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.
On Monday, January 5th, at 7PM (MST), there will be a virtual Dharma talk followed by a sitting meditation. Please stay for an optional discussion afterwards, beginning around 8:10PM.
Zoom Meeting ID#: 246 725 464
P a s s w o r d : 3 0 6 0 4 9
Monday's virtual meeting will open up at 6:30pm. Need to dial in? Learn How.
On Wednesday, January 5th, at 6:30PM (MST), there will be an online discussion group.
Zoom Meeting ID#: 957 7492 7457
P a s s w o r d : 3 1 2 1 0 5
Wednesday's virtual meeting will open up at 6pm. Need to dial in? Learn How.
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.
Daily Morning Silent Meditation
Morning Silent Meditation
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing a Community of Generosity
Dear Practitioners in Flagstaff and Beyond,
Another year is coming to an end, and what a year it has been. There have been an unusual number of things in our world and community to draw our attention and concern. You know the list: The Covid-19 pandemic arrived, grew, subsided a bit, and came back with a vengeance. Voices speaking out against police brutality and racial injustice gained a profound momentum across the country. The hopefulness of promising vaccines. The hardship and worry about our own personal financial situation and the financial situations of those around us. And to top it off, a contentious election with many twists and turns rarely seen.
With that as a backdrop, the Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC) has adjusted and carried on in a way that respects the reality of our society’s situation. Meditation can be a safe harbor amongst the turmoil. A teacher at Spirit Rock, Larry Yang, puts it well: “Now more than ever we need our mindfulness practice grounded in our highest forms of ethics and integrity.” FIMC has attempted to follow the spirit of Larry’s words by offering a menu of meditation possibilities each week.
We have moved our offerings to an online platform, and our community has embraced the changes and continues to seek wisdom and calm through meditation. We are deeply grateful to all those in our Sangha who have volunteered their time and funds to keep FIMC going throughout this challenging time. You have cared for us all, and allowed us to meet this moment in community and practice. As we move forward into the coming year, we will continue to respond to whatever changes present themselves, and we will continue to offer opportunities that we hope will energize your meditation practice.
At the end of the year, it is common for non-profit organizations like ours to make an appeal to help the organization keep moving forward. At this time, we would like to provide an opportunity for those who are willing and able to contribute to our organization. We are fortunate to operate as a Dana (generosity) only community and provide all our offerings at no cost. This assures that the Dharma is available to all people without regard to any individual’s means. This is made possible by the contributions of those who feel drawn to help. If it feels right in your heart, please help us with this year-end appeal. Anything you wish to give will be appreciated by FIMC and the entire community we serve.
The Buddha said it simply in the Dhammapada; “The gift of the Dharma surpasses all gifts.”
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!
Chris Taesali, Laura LaBranche, Leslie McLean, Allen Atkins, Tasha Miller Griffith, Brian Lesage, and new board members Sarah Hsia and Byron Smith
For More Information email: email@example.com
January 2-day Meditation Retreat
Beginning Again Through Presence
A 2-day Online Insight Meditation Retreat
January 16th & 17th, 2021
9am to 3pm (MST; AZ time)
Saturday & Sunday
Each moment is a new year, and yet we have a specific day that we name as this transition. This can be a time of opportunity to renew and reinvigorate our spiritual practice. During this retreat, we will enter into silence in our own homes and engage in the practice of presence. This retreat will provide an opportunity to practice continuous mindfulness in silence throughout the weekend in sitting and walking meditation. In silence we have the space to delve deeply inward and begin to be present with the flow of experience in a way that allows compassion and wisdom to arise. This retreat is designed for beginners and experienced practitioners.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER by January 2, 2021.
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.
For more information see original announcement.
Three Week Practice Series
Inviting the Eight-Fold Path into Daily Life
with Kan Yan
Thursday evenings, December 3, 10, and 17, 2020
Starting at 6:00 pm (Mountain Standard Time)
Have you listened to talks or read books on foundational Buddhist ideas like the Eight-Fold Path only to forget the specifics soon after? In this workshop we will use chanting as a technique for integrating key concepts so they become intimate to our moment-to-moment experience. Don't worry if you don't like chanting. No one will hear you and you don't even have to do it out loud. This 3-week series will include chanting, sitting meditation, dharma talks, and small group discussion.
