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


Due to current CDC guidelines, FIMC is returning to an online-only format until further notice.

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

Weekly self-facilitated dharma support group and sit. See announcements below for details.

Join Wednesday Group and Sit

Zoom Meeting ID#: 957 7492 7457
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Wednesday's virtual meeting will open up at 6:00pm. 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


March Study Group

Whirled by the World: Skillfully Navigating Modern Technology through the Practice of the Dharma

March 2 – 23, 2022 ONLINE
Wednesdays 6:00 - 7:30pm AZ time MST
(Outside of AZ: March 16 & 23 meetings will be an hour later)

Texting, emailing, APP notifications, dings, rings, and bamboo sounds - whew! Modern tech devices can be a blessing or a curse, a current day necessity, or a drain on your capacity to meaningfully engage in your life. Having a skillful relationship with these devices and their interruptions is a real possibility and can be cultivated through your Dharma practice.

During this four week course, we will explore ways to develop a skillful relationship with these technologies. In this community, we will learn, discuss and engage in practices to discover ways to deepen our understanding and embodiment of the Dharma through our interactions and relationships with technology.


  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.


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.

Introduction to Mindfulness Course

Virtual Insight Meditation Program

A 6-week course offered in collaboration with NAU Employee Assistance and Wellness.

February 1 - March 8, 2022
Tuesdays 6:00pm to 7:45pm

Insight Meditation is part of an ancient tradition originating in India 2,600 years ago. The practice involves both concentration and contemplative methods of meditation. Learn to reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on the present moment, while opening a doorway to greater peace and freedom at a deeper level. It is important participants attend all 6 classes, as each class builds on previous instruction and practice. Please sign on 10 minutes early to get settled and wear loose, comfortable clothing. There is no fee for this class and it is open to all NAU faculty, staff, students and the Flagstaff community (18 years and older).


Cathy Small is an author and retired professor of anthropology. who has been practicing vipassana meditation for more than twenty years. She has completed numerous extended meditation retreats focusing on awareness, loving kindness and concentration, and has taught meditation since 2010. She currently co-teaches a six-week course in mindfulness every semester for faculty and staff at Northern Arizona University, and offers a mindfulness course for inmates at the Coconino County jail. She is a regular teacher at the Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community

Allen Atkins moved to Flagstaff in 1998 to work at Northern Arizona University (NAU) as a professor of Finance. He has been interested in meditation since first learning Transcendental Meditation (TM) in college. After college, in 1978, he was introduced to Vipassana and it has been his main practice ever since. He sits a retreat of at least a week or so almost every year. He sat the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) three month retreat three times and in 2000-2001 took a leave of absence from work to spend the year practicing at IMS and in Burma, Thailand and India. Allen taught yoga and meditation in Texas from 1979-1983. He has been teaching a six-week beginning Vipassana course each semester at NAU since 1999. The course is currently being taught with Cathy Small. His other main hobbies include music, singing and cycling.

See original announcement.

Future of FIMC Survey

Dear Sangha,

As many of you know, our efforts to move forward with a shared vision for our community have been complicated by the ongoing and ever-changing pandemic situation. Just as we got ready to move into a new hybrid model and look towards the future, a new wave of COVID cases pushed us back into an entirely online format. And just now, we have received notice that the property manager of our physical space is increasing our rent, and asking us to sign a year-long lease, bringing the question of whether to keep renting our space once again to the forefront.

The FIMC board met recently for a visioning day. We talked about what is working in our community and what needs further effort, and discussed ideas for adapting to ongoing pandemic conditions, including possibilities for meeting in smaller groups outdoors for walks or tea, and/or increasing our online offerings. One thing is clear; that in order to move forward skillfully, we will need both the wisdom and the efforts of our whole sangha.

In light of this, all ideas, thoughts, and suggestions you can offer for this next stage of our life together are most welcome. Wherever you are, whether you have the chance to join us in person or wish too, we value your contributions. Please use this survey form to share your thoughts with us.

Best wishes to you all as we move into 2022, FIMC Board

Byron, Laura, Leslie, Tasha, Brian, Allen, Sarah, and Karen

If you feel moved to offer dana in support of FIMC, gifts are tax deductible and can be made on our Donation Page.

For More Information email: contact@flagstaffinsight.org

See original announcement.

Continuing a Community of Generosity

Dear Practitioners in Flagstaff and Beyond,

Over the course of this past year, many of us have felt the benefits of our meditation and Dharma practice. With all the turmoil in our world, it is more important than ever to be able to focus on the present moment whenever we can. Being able to abide in stillness from time to time can be a wonderful refuge and a way to recharge our feelings of peace. It can provide the strength and wisdom to forge ahead with our normal and sometimes not so normal daily activities.

At Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC) we have continued to help teach and reinforce meditation and Dharma practice. We started the year as we ended 2020 by offering our teachings online. We have all become somewhat accustomed to this way of interaction and our offerings have been well received. One positive aspect of meeting online is that we have been able to have teachers from places far beyond Flagstaff. We have also had many participants from afar and others, in Flagstaff, who find it difficult to attend in person.

During the summer we began to experiment with some hybrid offerings. We opened our center to in-person meditators while also allowing people to join remotely. Just as we were getting the hang of this hybrid process, the virus surged again, and we felt compelled to stop the in-person part of our offerings. We felt this was an important step to protect the health of our community as much as we can. We invested a substantial amount in procuring the equipment needed to be able to proceed with the hybrid model. We feel confident that when the current Covid surge abates, the hybrid model will be a way to be inclusive with FIMC offerings. As we look forward to a lessening of the pandemic, we hope to offer more opportunities for community sharing and teaching at our space on Fourth Street in Flagstaff. The board is actively discussing how to be innovative as we gradually reopen as safely as possible.

One aspect of our community that feels incredibly good is our ability to offer our programs free of charge. We have been able to do this through the incredible generosity of our community. It is only through the kind giving offered by you that we can continue this Dana-based approach. Once again, as we close out 2021, we would like to provide an opportunity for you to include FIMC in your year end generosity. If it feels important to you to help keep our community moving forward, then we appreciate any amount you can contribute. You will be helping us continue our programs, for you and for others.

One of Buddha’s well-known sayings is:

“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”

We are deeply grateful to those who have donated in the past and have made FIMC possible all of these years. Thank you for considering supporting FIMC through a financial donation. Gifts to FIMC are tax deductible and can be made on our Donation Page.

Warm wishes for a happy and healthy new year! FIMC Board

Laura LaBranche, Leslie McLean, Sarah Hsia, Byron Smith, Allen Atkins, Tasha Miller Griffith, Brian Lesage, and new board member Karen Smith.

For More Information email: contact@flagstaffinsight.org

See original announcement.

Weekly Dharma Support Group and Sit

​Weekly Dharma Support Group and Sit (on Zoom)

Wednesdays 6:30pm to 8:00pm

An intimate online support group of spiritual friends. Leaderless and lightly self-facilitated. After sitting 30 minutes, we ask if anyone has brought a topic or would like support with a challenge. We support each other with deep listening and by offering our individual experiences and understanding of the dharma. This offers us the opportunity to deepen our relationships as spiritual friends and our practice together. We abide by the group agreements for confidentiality, listening, and participation used for discussions after Monday sits. Please join us.

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


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 and Wednesday—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

Upcoming Activities

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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.

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