Insight Community of Southern Maine

  An unaffiliated, secular-leaning community devoted to the study & practice of core Buddhist teachings

HomeIn the CommunityResource Information

836 Main Street ~ Westbrook, Maine  04092 
Contact Us

About Buddhism:  Over 2500 years ago in ancient India, Siddhattha Gotama – the Buddha or “Awakened One” – discovered, through a rigorous process of discipline and reflection, the nature of human suffering and the path by which one can be liberated from suffering. After his “awakening”, the Buddha dedicated the rest of his life teaching what he had learned, encouraging those who heard his teachings to find out for themselves the truth of what he was saying. Thus, the Buddhist path unfolded as an integrated path comprised of the development of insight/understanding through Dhamma (teachings) and through the practice of meditation, experiencing first-hand the truth of the teachings. Over the centuries, Buddhism moved across India and the continent of Asia including China, Tibet, and Japan, and, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the West --- North America and Europe, being integrated into the respective cultures and traditions. Buddhism has been described as a religion, as a philosophy, as an ethics and as a psychology.

With one ending, there is a beginning--
All that has come before this moment 
will be part of what unfolds. 

After 12 years, ICSM has closed its doors and is directing people interested in Vipassana Meditation to the 
OPEN DOOR sangha in Portland, ME.

Please join Susa Talan & Insight Meditation Society teacher, Alexis Santos and others in the Open Door sangha. 
Insight Community of Southern Maine ~ 836 Main Street ~ Westbrook, Maine 04092

A note from Sally:  

Hello dear friends,

As many of you know, I have moved into a significant “letting go” and transitional phase of life. I’ve moved into professional semi-retirement (transitioned leadership of LivingWell to Vicki Gayton, Jan. 2018), have become a gramma (two little granddaughters—Olivia Estelle and Ruby Clare), and moved into Portland after living in Buxton for nearly 30 years. Because I’m wanting to be more available to my family and because I want to dedicate more of my time to human rights activism on behalf of the Palestinian people (new project:—and maybe have some time for writing and painting— I also decided some time ago to let go of leadership of ICSM (which will also mean closing the door of ICSM after 12 years of weekly Tuesday evening and about 10 years of Saturday programs—study and meditation)

What makes this decision to let go of ICSM feel OK is the development of a new sangha and meditation center in Portland— the Open Door sangha— led by Alexis Santos and Susa Talan. They bring to Portland extensive experience in vipassana meditation, in teachings rooted in the Nikaya (the Pali Canon) and in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. Alexis is a recognized IMS meditation teacher who has been trained through the Insight Meditation Society, and I’ve learned that Susa is a teacher in training. We are fortunate to have their presence here in Portland!  

So, once I’ve more fully settled into my new Portland home, I will be attending the Open Door sangha and hope to support its growth and development over time. I encourage those of you inclined to attend a sangha and receive support for meditation practice, to check out the Open Door. For more information, please contact Susa at

To all of you who have come through the ICSM / LivingWell doors, thank you from the fullness of my heart for your dedication & practice, your presence, and for the beautiful effects that flow from your practice into the world. And, thank you, too, for supporting the me in the unfolding of my own journey along this path. I am grateful.

With much love,

PS. The ICSM website will post information about the changes and will be left up for awhile.  

Sally Bowden-Schaible, LCPC, CCMHC 
Founder of LivingWell /
Insight Community of Southern Maine

Welcome to the Insight Community of Southern Maine

​About ICSM:  With practice and wise guidance, understanding of the Dhamma (teachings of the Buddha) unfolds and deepens over time revealing more and more the nature of human suffering and ways to become free from suffering. The Insight Community of Southern Maine offers an opportunity for those interested to study the core teachings of the Buddha, to apply the teachings in meditation practices, to support one another as a community (sangha) in the study and practice of the teachings, and to see for oneself the benefits of the study and practice. 

For a copy of the Brahma Vihāra meditations recited at ICSM, click here.
For a copy of A Meditation of Intention recited at ICSM, click here.