Napa Valley Insight Meditation (NVIM) is a community of individuals committed to supporting one another in practicing meditation and compassion in daily life. We meet every Tuesday evening from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 1625 Salvador Avenue, Napa.

NVIM draws inspiration primarily from the Buddhist teachings of Insight/Vipassana meditation and focuses on integrating these principles into our daily lives. Each week we gather for 30-minutes of meditation, a brief social tea time and a discussion period led by local facilitators and trained meditation teachers from around the San Francisco Bay Area. No fee. Donations accepted. All levels of experience are welcome.

Spirit Rock co-founder Jack Kornfield provides vipassana meditation instructions

How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains and our Lives

Neuroscientist Sara Lazar's amazing brain scans show meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress.

Dharma Discussion Guidelines

Our weekly gatherings include a Dharma Discussion, which provides a chance for us to connect and benefit from each other’s insights and experience of the practice. By practicing deep listening while others are speaking, we help create a calm and receptive environment. By learning to speak out about our happiness and our difficulties in the practice, we contribute to the collective insight and understanding of the Sangha.

These instructions are intended as guidelines to support our practice, not hard and fast rules.

Deep listening. When we listen carefully to the collective wisdom of the Sangha, try to listen with an open, non-judging mind. If we are mindful of our thoughts and inner dialog, we can choose to come back to being fully present with the person speaking.  The practice of deep listening creates the opportunity for others to feel safe in the support of the Sangha.

Mindful speech. Our speech, like our listening, is the fruit of our practice, a response from within.  Speaking from the heart about topics that emanate from our life and practice involves speaking with awareness in a way that could be of benefit to others as well as ourselves; speaking with kindness, connecting with others.  We all benefit from hearing each other’s insights and direct experience of the practice.

Avoid giving advice, even if it is asked for. Speaking from our own experience eliminates the opportunity to give advice.  It’s helpful to use the pronoun “I”, instead of “You”.

Share with the whole circle. Whatever we share is for the benefit of all those present.  If we ask a question we ask the whole group. Any responses to a question should reflect our own practice experience with the question, not present possible "solutions" for the questioner. It's okay to let a question sit unanswered in the energy of the group.

You may like to say your name before speaking. This can be welcoming for newcomers and refresh other friends memories.

Refrain from speaking a second time until everyone has had an opportunity to share. Some of us may need more time to be ready to speak.

All that is shared is confidential. After the session, we refrain from speaking to a person about what they said in the group without asking for their permission first.

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Founded Dec 25, 2011

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