CIMC Drop-In Programs offer many opportunities for beginners and experienced practitioners alike to learn about Insight Meditation, to deepen their practice and to participate at the Center. We do not take registrations for Drop-In Programs. Please see our online program calendar for up-to-date information.
35 & Under Sangha
- Sundays: 7:00-8:15pm
- Dates: Please see below.
- Fee: $5-10; Practice Sundays by donation (Dana)
This affinity group -- appropriate for both new and experienced meditators -- provides an opportunity for those ages 18-35 to practice the dharma in a supportive community setting. The group offers two different formats:
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 guided sitting practice and walking meditation, followed by time for sharing: dyads (partner work) and small or large group discussion. There is time after the evening ends for participants to gather informally for tea and conversation.
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.
Afternoon Tea & Dharma Discussion
- Thursdays: 4:00-5:30pm
- Dates: Most Thursdays; exceptions listed below
- Fee: $5-$10
Are you are new to practice? Have been practicing for years? Do you have questions about practice that you'd like to discuss in an intimate group setting? Please join Madeline Klyne for an afternoon Dharma conversation.
Afternoon Tea will not meet on: December 19 & 26, 2019 | January 2, 2020 | March 5, 26 | April 2 | May 21 |June 25 | July 2 | August 6, 13, 20, 27 | September 3, 10 | November 26 | December 17, 24, 31
- Tuesdays: 6:00-7:00pm
- Fee: $5-10
On most Tuesday nights throughout the year we offer basic instruction in Insight Meditation (vipassana) on a drop-in basis; no registration required. Each class includes instruction, meditation practice and discussion. This class is appropriate for first-time meditators as well as those with meditation experience. This program is taught by Narayan Liebenson and CIMC teachers.
The program begins promptly at 6:00pm. Please arrive on time and plan to stay for the entire class. The front door will be locked at 6:00pm when the class begins.
Beginners' Drop-in is not offered during CIMC's end-of-summer break, during Multi-Day Retreats or when the Center is closed for winter break at the end of the year. Please see our online program calendar for up-to-date information.
Beloved Community Circles
- Sundays: 10:00am-12:30pm
- Dates: December 15, 2019 | February 23, 2020 | April 19 | July 19 | November 15
- Donation (dana): $5-10
A series of conversations facilitated by CIMC Board Member Betty Burkes, Beloved Community Circles (BCC) provide a forum for cultivating awareness within the CIMC community about social realities and conditioning, informed by the Dharma. Recognizing the particular need for consciousness regarding race and racism in our culture, this theme is one 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 this aspiration. BCC is open to everyone in the CIMC community.
Daily Sitting Practice
- Weekday Mornings: 7:00-7:45am
- Weekday Evenings: 6:00-6:45pm (except Wednesday)
On most weekday mornings and evenings CIMC offers a drop-in practice opportunity that is open to everyone: a 45-minute long meditation sit led by CIMC volunteer Practice Leaders. On Wednesday evenings, this is part of CIMC’s Wednesday Evening Dharma Program and runs from 6:30-7:15pm.
For the benefit of your fellow practitioners, please enter the meditation hall on time and stay through the end of the sit. All are welcome to attend; there is no registration.
Daily Sitting Practice is not offered during CIMC’s end-of-summer break, on federal holidays, or when the Center is closed for winter break at the end of the year. Evening Sits are also not offered when “Multi-Day Retreats” are in progress. Please see our online program calendar for up-to-date information.
- Tuesdays: 10:30am-12:00pm
- Dates: December 10, 2019 | January 14, 2020 | February 11 | March 10 | April 14 | May 12 | June 9 | July 14 | August 11 | September 8 | October 13 | November 10 | December 8
- Fee: $5-10
Intended for people ages 65 and up, the Elders Sangha meets on the second Tuesday of each month. 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. The group is led by Ron Denhardt, Olivia Hoblitzelle or Mary Vanderwicken.
