and Author

Join our community and start practicing together with like-minded friends.

The SittingLab community is for you if meditation is a priority for your life. Connect with peers and learn from seasoned practitioners. Gain experience and help others by sharing your insights. 

SittingLab membership includes Daily Sits and Practice Check-Ins, Talks with Q&A, Half and Full-Day Retreats, 1:1 Practice Discussions, and Peer Connections. Being a member also enables you to join a private group for dedicated practitioners. If you think you'll benefit from practicing together with others in community, we invite you to join us.

Our Inspiration:

Although, in some ways, meditation is doing nothing, the very act of stopping in a world that's going faster and faster has a big impact and is a revolutionary act.

–– Lama Tsultrim Allione, Buddhist Teacher and Author

What people have to say about their experience practicing with SittingLab:

"SittingLab deepens my commitment to practice daily. I feel the support of others to be consistent when I might be feeling lazy."  

–– Ernest B. PhD, Educational Therapist

"Before I joined SittingLab, I wanted to meditate more regularly but had a hard time prioritizing the time for it. I would also feel too antsy to sit still for much more than 5 minutes. After joining SittingLab, I've now been able to meditate more regularly (at least three times a week), and I'm amazed at my ability to simply "be" for our entire sitting sessions. After each session, I feel more centered, calm, and connected in a deep way with my fellow meditators." 

  –– Karla P., Writer and Life Coach

"Robert helped me get over the initial challenges of meditation. I'd tried in the past to meditate on a regular basis and was never able to. With this retreat, things started to click, and I began to relax into it instead of trying so hard and ultimately stopping. This made all the difference in me establishing a regular practice. I feel like I have a path forward now."

  — Edward P., retreat participant

"Robert provided the group with an inspiring blend of yoga practice and meditation that was warm, non-judgmental, and fun. He took great care to address everyone's needs and encouraged each person to stretch their own comfort zone. I thank Robert for his mindful presence, good humor, commitment, and wisdom.

  — Barbara R., retreat participant

Our Inspiration:

In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. In an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." 

–– Pico Iyer, global traveler and author

SittingLab was designed by long-time practitioner and community leader.

SittingLab's Robert Thomas began practicing Vipassana meditation as a novice monk in a Thai forest monastery in 1993. He would then dedicate his life to sitting practice, spending six years as a Zen monk in a remote mountain monastery and 24 years with the San Francisco Zen Center. While ordained as a Buddhist priest, Robert has led Western Dharma and mindfulness organizations for the last two decades. In addition to the San Francisco Zen Center, this includes Mindful Schools and Tara Mandala, an international Buddhist community, where he is currently the Executive Director.

Our Vision

Today, anyone can sit with other meditators at any time and from anywhere. This paradigm shift, made possible by today's digital tools, enables people to practice together daily with fewer obstacles and complications than ever before. 

This is a significant development because how we meditate today isn't working. It's about marketing apps, pre-recorded voices, and exotic places. It's not real, inclusive, or human enough for many of us. It's hard to meet like-minded people and make friends. The travel is expensive and harms our environment. 

At SittingLab, our aspiration is to offer a fresh alternative. It's to enable a global community of practitioners to easily gather, connect, and sit together so that we can support and encourage each other to grow a regular, deepening practice.

We approach sitting practice with as few rules and restrictions as possible. With less to distract us, we can more easily let go and rest together in the boundless, open space of the present moment. 

This allows us to feel our way into a profound sense of connection with everything around us––and make that our everyday practice. When we do this, kindness and loving acceptance naturally emerge and give deep meaning and purpose to our lives. 

I imagine a day when anyone, anywhere, can easily gather and sit together with friends at times that are convenient and from safe places that work for them. 

I believe this is how we begin to collectively find a new path for ourselves, away from anger and suffering, toward more vitality, cooperation, adaptivity, and understanding. If enough of us can find and walk this path, an embodied wisdom that manifests a radical compassion for all living beings has a chance to take hold and change our world."

–– Robert Thomas, SittingLab Founder

At SittingLab, everyone is the architect of their journey to meaning and happiness. 

Coming soon is SittingLab's introductory accelerator to help you design and begin a regular, deepening sitting practice.