preview-webIntro to Meditation Group Online

If you’re interested in developing a meditation practice, you’re warmly invited to join us online Sunday evenings when Dinah Smith will lead from 7-8 pm.  It’s open to folks of all ages and all levels of experience with meditation. Each session includes instruction for individuals new to the practice. These are trying times, and it seems we all benefit from connecting with the place of silence and peace within. This program is intended to help us locate and occupy that space with greater ease. Zoom link is here. Please feel free to call Dinah (802-353-1704) with any questions.

Dharma Talks

Here are links to the mp3 files recorded during the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship (UUBF) 2015 Convocation with Stephen Batchelor.  They are large files that will download to your computer before they begin to play in most cases.  Depending on your computer’s settings, you may need to open a media player then select the downloaded file, likely saved in your download area.

CVUUS Sangha Met with Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community

CVUUS Sangha / Meditation Group has met with the Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community (BLMZC) and its leader Joshin Brian Byrnes. The CVUUS Sangha has the opportunity to participate in and support BLMZC programs, in addition to continuing its regular Sunday night meditation group.

Former CVUUS member, Brian Byrnes, who is now a Zen priest and the Vice Abbott and past President of Upaya Zen Center, in Santa Fe, NM, and whose Zen name is Joshin, is the founder of BLMCZ.  See more about him here. If you are interested in learning more about Upaya, or listening to Joshin’s dharma talks (teachings), you can do that at  Upaya was founded by Roshi Joan Halifax over 25 years ago and is quite an amazing place.  It runs about 44  programs and retreats (attended by 2,000 to 3,000 guests) on everything from traditional Buddhist and Zen texts to contemplative neuroscience, as well as trainings in death and dying for medical clinicians. It also has an active medical clinic program in Nepal, a prison project, and a street/homelessness ministry which Joshin leads. Sensei Joshin and his partner have 3 adult children, 2 of whom live in this part of  Vermont. When he is in Vermont,  Joshin offers Zen-based Buddhist teachings and engages in broad based dharma conversations with an emphasis on “Engaged Buddhism” and service (i.e., social action).  All welcome! More here.


Bread Loaf  Mountain Zen Center has created a comfortable, welcoming, and free-of-charge gathering place in downtown Middlebury at 48 Merchants Row that serves the neighborhood. Gather is a comfort zone for everyone, but especially those who deal with isolation, loneliness, or who could just use a listening friend. It is a hub of healing community. At Gather, people will find caring friends and neighbors.

While not a church or temple, Gather is based on some important Buddhist principles, because it is a project created by Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community. Here are the principles that are important for us:

  • There are no insiders and outsiders. Everyone, regardless of what they bring or need is welcomed in the same way.  There is no distinction between giver and receiver, helper and helped, server and served. We won’t slip into labels that separate us. Instead we’ll appreciate our similarities and differences.
  • Everyone is welcomed to give and receive and be the gift. Come as you are, bring your whole self. Nothing else is needed. It is totally free. We aren’t selling anything or getting you to join anything. Gather is for everyone regardless of what you believe, care about, how you identify, or what you think about the world. Our only belief is that everyone deserves respect, kindness, care, and attention.
  • Love all beings. This starts with being interested in each other, growing in empathy, seeing with compassion, and experiencing what it is to be with each other in ways that give life to our lives. Expanding the circle of belonging, bonding with neighbors, we experience the interconnectedness of life right here, close to home.

Gather is perfectly located in the town center or, as we say in these parts, on the Green – the big lawn where the town gathers. We are fortunate to have found a place in the middle of things. Each day we’ll simply open the doors with care, and be open to whoever shows up, accepting what is offered, what is received, what is requested, and allow actions to arise. We may have midday mindfulness, game nights, grief groups, community celebrations, recovery meetings, community acupuncture or foot care, cooking or quilting days, conversations over coffee and cake, study groups, and more.

Visit the Gather website at and check out this recent article on Gather in the Addison Independent!

There are lots of ways to get involved:

  • Come visit us. We’re open Wednesday-Saturday at 11 and Sunday morning at 9 for a Gathering to share joys and concerns, followed by coffee hour. Check out the Gather website for the weekly program schedule.
  • To volunteer, fill out this form and we will contact you to schedule days and times. There are lots of opportunities!
  • If you’d like to support Gather, you can make a donation through our giving page.

More Information

Buddhism and Mindfulness:  A Reading List for Unitarian Universalists

Buddhist Unitarian Universalists

Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship Sangha

Insight Meditation Society:  Glossary of Buddhist Terms