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•  Nurturing Community
   A message from Doreen
•  VIMS Micah Award Ceremony Oct 30
•  Right Intention ~ Weds Oct 12 - Howe Library
•  VIMS New Mobile-Friendly Website

•  Volunteers Needed!
•  Fall Eightfold Path Study
•  Andrew Olendzki Nov19
•  In the Sitting Groups
•  Dinner (and Lunch) and Dharma
•  Practice Schedule






Monday Evenings:
Sit and Dhamma Discussion

Hanover Friends Society
(next to Hanover High School)
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Meditation and discussion, open to all on a drop-in or continuing basis. We warmly welcome new and experienced meditators. VIMS guiding teacher Doreen Schweizer leads the group on the second and fourth Monday of the month; Associate Teacher Peg Meyer leads on the first and third Mondays.  
All are welcome; please join us at any time.
details here...

Tuesday Evenings:
Sit and Dhamma Discussion

Led by Peg Meyer
St. Barnabas Church
Main Street, Norwich

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Open to all on a drop-in or continuing basis. 
Details here ...


Thursday Mornings:
Sit and Dhamma
Study Group

14 Green Street,
Lebanon, NH
11 am – 12:30 pm

Sit and Dhamma Discussion
Led by Doreen Schweizer

This group is open to experienced meditators on a drop-in or continuing basis. The current format is guided meditations followed by discussion. Please contact Doreen using this form before attending for the first time. This sit is offered on donation basis.
details here...




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Greetings to the Valley Insight Community!

Nurturing Community:
The Advisory Board
Returns to Sangha

A message from Doreen

A Dharma community––a Sangha––is not something one is merely born into or chooses to join, but something one is challenged to create. A Sangha provides a matrix of communal support for people to realize their commitment to a common vision or concern.”
                                               -- Stephen Batchelor
During this time in which our community is collectively studying the Eightfold Path––which is a teaching based on our common vision and concern––the Valley Insight Meditation Society (VIMS) Advisory Board is experimenting with holding its monthly meetings at the sitting groups. In September it met with the Tuesday group; October 13 it will be with the Thursday group and November 14 with the Monday group. The board meets for an hour and a half, as do the sitting groups. The plan is to overlap the last half hour of the sitting group with the first half hour of the advisory board. The teacher and the board president will coordinate to make the shared half hour relevant to the meditation and dharma study of the group, even as it deals directly with the issues on its agenda. Those in the sitting group are welcome to leave at the regular 7 p.m. (or 12:30 p.m.) ending time or to stay and participate in the rest of the advisory board meeting. We all hope that this will give people more of an understanding of and connection to our lively Dharma community.
It was the early 1990s when VIMS began to emerge from the rich and fertile soil of the Upper Valley....

Find the rest of this article here.

The Valley Insight 2016 Micah Award Nominees Honored October 30
SURJ representatives Diane Root, Peg Meyer, and Carol Rougvie  will receive a VIMS-nominated Micah Award October 30.
VIMS celebrates the local chapter of
Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)

Valley Insight is one of the fourteen faith communities of the United Valley InterfaithProject (UVIP), which holds an annual ceremony, the "Micah Awards,” to recognize and celebrate the important work being done in our regional community toward social and economic justice.

Those selected serve as representatives of the heroism present in each of our lives. All of us really are “heroes” in that we all are dealing nobly with the many challenges that face us as a people––individually and collectively––as best we can. We all understand at a deep level that we are not alone in this world, and we are all doing our best to walk harmoniously with those with whom we share the world. The true spirit of this award acknowledges this shared sense of community while honoring groups and individuals who can inspire and affirm our efforts.
Each UVIP member group choses one such example of “heroism.” In bestowing our 2016 Micah Award, VIMS celebrates the local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ). As SURJ representatives we nominate three people from our Dharma Community: the group’s co-founder Carol Rougvie, and active group members Peg Meyer and Diane Root. . . .

Read the Full Article Here.

We encourage you to attend the award ceremony October 30 (UVIP’s annual fundraiser) honoring Carol, Diane, and Peg and all the other Micah nominees.
Please contact Mindy Schorr at to purchase a ticket ($25 in advance). All are welcome!
SURJ volunteers keep vigil at the Dartmouth Green.
Special Eightfold Path Extra:
Right Intention
Wedesday, Oct 12 ~ 1:30-2:30 pm

Peg Meyer will lead a discussion group at the Howe Library Rotary Room from 1:30-2:30 pm on Right Intention. All are welcome!

A New Look for the Valley Insight Website

Valley Insight's website has a fresh look and is now mobile-friendly, thanks to Vermont web designer Anne McKinsey, a professional web designer and longtime supporter of our sangha. She trained as a novice nun at Amaravati Monastery and now lives in East Corinth, VT. With a bow to Anne's very generous offering to our sangha. You can her visit her website:  for info on her print and web work.

