Our Dharma teachers offer a variety of experience and background and share a common deep practice and love of Dharma.
Doreen Schweizer, MSW, SENIOR TEACHER
Doreen is the senior teacher for Valley Insight Meditation Society (VIMS). She is one of the founders of VIMS and has been teaching classes and retreats with the group since the early 1990’s. She also mentors individual practitioners and periodically writes reflections for the VIMS newsletter.
Doreen began study in the Vipassana/Insight Buddhist tradition in the early 1990’s after practicing various forms of meditation since 1969. She has practiced extensively with IMS and Spirit Rock teachers, as well as with nuns and monks of the Western Order of the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest Tradition. In 2003, she completed the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders Training; she is grateful to Jack Kornfield, her sponsoring teacher; Taraniya Gloria Ambrosia, her mentoring teacher, and James Baraz and Ajahn Amaro, the lead teachers in the program, for their strong encouragement and support to her development as a teacher. Andy Olendzki at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies also provided clear direction for her understanding and practice in the early Buddhist tradition and how these teachings can be applied to our daily lives in a secular age. The loving kindness and compassion practices have long been a foundation to her own life and to her work with the community and individuals as a psychotherapist. Currently, she is influenced by the teachings of the Venerable Bhikkhu Analayo on the early Buddhist mindfulness trainings, as well as by his understanding of their relationship to compassion and emptiness.
An important part of Doreen’s practice for 5 years was caring for her elderly mother who died in early 2013. Buddhist teachings and practices sustained her efforts. The strong presence of the Valley Insight practice community encouraged her faith. Doreen’s own understandings and teachings are now grounded in this faith in the abiding experience of joy in relationship and in the truth of old age, illness and death.
Doreen has been an active member of the Upper Valley since 1972. She was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 1976 and during the time of her recovery, helped start Hospice of the Upper Valley. She was the executive director and a social worker for the organization. Along with being guiding teacher for VIMS, Doreen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice with an office in Norwich VT. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org