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•  Wise Effort
   A message from Doreen
•  VIMS Micah Award Nominees Announced
•  Ajahn Jayanto Daylong Sept 10

•  Volunteers Needed!
•  Fall Eightfold Path Study
•  All-Sangha Gathering Oct 16
•  Andrew Olendski 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!

Wise Effort:
The Way Is Not Difficult

A message from Doreen

Our VIMS community begins its collective study of the Eightfold Path starting in September. Please be sure to visit the related material posted on our website, which we will be using as part of our core curriculum in the three sitting groups. It includes an audio dharma talk by Gil Fronsdal, as well as his suggestions for contemplating and working with each Path Factor. The Eightfold Path is one of the important teachings of early Buddhism and is designed to help us find our way towards the liberated heart, which is free from the reactivity and unskillful habits of mind associated with perpetuating suffering. The Path described is referred to in the Metta Sutta as “the Path of Peace”; it presents a map for our bodies, hearts, and minds to the ease of heart and peace of mind needed to live a wise and kind life.
In the Zen tradition of Buddhism, this Path teaching is woven into what is called The Great Way. In a collection with this title, there is a verse attributed to the Sixth Zen Patriarch that has been important to me. It speaks of the energy needed for this path:

The Great Way is not difficult for one who
has no attachment to preferences.

For me, the verse has often morphed into the thought that perhaps the way is differently difficult than we think; we walk this path in a different way than we have done most things in our lives. We don’t “do” it directly; we nurture its unfolding. 

Read more of Doreen's reflection here

The Valley Insight 2016 Micah Award Nominees Announced

Valley Insight is one of the fourteen faith communities of the United Valley InterfaithProject (UVIP), which holds an annual ceremony, the "Micah Awards,” to honor people within the member communities who have contributed meaningful service as volunteers or community leaders. Doreen was the Valley Insight-nominated “hero” last year. In her acceptance speech, she altered the Old Testament biblical phrase about Micah to fit a Buddhist perspective.

In bestowing the 2016 Micah Award, VIMS celebrates the local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ). We nominate three people from our Dharma community for this year’s award, the group’s co-founder Carol Rougvie, SURJ member Diane Root, and planning committee member Peg Meyer. In doing so, we bow to the work of all those heroes who have been active in the courageous explorations that are at the heart of this group’s activities, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Carol, Peg, and Diane as administrators and as workers. We are grateful for the deep and honest self-searching process that is enabling those within the group, and all the others they encounter, to wake up and “see clearly” what is real. They do this so that we can all walk more fully and authentically together, aligned with one another as a people. We recognize their determination to take direct action in the alleviation of suffering.

Valley Insight members are encouraged 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).
Reflections on the Buddha's Teaching

A Daylong Retreat 
Ajahn Jayanto


Saturday, September 10
9 am–4pm
St. Barnabas Church
Norwich, Vermont

As of this newsletter mailing date, a few spaces are still available at the retreat. We have kept a wait list and will continue to invite attendees from the list on a first come, first served basis, if and when openings occur.

Once again VIMS is very fortunate to have Ajahn Jayanto, co-abbott of Jetavana Monastery in Temple, New Hampshire, teach a daylong retreat. His teachings are offered with great clarity.

We are foregoing our usual registration charge, in keeping with our Buddhist Insight lineage’s respect for the monastic commitment to offer teachings freely. Donations are optional. There will be a donation (dana) box at the back of the hall. Any dana is greatly appreciated and is tax- deductible. All will be shared between Jetavana Monastery and Valley Insight and will help both groups with ongoing expenses.  

Continuing the tradition of offering alms, we will offer food to Ajahn Jayanto at 11:30 a.m., followed by an informal potluck lunch. Contributions of food are gratefully appreciated and wholly optional.  

For more information and to register, please see our website Retreats page.


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
Beginning in September 2016

Starting in September in all three of our sitting groups, we will be 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.

Save the Date
Annual Fall
All-Sangha Gathering

Sunday, October 16

3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Place TBA

An opportunity to discuss and share projects, planning, concerns and joys of our Sangha. 

Stay tuned for further details, including location.
Save the Dates
Fall Retreat 2016
 Daylong Retreat
with Andy Olendski

Saturday, November 19

And for those who really want to plan ahead, please reserve Saturday, November 19, for a VIMS daylong retreat with visiting Buddhist scholar, Andy Olendski. This will be a very special opportunity. Again, please watch this newsletter and our website for more details as we get closer to the date.

In the Sitting Groups  

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

This month, the Monday group concludes its examination of the Four Noble Truths and begins a 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. VIMS Guiding Teacher Doreen Schweizer leads on the second and fourth Monday of each month. VIMS Associate Teacher Peg Meyer facilitates on the first and third Mondays. 

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. 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.

From Vermont Insight

Joanna Macy in Brattleboro

On Saturday, September 17th, Brattleboro is graced with the teachings of Joanna Macy at the Centre Congregational Church at 7:30pm.  
This event is sponsored by Marlboro College (Macy is a longtime colleague and friend of William Edelglass who teaches at BCBS and gave a presentation to Vermont Insight on a Friday night last year), and is free and open to the public.  Macy is a scholar of Buddhism and was among the first to be involved in the field of ecology.  She is now called a Philosopher of Ecology.  

 This is a rare opportunity to see and perhaps meet Joanna Macy in person.  

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

Painting of the Buddha's first discourse, turning the Dharmacakra. Sanskrit Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra manuscript written in the Ranjana script. Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE.
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