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DECEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER
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IN THIS ISSUE:

 New Year's Day Sit & Potluck
•  Teachings from Burma
•  Winter Retreat with Manny Mansbach
•  VIMS Annual Appeal: A New Goal
•  UVIP News: Current Projects and Future Actions
•  Fall Eightfold Path Study
•  In the Sitting Groups
•  Practice Schedule

       

 

    

WEEKLY 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 fourth Monday of the month; Associate Teacher Peg Meyer leads on the first and third Mondays, and Karen Summer leads the sit every second Monday of the month.
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...
 

       

 

QUESTIONS? 

 
Send your inquiries or questions to:
info@valleyinsight.org
 
 

NEW EMAIL ADDRESS?

 
Send it to us here:
info@valleyinsight.org
 
 

WANT MORE INFO?

 

 

 
Greetings to the Valley Insight Community!


 A New Year's Day Invitation
4th Annual VIMS New Year's Day Sit and Potluck 

January 1, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


Please join us in getting 2017 off to a calm and peaceful start––in our hearts and in our world. We will be having our Fourth Annual VIMS New Year's Day Meditation Gathering in the barn at 14 Green Street in Lebanon, at 11:00 a.m., on January 1, 2017. The sit will again be followed by a potluck meal in the house. You and any interested family and friends are welcome to come to either one or both events, or to come to neither (for whatever reasons) and join us in spirit from elsewhere. Come and share in the brightening of our VIMS community’s spirit in this dark time of year, while the sun hesitates, pausing in its annual decision over whether or not to turn again in our direction. 
 

Peace is all around us, in our bodies and in our world.
It is not just a matter of faith,
It is a matter of practice.
  

           –– Thich Nhat Hahn

  Doreen


Teachings From Burma
Rob Chambers's Talk 

On Sunday, December 4, Rob Chambers gave a very beautiful and useful explanation of U Tejaniya’s meditation teaching for interested sangha members. After a clear narrative of his experiences in Burma, which was accompanied by a showing of descriptive photos of his journey to Asia, he guided the group in a short and powerful formal meditation in this style. He also suggested an easy method for practicing mindful awareness in daily life. Simply pause at random times throughout the day, he said, and ask yourself the question, “What is my awareness like right now?”

At Monday's sit, Rob reminded us of U Tejaniya's teaching in how to establish mindfulness. One asks oneself: Am I aware right now? What is the mind aware of right now? What is the quality or attitude of the mind right now? Done regularly this very doable practice can both reveal to us how we are feeling in any given moment and begin to establish a steadiness of mind and heart to help us deal more affectively and authentically with the turbulence of our days.

Thank you, Rob, for making the journey and for sharing the gifts.

 
Winter Retreat
January 28
Cultivating the Five
Spiritual Powers

A Half-Day Retreat
with Manny Mansback

Saturday, January 28
10 am – 1 pm
St. Barnabas Church, Norwich



Manny Mansbach will offer a half-day retreat on Saturday, January 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the St. Barnabas Church parish hall in Norwich, Vermont.

The retreat is titled "Cultivating the Five Spiritual Powers" and will focus on the qualities (or powers) of Confidence, Persistent Effort, Mindfulness, Concentration and Wise Discernment. In the retreat we will investigate how these five qualities work together to support a movement toward freedom. Manny is keenly interested in nurturing the connections between transformative, inner work and the development of wholesome community and nonviolent social transformation.

Manny has been practicing and studying Buddhism since 1981. He teaches meditation with Vermont Insight Meditation Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, in Bellows Falls, and elsewhere in New England. He also offers counseling and consultation for individuals, couples, and organizations.  

There will be a $15 registration fee to cover retreat expenses. Dana will be offered to the teacher for so generously offering these teachings. Please see our website for further information and registration.

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

The Valley Insight 
Annual Appeal
Fall 2016 


As we head into the last weeks
of 2016, we ask that you consider making a donation to the
Valley Insight Annual Appeal. 


We look back on the accomplishments of this year with deep gratitude for your ongoing support and confidence in your helping us continue to offer opportunities for quiet refuge, as well as guidance for bringing compassionate action and wisdom into our world. With your help, Valley Insight has been able to support the practice of many here in our Upper Valley region:
  • In calendar year 2016, Valley Insight has been offering three regular meditation sits per week, along with 
  • Two meditation classes, open to the Upper Valley community. 
  • VIMS sponsored three daylong retreats with distinguished teachers Shaila Catherine, Ajahn Jayanto, and Andrew Olendzki.
  • Our guiding teacher, Doreen Schweizer, along with several dedicated VIMS volunteers, continue to hold sitting groups once a month at the prison in Berlin, New Hampshire.
  • We are active members of the United Valley Interfaith Project, and
  • Together with other area Buddhist groups and Dartmouth College, we co-sponsored a major conference on climate justice called “Changing Climate/Changing Minds.”  
This year, our fundraising goal is to raise $20,000 to support our existing programs, nourish our teachers, and pay for bookkeeping, web design, rent, and other expenses. Since VIMS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your contribution is tax-deductible.

You can use PayPal (please see our website for more on this); you can set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account that may be sent to our P. O. Box in Lebanon; or you can send a check. There are three suggested levels:  SUSTAINER (any amount up to $125); BENEFACTOR ($126 – $240); and VISIONARY (above $240).  

Please send contributions to Valley Insight Meditation Society, P.O. Box 634, Lebanon, NH 03766. And, as always, we thank you for your support. 

With deep gratitude,
The Valley Insight Advisory Board



United Valley Interfaith Project News: An interview with Karen Summer, VIMS representative

On December 8, Mary Boyle sat down to speak with Karen Summer, VIMS representative to the United Valley Interfaith Project. Valley Insight is one of fifteen faith-based member groups belonging to United Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP), and the two discussed UVIP’s central premise, current aims and actions, future plans, and––spoiler alert––the appointment of one of VIMS’ advisory board members as new co-representative to UVIP.

About UVIP: Projects within UVIP revolve around social change, such as aging with dignity and economic justice (for example, fighting predatory lending and increasing the minimum wage).  The UVIP website states: “We believe that when people come together with common values to build grassroots power we have the ability to create real, long-lasting change.”  This grassroots organizing has the purpose of raising people’s awareness so they will take the lead on their own and by their own engagement serve to tackle an issue. United Valley Interfaith Project is “an organization committed to changing the world through the process and techniques of community organizing.” (UVIP website).  
Current UVIP Actions: UVIP’s most current action has to do with homelessness; in particular, there is great concern for a camp of homeless individuals living behind the Hannaford Supermarket in West Lebanon. . . .  Read the rest of the article here.
 

In the Sitting Groups  


A Sangha-wide Study of the
Eightfold Path
 

This month, the Monday group 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. This fall and winter, 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 continues its look at the noble Eightfold Path with an examination of Right Action. 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 continues 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. 

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 visit her website: amckwebandprint.com  for info on her print and web work.
Detail, painting of the Buddha's first discourse, turning the Dharmacakra.  Nalanda, Bihar, India. Circa 700-1100 CE.
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