Photograph of author and coach Valerie Brown

Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way Toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace

This event is free and open to the public but advance registration is required.  To register please visit

A First Monday lecture online with Valerie Brown, exploring themes from her new book from Broadleaf press.

7:30pm – 9pm Eastern Time (USDaily we are asked to stretch in the direction of goodness, kindness, forgiveness, patience, and vulnerability. Yet life’s fragility, fear, and anxiety, and our own self-sabotage can derail us from growing and thriving, leaving us stuck, fractured, and constantly second-guessing ourselves. How can we gain greater self-awareness and bravery to break these patterns?

Based on Valerie’s latest book, Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022), this highly interactive lecture will explore using the Buddhist teachings on the Seven Factors of Awakening and the wisdom of Quaker faith and practice to:

  • Choose bravely when conditions are uncertain and ambiguous;
  • Examine unconscious patterns that hold you back;
  • Reflect on what matters most with soul-amplifying questions;
  • Align your values with your work for a greater sense of purpose and meaning;
  • Cultivate body intelligence and body awareness;
  • Show yourself real kindness through self-compassion.


Valerie Brown is an author, ordained Buddhist-Quaker Dharma teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition, facilitator, and executive coach specializing in leadership development and mindfulness practices with a focus on diversity, social equity, and inclusion. A former lawyer and lobbyist, Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career into serving leaders and nonprofits to create trustworthy, authentic, compassionate, and connected workspaces.

Her forthcoming book is Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022). She has authored four popular Pendle Hill pamphlets, including Living from the Center, Mindfulness Meditation and Centering for Friends (PHP #407) and Coming to Light, Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee (PHP #446). She is a member of Solebury Monthly Meeting (PA).

An accredited leadership coach, she is the Founder and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, supporting leaders to apply and integrate leadership and mindfulness for greater resilience, clarity, and creativity, and is a co-director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.

Valerie leads an annual pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred place and is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher, engaging leaders to embody somatic wisdom and creativity. Learn more at


Dec 05 2022


7:30 pm - 9:00 pm