Mask, Vaccination, and Attendance Policy for In-Person Events: As of March 21, 2023, we invite those who attend our in-person events to wear a mask, or not, as is necessary for personal safety and feelings of comfort. We encourage people to wear masks if they are immunocompromised or feel as if wearing a mask helps them to feel more comfortable in a room with other people. We also acknowledge that visiting teachers may ask people who attend their events to wear masks indoors and we support them in doing so. But we no longer require everyone who attends to wear a mask during our in-person events.
In consideration of the Buddhist precept of not causing harm to our fellow beings, we want our events to be as safe as possible. For that reason, we ask that everyone who attends our in-person events be fully vaccinated and boostered against COVID-19.
In the spirit of non-harming, people who are experiencing symptoms of any illness, especially respiratory illness (such as cough, nasal congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, or fever), should not attend in-person sits or other events.
While the above precautions we observe (boostering of all in-person participants, masking for those who are immunocompromised, and assuring that those who attend are free of symptoms) will significantly reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission, we remind all participants that these precautions cannot reduce transmission risk to zero. Only avoidance of in-person contact can truly negate all risk. Thus, we expect everyone to be guided by their concern for others and by their own level of comfort when choosing whether or not to attend an in-person event. Most of our events will offer an option to attend through our Online Dharma Hall – an option we believe will help all sangha members to feel included.
We are grateful for your patience, your understanding, and your shared commitment to our collective safety and wellness. May we continue to find refuge in curiosity, kindness, beauty, space, breath, gratitude, and one another. If you have any questions or concerns about these policies or our approach to sits and other events, please contact one of the teachers or a board member.
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.