Welcome

Spring flowers, and meditation bell set in foreground

Welcome to Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC).

We are dedicated to fostering a welcoming refuge for all people to explore meditation, mindful living, and the teachings of the Buddha. We are committed to cultivating an appreciation of the value of diversity and to acknowledging the need to recognize and dissolve barriers that separate us from each other. We open our doors and hearts to all social identities including, but not limited to, all races, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities, cultures, and ethnicities.

Read More About FIMC

Venue

Starting July 12, 2021, FIMC will be holding its Monday evening Dharma talks and sits via a hybrid model, with a continuing online option via Zoom as well as an in-person option in Flagstaff at 2708 North Fourth Street, Suite B-3.

See below for information and links.

Weekly Offerings

Next Monday

On Monday, January 5th, at 7PM (MST), there will be a Dharma talk followed by a sitting meditation. Please stay for an optional discussion afterwards, beginning around 8:10PM.

Join Monday Sit

Zoom Meeting ID#: 246 725 464
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Monday's virtual meeting will open up at 6:30pm. Need to dial in? Learn How.

Next Wednesday

On Wednesday, January 5th, at 6:30PM (MST), there will be an online discussion group.

Join Wednesday Sit

Zoom Meeting ID#: 957 7492 7457
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Wednesday's virtual meeting will open up at 6pm. Need to dial in? Learn How.

Tea and Teapots

On Thursday, January 5th, at 6PM, there will be a Dharma talk followed by a sitting meditation. Please see Activities & Location for more details and location information.



Unfamiliar with the Zoom Platform; need help articles; find installer links? Please see FIMC's dedicated page for More Information about the platform and a great list of resources including how to Dial in.

Find out more information about Zoom Video Conferencing


Announcements

Upcoming Mindful Hike

Gaining Spiritual Insights from Nature

A day-long mindfulness hike

At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. – Annie Dillard

Saturday, September 4th, 2021
10:30am - 4:00pm
Weather Permitting

Register By: August 21st, 2021

In some Buddhist schools, practitioners have learned about the Dharma through listening deeply to the natural world. On this one-day hiking retreat, we will explore connecting with nature on a deeper level through the art of receptive mindfulness. Hiking will be interspersed with sitting meditation as well as mindfulness exercises that will connect us more deeply to the environment. There will also be time for discussion. In these explorations we have the opportunity to touch our deepest wisdom and activate a natural compassion for ourselves and the world. The retreat is designed for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

Fitness level for this retreat: It is necessary to be physically fit enough to hike on rocky uneven ground at high elevation for an entire day to join this hike. Participants should also be prepared for inclement weather such as wind, rain, or cold temperatures as well as for sunny weather.

There is NO FEE for this retreat. The teachings of the Buddha have been sustained by the 2,500 year old tradition of dana, a Pali word meaning "generosity.” Our teachers receive no compensation for their services. Participants are encouraged to support them by offering donations to them at the retreat's end. In the act of giving, we develop our ability to let go, cultivate a spirit of caring, and honor our inter-connectedness.

Registration is Required:
Retreat Registration Form

A lottery will be used to select participants. The lottery will occur 1 week prior to the retreat. Those not selected will be placed on the Waiting List. If an applicant is not selected in the lottery after applying for a retreat, the probability of getting accepted increases with each subsequent retreat they apply for.

Any applications received after registration closes will be admitted as room permits.

Details & Location:
Additional information about the hiking retreat, including the location, carpooling and what to bring, will be provided to all participants who are accepted into the retreat.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS:
In the spirit of supporting our practice together and our care for everyone in our community, including extended contacts, we want to avoid transmission of any disease and minimize risk to more vulnerable persons as much as possible. In light of this, and the fact that there is still a significant ongoing Covid 19 transmission rate in Flagstaff and Coconino County, we are requiring that all who come to participate in this Mindful Hike be completely vaccinated. This means at least 2 weeks post vaccine (2nd dose if applicable). We also ask community members not to join if they have cold symptoms, or have had possible exposure to Covid-19 in the 2 weeks prior to the hike.

Face coverings will not be required, in accordance with guidelines for groups of vaccinated people. Anyone who still wishes to wear a mask will be welcome to do so.

We will continue to monitor the local situation and guidelines. We will update our policies if needed upon review.

For More Information:
Email registrar@flagstaffinsight.org

See original announcement.

Upcoming Outdoor Retreat!

Silence & Presence in the Outdoors

A 2-day Insight Meditation Retreat

August 28 - 29, 2021
Saturday & Sunday Flagstaff, AZ

But do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.

