Sangha News 5/15/23

**Due to scheduling conflicts, the Saturday in-person meeting on 5/20 will be held upstairs in the sanctuary at All Saints Episcopal Church.**

This Thursday (5/18), we’ll switch to an earlier meeting time of 7:00 pm PDT and we’ll end by 8:30.  The format will be the same, so meditation for half an hour, a 5-minute break, and the talk or discussion will start at about 7:35. The discussions are always voluntary, you can share or just listen. This evening, Chris will give a talk after meditation about choiceless awareness (also known as open awareness) as a form of meditation. We’ll talk about how to practice it and the differences between choiceless awareness and classical mindfulness meditation. Two excellent resources for the practice of choiceless awareness and classical mindfulness are the books “Three Steps to Awakening”by Larry Rosenberg and Laura Zimmerman; and “The Little Book of Being” by Diana Winston. A couple of resources available online are included below.


Insight Meditation Retreat with Dori Langevin

As many of you know, the retreat and other events scheduled with Dori Langevin were canceled this past weekend due to illness. We’re hoping to reschedule her retreat if we can find a date that works. We’ll announce that date once the arrangements have been made.


Volunteers at Coyote Ridge Correctional Center

The Insight Meditation group has supported Buddhist meditation groups at the state prison in Connell, WA since 2003. Those visits were on hold during the height of the pandemic but resumed last year. Currently we have one volunteer visiting the medium-security prison on Monday afternoons and we are seeking additional volunteers to support that effort, especially when our lead volunteer isn’t available.

There are several requirements for those volunteering at the prison. All volunteers need to have completed the initial vaccination series against COVID-19. Orientation and training are required. Applicants also need to undergo a background investigation. Applicants with a criminal background need to be off of supervision or parole for a year before applying. 

Those applying to volunteer should have a regular meditation practice and at least some knowledge of Buddhist teachings and be willing to learn more so that you can discuss Buddhist practice with the inmates. If you’re interested, please contact Chris Murray for more information about volunteering at Coyote Ridge.


IMMC Meditation Library

The meditation group has a new lending library of books on mindfulness, meditation, Buddhist practice, neuroscience, and psychology. The collection includes books by Jon-Kabat Zinn, Joseph Goldstein, Ajahn Sumedo, Daniel Siegel, Mark Epstein, Rick Hanson, and many others. The books are stored in the library at All Saints Episcopal Church, so you’re welcome to browse the collection the next time you attend one of our in-person meditation sessions. Drew Proctor is the new librarian for the meditation group’s collection. I’m grateful to All Saints and to Drew for helping make the IMMC library possible.

The books were a gift from Lloyd Ames, a resident of West Richland, who died in March. He had a long-term interest in meditation that he shared with Peggy Painter, a neighbor who had taken meditation classes from IMMC. When Lloyd passed away, Peggy approached the meditation group to see if we would be interested in the books. So, many thanks to Lloyd and his family and to Peggy for making and facilitating the gift.

The shelf space that we have is limited, so I don’t think we’ll be able to accept additions to the library at this time, but we’ll let you know if that changes.


Weekly Meditation Schedule:

In-Person Meetings:

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 the Events Calendar for 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.

**Due to scheduling conflicts, the Saturday in-person meeting on 5/20 will be held upstairs in the sanctuary at All Saints Episcopal Church.**

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.

Currently, the Covid community levels are low in Benton County so masks are optional.

However, please bring a mask to all of the in-person meditation sessions in case there is an attending member with greater vulnerability. 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.

The Covid Community levels are posted on the following website:

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.

We’re looking forward to welcoming some of you in person and being there online for others.

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. 

We’re looking forward to welcoming some of you in person and being there online for others.

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia