Deepening Our Connection With the Dharma

Would you like to know more about the philosophical underpinnings which underlie our meditation studies and which are gradually reshaping the directions of our lives? If so, a new study group that VIMS is planning might be of interest to you.

This group is being developed in direct response to an expressed and growing interest within the VIMS community for a deeper and more intimate understanding of the basic teachings of the Buddhadharma, especially within the Insight Buddhist Tradition. These teachings are primarily derived from the Pali Canon, a 2500-year-old collection of material which is honored and studied by all Buddhist practitioners, but which is especially held as a central core in the traditions found in Southeast Asia: Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and India.

In the earliest times, these teachings were studied in small communities of friends, who were following the Buddha’s advice to try out the practices and to see for themselves what worked and what didn’t. They were encouraged to become “lamps unto themselves,” and they were encouraged to gather together to work, to explore, to investigate life, and to look into the formal teachings. Their goal was to see life more clearly and to live more compassionately––to lead a fully engaged and harmonious life.

In January 2019, with this ancient model in mind, Valley Insight will begin to experiment with shaping a friendly, nonhierarchical and intensive study format. We will Joseph Goldstein’s book, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening to get us started.

This Dharma study group is a work-in-process being developed by Doreen Schweizer, Landon Hall, and Michael Stoner. We will meet twice a month and plan to have two different formats for people to choose from: one in person and the other online. Both will occur on the first and third Thursdays of the month––in person from 1:00 to 2:30 pm and online in the early evening. Both will focus on the same subject, and people can participate in either format or even vary the formats that they attend to fit their schedules. There will be no course fee. All those participating will be actively engaged and giving freely of their time to create this study course. Dana (donation) boxes will be available to contribute monetary support towards course development and implementation and to the ongoing life of VIMS.

If you are interested in participating (and have not already let us know) or have questions, please email us (at: info@valleyinsight). More information will be forthcoming as the details fall into place.