Affinity Groups at CIMC offer opportunities for beginners and experienced practitioners alike to learn about insight meditation, to deepen their practice and to participate at the center with others whose life experience may be similar to their own. Affinity Groups meet regularly; their schedules are available on our Drop-In Programs page as well as on our Online Calendar.
35 & Under
This affinity group provides an opportunity for those ages 35 and under to practice the dharma in a supportive community context. We offer two different formats.
- With Teacher. The second and fourth Sundays of the month will be led by teachers Matthew Hepburn or Zeenat Potia. These evenings start with a period of sitting practice, followed by time for sharing, dyads (partner work) and small or large group discussion.
- Practice Sunday. The first and third Sundays of the month will be led by CIMC Practice Leaders and offer silent sitting and walking periods for deepening stillness and strengthening self-guided meditation practice in the company of the sangha. Practice Sundays do not offer meditation instruction. Beginners should first attend a few sessions that are guided by a teacher.
Beloved Community Circles
A series of conversations facilitated by CIMC Board President Betty Burkes, Beloved Community Circles (BCC) provides a forum for cultivating awareness within the CIMC community about social realities and the Dharma as they relate to our spiritual journeys. Recognizing the particular need for consciousness regarding race and racism in our culture, this theme is the foundation for the series. We practice deep listening to one another and share our experiences to promote greater understanding of ourselves and each other. Honoring the gift and importance of sangha on this path of liberation, we will explore how we relate as spiritual friends and the barriers to that aspiration. BCC is open to everyone in the CIMC community.
As elders, we’re invited as never before to look deeply into the great issues of impermanence, diminishment, and mortality. Yet through practice these are balanced by expanding compassion, joy and appreciation of life. Let us take advantage of this opportunity and come together every month for talks, discussion, and meditation. Together we’ll explore both the challenges and sources of inspiration that enrich the process of creative, conscious aging. For more information, please see our Listserve for Elders Sangha or click here for additional supporting material.
This group is for people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning. Madeline Klyne will lead a sitting meditation and a dharma discussion. Tea and snacks will follow.
This group is an informal opportunity for parents and small children to explore a family practice. Through singing, storytelling and movement we learn how to spend time together mindfully. All children must be accompanied by an adult responsible for supervising that child at all times. Children of all ages are welcome, but this group is geared to ages 3-9.
First Friday for People of Color Sangha
The POC sangha provides a dedicated practice space at CIMC for those who self-identify as people of color. This affinity group meets one Friday each month and is appropriate for beginners as well as those with meditation experience.
Over the course of 2019, we will undertake a year of practice focusing on Wisdom, Virtuous Action and Meditation (The Nobel Eightfold Path), a guide to the end of suffering. The Buddha gave this teaching in virtually all his discourses and his directions are as clear and relevant for today’s practitioner as they were when he first gave them. Led by CIMC Core Teacher Matthew Hepburn and supported by the POC Affinity Group Leaders (Yenkuei Chuang, Novelette DeMercado, Vicky I and Bonita Jones) and visiting teachers, we will learn and explore this teaching together over the course of the year. Please feel free to come to any or all of the gatherings.
At the end of our formal practice all are invited to gather in the dining room for a vegetarian Community Potluck and conversation.