Guest Speakers

When our main teacher Brian Lesage is away, FIMC does its best to bring other trained guest speakers from the community to give dharma talks. Below are many of the individuals whom have given talks to our community during our Monday night sits.

* Individuals ordered by first name.

Allen B. Atkins

Allen B. Atkins

Allen 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.

Cathy Small

Cathy Small

Cathy Small if a Professor of Anthropology and author, who has been practicing vipassana meditation since 1999. She has participated in more than a dozen extended meditation retreats in Nepal and the U.S., focusing on awareness and concentration. Cathy co-teaches a six-week course in mindfulness every semester for faculty and staff at Northern Arizona University, and offers a mindfulness course for prisoners at the Coconino County jail.

Eric Kolvig

Eric Kolvig

Eric Kolvig, Ph.D., taught meditation for 30 years in the vipassana tradition. He led meditation retreats and gave public talks around the United States and abroad. Eric has a particular interest in “grassroots dharma,” building spiritual community in democratic, non-authoritarian ways. He co-founded wilderness retreats and also Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) retreats in the vipassana tradition. Now retired, Eric lives in Flagstaff.

Greg Scharf

Greg Scharf

Greg Scharf began meditating in 1992 & has been teaching residential meditation retreats since 2007, including the annual 3 month retreat at the Insight Meditation Society where he is a core teacher. In his teaching Greg emphasizes the understanding that meditation is fundamentally an exploration of nature and natural processes. He also stresses the critical importance of bringing the qualities of kindness, compassion, and a sense of humor to practice. Greg has a long-standing relationship with the country & people of Burma (Myanmar) where he trained as a Buddhist monk and where he works with a small humanitarian aid project - particularly targeting education, health-care, and support of Buddhist Nuns. Currently living in the high country of northern Arizona, Greg's love of nature and the outdoors deeply informs both his practice and teaching.

Janine Schipper

Janine Schipper

I was introduced to Vipassana meditation in 1990 when I took an undergraduate class on the “Social Psychology of Consciousness.” I meditated on my own until 2003 when I began sitting with the Flagstaff Vipassana Sangha and attending retreats. As a professor of sociology at Northern Arizona University I integrate contemplative practices into my teaching and writing. I have written about Buddhist Sociology as well as about how contemplative practices may help us address environmental crises. More recently I have had the opportunity to facilitate “mindfulness circles” and offer workshops on “Mindfulness for Social Activists.” I live with 4 wild beings (my husband and 3 children) and find their presence a continual reminder to breath and experience the aliveness of the present moment.

Robert Goodman

Robert Goodman

Robert Goodman is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northern Arizona University, where he conducts research that examines the neurological, behavioral, and psychosocial consequences of mindfulness. Conducted in collaboration with Easters and Western Buddhist scholars, Rob's ongoing program of research examines the interplay between mindfulness and several core psychological processes, such as emotion, and memory. A second line of his research examines the capacity for mindfulness to confer self-regulatory advantages when people face various existential threats, such as ostracism, uncertainty, and mortality. Rob has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 2004.