- Fridays: 7:00-9:00pm
- Dates: January 17, 2020 | February 21 | April 17 | May 15 | June 19 | September 18 | October 16 | November 20
- Fee: $5-10
These evening gatherings provide a dedicated practice space at CIMC for people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning. This is a great opportunity to connect with and build community as we come together to practice, learn and celebrate who we are.
CIMC Core Teacher Madeline Klyne leads sitting and walking meditation followed by a Dharma teaching and/or discussion. Our affinity group is a “drop-in” and is appropriate for beginners as well as those with prior meditation experience. After our formal program, all are invited to gather in the dining room for tea and snacks.
- Sundays: 10:00-11:15am
- Dates: January 5, 2020 | February 2 | March 8 | April 5 | May 3 | June 14 | July 26 | September 20 | October 25 | November 15 | December 6
- Fee: $5-10
This group is an informal opportunity for parents and small children (ages 3-8) to explore a family practice. Through singing, playful movement and storytelling we learn how to spend time together mindfully. Seasonal and festive themes are interwoven in our work to bring in color, fun, and a community atmosphere. We introduce the concepts of awareness, non-judgement or acceptance, and stillness (in heart and mind -- the body may be moving). Some examples of mindfulness that might be explored are: mindful listening, mindful breathing, mindful seeing, and more. Children are naturally in tune with their bodies and their environment. Our work together tries to harness this beautiful quality of wonder and presence. We have a high tolerance for movement and sound, and the children are not expected to sit still or be quiet all the time. At the end of the session, there is some time reserved for a craft activity, simple snacks, and conversation.
Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. Our activities are geared to children ages 3-8. However, we are happy to welcome younger and older siblings so that families have the opportunity to practice and be together.
- Gardening Day
Do you know that CIMC’s beautiful garden is cared for entirely by volunteers? CIMC has Gardening Days in Spring and Fall.
Please join CIMC staff and other volunteers for a morning of mindful gardening.
Your help cultivating the natural beauty of our Center is a gift to the entire community, and is deeply appreciated.
- Discussion on Practice
Periodically, Larry Rosenberg offers an open discussion on practice for practitioners with one or more years of meditation experience.
These evenings will include sitting and walking meditation as well as ample opportunity for questions and discussion. They are “drop-in” programs, there is no registration and no set fee. Dana boxes are available; please consider making a donation to support CIMC.
At least one year of meditation practice required.
- Ceremony of Remembrance
Once a year we gather together in community to mourn and release those we have loved deeply, who have died. We remember family members and friends as well as practitioners at CIMC.
The next Ceremony of Remembrance will be on Friday, March 20, 2020.
The group that gathers is open-hearted and friendly, bonded together by the possibility of honoring the ebbs and flows of this life as it manifests in our personal relationships. You may come in the name of anyone you are mourning, whether recently or those further in the past, incompletely mourned. It is also fine to come to mourn traumatic events in the world.
This evening consists of a small amount of chanting, a short introduction and talk, and a time for each of us to light a candle in remembrance of those we are mourning. Each will have the option to speak for a few minutes about the gifts we’ve received from our connection with those who have had a significant place in our hearts. After all candles are lit, we chant some more and then blow out our candles together.
If you wish, please bring photographs of your loved ones to place in the center of the room. After the ceremony, we’ll take the time to look at these together.
- Community Conversation and Celebration
Once a year we gather as a community to meditate, talk and share food together. This drop-in is usually held in early winter.
Join Larry, Narayan and others who love the Center on Sunday, December 6, 2020 from 3:00-6:00pm for our annual Community Conversation and Celebration.
When asked if sangha was important to spiritual development, the Buddha said spiritual friendship is actually the “whole” of the spiritual path. Let’s celebrate our many sanghas, those circles of friends and spiritual companions that provide solace and solidarity as we work together to counter greed, hatred and delusion in ourselves and in the world. Everyone is welcome! No registration is necessary, we look forward to seeing you.
