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.

Daylong Retreat – Sat, Sept 26  led by Ajahn Jayanto, co-abbot of Jetavana (Temple Forest) Monastery. Retreat will be held at St. Barnabas Church in Norwich, VT, 8:30 am-4 pm.  details

Annual Sangha-wide Meeting.  The board is hosting a fall 2015 annual meeting on Sun, Sept 27 at AVA Gallery as a way to strengthen connections throughout our sangha, gather input on priorities, and energize community support. details

Fall Course – Introduction to Insight Meditation – an 8-week course will begin Thursday, Sept 10.  details

The September 13 sit at AVA is cancelled.

Labor Day’s sit will be informal with no teacher or peer leader.  details

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.

Responding to the Earthquake in Nepal.
The chair of Dartmouth’s Anthropology Department has done extensive research in Nepal. If you feel inspired to donate, her recommendations of NGOs are here.

Kate Schaefer, Fund Raising Team chair reports: “We have discussed holding a series of fund-raisers …. Whether it is an arts night, poetry reading, dinner party, or a talk about your travels or adventures, we’d love your participation. more

Making Social Connections: The new “Buddha Buddy” program is underway. It provides opportunities to connect with other sangha members outside of the sitting groups and team meetings to have fun, share activities, and explore relationships. Gina Sonne [address] for more information.  Read more

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

Monday Sits: Doreen Schweizer leads the second and fourth Mondays of every month. Peg Meyer leads first and third Mondays (except in September). Peg will lead on September 14; Doreen will lead September 21 and 28.  details

Second Sundays at AVA  The September sit at AVA is cancelled. Please see details on the Sunday AVA page. The monthly Sunday sit is dedicated to the practice and exploration of the Brahma Viharas (beautiful mind states): friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. The sit commences with a period of mindful movement.  details.

Advisory Board: Carol Westberg is the VIMS president; Geri DeLuca is our new treasurer. Andrea Gilmore and Suzanne Serat have recently joined. Penelope Prendergast, Kate Schaefer, Gina Sonne, and Deb Steele complete the board. Brief bios are here, plus update of the May meeting.

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.

Addressing Climate Change – People’s Climate March Sept 21, NYC VIMS is part of the world-wide network of teachers and sanghas who are concerned about climate change.  Acting on this commitment, three people from the Valley Insight Sangha attended the People’s Climate March, an action designed to encourage world governments to address the looming planetary crisis.

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.

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