Being in Nature: Going Outside as a Path Towards Discovering Our Inner Nature

By Lee Steppacher [Doreen’s Note: We are living through difficult, uncertain, often incomprehensible times. There is no doubt about that. There is also no doubt that we as a species, along with so many other living species and the earth itself, are in peril. Yet the persistent earth is still holding us all––with what would…
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Mindfully Facing Fear, Despair, and Fatigue: Turning Lead into Gold

Our Path to Courageous Energy and Wise Action I have been writing and thinking about the following essay on and off for some time now, and I have gradually realized that the question I have been addressing––the one I have been hearing from all of you and from the world at large––is, in fact, the…
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The Eightfold Path as Practice: The Hard Work of Stopping

“Just as a man walking fast might consider: ‘Why am I walking fast? What if I walk slowly?’ and he would walk slowly; then he might consider: ‘Why am I walking slowly? What if I stand?’ and he would stand; then he might consider: ‘Why am I standing? What if I sit?’ and he would…
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THE EMERGENCE OF A PATH

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, And you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. –– from “Lost” by David Wagoner Once many years ago, I was hiking by myself in the White Mountains…
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A Large, Old Branch Falling Quietly from a Mighty Hardwood Tree

A Gentle Passing Jane Mitchell Ross (1925-2020) died on April 23, 2020. Jane had been an invaluable part of the early, formative years of Valley Insight Meditation Society. Ready to help, she was an active board member and a wonderfully dependable, all-around support in every step we took towards making the early Buddhist teachings readily…
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