- Eihei Dogen

Register by: August 14, 2021

Explore the power of mindfulness while immersed in the beauty and richness of nature. This will be an opportunity to practice continuous mindfulness in silence throughout the day—in sitting and walking meditation. In these silences we can penetrate our deepest wisdom and activate a natural compassion for ourselves and the world. The retreat is designed for beginners and experienced practitioners alike. There will also be time for discussion.

There is NO FEE for this retreat. The teachings of the Buddha have been sustained by the 2,500 year old tradition of dana, a Pali word meaning "generosity.” Our teacher receives no compensation for his services. Retreatants are encouraged to help Brian lead a life devoted to teaching the dharma by offering donations to him at the retreat's end. In the act of giving, we develop our ability to let go, cultivate a spirit of caring, and honor our inter-connectedness.

Registration is Required:
Online Retreat Registration Form

If applicants exceed the available space 2 weeks prior to the retreat, a lottery will be used to select retreatants. Those not selected can be placed on a waiting list. If an applicant is not selected in the lottery after applying for a retreat, the probability of getting accepted increases with each subsequent retreat they apply for.

Any applications received after registration close will be admitted as room permits.

Details & Location:
This is a non-residential retreat. Additional information about the retreat, including the location and what to bring, will be provided to all participants who are selected to attend the retreat.

For More Information:
Email registrar@flagstaffinsight.org.

See original announcement.

Special Meditation Practice Discussion

Practice Parlor

THURSDAY, JULY 29th – 6:30pm to 8pm AZ & CA time

Join us for this live meditation practice discussion. The evening will consist of a brief meditation period followed by an open discussion. Please bring any questions or aspects of your spiritual practice you would like to explore.

The discussion will be facilitated by Brian Lesage. This offering is for past, present, and future volunteers and will most likely include exploring volunteering as spiritual practice.

Join either in-person at:
2708 North Fourth Street Suite B, 3, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Or via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81345588017?pwd=bG94cS8zWXd4YWRuMVJOc3FZZnNyZz09
Meeting ID: 813 4558 8017
Passcode: 10008

See original announcement.

New Study Group

Three Liberating Ways of Perceiving

A 4-week study/practice group exploring the three classical ways of perceiving experience that liberate the heart

August 18 – September 8, 2021 ONLINE
Wednesdays 6:00pm to 7:45pm CA & AZ time (other than the Navajo Nation)

Take the next step on your spiritual path through exploring these three ways of perceiving experience that lead to freedom. These three ways are the perceptions of impermanence, unreliability, and not-self. Each class will consist of small & large group discussion, a dharma talk, a guided meditation and time for questions and responses. We will be using explorations found in Rob Burbea's book, The Seeing that Frees, yet you are not required to have a copy of the book. If you want to delve more deeply into this topic to support your exploration, you can purchase Rob’s book at a local bookstore such as Brightside Bookshop in Flagstaff, or Bookshop.org or on Amazon.

Requirements:

  1. Commit to attending all four classes.
  2. Engage in a daily meditation practice during the course.
  3. Have a preliminary understanding of Insight meditation and have been on at least one Insight meditation retreat or have regularly attended an Insight meditation sitting group. Please check in with the teacher, Brian Lesage, at contact@liberatingawareness.com if you are uncertain if you meet this requirement.

There is NO FEE for this study group. The teachings of the Buddha have been sustained by the 2,500 year old tradition of dana, a Pali word meaning "generosity.” Our teacher receives no compensation for his services. Retreatants are encouraged to help Brian lead a life devoted to teaching the dharma by offering donations to him at the retreat's end. In the act of giving, we develop our ability to let go, cultivate a spirit of caring, and honor our inter-connectedness.

Registration is Required:

Course Registration Form

Registration closes on August 12th. Any applications received after registration closes will be admitted as room permits.

Once you have registered for the class, you will be sent details for the class, including the Zoom link for the course.

For More Information Email registrar@flagstaffinsight.org.

See original announcement.

Welcome back to our physical space!

Dear Sangha,

The FIMC Board of Directors has been meeting to review the situation around the pandemic, and when and how to safely meet in person again. We have made our decisions in consultation with board member Sarah Hsia (who is a retired emergency medicine physician), and considering both feedback from our community survey and meeting, as well as CDC guidelines and expert interpretation.

