Sangha News 6/26/23

Thursday, 6/29, there will be an open discussion after the 7:00 pm meditation. The following Thursday, 7/6, Chris will give a talk introducing meditation approaches to help increase our awareness of our connection with others. We’ll spend the next few sessions talking about meditations to open to the heart qualities of kindness, joy, compassion, and equanimity. The talk on 7/6 will be self-contained, but this article by Gil Fronsdal may help you learn more: The Four Faces of Love: The Brahma Viharas. 


Beginning Meditation Classes Series ~ July 2 – July 30, 2023

The next series of Beginning Meditation classes is coming in early July. The series will begin on Sunday, July 2, 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. The dates and topics for the class are as follows:

July 2 – Introduction to Mindfulness and Mindfulness of the Breath

July 9 — Mindfulness Meditation and the Body

July 16 — Mindfulness of Thoughts and Emotions in Meditation

July 23 — Compassion & Loving Kindness Meditation Practices

July 30 – Insight Meditation and Open Awarenes


Retreat & Talk with Keri Pederson – “Joy & Wholesome Pleasure on the Path”

Registration is now open for a daylong mindfulness meditation retreat on Saturday, July 8th with Keri Pederson. A graduate of the IMS/Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program, she is a meditation teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society. The retreat will be held from 9:00 am until 4:30 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 at [email protected]. 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 July 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 and talk:

Joy and Wholesome Pleasure on the Path

Joy is an essential quality on the spiritual path, and one that often gets overlooked in favor of some of its fiercer and seemingly more steady relatives. But joy is essential — it provides a necessary balance to the intensity of compassion, it is a part of what allows our minds to stabilize and steady naturally in concentration, and it is a far more skillful dwelling place for the heart than envy or greed. During the talk on Friday and our daylong on Saturday, we will explore together some of the different forms of joy that can arise in our practice, why it might serve us (and others) to recognize and reflect on it more often, and specific ways we might cultivate this quality. 

Friday Evening Meditation and Talk with Keri Pederson on July 7, 2023

Keri Pederson will lead a meditation and give a Dharma talk with time for discussion the evening before the retreat, on Friday, July 7th from 7:00-8:30 pm. The topic for Keri’s talk on Friday evening will be, “Joy and Wholesome Pleasure on the Path”, the same as the topic for the retreat on Saturday. The Friday evening event will 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 will be accepted.


Meditation Support Group Meets at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center on Thursday 7/13

On Thursday, 7/13/2023, we’ll restart our monthly mindfulness meditation support group meeting at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, 7350 West Deschutes Avenue, Kennewick. The sessions, which will be held on the second 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 Wellness Center. If you have a serious illness other than cancer, or are a caregiver for someone who is, you’re welcome to attend the sessions. Each session includes a brief review of mindfulness meditation and the role it 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:

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.

*As long as weather or smoke conditions cooperate, our in-person meetings will take place outdoors throughout the summer.* 

Those who regularly attend the in-person meetings have developed a masking policy for the times 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.


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 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.

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia