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•  The Welfare of All Beings
   A message from Doreen
• United Action for a Moral Economy
•  Fall Eightfold Path Study
*  Fall Retreats 2016
•  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!

The Welfare of All Beings

A message from Doreen

“He sat down, legs folded cross-wise, and brought mindfulness to the fore; he did not occupy his mind with self-affliction, or with the affliction of others. He focused his mind on his own welfare, the welfare of others, and the welfare of all beings.”

This is how a novice monk, in an early text, described the Buddha as he engaged in his practice of meditation. We can see from this statement that an interest in the welfare of all beings has always been integral to the basic Dharma teachings. The Metta Sutta reminds us that this concern with the well-being of all can move “outwards and unbounded, freed from hatred and ill will.” Whether we are “standing or walking, seated or lying down,” we are encouraged to have our thoughts and actions embody compassion.

Informed by this strong commitment, the Valley Insight Sangha has been involved in social justice issues for many years. Our relatively recent linkage with the United Valley Faith Project has helped extend and direct some of our efforts. A report from our UVIP representative Karen Summer follows. See our Engaged Buddhism web page updates and contact information.

Community Service and Engaged Buddhism
VIMS president Gina Sonne participates with other UVIP volunteers in the Fight for Fifteen protest at Ledyard Bridge.

United Action for a Moral Economy

VIMS is one of sixteen faith communities that make up the United Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP). UVIP concentrates on direct action across lines of religion, race, class, and geography by building collective power to influence decision makers. Our current campaign is focused on economic justice, specifically against predatory lending and in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. You are welcome to join us.

Upcoming demonstrations for the moral economy, with focus on predatory lending and the Fight for $15, are as follows:

• Sat., July 9, 10–11 AM – Fight for $15 
On Washington St., near entrance to Wal-Mart

• Wed., July 13, 4:30-5:30 PM – Fight for $15
West Leb/Hartford Bridge

• Sat., July 16, 10–11 AM – Fight for $15
West Lebanon  
Along Rte 12-A, near entrance to Wal-Mart

• Fri., August 5, exact time TBD – Fight for $15
WRJ First Friday

• Sat, August 13, 10–11 AM – Fight for $15
On Washington St. near entrance to Wal-Mart

An extended schedule can be found on VIMS Engaged Buddhism webpage.

UVIP volunteers protest predatory loans.

Learn more about activism in the local Buddhist community and worldwide on the Valley Insight Engaged Buddhism webpage.

You can find information about the Valley Insight Prison Sangha here

Classes and Courses

Sangha-wide Study
of the Eightfold Path
Coming 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 Dates
Two Fall Retreats in 2016

Daylong Retreat
with Ajahn Jayanto

Saturday, September 10

Ajahn Jayanto, the Abbott of the newly established Theravadan monastery in Temple, New Hampshire, will teach at a daylong retreat at St. Barnabas Church in Norwich, Vermont. This will be the third time Ajahn Jayanto has joined us to offer teachings with beautiful clarity and simplicity. More details will be forthcoming, both in our newsletter and website.
 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.
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.

In the Sitting Groups
Exploring the Four Noble Truths  


This month, the Monday group continues an examination of the Four Noble Truths, using as a guide Phillip Moffitt's Dancing With Life (now out in paperback), and Ajanh Sumedho’s The Four Noble Truths (a short book available as a PDF). As always, it will not be necessary to be reading the text in order to participate in the course of 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. When weather permits, the Tuesday group has begun some of their time together with mindful movement––finding the peaceful center in the mind and body. As with the other groups, the Tuesday sangha is using texts by Phillip Moffitt and Ajahn Sumedho as a guide, though it is not necessary read along in order to join the discussion. The group is open all on a drop-in or continuing basis.

This month the Thursday group continues an investigation of the Four Noble Truths, which can be seen as an extension of the mindfulness teachings and as an expression of compassion. Two books used as resources for this explora-tion are Ajahn Sumedho’s The Four Noble Truths (a short book available as a PDF) and Phillip Moffitt’s Dancing With Life, a very accessible exposition, which uses Venerable Sumedho’s book as a starting point. 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. 

The Texts
Dancing with Life
The Four Noble Truths

All three of the Valley Insight sitting groups will be using two books as resources for this exploration into the Four Noble Truths, Ajanh Sumedho’s The Four Noble Truths (a short book available as a PDF) and Phillip Moffit’s Dancing With Life, a very accessible exposition, which uses Vn. Sumedho’s book as a starting point. It is not necessary to be reading the text to participate in discussion
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.
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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