Dharma Reflections

Who is the Buddha?

Reflections for Vesak Day from Subha Srinivasan For as long as I can remember, I have had trouble coming up with an answer when someone asks me who my heroes are or whom I have been inspired by. Growing up in India, Gandhi and Mother Teresa were popular figures, and of course, they were inspirations to many. But to…
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State of Our Sangha, 2023

By Michael Stoner, President, Valley Insight Board of Directors The year 2023 was an extremely active one for Valley Insight Meditation Society, with some significant, beneficial changes that will continue to impact our Dharma teaching, study, and practice for many years to come. Some of these changes were apparent: our teacher team was enriched by…
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The Buddha is Not a Teacher in the Past: Where is he in your life?

The living source of understanding and compassion, To the Buddha I go for refuge.  ––Thich Nhat Hanh   An increasing number of us living now in contemporary society are being touched by the Buddha’s teachings, known formally as the Buddhadharma. From guidance offered more than 2,500 years ago, we are receiving solace and comfort, along…
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Dharma “talk”: the Voice of Another and Wise Attention. If not hatred, then what?

As he was wont to do, on one occasion the Buddha posed a rhetorical question to his disciples: “Friends, how many things contribute to seeing things rightly (sammādiṭṭhi)?” Answering his own question, the Buddha said that there are two key factors: the “voice of another” (paratoghosa) and “focused attention” (yonisomanasikara, sometimes translated as “wise attention”).…
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Sangha: Beautiful Friendship

Full of trust you left home And soon learned to walk the Path – Making yourself a friend to everyone And making everyone a friend. – from “Mitta ~ Friend” by Matty Weingast, The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns* Insight Dialogue teacher Jan Surrey points out that, in a “life in…
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Finding Peace in Samsara

By Mike Dannehy Oh the hell of the world This Samsara In the Middle East Oil gushes Children die Murder rampant This media This News Is fed to me Yes I must watch I sit Inflamed in thought Broken hearted Angry Feeling Helpless Hopeless A world away My self, isolated My self to blame In…
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