Valley Insight Classes

Eco-Sattva Training Update

Valley Insight’s first Eco-Sattva training finished in late May. Using a curriculum developed by the nationally-based One Earth Sangha, Willow Nielson facilitated this bi-weekly, six-session discussion group. Prerecorded speakers included David Loy, Lama Willa, and Dan Siegel, as well as less well-known dharma voices, native peoples, and psychologists. With their help, we addressed the personal, relational, and political implications of the climate emergency; rested together in the grief for what is being lost; reflected on ways to stay open and proceed with agency. We shared our responses to the material in our meetings.

One of the many exercises we did was to reflect on and form an “eco-biography,” in order to explore what our own relationship to the planet has been from when we were young children to now. This proved to be important for some of us by giving a fuller picture and a renewed awareness of our relationship with the land over our lifetime. Maybe this is something you could pause and reflect upon now for a moment.

The series will probably be offered through Valley Insight again in the fall. For more information go to this site

If you think you might be interested in participating, please contact

The Eightfold Path
Study Group

Peg Meyer is facilitating a study group that will meet every week to discuss the Wisdom Factors of the path. We will use the  material in Joseph Goldstein’s book Mindfulness: The Noble Eightfold Path: Wisdom Factors. The discussion will cover Right View and RIght Intention, pp 327-368.  For those without the book, a pdf of these pages will be sent to you.

The group will be sharing their own reflections on and practice of these first two factors.

Mtg. time: 7pm-8pm Wednesday for 6 classes, beginning May 12 and ending June 23rd. There is no fee but registration is required. 

A Zoom invitation will be sent to those who are registered. 

Contact: for registration and information.


Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
Monday evenings: April 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 17, 24
5:30-6:45 pm

Practicing mindfulness meditation not only helps us to develop a clearer understanding of ourselves; it also helps us to stay centered and aware—a real benefit in a time of tumult and uncertainty. In fact, scientific studies and clinical trials are demonstrating that mindfulness practice has myriad benefits.

This course is being taught in six sessions on Monday evenings, beginning on April 19 and ending on May 24, from 5:30 to 6:45 pm.  It is open to anyone: no experience is necessary.

The focus in the course will be on developing a regular mindfulness meditation practice. Students will learn a number of mindfulness practices, including mindfulness of breathing, walking meditation, and extending awareness to the body, thoughts and emotions. These practices will enable them to sustain their focus on what’s happening and explore it with growing awareness and tender attention in their own practice.

The class will be taught by Michael Stoner. Michael began meditating seriously in 2006. An active member and the board chair of Valley Insight Meditation Society, he earned certification as a mindfulness teacher from the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program created by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield, both internationally known meditation teachers.

Sessions will be conducted through Zoom, so participants will need a computer, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection to participate.

If you have questions or wish to register, please contact Michael Stoner by email ( or phone (1-312-622-6930). These teachings are freely offered. 

This course is sponsored by Valley Insight Meditation Society. Valley Insight is an Upper Valley nonprofit organization that offers weekly meditation groups and other programs for beginners and advanced meditation practitioners rooted in the practices of Insight (Vipassana) Buddhism.


EcoSattva Training
Lead by Willow Nilsen
Beginning January 28, 2021
Every other Thursday

Starting in January, VIMS, with leader Willow Nilsen, will be hosting an EcoSattva training that was developed by One Earth Sangha.  Drawing on insights from Buddhism and the growing field of climate psychology, we will explore the intersections between ecological harm and other forms of objectification and exploitation, especially in regard to race, revealing their common roots and common remedies.  

In the final part of the course, we will explore diverse forms of response, from the surprisingly important changes we can make in our everyday lives to the necessary refusals to cooperate with systems of domination.  We will also explore our inner landscape and consider ways to bring a compassionate and wise response to these issues.

 The class is nine weeks long.  The initial meeting is scheduled as a time for participants to get to know each other and to share course logistics before we begin. We will begin on Thursday, January 28th at 6:30 pm and meet every other Thursday thereafter.  Each 60-minute meeting will include time for meditation, connection, discussion, and reflection. 

For more information, please contact Willow Nilsen at

Willow regularly attends retreats at the Barre Center for Buddhist Study and has been delighted to practice with VIMS since moving to the area. She has a master’s degree in science education and has taught climate science, ecology, and botany in public schools and wilderness programs. She is currently the program coordinator of the Dartmouth Outing Club and has a passion for solo backpacking. 

Concluded Classes

Chanting With Peg Meyer
Wednesdays in March 2021
Chanting/silent meditation practice with Peg Meyer. 

A Different Way to Practice – A Guided Nature Walk 
Wednesday, December 30, Walk at 2 pm
Taught by Lee Steppacher

Cultivating a Mindful and Fulfilling Life
(September 16, 23, 30 & October 7, 14, 21 
Taught by Michael Stoner

Bringing Mindfulness to Daily Life
August 5 & August 20 2020
Taught by Peg Meyer

Creating an In-Home Meditation Retreat
August 19 2020
Taught by Karen Summer

Introduction to Insight Meditation
Weekend Retreat: Sat/Sun June 27-28, 2020
June 30, and July 7, 14, and 21, 2020
Taught by Michael Stoner

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
January 12, 15, 22, and 29 2020
Taught by Lee Steppacher

Waking Up White
March 27-June 26, 2019
Taught by Peg Meyer

Mindfulness Meditation Practice for Everyone
July 12, 19, 26 and August 2, 2018
Taught by Landon Hall

VIMS Exploration of Tricycle/Bodhi College Four Noble Truths Course
September 7 to October 19, 2017
Facilitated by Michael Stoner

Introduction to Insight Meditation
April 20- May 18, 2017
Taught by Karen Summer

Waking Up White
Taught by Peg Meyer

Introduction to Insight Meditation
June 22 to July 27, 2016
Taught by Karen Summer

Introduction to Insight Meditation
January 6 to February 24, 2016
Taught by Karen Summer, with Landon Hall, Doreen Schweizer, and Peg Meyer

Introduction to Insight Meditation
Sept 10 – Oct 29, 2015
Taught by Peg Meyer and Karen Summer

Everyday Mindfulness
April 30 – June 4, 2015
Taught by Peg Meyer and Landon Hall

Introduction to Meditation
January 8 to February 26, 2015  (8 weeks)
Taught by Peg Meyer.

Metta and Mindful Movement Class
October 23 to December 18, 2014
Taught by Doreen Schweizer and Landon Hall

Sit Schedule

Held in our Online Dharma Hall
Details & Sign up →

Held in our Online Dharma Hall
Details & Sign up →

11am – 12:30pm – sit
Held in our Online Dharma Hall
Details & Sign up →

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