Fall Retreat 2016

 Daylong Retreat
with Andy Olendzki

Saturday, November 19
Hanover, NH


Valley Insight Meditation Society is offering a one-day retreat with respected Buddhist scholar Andrew Olendzki on Saturday, November 19, 2016. It will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Hanover, New Hampshire. There is a $25.00 registration fee.
Andrew Olendzki left college teaching to become the first executive director of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre and then helped to establish and develop the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, where he served as the executive director for twenty-three years. Currently, he is an independent scholar, teacher, and creator of the Integrated Dharma Institute. He is the author of the book Unlimiting Mind. His new book Untangling Self: A Buddhist Investigation of Who We Really Are will be out in the Fall of 2016. We hope to have copies on hand at the retreat.
Andrew will speaking from the material in his new book, which addresses the topic of Self and Not Self and the relevance of the Buddhist understanding of the question of Self to our daily lives. In addition, he will be sharing his current work on meditation practices in Early Buddhist teachings through directed meditations throughout the day.
It is a gift to all of us in the Upper Valley to have Andrew Olendzki spend the day with us. We hope you can attend. Full details on the retreat and on registration will be available in our November newsletter and on the VIMS website as we get closer to the event.


Volunteers needed!

Are you tech savvy and/or interested in strengthening our Valley Insight sangha?
The VIMS Communications Team is seeking additional members to help with outreach and publicity, and we would welcome your energy or expertise. We meet three or four times a year only, but have a lot of fun.

If you are interested, please contact Penelope Prendergast at


Classes and Courses

Sangha-wide Study
of the Eightfold Path
Continues October 2016

This fall in all three of our sitting groups, we are embarking on a study of the foundational Dharma teachings on The Eightfold Path: wise understanding, wise intention, wise speech, wise action, wise livelihood, wise effort, wise mindfulness, and wise concentration.

At the first sit of each month, we will discuss a specific Path Factor; we will encourage people to investigate and practice with the factor for the entire month. For those who have the time and interest and want to be more involved, there will be supplementary material available on our website, where the teachers will post a short reading each month. There will also be further reflections for study and practice on the site for those who wish to deepen their connection with each Path Factor and better apply it in daily life. 

Those interested in this upcoming line of study can find more information here.

The Annual Fall
All-Sangha Gathering

for October 16 has been cancelled.
Please watch for a planned future gathering. 

In the Sitting Groups  

A Sangha-wide Study of the
Eightfold Path Begins in September

This month, the Monday continues its study of The Eightfold Path. More information as well as references for further reading can be found here. As always, it will not be necessary to be reading the text in order to participate in the study and discussion. The discussion ends at 6:45 to allow for informal visiting and discussion with friends. All are welcome. Beginning in October, VIMS Guiding teacher Doreen Schweizer will lead the fourth Monday of every month, Peg Meyer will lead the first and third Mondays, and Karen Summer will lead the second Monday of each month.

The Tuesday Meditation and Sit, led by VIMS instructor Peg Meyer. The Tuesday group has begun its look at the noble Eightfold Path with an examination of Right View and will continue with Right Intention. As with all the sitting groups this fall, they will be studying the Eightfold Path and using materials referenced on the website. Each month they will study one of the factors on the Path. The group is open all on a drop-in or continuing basis.

This month the Thursday group embarks on its study of The Eightfold Path. Optional reading material is available, including short readings, suggested reflections, and a recorded Dharma talk. All are available on the VIMS website. As always, it will not be necessary to be reading the book to follow the teachings and to take part in the discussion. Please contact info AT valley insight DOT org for more information or before attending for the first time. 

Dinner (and Lunch) and Dharma
Informal Conversation After Valley Insight Sits

Are there times you wish the discussion following the time of shared silence could continue? Both the Monday and Thursday sits have decided to offer that opportunity. The Monday evening sit will gather at Thai Orchid in Hanover the first Monday of the month following the sit for Dinner and Dharma. Contact Gina Sonne ( for more information. The Thursday morning sit will gather for lunch at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon on the third Thursday of the month after the sit. Everyone is welcome to join the group for lunch. Suzanne Serat (603-643-5760) is the contact person.
FULL MOON - Happiness
A Contemporary Dhammapada Reflecton
from Ajahn Munindo
While in the midst
of those who are greedy,  
to dwell free from greed  
is happiness indeed.

     –– Dhammapada v. 199

It is one thing to have feelings of greed arise, but it is another thing altogether to follow them. This principle holds true for all our emotional activity. Sometimes we simply can't stop moods from arising, but we can always exercise skillful restraint and wise reflection; and this, the Buddha says, leads to happiness. So the emphasis in our spiritual practice needs to be on the wise reflection of the nature of experience, not just on attempting to control everything. The original story associated with this verse talks about two neighboring communities arguing over water rights. The situation had deteriorated to the point where they were about to go to war. The Buddha's intervention taught them the futility of fighting and, fortunately, not only was war averted, but many grew wise in the process. Sometimes the conflicting members of our emotional household argue and possibly even go to war. It is important to remember at such time that wisdom and real happiness can be born out of conflict - not just to assume that because things don't look so good that it's all falling apart.
Aruno Publications

Detail, painting of the Buddha's first discourse, turning the Dharmacakra.  Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE.
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