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.

Changing Climate, Changing Minds, April 8 and 9 at Dartmouth – information 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 March 7 and April 4. 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.

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 February 22, March 14 and 28. Karen Summer will sub for Peg on Feb 15. Peg will lead on March 7 and 21.  details

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

Doreen Schweizer is VIMS’ Micah Award Hero
Each year member organizations of the Upper Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP), of which VIMS is one, nominate someone from their group who lives the words of the Old Testament prophet Micah “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” VIMS has nominated Doreen as someone who exemplifies just action, love of mercy, and humility. She was honored, along with several others, at an awards ceremony on October 26th. Read more

The Valley Insight sangha gathered at AVA Gallery on Sunday, September 27th for meditation, discussion, and lunch. A comprehensive summary will be emailed to you in the next few weeks. Feelings of gratitude were expressed by participants for the fellowship, community, sharing, and energy present during the gathering.

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.

In May, 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.

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.

Message from Jack Kornfield and 9 other Buddhist leaders about Rohingya of Burma
The Rohingya, an ethnic minority group of the Muslim faith living in Burma, face a dire situation, requiring immediate attention and support. Described by the United Nations as the most persecuted minority on earth  ……………
Because this refugee nightmare is in part due to the policies of Buddhist countries, principally Burma and also Thailand as well as Malaysia and Indonesia, it seems especially important for Buddhists around the world to visibly respond according to the central Buddhist values of compassion and respect for all beings.  Read more here.

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