Manny Mansbach teaches Insight (Vipassana) Meditation with Vermont Insight Meditation Center in Brattleboro, VT, in Bellows Falls, VT and elsewhere in New England, and offers counseling and consultation for individuals, couples and organizations.
For his entire adult life, Manny has been keenly interested in nurturing and facilitating the connections between transformative inner work such as meditation and therapy, relational practices based in skillful communication, development of wholesome community, and nonviolent social transformation.
What Would the Buddha Say?
Developing Skillful Speech for Life’s Challenging Conversations
Half-day Retreat with Manny at Valley Insight in Norwich
Saturday, January 13, 2018
1 – 5 pm
St. Barnabas Church, Norwich, VT
“It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.”
–– The Buddha
From a foundation of respect and loving awareness, our shared goal in this retreat will be to develop trust in our ability to distinguish between speech that leads to happiness and greater good, and speech that increases suffering. Studying skillful speech in the context of the dharma supports increased confidence in the capacity to know what is true in our experience now, and translating this knowing into wiser and more compassionate speech with family, friends, co-workers, and those with differing viewpoints. We will consider classical teachings that convey the building blocks of skillful speech, and also draw on contemporary teachings that bring forth the power of assertive nonviolence, a way of communicating that is based in empathy and care for all beings, and is consistent with our highest aspirations and the teachings of the Buddha.
Open to beginners and experienced meditators. The day will consist of presentations, discussion and practical exercises involving wise speech, supported by some meditation practice.
The retreat will be held at St. Barnabas Church in Norwich, Vt. There is plenty of parking space at the Church. There is a $15.00 registration fee which can be waived upon request.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for registration and questions. The address for mailing registration fees is below:
Valley Insight Meditation Society
P.O. Box 634
Lebanon, NH 03766
“We should never underestimate the power of our speech…. Through the words we speak we can change another person’s world in a moment…. Words of love, tenderness, and kindness are urgently needed in a world saturated by so many unwise and divisive words. The realization of peace in our world, our communities, families, and relationships rests upon each of us learning to speak with wisdom.”
Manny’s Sunday Morning Teaching Schedule at Vermont Insight Meditation Center in Brattleboro:
Each Sunday from 10am-12 Vermont Insight offers meditation and teachings. Here are the upcoming Sundays that Manny will be leading the program:
March 25th (daylong from 10am-4pm, topic tbd)
Winter Classes with Manny at Vermont Insight
Discovering Inner Wealth: The Seven Factors of Awakening
The seven factors of awakening—mindfulness, investigation, energy, joyful interest, tranquility, stability of mind, and equanimity—are so valued in Buddhist practice that they are sometimes referred to as “inner wealth.” Joseph Goldstein calls these qualities “the sap that runs through the Buddha’s tree of liberation; a powerful healing medicine that we must actually develop in our own minds.” These wholesome states comprise a mutually supportive framework for cultivating the mind, overcoming meditative obstacles, and balancing the energetic and calming forces that develop in meditation.
The Buddha’s teachings point us toward qualities of mind that already live inside of us. Becoming more familiar with the seven factors helps us incline towards and develop them further, so that non–clinging becomes more familiar and natural, and a path of awakening is ignited. These wholesome factors provide a sense of inner treasure and boost our capacity to not cling, supporting a maturation that promotes the sure heart’s release.
This class will explore each factor to reveal its importance, function, and role in the process of awakening. Rather than a single text, we will rely on audio dharma talks and class discussion and practice for structure.
Taught by: Manny Mansbach
Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:00pm, January 10-February 7; snow date Feb 14 (5 weeks)
for more information and to register go to http://vermontinsight.org/dharma-courses
Awakening Together: Cultivating Beloved Community, Strengthening Integrity and Fostering Inclusivity
Following the wise example of dharma teacher Larry Yang, whose ground-breaking book Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community we will use as primary text, in this course we are invited to explore how we might extend our training into the collective practice of understanding and compassion. Larry Yang reminds us “many of our Western Dharma communities, which are largely focused on European American values and norms, have yet to examine how the Dharma has been changed in its transition and transmission from interdependent cultures to an independent culture. Moreover, our own cultural reinterpretation of the Dharma is largely an unconscious, unexamined phenomenon.”
In the foreword, scholar and dharma teacher Jan Willis writes, “Strikingly radical amid the structures of his day, the community that the Buddha founded included a diversity of beings, accepting people from all castes—and accepting women. More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha saw that the ideal community was one of diversity and deep inclusivity. Yang tells us that the Buddha ‘was inviting us to explore, as deeply as meditation itself, what it means to awaken together in community. He was inviting us to explore community itself as a practice of meditation or cultivation.’”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, in his comments on Awakening Together, highlights the need and potential for collective evolution in our sanghas: “We do indeed need each other for any of us to awaken to our true nature as human beings. Mindfulness has to be about inclusivity and diversity and justice if it is to be kind and compassionate and wise. If we truly ‘inter-are’ as Thich Nhat-Hanh asserts, then, as this book shows, we have to widen our scope of what is worthy of our attention.” Other teachers have called Awakening Together “a brilliant guidebook for anyone who longs to collaboratively create a just and inclusive community,” and “a roadmap showing collective pathways out of social suffering, embracing the pain of oppression and inequity as integral to the ground of compassion and spiritual practice.” The author says, “We are called by the voice in our collective hearts to move toward that which lessens suffering and creates more happiness, not just for us personally but for us as communities within a global society and collective world.”
Core Text: Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community by Larry Yang
Taught by: Manny Mansbach
Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:00pm, February 21-March 21; snow date March 28 (5 weeks)
for more information and to register go to http://vermontinsight.org/dharma-courses/
Insight (Vipassana) Meditation Group
in Bellows Falls led by Manny:
2018 meeting schedule: (all Thursday evenings, mostly 2nd and 4th Thursdays)
January 11th & 25th
February 8th & 22nd
March 8th & 22nd
April 12th & 26th
May 10th & 24th
All meetings 6:45-8 pm (6:30 for newcomers, beginners and socializing)
Immanuel Episcopal Church Chapel (The Stone Church on the Hill)
20 Church Street, just above downtown Bellows Falls.
click for directions
No pre-registration required. An ongoing, open group, consisting of silent meditation, dharma instruction and discussion.
$12 suggested donation. No one turned away for lack of funds.
For more information or to be added to the email notification list (usually sent out about 2-3 days before each meeting) please contact Manny Mansbach by email or phone: 802-490-4599.
The Zen master Ikkyu was once asked to write a distillation of the highest wisdom. He wrote only one word: Attention.
The visitor was displeased. “Is that all?”
So Ikkyu obliged him. Two words now.