This series will be led by Kan Yan. Kan has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over a decade in various Zen and Insight traditions both in the US and Asia. He devised this chanting practice after about a decade of learning and not remembering very much. He is happy to report that it works and he now has lots of handy Pali terms to contemplate during the day.
Please register here to receive the link to attend.
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
6-week Introduction to Mindfulness
Virtual Insight Meditation Program
A 6-week course offered in collaboration with NAU Employee Assistance and Wellness.
February 2-March 9
Tuesday's 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).
REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! (updated)
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.
Suspending Thursday Night Sits
Dear FIMC community,
We hope you and your loved ones are doing well during these challenging times.
We have observed an ongoing low level of participation in our Thursday night online sits, and it seems that this event is not currently serving the needs of our sangha. Therefore, we have decided that it is best to cancel the Thursday night sits for now. We will re-evaluate community interest in resuming this event whenever we are able to return to in-person gatherings.
You might have also noticed that we offered an online version of our short Intro to Meditation class on the first Monday of the last two months, with advertising in the Daily Sun and on Facebook. This does not seem to meet the needs of our community at this time, so we will also be suspending these classes for now.
We know that there are a wide variety of virtual dharma talks and events available now. We are delighted that many of you have been continuing to join us online for Monday night sits and for special events and guest teachers. We are looking forward to continuing these events, and we hope that they are providing a sense of ongoing connection and support for our sangha members.
Wishing you peace and wellbeing,
The FIMC Board
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:
- Being Mindful of Race by Ruth King
- Your Liberation is on the Line by Rev. angel Kyodo williams
“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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
Tasha Miller Griffith
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 email@example.com
- If you are willing to give a short dana talk at an online sit (no technical ability required) please contact Tasha at firstname.lastname@example.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://www.flagstaffinsight.org/
Wishing you health, safety, and peace,
The FIMC board
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.
- Website: http://www.flagstaffinsight.org/
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 email@example.com for assistance.
Caring for Our Community: FIMC Temporarily Meeting Online Only
As a way of embodying Wise Action that is informed by care and compassion, the FIMC Board has decided to move our public offerings to an online format for now. We are not cancelling our offerings, rather we are offering a new format for our community to continue to connect during these changing times.
We will begin to meet online starting Monday, March 16th at 7:00pm (MST/PDT). Please visit the FIMC Website for more information on how to participate on Mondays and Thursdays.
It is important that we do what we can to support the overall health and well-being of our community, including those in vulnerable populations and our health care system. In light of this, the FIMC physical location will be closed until further notice.
It is especially important and valuable at this time to come together to practice in community, in whatever form is available. This can even be a wonderful practice opportunity to switch from an individual or small group perspective into a collective perspective of what is best for the whole. Our spiritual practice at its core is meant to support us in meeting such uncertain times with wisdom, compassion, and equanimity. In this moment in which 'social distancing' is encouraged to maintain our physical well-being, we can continue to come together as a community to explore and support each other in the practice of the Dharma by gathering online.
FORMAT and PLATFORM
FIMC will be hosting our weekly online sits (meetings) using the Zoom platform, which is FREE to participants, and allows them to connect via computer, phone app, or dial in by long distance phone call. Links and information for each meeting will be posted on our website. We plan to offer time in advance of each sit's regular starting time to help assist those with challenges connecting. We welcome participants to start the process of joining a meeting early if they are unfamiliar with the platform, or new to participating in online meeting spaces.
For our first online meeting, Monday March 16th, we will be opening up the meeting 1 hour early at 6pm (subsequently 30 minutes early), with a regular start time of 7pm for the Monday sit. This is to provide enough time for community members who are new to this format to join the meeting, and for support to have sufficient time to help anyone having trouble connecting. After attempting to join the meeting, if you continue to have trouble connecting, please contact us at:
For anyone seeking more information on the novel coronavirus, or to clarify our perspective on this decision, please see the following resources:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Coconino County
- Arizona Department of Health Services
- World Health Organization
The FIMC Board