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.
Individuals from all religious and spiritual backgrounds, and at all stages of their spiritual journey, are welcome. We come together to support each other on the path of awakening, and to deepen our practice of wisdom and compassion for the benefit of all beings.
May our work together bring freedom and happiness to all beings everywhere without exception.
We are a group of meditators who meet together for silent meditation, Buddhist teaching and discussion. We emphasize Insight Meditation, also known as Vipassana or Mindfulness, though anyone is welcome to sit with us and practice their preferred meditation techniques.
We offer many sits throughout the week which encompass dharma talks, silent sitting, and discussion. In addition, we have monthly events which include full-day sits (mini-retreats), mindful hiking, community potlucks, and other events. Please see our Calendar or Facebook Page to find out more about our current offerings. Also, many up and coming events are posted right on the homepage of the website.
Non-residential retreats are offered several times per year, and we are working on offering residential retreats. These retreats are often led by our teacher, Brian Lesage.
Our Commitment to Diversity
The FIMC diversity committee aims to foster a welcoming space for everyone to explore meditation, mindful living, and the teachings of the Buddha. This entails opening our doors and hearts to all social identities including, but not limited to: race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, culture, and ethnicity.
Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community (FIMC) is a community of spiritual practitioners. Our origins arise from the Vipassana/Theravada/Early Buddhist traditions. FIMC sponsors teachings that are rooted in these traditions to bring freedom and contentment to all beings everywhere without exception.
- Offer regular local meetings for meditation.
- Provide frequent organized meditation retreat(s) with trained teachers.
- Provide co-operatively run meditation retreats supported by the generosity of the community.
- Create opportunities for fellowship.
- Provide information regarding other retreats, publications, books, tapes or information that may be of interest to FIMC.
- Encourage the practice of generosity (dana) in various forms to support the day to day functions as well as the on-going financial obligations of FIMC.
- Create a community which nurtures and supports its diverse participants on the path of awakening.
- Engage in any other activities as deemed appropriate and allowable for a charitable organization under the provisions of IRS Section 501(c)(3).
What is Insight Meditation?
Insight meditation (vipassana in Pali, the language of the original Buddhist teachings) is the simple and direct practice of moment-to-moment mindfulness. Through careful and sustained observation, we experience for ourselves the ever-changing flow of the mind/body process. This awareness leads us to accept more fully the pleasure and pain, fear and joy, sadness and happiness that life inevitably brings. As insight deepens, we develop greater equanimity and peace in the face of change, and wisdom and compassion increasingly become the guiding principles of our lives.
The Buddha first taught insight meditation over 2,500 years ago. The various methods of this practice have been well preserved in the Theravada tradition of Buddhism, and the retreats held by FIMC are all rooted in this ancient and well-mapped path to awakening.
Board Code of Ethics
A core aspect of the Buddha’s teaching is the importance of living by certain ethical guidelines. Ethical guidelines help build the foundation that nurture a spiritual life built on mindfulness, respect, and caring for the relationships around us. For the Board of Directors, these guidelines, known as the Five Precepts, form an integral part of daily life and our service for the community. All Board members practice these precepts. This helps ensure an environment of safety, refuge and non-harming for all who come to Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community.
The Five Precepts
The Board of Directors have agreed to undertake the training:
1. To practice compassionate action —
to refrain from harming any living, sentient beings.
Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
2. To practice contentment —
to refrain from taking what is not freely given. To not steal or ‘borrow’ without the consent of the giver; to accept what is offered and not try to change it or get more.
Adinnādānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
3. To practice responsibility in all our relationships —
including refraining from misusing sexual energy.
Kāmesu micchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
4. To refrain from harmful speech —
not to lie, gossip or use harsh or hurtful language.
Musā vādā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
5. To care for ourselves —
to refrain from clouding the mind and harming the body through the misuse of alcohol, drugs and other intoxicants.
Surā meraya majja pamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi.
Dharma Leader Code of Ethics
(based on Spirit Rock’s Teacher Code of Ethics)
We, as lay teachers, agree to uphold the five lay training precepts. Furthermore, we have specifically expanded the scope of these five precepts to make them explicitly appropriate to our role as teachers of the Dharma in our specific cultural setting. Flagstaff Insight Meditation Community teachers have thus agreed to the following guidelines:
1. We undertake the precept of refraining from killing.
In undertaking this precept we acknowledge the interconnection of all beings and our respect for all life. We agree to refine our understanding of not killing and non-harming in all our actions. We seek to understand the implication of this precept in such difficult areas as abortion, euthanasia, and the killing of pets. While some of us recommend vegetarianism, and others do not, we all commit ourselves to fulfilling this precept in the spirit of reverence for life.
2. We undertake the precept of refraining from stealing.
We agree to not take that which does not belong to us and to respect the property of others. We agree to bring consciousness to the use of all of the earth’s resources in a respectful and ecological way. We agree to be honest in our dealing with money and not to misappropriate money committed to Dharma projects. We agree to offer teachings without favoritism in regard to student’s financial circumstances.
3. We undertake the precept of refraining from false speech.
We agree to speak that which is true and useful and to refrain from gossip in our community. We agree to hold in confidence what is explicitly told to us in confidence. We agree to cultivate conscious and clear communication, and to cultivate the quality of loving-kindness and honesty as the basis of our speech.
4. We undertake the precept of refraining from sexual misconduct.
We agree to avoid creating harm through sexuality and to avoid sexual exploitation or relationships of a sexual manner that are outside of the bounds of the relationship commitments we have made to another or that involve another who has made vows to another. Teachers with vows of celibacy will live according to their vows. Teachers in committed relationships will honor their vows and refrain from adultery. All teachers agree not to use their teaching role to exploit their authority and position in order to assume a sexual relationship with a student.
Because several single teachers in our community have developed partnerships and marriages with former students, we acknowledge that such a healthy relationship can be possible, but that great care and sensitivity are needed. We agree that in this case the following guidelines are crucial.
- A sexual relationship is never appropriate between teachers and students.
- During retreats or formal teaching, any intimation of future student-teacher romantic or sexual relationship is inappropriate.
- If interest in a genuine and committed relationship develops over time between a single teacher and a student, the student-teacher relationship must clearly and consciously have ended before any further development toward a romantic relationship. Such a relationship must be approached with restraint and sensitivity – in no case should it occur immediately after retreat. A minimum time period of three months or longer from the last formal teaching between them, and a clear understanding from both parties that the student-teacher relationship has ended must be coupled with a conscious commitment to enter into a relationship that brings no harm to either party.
5. We undertake the precept of refraining from intoxicants that cause heedlessness or loss of awareness.
It is clear that substance abuse is the cause of tremendous suffering. We agree that there should be no use of intoxicants during retreats or while on retreat premises. We agree not to abuse or misuse intoxicants at any time. We agree that if any teacher has a drug or alcohol addiction problem, it should be immediately addressed by the community.