Sangha News 12/26/22

Thursday, December 29, we’ll have a shortened program, with the normal half-hour meditation at 7:30 and time for a brief exchange of greetings and sharing. The following Thursday, January 5, 2023, we’ll return to our normal program. After the 7:30 pm meditation, Chris will give a talk on the hindrance of restlessness and worry. In some ways, this hindrance is the energetic opposite of sleepiness and lethargy, which we recently discussed. Chapter VIII in Bhikkhu Analayo’s book, “Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide” would be a good resource for this topic.

The current series of Thursday night talks are exploring topics related to meditation in more detail, starting with the approaches recommended for developing mindfulness. The talks for the next couple of months will be based on the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha’s discourse on the foundations of mindfulness. In that discourse the Buddha gave a clear description of many different approaches to mindfulness meditation, beginning with the body, but also including mindfulness meditation of feelings, thoughts and emotions, and other topics. A good resource for this series of talks would be the book “Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide” by Bhikkhu Analayo. However, the talks will be self-contained, so it won’t be necessary to read the book, and we’ll give other resources for the meditation approaches covered in the talks.


Weekly Meditation Schedule:

In-Person Meetings:

Those who regularly attend the in-person meetings have developed a masking policy for the time we are meeting indoors. The community levels of Covid will be checked each time we publish a newsletter. When community levels are low; masks will be optional. When community levels are medium or high, masks will be required. If there is any attending member that feels more comfortable with everyone masking, we will all mask in support of the most vulnerable among us.

Currently, the Covid community levels are low in Benton County; masks are optional on Saturday morning unless any participant feels more comfortable with everyone masking. There are vulnerable people attending the Wednesday morning session who have requested that everyone mask, so masks are currently required for the Wednesday morning meditation. Please bring a mask to all of the in-person sessions in case there is an attending member with greater vulnerability.

The Covid Community levels are posted on the following website:

We hold two in-person meditation sessions each week on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday morning at 8:00a.m., at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1322 Kimball Avenue in Richland. Please see our Events Calendar or more details. We meditate for half an hour, followed by an optional time for sharing and conversation after meditation. No problem if you want to just meditate and then leave.

The indoor meeting hall has chairs available. However, if you prefer to use your own chair, blanket, cushion or bench, you are welcome to bring it.  We meet in the Parish Hall, through the glass door at the back of the church.

Online Meetings:

In addition to our in-person meetings we have three online meditations a week, on Wednesday morning, Thursday evening, and Saturday morning. The Zoom links for those meetings can be found on the Events Calendar. You’re welcome to join us online for any of the 3 meetings each week.

During the Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday online meetings, we “sit together” for meditation for half an hour. Meditations include guided meditations, meditations with some initial guidance and instruction, and silent meditations. The Wednesday morning meditation starts at 9:30 am, with half an hour of meditation, followed by half an hour of sharing. On Thursday evenings there is a talk or discussion and sharing following meditation. Meditation is from 7:30 until 8:00 pm, with the talk and discussion ending at about 9:00 pm. The Saturday morning meditation starts at 8:00 am, with half an hour of meditation followed by half an hour of sharing.

If you can’t or don’t wish to join the online sessions you can just meditate at the same time as we’re meeting and know that there are others from the group who are meditating with you.


WSU Tri-Cities Hosts a Day of Racial Healing on Jan 17, 2023

Washington State University and its local branch campus are participating in the National Day of Racial Healing on January 17, 2023. There will be a strong emphasis in the day’s events on healing and contemplation, including guided meditations on pausing, self-compassion, mindfulness, and racial healing and transformation. Two of the events will be guided by members of the Insight Meditation sangha, Kersten Bergstrom and Chris Murray. If you attend any of the in-person events, you’re requested to bring a mask, as some of them will require masks. 

You can find information about the WSU-wide event at National Day of Racial Healing. The schedule for the local and online events through WSU Tri-Cities can be found here:  Schedule. Links for some of the online events will be added to the online schedule after January 1. If you have any questions about the events or the schedule, please send an email to Kersten Bergstrom at [email protected]


Beginning Meditation Classes Series ~ Feb 5 – Mar 5, 2023

The next series of Beginning Meditation classes is coming in early February. We’re adding an additional class to the series, which will begin on Sunday, Feb 5, 2023 and continue for 5 Sunday afternoons. The classes will be conducted online via Zoom. The classes are intended to work together to provide an introduction to meditation or serve as a useful “touchstone” for more experienced practitioners. You are welcome to attend any or all of the classes. Each class can be a stand alone class, and will focus on a different topic. All classes will be from 1:30- 3:00 pm. If you’d like to register for the classes, please send an email to Chris Murray at [email protected]. The dates and topics for the class are as follows:

Feb 5 – Introduction to Mindfulness and Mindfulness of the Breath

Feb 12 — Mindfulness Meditation and the Body

Feb 19 — Mindfulness of Thoughts and Emotions in Meditation

Feb 26 — Compassion & Loving Kindness Meditation Practices

Mar 5 – Insight Meditation and Open Awareness

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia