SittingLab

The post-Mindfulness way to grow and deepen your daily meditation practice.

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 and awake. 

Sitting goes beyond just stress reduction. It's stepping back to turn inward toward a more spacious and open sense of awareness. It's being fully present with yourself and everything around you.  

Sitting is resting in awareness of the present moment. It's allowing yourself to not know and instead to be open to imaginal possibility. When you stop trying to figure things out and return to sitting quiet and still, you enable the experience of 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

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

Having an intention to show up––with an open, curious mind––is how you learn to sit. Returning to sit, again and again, is how your body learns to practice. 

The purpose of sitting is to learn to sit. To grow a sitting practice, start wherever you are. Show up and feel your way, moment by moment. Notice what happens. Each session is 30 minutes. We sit for 24 minutes and then do a brief check-in.

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 connect 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 puts 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." 

Growing your capacity to play in the connectedness of inter-being and the emergence of inter-becoming is how you cultivate the conditions for deeper 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 hard to establish a regular sitting practice, and it's even harder to stick with it and go deeper. The support and encouragement of practice friends make it all 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 dedicate ourselves to helping 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––designed for a deeply human experience. 

We're not a tech or media company. We're about connecting meaningfully with ourselves and a community of friends to enjoy and share the life-changing benefits of sitting practice.

When people sit silently together, there's a feeling of relatedness 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 and connected with other humans.

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, click to log in, then sit with others. 

We try to keep things as simple as possible. Use our practice event calendar to design your daily practice. Reserve your spots, add them to your personal calendar, get a reminder, and 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

Become a founding member of SittingLab and start sitting with new friends.

The SittingLab community is for you if meditation is a priority for your life. Connect with friends. Learn from fellow practitioners. Grow your practice as you support and encourage others. 

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 founding member enables you to join a private group for dedicated practitioners. If you'll benefit from sitting with a community of friends, 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 monk in a Thai forest monastery in 1993. He vowed to dedicate his life to the pursuit of sitting practice and awakening, spending six years as a Zen monk in a remote mountain monastery and more than two decades with the San Francisco Zen Center. In addition to being a Zen Buddhist priest, Robert has led Dharma organizations since the early 2000's. He is the retired CEO and Executive Director of the San Francisco Zen Center, Mindful Schools, and the Tara Mandala International Buddhist Community. Today, he spends his time sitting, walking, writing, and drawing.

Our Vision

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

This is a significant development because how we're meditating today isn't working. It's about corporate Mindfulness apps, pre-recorded guided sessions, or hard-to-figure-out Buddhist groups. It's not real, meaningful, or inclusive enough. It's difficult to meet people and make friends. Somehow, we've lost the awe-inspiring experience of meditation practice. 

Our aim is to provide a simple, deeper, more human, post-Mindfulness alternative. We do this by enabling a global community of meditation practitioners to gather, connect, and sit together so that we can support and encourage each other to grow a regular and deepening sitting practice.

We approach sitting practice with as few rules and restrictions as possible. With no distractions, we more easily let go and rest in the boundless, open space of the present moment, in real-time, together with other breathing human beings from around the world. 

This allows us to slowly feel our way into a more intimate, heartfelt connection with everything around us. Making this our everyday practice, a growing sense of kindness and loving acceptance naturally gives our lives a different purpose and intention. 

I imagine a day when anyone, anywhere, can easily gather and sit together with friends every day, at convenient times and from the comfort and security––and personal sacredness––of their own environment. 

SittingLab's gift to you is to offer a welcoming, safe space to find your way, quiet your mind, get to know yourself, and help others. This is how we discover new paths forward for ourselves, away from anger and suffering, toward developing our fullest capacity for vitality, cooperation, adaptivity, and understanding. 

If enough of us begin to walk a path of awakening together, there's a chance that an embodied wisdom––expressing compassion and fostering life-sustaining relations with all living beings––can flourish and bring tremendous benefit to our world. 

If our vision of possibility and benefit resonates with you and your life goals, I invite you to become part of SittingLab."

–– Robert Thomas, SittingLab Founder

The SittingLab Manifesto


With SittingLab, you are the designer of your journey to meaning and happiness. 

Coming this Summer is SittingLab's free, three-part course introducing you to the SittingLab platform and helping you design and launch your regular and deepening sitting practice.


Our Introductory Course