- Gratitude Gathering
On that day of thanksgiving, we share readings and reflections on gratitude and the blessings in our lives. The gathering includes a period of guided sitting meditation on gratitude and a discussion.
Please feel free to bring a reading.
All are welcome. Light refreshments will follow.
- New Year's Eve Reflections & Practice
On this last night of the year, please join the CIMC community for an evening of practice and ritual as we welcome the new year. Together we will focus on intention and letting go of habits. Please feel free to bring a favorite poem or reading to share.
No registration necessary. You are welcome to attend any part of the evening. We look forward to seeing you on New Year’s Eve.
People of Color Sangha
- Fridays: 6:30-8:15pm
- Dates: January 3, 2020 | February 7 | March 6 | April 3 | May 1 | June 5 | July 10 (second Friday) Lower Meditation Hall | August 7 | September 11 (second Friday) Lower Meditation Hall | October 2 | November 6 | December 4
- Donation (dana): $5-10
The PoC Sangha provides a dedicated practice space at CIMC for those who self-identify as people of color, and generally meets on the first Friday of each month from 6:30-8:15pm.
General outline of our time together:
- Welcome and Introductions
- Guided Meditation
- Dharma Reflection/Teaching
- Small Group Reflection
- Large Sharing Circle, with Q and A, if time allows
- Brief Sit / Blessing
- Community Potluck (all are invited to gather and contribute to a vegetarian community potluck and conversation in the dining room)
In 2020, the PoC Sangha will explore the Buddha’s teachings on the Three Characteristics. All that exists in the universe is subject to these characteristics:
- Impermanence (anicca). Everything is limited to a certain duration and, consequently, liable to disappear.
- Sufferings, worries, dissatisfactions of all kinds (dukkha). Everything is unsatisfactory. There is nothing that can be relied upon, there is nothing that can bring true happiness.
- The absence of a self (anatta). Everything is deprived of a self. There is no self-inherent entity, nothing that can be controlled.
The PoC Sangha will be supported by CIMC Core Teacher Matthew Hepburn, visiting teachers and the PoC Affinity Group Leaders (Novelette DeMercado and Vicky I). You’re invited to explore these Three Characteristics with the PoC Sangha at any, or all, of the monthly gatherings.
The PoC First Friday Drop-In is appropriate for beginners as well as those with meditation experience.
Sunday Afternoon Extended Practice
- Sundays: 2:00-5:15pm
- Dates: December 15, 2019 | January 5, 12, 19, 26, 2020 | February 2, 23 | March 1, 8, 15, 29 | April 5, 12, 19 | May 3, 10, 24, 31 | June 7, 14, 21, 28 | July 5, 19, 26 | August 2, 9 | September 20 | October 11, 18, 25 | November 15, 29 | December 13
- Fee: Donation (Dana)
- Prerequisite: Some meditation practice
On most Sunday afternoons throughout the year, CIMC offers the opportunity for extended practice. We observe the following meditation schedule:
You are welcome to attend for any part of the program, however, please plan on entering the Meditation Hall either before the first sit or during any walking period. This practice is silent and led by a practice leader.
Thursday Morning Retreat
- Thursdays: 9:00am-1:00pm (followed by lunch and dharma conversation from 1:00-2:00pm)
- Fee: When Narayan Liebenson teaches: Members $10, Non-Members $15; otherwise by donation (Dana)
These informal retreats consist of alternating sitting and walking periods. Narayan offers the opportunity for individual practice interviews on the days she teaches. We invite you to bring a vegetarian lunch and join others for a meal and conversation starting at 1:00 pm.
Narayan will teach on: February 13 | March 12 | April 16 | July 9 | October 8 | November 5 | December 10
We observe the following meditation schedule. You are welcome to attend for any part of the morning, however, please plan on entering the Meditation Hall either before the first sit or during any walking period.