Welcome to the Valley Insight Meditation Society

Valley Insight Meditation Society (VIMS) is a community of individuals who practice primarily in the Insight Meditation lineage within the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. Our teachers and formal practice are closely aligned with Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and other lay teachers connected with IMS and BCBS in Barre, MA. We are also informed by the Western Monastic Order of Thai Forest Monks, centered at Amaravati Monastery in England, whose monks and nuns teach world-wide.

Our intention is to provide opportunities and support for exploring the teachings of Buddhism and practice of vipassana, also known as insight meditation. Wise and careful training of attention can lead to a more peaceful, steady mind and kind heart. This path helps us find the way to wisdom and compassion in the midst of our complex, stressful lives. We welcome all who are interested.

New location for Tuesday Sit  St. Barnabas Church Parish Hall, Main Street, Norwich (immediately beside Marion Cross Elementary School).  5:30 – 7:00 pm

New – Practice Leaders: The VIMS teacher team and the Board are supporting the development of a skilled team of practice leaders, people who will be able to guide both meditation and Dharma discussions in a way that is in keeping with our Insight tradition. To this end, a study/practice group will be forming that is open to committed VIMS sangha members who might be interested and who have a strong meditation practice and who already have a history of attending our sitting groups. Specifics regarding time, location, size of the group, and start date are under development.  Please contact Landon Hall at elhall888@gmail.com if you are interested.

Eightfold Path – Course Update –  The teacher team has decided to hold off on the plan to offer an eight-month course focusing each month on one of the factors of the Eightfold Path. The Path teaching is related to the fourth of the Four Noble Truths. Since all three of our sitting groups are currently involved in the study and exploration of this fundamental aspect of the Dharma, we feel there may be a way to weave a focus on the Path factors into all the groups when we begin to look closely at the Fourth Noble Truth. The task associated with this teaching is to cultivate a way to stabilize and engage wisely with the lessening of reactivity and turmoil in our lives. Look for more learning opportunities on this teaching in the fall.

New: Daylong Retreats upcoming.  Details will be posted when available.
Ajahn Jayanto, co-abbot of Jetavana Temple Forest Monastery – Saturday, September 10
Andrew Olendzki – Saturday, November 19

Gina Sonne new Advisory Board president.  We also  honor the dedication of retiring board president Carol Westberg. Essay about Gina and Carol and Advisory Board member bios here.

A VIMS Lending Library is open in the Friends Meetinghouse in Hanover. The library has over 150 books, CDs, and pamphlets.  Details

Monday Sits: The usual pattern is for Doreen Schweizer to lead the second and fourth Mondays of every month, with Peg Meyer leading the first and third Mondays. Doreen will lead on May 9 and 23. Peg will lead on May 16.  details

Advisory Board: Gina Sonne is the VIMS president; Geri DeLuca is our treasurer. Doris Hampton has recently joined. Penelope Prendergast, Suzanne Serat, Mindy Schorr, Deb Steele, and Carol Westberg complete the board. Brief bios are here.

Woodstock Meditation Group
Doreen Schweizer, our Guiding Teacher, and Lay Buddhist Chaplain Dorie Porcelli, a Woodstock resident, is offering an Insight Meditation instruction and discussion group from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at Simmons House at the Ottauquechee Health Center in Woodstock. The group will meet monthly, but regular attendance is not required. The group will meet June 6 . Contact dorieporcelli@gmail.com for more information.

Nina Swaim, a co-founder of Valley Insight Meditation Society, passed away unexpectedly from a stroke on October 15. Doreen’s tribute is here.

Diversity Policy Valley Insight Meditation Society is committed to offering a safe, welcoming environment for people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, classes, religions, abilities and ages in which to practice meditation and to explore the ideas put forth in the Buddha’s teachings. We recognize that all people hold unexamined beliefs, assumptions, fears and prejudices about others, and especially about those who seem different from themselves, and we acknowledge that these beliefs are a great source of suffering for individuals and societies. We strive for inclusivity, kindness and generosity toward all, in our programs and in our hearts.

VIMS is now a member of the United Valley Interfaith Project and other Advisory Board news.

Prison Sangha – Consider joining us for our regular visits with the prison sangha at the New Hampshire Department of Corrections in Berlin or volunteer to be a letter-writing correspondent with an inmate. View photos of the prison sangha. Consider becoming a member of Valley Insight. Learn about other ways to be involved in Valley Insight. Read reflections on Dhamma practice and Buddhism by Doreen  and a Valley News interview of Landon about volunteering at the prison.

In May, 2015,  125 Buddhist leaders met with White House and State Department officials at the first-ever White House-US Buddhist Leadership Conference.  Their statements on racial justice and climate change are here.