River Valley Insight Meditation Community

A welcoming Buddhist Sangha in western Massachusetts

What is True Freedom?

By Kim Weeber. Freedom. Independence or interdependence? Has anybody been reflecting on these concepts over the last few days? I have been visiting family in Pennsylvania where we watched the annual Fourth of July parade, followed by a delightful family picnic gathering. I could feel the stirrings of “patriotism” as people around me clapped for […]

The Change of Seasons

By Kim Weeber. The winter solstice is almost upon us, and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. It often seems like a shock to notice the darker days, feel the cold air and see the snow flakes when we have just been enjoying sunshine and longer days. It is always interesting to me how […]

Gratitude for the day

By Kim Weeber. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for many years. Focusing on the abundance in my life, instead of what is not going well is a prescription for being happier. So, yesterday I awoke with a feeling of gratitude and decided to start the day by sharing my happiness with my friends. I […]

Photography as Meditation Practice

By Kim Weeber. On Saturday, we held an outdoor photography retreat at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Now, you might think that this was about learning how to take better pictures. Of course, that is something that we would all like to be able to do. But, how is it to use photography as a mindfulness practice? […]

Practicing with Ease

We learn more easily in an environment where we feel safe, supported and at ease. And this includes the environment we set up for meditation. We can choose a posture which is relatively comfortable, and still allows us to be alert. Noticing body sensations which are already pleasant and relaxed can set the stage for […]

The Joy of Generosity

Our sangha had the pleasure of participating in the Buddhist Global Relief fundraiser to help alleviate world hunger today. Buddhist Global Relief | Worldwide relief funded by a Buddhist organization Our local event was a walk at Look Park, and was a wonderful opportunity to focus on generosity (dana), and sending loving kindness to all […]

Awareness and Sati

Mindfulness is central in the teachings of the Buddha. It is an important mental factor in many areas of practice. However, we may confuse mindfulness/sati with attention in our practice. We focus on an object to the exclusion of everything else, and it seems like we are “being mindful”. Unfortunately, this can feel tight and […]

Practicing in Nature

I have always loved being in nature. When I was young, there was a stream near my house, and I can remember sitting in a nest of tree roots which hung out over the water. As we get older, we may forget that we once had the ability to simply be present in the natural world. But we still have the ability to immerse ourselves in a beautiful, natural area, and be open to what that experience can teach us.

Going with the Flow

12/18/19 Going with the Flow By Kim Weeber, teacher. This is a season where we can really acknowledge change. We are just about at the solstice, where the light will start returning. Days will get longer, and nights will get shorter. Even though we are really entering the season of winter, and snow and cold, […]

What is Mindfulness?

We hear a lot about mindfulness when we come to a meditation center or read about Buddhism. It is a very important factor in our practice, and I’d like to spend some time going into more depth about what it is and how to create the conditions for its arising.