Sangha News 9/5/23

Thursday evening, 9/7, there will be a discussion after the 7:00 pm online meditation of the practice of self-compassion and RAIN, an acronym for an insight meditation practice that encourages the development of inquiry and self-compassion. The following Thursday, 9/14, Chris will give a talk after meditation on compassion for others and the meditation practice of tonglen, or taking and sending, a form of compassion meditation developed in Tibetan traditions. The discussion and talks on 9/7 and 9/14 will be self-contained. You can find some additional information on these topics here.


Meditation Support Group Meets at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center

Please join us for our monthly mindfulness meditation support group meeting at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, 7350 West Deschutes Avenue, Kennewick. The sessions, which are held on the third Thursday of each month, are meant for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their caregivers. Our next session will be Thursday Sept. 21st. 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.


Meditation Retreat and Friday Evening Talk and Meditation with Tim Geil, 9/22 and 9/23

Registration is now open for an Insight Meditation retreat with Tim Geil on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tim is one of the guiding meditation teachers for Seattle Insight Meditation Society.

This in-person retreat will consist of a mix of stationary meditation and movement meditation with instruction and a Dharma talk. The retreat will be suitable for beginners and experienced meditators. It will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1322 Kimball Avenue in Richland, WA. To register for the retreat, please send an email to Tim Barbour.

Fee for the retreat is $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 September 23. The fee will be waived for those who can’t afford it, please send an email to Tim Barbour if that’s an issue for you.

Tim will also give a talk and lead meditation on Friday, September 22, from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm PT with the same topic. That event will also be held at All Saints in the Parish Hall. There is no fee for the Friday evening event, and registration will not be required for it.

The theme for the retreat and Friday night talk will be: Exploring the Three Unwholesome Roots.

The Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Delusion generate tremendous suffering in our lives. During the Friday night talk and Saturday daylong, we will explore how to work with them skillfully through wisdom and compassion. Through wisdom, we can start to understand how they maintain the illusion of a separate self. Through compassion, we can open to the pain that provides the fuel for these three roots.


Weekly Meditation Schedule:

In-Person Meetings:

Our in-person meetings take place outside, behind 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 and can be brought outside. However, if you prefer to use your own chair, blanket, cushion or bench, you are welcome to bring it. We will be meeting outdoors as long as weather permits. We will meet indoors on days when weather or smoke conditions do not cooperate. Masks are not required when we meet outdoors.

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 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.

Warm regards,

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia