Classes & Special Events

Summer Nature Practice

Dates: 4 Sunday afternoons 1-4 pm. June 30, July 28, August25, September 29

Location: Thetford Academy yurt

Led by Lee Steppacher

A series of afternoons practicing in nature, to include both sitting and meditative walking as well as gentle hiking with practices that have us interacting with nature around us. The purpose is to offer a deeper exploration of nature as teacher and to inspire our connection and care for the world around us. Topics will include: listening deeply with our senses, impermanence, connection and belonging in nature, and protecting what we love.

None of the hikes will be strenuous, but may require some walking on uneven ground and rolling hills. It is a gradual uphill walk to the yurt. If you have limited ability please be in touch with Lee to discuss. Sessions will occur rain or shine, unless there are really extenuating conditions. There will be shelter in case of rain.

Minimum of 3 participants, maximum of 12 (in order to fit in the yurt if required)

Please contact lee Steppacher at shepstep@comcast.net to register. Please indicate which dates you are able to attend. Preference will be given to those who can make all, or at least most of the sessions

Vesak Day Celebration 2024

Our Sangha will gather for our 2024 Vesak Day celebration on Tuesday, May 7, 5:30 – 7:00 pm. The doors will open at 4:45 for socializing. We’ll host a hybrid event –– both in our online Dharma Hall and in person at St. Barnabas Parish Hall in Norwich. We’ll share more details in an email to everyone who signs up.

Vesak Day is the annual festival for celebrating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and final death/parinibbana (release from the rounds of rebirth), celebrated by Buddhists around the world.

We’ll gather together for the first part of the evening, then we’ll separate into two groups––an online group and an in-person group––for the remainder of our celebration.

We’ll use a special link to our Online Dharma Hall for this event. Please register here for information and the event link. Questions? contact Mike Dannehy at valleyinsightretreat@gmail.com

Insight Dialogue Study Group

for People with Asian Heritage
A Series with Yenkuei Chuang and Subha Srinivasan
Online via Zoom
Begins March 28 (every other Thursday)
4:15 – 5:45 pm Eastern Time

An Insight Dialogue group for people with Asian Heritage will be offered by Yenkuei Chuang and Subha Srinivasan this spring. It is a five-session series, meeting every other Thursday, 4:15-5:45 p.m. Eastern Time on March 28, April 11, April 25, May 9, and May 23, 2024.

Our hope is to introduce the six guidelines of Insight Dialogue: Pause, Relax, Open, Attune to Emergence, Listen Deeply, and Speak the Truth. We can use these guidelines as meditative tools to help us slow down and contemplate what it means to show up Asian with each other.

Together we will explore understandings that may be unavailable in BIPOC or majority White spaces. In addition to the six Insight Dialogue guidelines, we will allow dhamma teachings and the relational support to help name and loosen some of the identifications and views.

Registration information can be found here.

Mindfully Exploring Race Together

A monthly, ongoing exploration meets the first Wednesday of the month; please contact Peg Meyer if you’re interested in participating)

Valley Insight is offering a new ongoing monthly discussion series, Mindfully Exploring Race Together,  in which we will explore whiteness from a Dharma perspective. Meeting on the first Wednesday of each month, we’ll use different resources to deepen and broaden our perspectives. Participation is open to sangha members who identify as white, including those who are involved in sangha-sponsored activities such as the Hanover High School teacher meditation group. This offering is based on the understanding that white people need to do their own work together in order to recognize the deep roots of racial discrimination in our culture and in our individual hearts, minds, and bodies. This, we believe, is a necessary starting place for change.

Our overall intention is to develop familiarity with the issues of race in this country and to look at our own personal conditioning. In this way, we will enter into and uncover our mostly unconscious sense of whiteness. We  will invite discussion of different perspectives on race, racial justice, and antiracism––encouraging difficult conversations based on listening to or reading pieces by those whose perspectives are different from our own, and by those with whom we predictably agree. We will cover a different topic at each meeting, and outside speakers may be invited for some meetings. Attendance will be fluid: that is, participants will not need to commit to attend every meeting.

As envisioned, meetings will open with a brief meditation and reflection followed by a presentation and then by discussions in small breakout groups and within the larger group. We will observe mindful communication guidelines. The group will meet on Zoom and perhaps partially in person, or as a hybrid. To accommodate those with daytime work schedules, the meetings will be held in the evening. We will also explore the possibility of being a peer-facilitated group.

If you are interested in this group, please respond to Peg Meyer (meymrgrt@gmail.com). Also, please let Peg know if you think you would like to be on the steering committee, which currently consists of Peg, Carol Rougvie, and Doreen Schweizer, with support from the other members of Valley Insight’s ongoing Racial Affinity group.

Join Our Sangha Circle to Discuss Your Practice

Enjoy the company of fellow Valley Insight members as our Sangha Circle gathers on the third Sunday of each month from 8:45-9:45 am. We will begin with a 10-minute meditation followed by discussion of the joys and challenges we’re encountering in practice. All are welcome. To join us, use the same Zoom link you use to join our sits. If you need the link, please email GreetingsFromValleyInsight@gmail.com and we’ll send it to you.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Gina Sonne (802-649-7062, ginavims14@gmail.com) or Molly Grover (802-540-0365, mollygrov@gmail.com).

Daily Gathering for Refuge and Clarity

Weekday mornings, 7:30 am
Online via Zoom

Every weekday morning, Valley Insight offers a half-hour community time to be together and remember our connection to one another and to these teachings, which show us a way to have greater peace, ease, and openness in our hearts and minds—even in times of polarization and dissension—and even as we engage actively in working towards making the world better for all sentient beings.

