Sangha News 5/21/24

Thursday evening Info:

The Thursday night talks explore topics related to meditation, with the current focus on exploring the role of core values, intention, and purpose in our lives.

After the 7:00 pm online meditation on Thursday, 5/30/24, Chris will give a talk on identifying our core values in life and living with the intention to express them in each moment. The following Thursday, 6/6, we’ll have a discussion on values and intention in our daily lives.


Upcoming Meditation Retreat With Keri Pederson on Saturday, June 8, 2024

Registration is still open for a daylong mindfulness meditation retreat on Saturday, June 8 with Keri Pederson. A graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program, Keri is a meditation teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society. The retreat will be held from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm at All Saints Episcopal Church in Richland. The retreat will consist of a mix of seated meditation and walking meditation with instruction and a Dharma talk and will be suitable for beginners and experienced meditators.

To register for the retreat, please send an email to Tim Barbour. Fee for the retreat will be $10. Please use our online donation form to pay the retreat fee, and leave a comment indicating that the donation is for the retreat on June 8th. The fee will be waived for those who can’t afford it. Those who are registered for the retreat will receive an email a day or two before the retreat with additional information about the retreat.

Here is a more detailed description of the central topic of the retreat:

The Power of Spiritual Friendship 

The Buddha rather famously said that spiritual friendship (kalyana mittata) is not just one half, but the whole of the holy life. He also identified spiritual friendship as a model for healthy relatedness within ourselves and within our communities, as well as a prerequisite for awakening. What are we to make of this emphasis on beautiful, wholesome friendship running through a teaching that also invites us to investigate fully and take responsibility for ourselves, and come to our own understanding? In our time together Friday evening and during the day on Saturday, we’ll explore the qualities of spiritual friendship that the Buddha pointed to — its potency and its challenges, and how we can nurture it as a vital support for (and expression of) awakening.

Keri Pederson will also lead a meditation and give a Dharma talk with time for discussion the evening before the retreat, on Friday, June 7th from 7:00-8:30 pm. The topic for Keri’s talk on Friday evening will be the same as the topic for the retreat on Saturday.

The Friday evening event will also be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1322 Kimball Ave., Richland, in the Parish Hall on the lower level in the rear of the Church. There is no fee or registration for the Friday evening event and drop-ins are welcome; donations to support Keri and the meditation group will be accepted.


Meditation Support Group Meets at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center

We’ll continue our monthly mindfulness meditation support group meeting at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, 7350 West Deschutes Avenue, Kennewick. The next meeting will be Thursday, 6/20/2024. The sessions, which are held on the third Thursday of each month, are meant for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their caregivers. The session will begin at 12:00 pm at the Cancer Center in the Fireside Room. If you have a serious illness other than cancer, or are a caregiver for someone who is ill, you’re welcome to attend the sessions. Each session includes a brief review of mindfulness and mindful self-compassion meditations and the role they can play in reducing the anxiety arising from diagnosis and treatment, an opportunity to ask questions, and the chance to practice meditation with others.


Weekly Meditation Schedule:

In-Person Meetings:

Our in-person meetings take place at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1322 Kimball Avenue in Richland. Our in-person meditation meetings are offered on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. We meditate for half an hour, followed by an optional time for sharing and conversation after meditation. No problem if you just want to meditate and then leave. 

Chairs are available in the meeting hall. However, if you prefer to use your own chair, blanket, cushion or bench, you are welcome to bring it. The meetings have recently moved indoors and meet in the Parish Hall at the rear of the church.

Those who regularly attend the in-person meetings have developed a masking policy for the times we meet 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 the meeting is moved indoors and there is an attending member with greater vulnerability.

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.


Volunteers at Coyote Ridge Corrections 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 two volunteers 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.  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.

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia