Classes & Special Events

A Different Way to Practice – Guided Nature Walks

Teacher: Lee Steppacher; contact Lee ( with questions or to sign up for our nature walks.

Why not put your technology aside for a time and step outside to rediscover your connection to the natural world? Let yourself relax into nature’s rhythms and open your senses to the richness of trees and rivers, sights and sounds. Be restored.

Next month’s walk: 
June 17, A Morning of Nature Practice
Taking place at the yurt at Thetford Academy, this will be a morning of nature practice, from about 9:30 am–12:30 pm, including sitting and walking. Feel free to bring your lunch so that after our practice you can visit with others. Please email Lee ( to get more details and to sign up.

Meets in person; participants will be advised of location when signing up. Each walk will last approximately 1.5 – 2 hours (and no longer than 2 hours), based on whatever conditions we find. Walks will be weather dependent.

This practice will be a guided contemplative walk held with a small group. The walk will be conducted primarily in silence, allowing you to sink into your experience. The pace will be relaxed, but participants should be able to walk a few miles, possibly on uneven ground. The location is to be determined, but it will be in the Hanover-Lebanon-Norwich area.  In accordance with Valley Insight’s current COVID-19 policies, all participants on these nature walks must be fully vaccinated.  Group size will be limited to 7 participants and social distancing will be honored. More information on Valley Insight’s policy will be posted soon.

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 Valley Insight teacher Subha Srinivasan
Online via Zoom

This course will introduce participants to the basics of mindfulness meditation practices, and will be structured in four sessions. Sessions will incorporate mindfulness of body and breath; mindfulness of emotions; mindfulness of thoughts and beliefs and Metta (lovingkindness) and other heart practices. The structure of each session will typically include: Guided Meditation, Reflection/Teaching, Small Group Reflection and Large Sharing Circle, with Q and A, if time allows.

This course is open to those who self-identify as people of color and is appropriate for beginners as well as those with meditation experience. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend all four sessions and signups will be limited to sixteen participants. The teachings will be offered at no charge. If you’d like to support the steady presence of mindfulness and lovingkindness  in our community through this practice, donations can be made to Valley Insight; this is entirely optional. For more information or to register, please use this google form or email:

Please pass along this information to a BIPOC friend who might be interested!

Subha is an immigrant from India and attended her first yoga retreat in 2005. She has been practicing in the vipassana (insight meditation) style of mindfulness since 2007 with Valley Insight Meditation Society. Her practice was transformed by a loving-kindness (metta) retreat in 2008 at Insight Meditation Society (IMS), Barre, MA. Since then, metta has flavored her practice and life in profound ways, especially as a parent and a high-school educator. She is a recent alum of the mindfulness meditation teacher certification program (MMTCP, class of 2023) and offers courses on mindfulness and loving-kindness. Subha believes that relaxation and kindness are important when we enter the space of meditation, and her teaching style inclines towards gentleness and allowing our experience to unfold while practicing letting go of control. Her guiding teachers have been Doreen Schweizer, Michele McDonald, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and Stan Eisenstein. You can find her guided meditations and writings on her website.

Mindfully Exploring Race Together

A monthly, ongoing exploration – First Meeting, June 7 at 7:00 PM

Valley Insight is offering a new and ongoing monthly series for the purpose of exploring whiteness from a Dharma perspective. Participation will be 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. The program is based on the understanding that white people need to do their own work in seeing clearly into matters of race in order to recognize the deep roots of racial discrimination in our American culture, as well as in our individual hearts, minds, and bodies. This, we believe, is a necessary starting place for change.

Our intention is to develop a familiarization with the issues of race in this country as well as to look at our own personal conditioning. In this way, we will enter into and explore our mostly unconscious sense of whiteness. We will be inviting 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, as well as 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 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, as hybrid. To accommodate those with daytime work schedules, the meetings will be held in the evening. The program’s working name is “Mindfully Exploring Race Together.” As we evolve, we will determine whether to keep this name or agree on a new one. We will also explore the possibility of being a peer-facilitated group, perhaps by forming a steering committee.

If you are interested in this group, please respond to Also, please let Peg know if you think you would like to be on the steering committee, which currently consists of Peg Meyer, 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 (May 21, June 18) from 9:15-10:15am. 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 and we’ll send it to you.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Gina Sonne (802-649-7062, or Molly Grover (802-540-0365,

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

Concluded Classes & Events

Our Sangha Will Gather for Vesak Day
May 10, 2023
St. Barnabas Parish Hall – In person and on Zoom

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

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
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
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