Meetings begin with silence. Then we use the formal “Going for the Three Refuges” to speak/chant the intention to seek safety and support from

  1. our connection to Buddha, as a symbol of our commitment towards being awake, wise and kind in thought, speech and action;
  2. a trust and a willingness to try out the practices that Dharma teachings offer;
  3. a confidence in one another as fellow practitioners and support—even in the solidarity of silence.

Then we will speak the Five Training Precepts together. Remember: these are not “commandments,” they are “mindfulness bells,” considerations that nourish wisdom and strengthen the possibility of appropriate, compassionate action. And you are free to take only those that you feel pertain to you. The Precepts are to refrain from

  1. harming any living creature;
  2. taking what is not freely given;
  3. sexual or sensual misconduct;
  4. harsh, incorrect, or intentionally polarizing speech;
  5. drugs or alcohol which may cloud the mind and lead to carelessness.

For an invitation, please contact us at greetingsfromvalleyinsight@gmail.com.


Concluded Classes & Events

A Celebration of Doreen Schweizer
2:00-4:00 pm EST, March 3, Lebanon, NH, & online

Our Sangha celebrated the 79th birthday of our co-founder and senior teacher, Doreen Schweizer.

Beginning Anew: A Morning of Practice and Friendship: Valley Insight’s New Year’s Day Gathering 2024
January 1st, 2024 – 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Eastern
Doreen Schweizer, Subha Srinivasan, and Karen Summer 

Guided Nature Walks

Led by Lee Steppacher

Drop-In Mindfulness
Last Saturday of the month, Fall 2023
Subha Srinivasan

Spiritual Friendship on the Path: Practice in Insight Dialogue Meditation and Dharma Contemplation with Marsha Lawson with assistance from Doreen Schweizer and Subhadra Srinivasan
September 9, October 14, and November 11, 2023

Full Simplicity: The Art of Renunciation and Letting Go, a Discussion with Dharma Teacher Kim Allen
August 17, 2023

All-Sangha Day
July 29, 2023
Sue McGilvray’s home, Corinth, VT

Lebanon, NH, Community Reading of Frederick Douglass
July 4, 2023
Colburn Park, Lebanon, NH

Introduction to Mindfulness for the BiPOC Community
Four Saturdays: May 27, June 3, June 10 and June 17
10:30 am -noon EST
Taught by Subha Srinivasan
Online via Zoom

Vesak Day 2023
May 10, 2023
St. Barnabas Parish Hall – In person and on Zoom

Life as Practice: Cultivating Mindfulness as a Guide for Living Well
Saturday mornings, March 2023
Offered by Subha Srinivasan

Awakening Together Through Practices of Gratitude and Joy: Online Series
Saturdays in November, 2022
Online via Zoom
Offered by Subha Srinivasan

Valley Insight is talking about … The Last White Man
September 14, 2022
Online, via Zoom
Facilitated by Peg Meyer

Cultivating Heart Practices of Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity
Wednesdays, July 27, August 3 & 10
Taught by Subha Srinivasan 

A Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’s 4th of July Speech
July 4, 2022
Colburn Park, Lebanon
Once again, we participated in a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’s emotionally important and heart-felt 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

An Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
Saturday mornings, February 19, 26; March 5, 12, 19, 26
Taught by Subha Srinivasan

Eco-Sattva Training
Using a curriculum developed by the nationally-based One Earth Sangha, Willow Nilson 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.

A Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’s 4th of July Speech
July 4, 2021
Colburn Park, Lebanon
We participated in a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’s emotionally important and heart-felt 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

The Eightfold Path Study Group
Wednesdays, May 12- June 23, 2021
Led by Peg Meyer

Vesak Day Celebration 2021, Wednesday May 26

Our 2021 Vesak Day Celebration included a guided meditation from the Valley Insight teachers and statements from Sangha members who shared observations from their practice and concerns or joys from the past year.

Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation
April 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 17, 24 2021
Taught by Michael Stoner

Dharma Talk: Venerable Dr Pannavati
March 13, 2021
Co-Founder and Co-Abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage and Co-Director of Heartwood Refuge

EcoSattva Training
January-March 2021
Led by Willow Nilsen

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

A Different Way to Practice – A Guided Nature Walk
December 30, 2020
Taught by Lee Steppacher

Cultivating a Mindful and Fulfilling Life
September 16, 23, 30; October 7, 14, 21 2020
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

Mindfully Facing Climate Change
April 16 & 30 and May 14 & 28, 2020
We used Bhikkhu Analayo’s course material from the BCBS website for our discussion

Dharma Talk: Judson Brewer
February 29, 2020
Dharma Teacher and noted Psychiatrist Judson Brewer, an expert in the field of mindfulness-based habit change and a long-time practitioner, offered a dharma talk on “The Factors of Awakening and Reward-Based Learning”

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

A Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’s 4th of July Speech
July 3, 2019
Colburn Park, Lebanon
We participated in a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’s emotionally important and heart-felt 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

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

Dharma Talk: Ruth King
June 25, 2018
Senior Vipassana teacher Ruth King discussed her book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out

Vesak Day (Buddha Day)
May 29, 2018
We celebrated Vesak Day 2018 with a sit and potluck at St. Barnabas in Norwich

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

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

Waking Up White
2017
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

MONDAYS:
5:30-7pm
Held in our Online Dharma Hall
Details & Sign up →

TUESDAYS:
5:30-7pm
Held in our Online Dharma Hall
Details & Sign up →

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

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