We are pleased to announce that we will begin meeting again in person for Monday evening Dharma talks and sits starting July 12, 2021. In the spirit of our practice together and our care for everyone in our community, including extended contacts, we want to avoid transmission of any disease and minimize risk to more vulnerable persons as much as possible. In light of this, and the fact that there is still a significant ongoing Covid 19 transmission rate in Flagstaff and Coconino County, we are requiring that all who come to participate in person be completely vaccinated. This means at least 2 weeks post vaccine (2nd dose if applicable). We also ask community members not to join in person if they have cold symptoms, or have had possible exposure to Covid-19 in the 2 weeks prior to a meeting.

Face coverings will not be required, in accordance with guidelines for groups of vaccinated people. Anyone who still wishes to wear a mask will be welcome to do so. We are researching ventilation systems, and will provide as much fresh air moving through the space as is possible and practical.

We are committed to continuing to offer an online option for attending the Monday night sits as well. We intend for this to be available to community members from outside Flagstaff, as well as those who cannot or choose not to be vaccinated, or who do not yet feel comfortable attending in person. There will probably be a learning curve as we navigate this hybrid model and figure out what works best for our community, but we are confident that we can navigate this next chapter together.

We will continue to monitor the local situation and guidelines. We will update our policies if needed upon review.

We remain deeply grateful for the contributions of all the members of our Sangha who have sustained our organization and our opportunities for practice throughout this challenging time with gifts of time, expertise, resources, and funds. We look forward to seeing you all soon, whether in person or online.

May you all be well and peaceful,

The FIMC Board

New Study Group

Evaṃ me suttaṃ || Thus Have I Heard:
Deepening Spiritual Practice through an exploration of the Words of the Buddha

Join us as we explore the Buddha’s teachings through early scriptures of Buddhism and discover how you relate to these teachings and how they relate to your life. Each week we will read a passage from the Pali Canon and then come together to discuss and explore how we relate to these teachings and how they relate to our lives.

Dates: Wednesdays - July 14 through August 4th (4 weeks)
Time: 6pm to 8pm PDT & AZ time
Location: Online

Requirements:

  1. Commit to attending all four classes.
  2. Engage in a regular meditation practice during the course.
  3. Willingness to actively engage in the course discussions via zoom.

Registration is Required: Course Registration Form

  • Registration closes on July 7th.
  • Any applications received after registration closes will be admitted as room permits.

Neesha Patel PhD is deeply grateful for the liberative teachings of the Buddha. She has been fortunate to have learned and practiced in both Asia and the US. Her practice has been influenced by the guidance of many wonderful teachers including Sayadaw U Tejaniya and Thai Forest Tradition teachers.

Brian Lesage has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1988 and has taught meditation since 2000. He has studied in the Zen, Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. He was ordained in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1996. His training in Vipassana Meditation includes doing extended meditation retreats in Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and India as well as numerous retreats in the U.S. He leads retreats and teaches meditation courses nationwide. Brian also has a private practice in Somatic Experiencing, which is a naturalistic approach to healing trauma.

See original announcement.

Daily Morning Silent Meditation

Morning Silent Meditation

Mondays through Fridays
7:30am to 8:00am MST (AZ time)
Start Date: Monday, January 4, 2021
Zoom Link: Click Here
Meeting ID: 830 3029 9483
Passcode: 108108
Need to dial in? Learn How.

Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC) is excited to announce this new opportunity to practice together as a community​ in silent meditation. This is a wonderful way to kick start and encourage your regular meditation practice. It is a chance to both receive the benefit of practicing with others as well as offer support to others through participating. These sits will have a facilitator who, depending on their availability, will remain after the sit from 8:00 to 8:15am MST (AZ time) for questions and/or discussion.

For More Information: contact@flagstaffinsight.org

See original announcement.

Feedback Wanted - Diversity & Inclusion Survey

Diversity & Inclusion Survey

Dear FIMC community, We are dedicated to fostering a welcoming refuge for all people to explore meditation, mindful living, and the teachings of the Buddha. In order to continue with this vision, we would love to hear from you by filling out a brief survey. This survey is confidential and will not record any personal information.

Click here to complete the brief survey.

Wishing you peace and well-being,
The FIMC Diversity Committee

Confronting Racism

We continue to be confronted with the historical legacy of racism that is interwoven into the very fabric of our society. Names such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have now been added to the seemingly endless list of unarmed black people murdered by police. Our hearts are heavy with a mixture of feelings such as grief and outrage and compassion.

At the heart of our practice is a desire to see clearly. At this time, we are being called to face the realities of discrimination that black, indigenous, and other people of color face daily in our country and around the world. We acknowledge that as an organization, FIMC has failed to adequately address issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are at the beginning of our journey to investigate how we can be present with these issues, and be of better service to both our sangha family, and to people of color in our wider community. This work will not be easy, but we are committed to it as an essential part of opening the pathway to freedom.

