August 2017 – As part of IMS’s efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion, we are reserving a portion of all retreat spaces for people of color.
Holding these slots applies not only to our regular retreats, but also to any course where a lottery will be conducted.
These spaces will be held only until a certain time before courses begin. For retreats lasting seven days or less, any unused places reserved for people of color will be released two months prior to the start date. For retreats longer than seven days, unused spaces will be released four months prior.
If you are a person of color, we encourage you to apply for a retreat, even if our website says a course is full – these reserved slots may still be available. And so we can support your participation in the retreat of your choice, please fill out the people of color affiliation section of the registration form.
We hope you can help spread the word about this initiative.
August 2017 – IMS co-founder Sharon Salzberg’s latest title is Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Guiding Teacher Christina Feldman’s new publication is Boundless Heart: The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity. Guiding Teacher Guy Armstrong’s first book, Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators is also now available, as is co-founder Jack Kornfield’s No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are.
May 2017 – The focus of IMS’s 2017 spring appeal is our new 2017–2021 Teacher Training Program, a major initiative in our efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive community of retreat teachers and meditators.
April 2017 – Registration is now open for the 2018 course, Mindfulness, Insight, Liberation: The Foundations of Mindfulness-Based Modalities and Research. This retreat is specifically for those teaching, training, researching or otherwise engaged in mindfulness-based approaches. It will be led by Christina Feldman, Chris Cullen, Jaya Karen Rudgard and Yuka Nakamura, and runs from January 11–18, 2018. Register now or find out more information.
February 2017 – We’re delighted to announce that the cohort of teacher trainees for IMS’s 2017-2021 Teacher Training Program has now been finalized.
We extend a heartfelt welcome and much mudita (empathetic joy) to the following 20 participants who are embarking on this exciting journey toward becoming insight meditation retreat teachers – Andrea Castillo, Bruni Davila, Dawn Scott, Devin Berry, Devon Hase, Jeanne Corrigal, Jessica Morey, Jozen Gibson, Matthew Hepburn, nakawe cuebas, Neesha Patel, Nolitha Tsengiwe, Rachel Lewis, Roxanne Dault, Shelly Graf, Tara Mulay, Tuere Sala, Vance Pryor, Walt Opie and Yong Oh.
This group, comprising 75% people of color, will gather for their initial training session at our Retreat Center in August this year.
The program’s core faculty is Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal, with Carol Wilson and Guy Armstrong also contributing. Together with visiting teachers, including Sharon Salzberg and Ruth King, all will offer guidance over the course of the four-year training.
This program is a major IMS initiative, and the culmination of several years of discussion and planning. It represents a significant milestone in our efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive community of retreat teachers and meditators. On completion in 2021, the training will result in a substantial increase in the number of people of color and white ally teachers and leaders, in turn benefiting the many insight meditation communities across North America.
February 2017 – As the US and the world face significant challenges and upheaval, IMS affirms its commitment to providing a spiritual refuge, where everyone who comes to practice at our centers feels welcomed, honored and included.
We dedicate ourselves to the Buddha’s teachings that hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone, and remain steadfast in upholding non-harming and nonviolence as the pillars of compassionate action.
Never has our meditation practice provided a more important foundation for wise engagement. We counter the destructive forces of greed, hatred and delusion by cultivating friendliness, joy, generosity and peace. These are boundless qualities that inspire our vision and deepen our resilience. They include all, and prompt action that can offer safety and protection for anyone whose race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or immigration status puts them at risk.
May oppression and division, and all their causes, be dispelled. May the force of kindness and the power of our collective commitment to justice, inclusiveness and awakening serve all.
January 2017 – After some years of discussion and planning, IMS is set to begin a new Teacher Training Program in 2017, designed to train participants to become insight meditation retreat teachers. The majority of the trainees will be people of color.
The program’s core faculty is Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal, with Guy Armstrong and Carol Wilson also contributing to the curriculum development and program implementation. Together with other visiting teachers, including Sharon Salzberg, all will offer guidance over the course of the four-year training.
Both this program, and a separate one to be offered by Spirit Rock (led by Gina Sharpe, Larry Yang and Lila Kate Wheeler), reflect our shared visions of greater diversity, equity and inclusion in our sanghas. When the trainings end in 2021, they will result in a significant increase in the number of people of color teachers and leaders, in turn benefiting the many insight meditation communities across the country.
An invitation and application process is currently underway, with the first gathering of IMS trainees scheduled for August 2017 at our Retreat Center.
IMS Teacher Training Program core faculty, (L-R): Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal.
December 2016 – Thanks to generous funding from the Hemera Foundation, a limited number of fellowships are available for Educators, Health Care Professionals and Artists interested in participating in a 2017 Retreat Center course. The fellowships are specifically for those who have never attended a residential meditation retreat of more than two nights, at IMS or elsewhere.
See more information.
September 2016 – Thanks to generous donations, funding is again available to support a number of experienced people of color meditators and young adults (18-32 year olds) who wish to undertake longer-term practice at IMS in 2017. This is in addition to our ongoing program of financial assistance, which annually supports about a third of our retreatants.
This opportunity forms part of our broader vision to develop more leaders of color within our North American insight community, and to ensure leadership among the next generation of yogis.
For people of color who are unable to afford IMS’s usual fees, we are offering a reduced rate to participate in Part 1 or Part 2 of the 2017 Three-Month Retreat. A reduced rate is also available for one month of personal retreat next year at our Forest Refuge.
Fees are on a You Choose basis. This means you can establish the rate you are able to pay, at or above $20 per night. (If paying more than $20 per night is possible, it will allow additional yogis to receive support.)
Prior retreat experience is required. For Part 1 and Part 2 of the Three-Month Retreat, the prerequisite is two courses of a week or more with a recognized insight meditation teacher.
At the Forest Refuge, it’s recommended that applicants have participated in at least one six-week structured and teacher-led insight meditation retreat, or six similar one-week retreats.
Since our funds are limited, we will be awarding spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage those interested to apply as soon as possible. Here’s what to do: