Welcome to Mountain Stream Meditation/Nevada City Insight Center

John Travis, Resident Teacher and Founder

John Travis, Resident Teacher and Founder

Mountain Stream Meditation's Guiding and Founding Teacher is John M Travis. He began leading Buddhist meditation groups in the Sierra Foothills in 1986. Mountain Stream Meditation became a 501 c 3 non profit organization in the early 1990's. 

The mission of Mountain Stream Meditation is to offer the heart and depth of the Buddha's teachings for all beings, to ease suffering and to awaken to compassion and joy. 

In 2010 Mountain Stream purchased a unique property and remodeled the building into a beautiful meditation center we named the Nevada City Insight Center. The Center opened in Jan, 2013, hosting weekly sitting groups, daylongs and other meditation programs.

For more details about the programs we offer, check our website listings.


“I am so pleased that over the years through a grassroots system we have each discovered the dharma, and through that inspiration we have created a wave....a movement that now manifests itself as a viable center which will serve us now and into the next generation.”
- John Travis

Overall Background

Mountain Stream Meditation has supported Buddhist meditation in the Sierra Nevada for twenty-seven years. The style that is practiced is called Vipassana or "Insight" meditation, which is part of the Theravadan Buddhist tradition.

Traditionally, Theravada and Mahayana are the two main vehicles in Buddhism. Vipassana comes from the Theravada tradition, while Tibetan and Zen Buddhism are part of the Mahayana. Monasteries throughout Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma have kept Theravada Buddhism alive and this form dates to the original teachings of the Buddha.

Mountain Stream Meditation serves a wide community by offering various types of meditation retreats. Daylongs, are scheduled during weekends on a Saturday or Sunday. There are also 7 or 9 night residential retreats (using different venues.) All Mountain Stream programs offer Insight meditation which is taught and practiced.

A bi-annual newsletter, Dharma Stream, is now available on this website. Dharma Stream and our website include calendar listings of residential and daylong retreats, including dates and times locally and regionally. Most of Mountain Stream's retreats are lead by teachers, John Travis and Heather Sundberg.

Insight meditation classes, held two times a year, welcome all levels of practitioners. Regular groups, the "sitting groups" meet for a few hours on a weekly basis. These groups are listed in our newsletter and on the website.

Other community activities, such as potlucks, community workdays, board and committee meetings, and gatherings with other Buddhist meditation leaders and groups are also part of our programs. 

Heather Sundberg, Retreat Teacher

Heather Sundberg,
Retreat Teacher

The retreat teachers, senior students and volunteers help plan our many events for this active community. Along with local churches, Mountain Stream Meditation continues to help feed the homeless in Nevada County through local programs.



“Thank you to the many sincere practioners who have offered their hearts, time, skills, and donations to make this long-term dream a reality!”
- Heather Sundberg

Special Relationship With Other Organizations

Mountain Stream Meditation became a California Non-Profit Corporation in 1994. In 1995, we received a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt designation as a church from the United States Internal Revenue Service.

With a resident guiding teacher, retreat teacher and three Community Dharma Leader's from other Vipassana meditation centers comprise a Teachers  Committee for Mountain Stream Meditation. The committee advises the Board of Directors of Mountain Stream on the conduct of religious activities, in identifying teachers to lead meditation retreats, about the conduct of retreats and related activities, and other matters on religious observances, instruction, and practice.

Mountain Stream Meditation may be considered a very informal spiritual affiliate of the centers in Massachusetts and in Woodacre, California. There is, however, no interlocking directorate among the centers and no fiduciary relationship. In every legal sense, Mountain Stream Meditation is a freestanding organization, and its Board of Directors is answerable to no other organization.