This Week's Events

Monday Apr 14 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .

Tuesday Apr 15 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .

Tuesday Apr 15 at 7:00 pm. Meditation: Tuesday Evening Meditation.

Wednesday Apr 16 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .

Thursday Apr 17 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .

Thursday Apr 17 at 7:00 pm. Meeting: Teen Sangha. Red Cedar Dharma Hall

Friday Apr 18 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .

Monday Apr 21 at 6:30 am. Morning Meditation: .


Thursday Apr 24 at 7:00 pm. Going Forth - Mindful Aging.

Tuesday May 6 at 6:00 pm. Orientation to Insight Meditation. Red Cedar Dharma Hall

Monday Jun 2 at 6:00 pm. Orientation to Insight Meditation. Red Cedar Dharma Hall


Welcome to Bellingham Insight

Bellingham Insight Meditation Society (BIMS) supports meditation and practice in the Buddhist Theravada tradition. We do not have a single guiding teacher. Rather, we are a sangha-led community. We bring in regional and national teachers, including monastics, for residential and non-residential retreats. Our weekly programs are facilitated by senior members in coordination with our Board and Program Committee.

Insight meditation is a simple and direct practice, the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm and focused awareness. Learning to observe experience from a place of stillness enables one to relate to life with less fear and clinging. Seeing life as a constantly changing process, one begins to accept pleasure, pain, fear, joy and all aspects of life with increasing equanimity and balance. As insight deepens, wisdom and compassion arise. This practice is sometimes called "vipassana", which is a Pali word for insight.


Invitation to retreat dharma talks

Heather Martin and Pascal Auclair will be leading a retreat at Camp Samish April 5-April 12. Anyone who is not sitting this retreat is invited to come for the Dhamma talks on Sunday-Friday nights (April 6-April 11) at 7:30 PM.

If you wish to come, please enter quietly (without talking or interacting with retreatants) between 7:15 & 7:30 and sit on the chairs in the back. There will be a dana bowl available for donations for the teachers.

May all beings be happy

The retreat committee


Camp Samish residential retreat with Heather Martin and Pascal Auclair - April 5-12

(the retreat is filled.)

Heather Martin and Pascal Auclair will lead an 8-day residential retreat (April 5-12) on Samish Island. The retreat is called Awakening Wisdom and Compassion. The aim of all Buddhist practice is to awaken from the slumber of ignorance and confusion, to know and see how things really are, and so to experience true freedom. By practicing with mindfulness, steady concentration and considerable kindness, retreatants will have a chance to explore the path of freedom in each moment.


Beginning Again: Introduction to Insight Meditation - March 22

Why do we meditate? What are the benefits? How do we do it? These are common questions that anyone curious about meditation may ask. And for those with a regular meditation practice, these questions are good to ask again from time to time, to freshen-up our intention. Several times a year BIMS offers an Introduction to Insight (Vipassana) Meditation class where meditation instruction is given and these questions are discussed. This is an opportune time for new and experienced practitioners to explore how meditation may fit into their life. Please consider joining us on Saturday March 22nd, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Red Cedar Dharma Hall. Cost is by voluntary donation. Registration is recommended by contacting Karen at 360-647-8414 or e-mail Karen

To see a class flyer: flyer


Awakening Joy - a weekend with James Baraz - March 15-16

James Baraz will be lead a non-residential weekend at the Dharma Hall on Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16. He will also give a public talk on Friday March 14. James has been teaching meditation since 1978 and the Awakening Joy course since 2003. In Buddhism, joy is both a Factor of Enlightenment and one of the four Divine Abodes. During this weekend we will learn practical tools to incline the mind towards joy through silent meditation as well as interactive experiential processes.

The James Baraz flyer and registration form is here.


An Evening with The Hidden Lamp - Wednesday, February 26th

Florence Caplow and Susan Moon are the editors of a recently published book called The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. Florence and Sue will be at the Dharma Hall on Wednesday, February 26 for an evening of readings and exploration of their book. Florence and Bellingham Insight member Jean La Valley have led weekend retreats the last 3 years using stories from the book. This is a wonderful chance to experience these stories and meet the authors. The BIMS sangha will be joining the Zen community for this evening. We will meditate for a short while and then begin the program. We hope to see you there!!

There is no fee; donations to the teachers are welcome

The program is 7-9 PM.


Ajahn Santi is visiting on Tuesday, January 7th

Ajahn Santi will be joining us at the Dharma Hall this Tuesday night - January 7th - for his first visit since July. He will lead the meditation at 7:00 p.m. and give a Dharma talk during the second hour.

Ajahn Santidhammo is an American Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition based at Wat Atam Monastery in Woodinville. He combines clear, practical instruction of the Dharma with a great deal of heart and humor.


Special New Year's Eve Tuesday Meditation and Program

Join the combined BIMS and Zen communities for a celebration of New Year's Eve.

This event has been a tradition with the Zen community and since the 31st falls on Tuesday this year, BIMS can join in. We will have our usual 45 minute Insight Meditation at 7:00, then the ceremony will start at 8:00 after setting up the hall and an explanation of the ceremony.

The ceremony involves writing resolutions of what we are ready to get rid of, 108 rings of the big bell and bowing, chanting, and culminates with a fire ceremony in the back courtyard/garden where the slips of paper on which are written our 'ready to let go of' resolutions are burned with some ceremony and people make statements about their dreams for the new year.

After the ceremony we have tea and mochi and stand around the fire.


Musical & Mindful - an event for the whole family THIS Sunday November 24, 6-7:30 PM

Bellingham Insight and Sangha Mamas invite everyone to join visiting singer and songwriter Betsy Rose for an evening of songs that encourage inner calm, kindness, slowing down and paying attention. The evening will start with a set for the whole family. Then children will be invited to join our mindful teens for a light dinner and activities that encourage the qualities Betsy sings about. Adults will remain with Betsy for a special set on mindful parenting and presence. Betsy is a mother, singer, songwriter and teaches in the family practice program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

This evening is offered by Bellingham Insight; there is no charge for admission. There will be a chance to offer dana (donation) to Betsy.

THIS Sunday at the Fairhaven Public Library. Look for the signs and guides!


Beginning Again - An introduction to meditation on November 9th

Whether you are new to meditation or think it"s time for a refresher, we invite you to join us for this day-long class that will include both discussion and practice. Four meditation objects will be taught: sitting, walking, eating and metta (kind-heartedness). We will discuss core elements of Buddhism meditation practice. Ideas on developing a home practice as well as ways of cultivating awareness in our daily activities will be included in the class. Time will be allotted for questions and discussion.

The class will be taught by Mary Haberman & Jean La Valley, both members of the Bellingham Insight Teaching Corps.

Time: 9AM - 3PM

Place: Red Cedar Dharma Hall, 1021 N. Forest

To register or for more information, see the flyer.


CANCELLED - Ajahn Santi November 5th Visit to BIMS

Ajahn Santi has had to cancel his November 5th visit to BIMS, but we will keep you informed about future visits as they are planned.


Statement of Solidarity with the Lummi Nation

The BIMS Board has, as individuals, unanimously endorsed a statement of solidarity with the Lummi Nation supporting their stand against the construction of the proposed coal export terminal on land sacred to them and in waters important to them for fishing. See here for more information and a copy of the statement that can be downloaded for printing and mailed, if you are inclined. There will also be a copy of this statement at the Red Cedar Dharma Hall to which you can add your name.


Residential Retreat October 2013

Tina Rasmussen & Stephen Snyder will lead a residential retreat at Camp Samish from October 13-19, 2013. The theme will be the Brahma Viharas.The Bramaviharas are part of the samatha (concentration/serenity) portion of the Buddha"s path of practice. In this retreat there will be opportunities to experientially practice each of these four meditations.

Retreat flyer and registration form.


Letter from Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Larry Yang, Joanna Macy,

Dear Dharma Leaders,

Next month, June 10-13, there will be an International Vipassana Teachers gathering at Spirit Rock. Teachers from around the US, Europe and abroad will be meeting to vision together how the Dharma can best serve the community of practitioners and our world. Among the topics we will look at the role of the Dharma and Dharma teachers as we face the reality of climate change.

As the impacts of a warming world grow and become more obvious, we risk a society that moves from disbelief to dismay and depression – skipping over the activity that can reduce the suffering to come. This suffering will be unevenly borne, exacerbating existing environmental injustice and environmental racism, as those least responsible for its causes bare an undue share of the burden.

Teachers respond to the needs of students. If teachers hear from practitioners that this is an important priority, they will respond. In the Buddhist tradition of "requesting the dharma to be taught,” some dharma friends in the UK and USA have developed an online “letter of request” that students can sign. It asks teachers to take a leadership role on this issue by providing guidance and teachings in the most skillful way to deal with the consequences we all will face in the coming years resulting from climate change. We’re writing you to ask your support in spreading this request to your communities. We hope thousands of dharma practitioners will sign so that the teachers at the June meeting see their concern and respond accordingly.

We would be grateful if you can help with spreading the link to the request form below through email, Facebook and other social media outlets. You might consider taking a suitable computer or print-out to sangha meetings so students can sign the request in-person. Signed hard copies can be sent to: James Baraz, c/o Sprit Rock, PO Box 169, Woodacre, CA 94973.

Request for Teachings and Leadership on Climate Change

Thank you for your support in making this happen.

With appreciation and metta,

Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Larry Yang, Joanna Macy, Catherine McGee and James Baraz


Recording from Richard Shankman Talk

The talk and discussion on Friday evening, February 8th, which opened the weekend retreat with Richard Shankman, was recorded and is available here.


BIMS Practice Period Audio and Notes

Audio and notes from the five Practice Period Tuesday night programs are now available.

  • Excerpts and notes from the talk by Jean LaValley on the opening night, January 8th, are here. Subject: Refuges, Precepts, Intention.

  • A recording of the January 15th talk and discussion on Perceptions and Practicing at the Sense Doors by John Fries is here..

  • A recording and notes from the January22nd session on Meditating with Sadness and Anxiety.

  • A recording from John Robinson and Carolyn McGlothlin on A Day in the Life of Self.

  • The concluding night of the 2013 Practice Period, reviewing and offering the precepts and refuges, led by Jean LaValley and John Fries, is recorded here.


New Saturday Sit-In Schedule for 2013

With the start of the New Year, BIMS is adopting a new Saturday Sit-In schedule. Our once-monthly morning and afternoon sits are being replaced with twice-monthly morning-only sits. Here is what things will look like from now:

  • 2nd Saturday of the month - 9:00 - 11:45 a.m.

  • 4th Saturday of the month - 9:00 - 11:45 a.m.

If you have never attended the Sit-In before, or if it has been a while, our BIMS January Practice Period may be just the time to start, or begin again.

Hope to see you there!


Buy a Book for the Library

See the list here.

Follow the link to see a list of books that have been suggested as possible additions to the Bellingham Insight library at the Red Cedar Dharma Hall. Maybe you would like to buy one of these, read it, and then donate it?


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