Blog Posts

Currents: May 2016



Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns and suggestions about Currents, contact us at


Upcoming Events

mark your calendarMark your calendars for community gatherings this month!

Community Event:
Potluck and Open Mic
Wednesday, May 25th, 5:30-8pm at Still Point (11 Bright St., Northampton)

For more information, contact


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Report from the Board Meeting on May 17th

The Board met via Skype on Tuesday May 17th for 90 minutes.  30 of those minutes were Finance Committee.   Each site has a positive bottom line and room for more clients.

The Budget for 2016 had two separate lines for personnel increases.  One was for actual raises, which once given continue year after year.  The other was for bonuses, which are extra cash in the current year.  While the budget is approved, the raises (usually given in July) and the bonuses (usually given at the end of the year) go through a second approval process with the Finance Committee.  They make sure the income and expenses are in line with the budget before approving.  They discussed the proposals from Lisa and Victoria at the April meeting and approved them at this meeting.  In the past three years Northampton has not had raises (though significant bonuses for similar amounts).  This year, being more stable, Victoria and the Board agreed to raises for the staff.  They are also hoping we continue to have a positive bottom line for bonuses at year end.

The Board meeting commenced with Julie, who was a team counselor in SLO and now is the operations manager in Portland, giving the Mission Moment.  She compared the two start-ups and appreciated how much more support (in training, in leadership, in systems) that Portland is receiving than SLO did.

Ken Hamilton, of Portland, is working to find a grant-writer to help meet the request of Hearst that Portland apply to his Trust for scholarship funds.  Lisa and Victoria described most of the scholarships given being used to extend someone’s stay as the family funds are depleted so as not to interrupt the relationships and work.  Hearst agrees with this thinking, as does the Board. Lisa and Victoria will present a “development plan” at the next Board meeting.

The Board discussed meeting 4 times a year instead of 6, but planned their next meeting for the 2nd Tuesday in July (7/12).  There is concern that if board members aren’t involved in subcommittees, there is too much of a gap to stay involved.  There is interest in having regional board conversations with other community members that might eventually become board members as well as a Board Development Committee.  The Finance Committee meetings were changed to the 4th Tuesday of the month to give Annie more time to complete the monthly reports.  The next Finance meeting is June 28th.


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Western Massachusetts Peer Community Voice Gathering

On Thursday, April 28th , from 10:30-3:00, Trey and David attended a regional gathering at the South Hadley Library hosted by the Transformation Center. It was one of a series of six such gatherings occurring around the state this spring, focusing on “Finding Our Voice.” It was facilitated by directors, staff and board members from the Transformation Center, which is now located in Roxbury, MA. The Transformation Center itself originated in the 1980’s as M-POWER (People/Patients Organized for Wellness, Empowerment and Rights) and was responsible for the Five Fundamental Rights in 1987. More recent initiatives from this organization include the Fresh Air Bill. M-POWER then became CHANGE (Consumers Helping, Advocating and Networking for Growth and Empowerment) before it became the Transformation Center. The Transformation Center is grant funded and conducts various trainings, including the Certified Peer Specialist Training, in addition to its advocacy work.

After arrival and registration, there were introductory remarks before we broke out into smaller groups around the theme of Workforce Recruitment and Retention. Then we reconvened as a larger group for discussion until lunch. After lunch we discussed and brainstormed about how to plan a possible peer conference for 2017, then broke into smaller groups again, around such topics as cultural sensitivity, access & inclusion, CPS code of ethics in different environments, strengthening the peer advocacy voice in MA as well as, making mental health & substance abuse peer support visible and accessible. Trey and David very much enjoyed their time at the gathering, the various topic areas they learned about, and speaking with the people they met. Overall, it was a productive and inspirational experience.


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Explore the Pioneer Valley!


Thornes Marketplace is right in the middle of Main street in downtown Northampton. They have several different retail stores, a coffee shop, a retro candy store and even a small grocery store. They also host a farmers market behind the parking garage with 20 local vendors selling fresh and local produce, cheese, honey, flowers and soaps. It runs every Tuesday from 1:30pm to 6:30pm. The first hour of parking is free in the Thornes lot, or enjoy a sunny afternoon by walking downtown and checking out the local products.

Thornes Marketplace
150 Main Street



The Paradise City Arts Festival is an award winning arts festival with 260 artists participating in ceramics, painting, decorative fiber, art glass, furniture, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, large scale sculpture, wearable art and woodworking. There will be a dining tent that features a few of Northampton’s restaurants such as Spoleto and Sierra Grill; live music will also be played everyday starting around noon. At this arts festival, you will have the chance to meet and talk with the artists participating. SmARTalks will also take place in the Morgan Building, during which time short presentations by master artists, artisans, and chefs will be given. Click here for more information. (Memorial Day weekend)

Paradise City Arts Festival at the Three County Fairgrounds
Friday, May 28th 10am-5pm
Saturday, May 29th 10am-6pm
Sunday, May 30th 11am-5p
Adults: $13 | Seniors 65+: $12 | 
Students: $8 | Three-day pass: $16 | Children 12 and under free


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New to the Windhorse Library

The Intelligent Life: A Guide to the Compassionate Life by Dzigar Kongtrul

The Intelligent Heart offers a profound new approach to awakening readers’ loving hearts to the essence of bodhisattva wisdom: cherishing others more than oneself. This jewel of a book teaches us how to shower the light-of-love into even the darkest corners of our stressed world.” — Tulku Thondup, author of The Heart of Unconditional Love

“This is a wonderful book that will be helpful to anyone who wishes to understand and take up the practices of the Seven Points on Mind Training, especially tonglen. The Intelligent Heart shines a clear light on the method for exchanging self for other, developing compassion, and freeing one’s heart. In addition, it’s fun to read with helpful illustrations and a keen sense of humor.” — Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness



Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer

“Norman Fischer has illuminated Atisha’s lojong slogans with the depth of his own Zen koan practice, infused with his savvy, no-nonsense heart. The result is stunning—a fresh slant on Tibetan compassion teachings, making them universal and now.” — Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Naropa University, author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism

“Norman Fischer brings a fresh perspective to the profound Tibetan Buddhist manual of lojong, or mental training. With down-to-earth clarity, he applies its 59 pithy practices to the challenges of modern life. With repetition, these practices gradually change one from the inside out. His writing is direct, penetrating, and powerful, with the authenticity and impact that comes from a great teacher, as he shows readers how to develop resilience and compassion, strength with heart.” — Rick Hanson, PhD, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom


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  • Tristan is transitioning out of Still Point but is remaining with Windhorse as senior housemate and team counselor.
  • Colin is joining us as Team Leader.
  • Gracie is joining us as Team Leader.
  • The Still Point team is on the move due to the landlord selling the house. Keep your eyes open for rentals.


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