It is said the Buddha’s teachings turn upright what has been overturned. In light of this, we commit to this principle of righting wrongs by learning to decenter whiteness and to deepen our listening.
-Brian Lesage, FIMC Guiding Teacher

We encourage white members of our community to explore how their hearts and minds have been overturned by habitual tendencies rooted in racism and bias.

In that light, we invite you to read two essays written by Buddhist practitioners of color, which offer two perspectives on the intersection between racial justice and our practice:

A central principle of Buddhist ethics is that we practice not for ourselves but for the benefit of all; therefore, the conditioning that perpetuates racial suffering and separation is to be known and uprooted through our practice and our actions. We all have a part to play in the symphony of racial healing."
-Ruth King, African American psycologist & meditation teacher

One way FIMC plans to move forward is by making diversity, inclusion, and equity a top priority. We will educate ourselves on how we can do this skillfully, commit to concrete actions as soon as possible, and announce these actions to our community. If you would like to join us and get involved with these first steps, please contact us at contact@flagstaffinsight.org

May our work together bring freedom and happiness to all beings everywhere without exception.

May all of us turn upright what has been overturned to dispel the tyranny of racism.

Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC) Board of Directors:
Allen Atkins
Laura LaBranche
Brian Lesage
Leslie McLean
Tasha Miller Griffith
Janine Schipper
Chris Taesali

contact@flagstaffinsight.org
www.flagstaffinsight.org

Opportunities to Help

For those in our sangha who are at home and looking for meaningful ways to connect and contribute during these challenging times, we would like to offer a few suggestions.

To our healthcare providers and other essential workers, who are working harder than ever, we would like to offer our deep appreciation and thanks.

Opportunities to help

  • FIMC is looking for volunteers to assist in hosting Zoom meetings. If you are able to help support the tech side of this, please contact Chris at contact@flagstaffinsight.org
  • If you are willing to give a short dana talk at an online sit (no technical ability required) please contact Tasha at contact@flagstaffinsight.org
  • Dharma Relief, a Buddhist organization formed to provide protective gear for medical workers, is seeking both donations and help with coordinating local distribution of masks. For more information please visit https://dharmarelief.org/
  • Reaching out to neighbors, friends, and local organizations such as food banks and animal shelters are also wonderful ways help

We hope that this time of disruption can also be an opportunity to deepen our practice, to appreciate our interconnectedness, and to offer our service. We are continuing to gather online every Monday and Thursday evenings, and we have a new gathering on Wednesdays. Everyone is welcome to join us, which now includes anyone with internet or phone access, no matter their physical location. Details of how to connect to each gathering are posted on the main page at http://flagstaffinsight.org/

Wishing you health, safety, and peace,

The FIMC board

FIMC Virtual Online Meeting Passwords

Starting today, all future online public meetings hosted by FIMC will use passwords.

Passwords are now enabled for our next Monday meeting on April 20th, 2020 and all other public offerings. Password information is provided in this email and on our website homepage so that participants can easily find the resources needed to join each meeting.

We kindly ask that you familiarize yourself with the information below to help us navigate our implementation of passwords.

Why is FIMC choosing to enable passwords?

It has come to our attention that there are individuals that have been Zoom bombing public meetings and sharing unwanted content via video, screen, chat, etc. Therefore, to reduce the chances of this happening to one of our meetings, FIMC has implemented several protections and is now enabling passwords for all our public offerings.

Please do not share our meeting passwords online.

FIMC asks that if anyone wants to share our offerings online—via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forums, other websites, etc—we ask they only share the direct link to our website for instructions on connecting, where the meeting information (including password) can be found and not the passwords themselves.

 
Why shouldn't we share passwords on other sites?

By sharing passwords on other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forums), our risk significantly increases.

Why can FIMC share the passwords on its website?

We have implemented code on our website (and in this email) to reduce the chances that hackers/robots can scan our pages to extract this information. This code is designed to require an individual to actually read the password—with the intention of preventing robots extracting this information automatically via code or scripting.

Will the passwords change?

Each weekly meeting has it's own unique password—Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday—and these passwords will not change week to week at this time. We will notify our community via email and website if passwords change in the future.

Having trouble reading the passwords below or on our website?

Please reach out to help@flagstaffinsight.org for assistance.

See original announcement.

Announcement Archives

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Find out more information about Zoom Video Conferencing

Unfamiliar with the Zoom Platform; need help articles; find installer links? Please see FIMC's dedicated Zoom page for More Information about the platform and a great list of resources.


Embossed decorative art of buddha