Sangha News: 3/6/23

Thursday, 3/9, there will be a discussion of energy and effort after the 7:30 pm meditation. The following Thursday, 3/16, Heidi will host the 7:30 pm meditation and an open discussion. Chris will return the following Thursday, 3/23, and give a talk on joy and contentment as a factor of awakening. Chapter IX in Bhikkhu Analayo’s book, “Satipatthana Meditation: A Practice Guide” would be a good resource for these topics, or see the additional resource below.

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.


Meditation App Recommendation:

We recently discovered the Healthy Minds app from Healthy Minds Innovations, a nonprofit centered at the University of Wisconsin, and want to recommend it, especially for those who have had difficulty starting a regular meditation practice. The app has a secular orientation and was developed by two top neuroscientists who are also long-term meditators, Richie Davidson and Cortland Dahl. The app is free, supported by donations, and there’s no cost to download or use it. There is a screen from which you can make a donation to the app (with no obligation to do so), but there are no product ads or in-app purchase pop-ups. The app is available for both Apple and Android phones. 

The framework includes a mix of guided meditations and short talks in four different areas: Awareness (mindfulness); Connection (lovingkindness and compassion); Insight (investigation and self-inquiry); and Purpose (knowing and expressing our deepest values). The guided meditations are very flexible, so each meditation can be set for either sitting or moving meditation, for different lengths of time (5/10/15/20/30 minutes), and for different speakers/voices. Overall, the app provides a good introduction to a broad range of meditation and daily life practices that foster well-being, and does it in small bits that could be the foundation of a regular meditation practice. You can find more information here: Healthy Minds Innovation


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 and Wednesday morning unless any participant feels more comfortable with everyone masking. 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.


Day Long Meditation Retreats for 2023:

Tim Barbour, the new Retreat Manager for Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia (IMMC), has arranged three retreats for this year – thanks, Tim! All are currently planned as in-person retreats in Richland. In addition, the Walla Walla Dharma Sangha (WWDS) has scheduled two retreats in 2023. Tentative information for all five retreats is shown below. More information on the teachers and topics will be available when the retreats open for registration, usually about a month before the retreat date.

April 15, Genjo Marinello Osho, hosted by WWDS, at Vista Hermosa near Prescott, WA

May 13, Dori Langevin, hosted by IMMC at Shalom UCC in Richland, WA

July 8, Keri Pederson, hosted by IMMC at All Saints Episcopal church in Richland, WA

September 23, Tim Geil, hosted by IMMC at All Saints Episcopal church in Richland, WA

November 4, Debra Seido Martin, hosted by WWDS at Vista Hermosa near Prescott, WA

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia