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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Renown Buddhist Teacher to Speak at Unity of Naples

Buddhist teacher Fred Eppsteiner will lead a discussion from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 11 and speak at 6 p.m. on May 12 at Unity of Naples. He is the founder of the Florida Community of Mindfulness (FCM), a nurturing and supportive community grounded in the teachings of Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, where people can learn and practice the art of meditation and mindful living.

After more than four decades of deep study and practice with Buddhist masters in multiple lineages, Eppsteiner received Dharma Transmission (authorization to teach in an authentic lineage descended from the Buddha) directly from Hanh. Although he now lives in Tampa where FCM is headquartered, Eppsteiner was a longtime Naples-based psychotherapist. With more than 350 members throughout the Florida gulf coast and a cadre of trained instructors, FCM offers a rich menu of study inspired by Eppsteiner’s unique teaching approach, helping people live with greater ease and happiness.

Led by Brandy Kidd, John McHarris and Chris Lee Nguyen, the FCM Naples Sangha (meditation group) holds gatherings at Unity of Naples, including meditation sessions from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays; orientation for newcomers at 5:15 p.m. the first Sunday of each month; monthly days of mindfulness and discussion forums; and social activities throughout the year. Questions and open discussion are always encouraged, creating a rich give-and-take and open exploration, helping participants learn from each other.

FCM in-person and livestream offerings include the teaching and practice of mindfulness, meditation and the dharma through weekly group meditation sessions; classes on mind-body awareness and relaxation; monthly daylong or half-day programs; multi-day group and individual retreats; home-study intensives lasting three to six months; workshops on the application of the dharma and mindfulness to everyday life; member forums; and a variety of indoor and outdoor social events. At all gatherings and activities, FCM practices deep listening and loving, mindful speech. Methods are taught to help practitioners learn to understand and avoid or resolve conflicts.

Online meditation is offered at 7 a.m. weekdays. Retreats in Tampa use a complex of buildings, including a large meditation hall and housing in FCM’s new residential retreat facility. Eppsteiner offers private consulting to members that desire personal guidance from a teacher.

Unity of Naples is located at 2000 Unity Way. For more information, visit

Unity of Naples Church - 2000 Unity Way Naples FL

Unity of Naples Church - 2000 Unity Way, Naples, FL

Unity of Naples is a non-denominational spiritual community rooted in radical, loving acceptance of all individuals from all walks of life. We share a common passion for spiritual awakeni... Read More »