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About US

Community Statement

Sit Around Chicago was founded in 2020 as a Buddhist organization that connects temples, community, and practitioners in the Chicagoland area.

We value all Buddhist traditions and practices. While everyone is welcome, we seek to be inclusive of Asians, Asian-Americans, people of color, and other persons who have been displaced by the colonial narrative that often pervades American Buddhism.

We are committed to disrupting hierarchies that may persist in some forms of patriarchal Buddhism and believe that all beings possess Buddha nature, Buddha heart, and Buddha wisdom equally and without exception.



Sabaha Lee Round in evocative lighting
Alex Bernstein with malas

Sabaha Lee Round

Sabaha moved to Chicago in 2014, the same year she began a regular Buddhist practice. She has attended seminary in the Korean Seon tradition and has been a guiding teacher for children and teens exploring Buddhism. In her free time, Sabaha is a doctoral candidate in social services at the University of Chicago, where she studies the history of homeless youth policy in the US. She also enjoys embroidering, being a mom, and hanging with Alex sometimes.

Alex Bernstein

Alex is a life-long Chicagoan, father, and high school teacher. He began practicing Buddhism in 2012 in the Korean Seon tradition. In 2019, he received ordination as a lay priest from his root teacher, Samu Sunim. In 2020, Alex began studying with Taigen Dan Leighton, a Soto Zen teacher and scholar in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. He enjoys long runs, making music, and his partner, Sabaha, even when she is being profoundly annoying.

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