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…
Read More

Three Bright Jewels in the Midst of a Pandemic

I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha. –– Buddhist Going-for-Refuge Chant I once heard a scholar of comparative religion say that the above words are the closest thing in Buddhism to a “statement of faith.” So, I have worked to understand them in that…
Read More

Internally, Externally, and Both

As a beautiful flower without fragrance is disappointing, So are wise words without right action. –– Dhammapada, “Flowers,” verse 51   An important set of four instructions is given by the Buddha in his basic teaching on Mindfulness, the Satipatthana Sutta. This set is referred to as the Refrain, and it occurs thirteen different times within the…
Read More

2020, The Year of Flowers and Bees:

A Buddhist Environmental Ethic for an Ailing Planet “A noble person walks through the village in the same manner as a bee gathers nectar and moves on––without harming the flower, its color, or its fragrance.” Dhammapada verse 49, translated by Mu Soeng “Noble persons” from the VIMS community gathered on the morning of January 1,…
Read More

2019: Fletching the Arrow

Just as a fletcher shapes an arrow, so the wise develop the heart/mind [Citta], So excitable, uncertain, and difficult to control. Dhammapada, Chapter 3: verse 33 Ever since 2014, the VIMS sangha has gathered on New Year’s morning to welcome the incoming year. We sit in silence, and afterwards we reflect on a few verses…
Read More

In Stillness

Tranquility is an important element of the early Buddhist approach to liberating the mind from its tendency towards reactivity, and, thereby, from the habitual attitude of stressful dissatisfaction. The combination of calming the mind (tranquility) and seeing clearly the nature of our own subjective experience of the world, inside and outside, is both the fruit…
Read More
Menu