This fall issue announces our 40th anniversary next year, and to celebrate this milestone, we invite you to send us a brief video clip. Below, you’ll also find highlights of a memorial ceremony for teacher Ruth Denison, news of fundingfor longer-term practice, and photos of the new Retreat Center dining area. We’re offering our latest wallpaper image, three new recipes, info on fellowshipsfor educators, and updates on IMS teachers. As well, you can check out retreat space available, and an important job opening.
Vibrant fall colors surround nearby Gaston Pond.
2016 will mark a significant milestone – we’ll be celebrating IMS’s 40th anniversary!
It’s quite amazing to reflect that, for almost four decades, streams of retreatants from all over the world have
found their way to this refuge to practice the Buddha’s teachings of freedom.
We began as a small pioneering endeavor in the mid-1970s, at a time when meditation was considered a fringe activity.
Now, many of our teachers and meditators are influential voices within today’s burgeoning mindfulness movement.
And IMS itself is often regarded as the mother-ship of contemporary Western insight meditation centers.
Renowned Burmese meditation master Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw presided over a teaching authorization ceremony at
IMS in 1979. Back row: Mahasi Sayadaw (C) and his monks. Front row (L-R): IMS’s three founders Sharon
Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, and Jacqueline Mandell-Schwartz.
To honor our 40th anniversary, we’re starting to produce several videos that will be released throughout
2016, and we’re inviting you to participate in their creation! We’re seeking short clips from individuals
or groups in our community, each expressing something heartfelt about IMS.
You might like to offer a sentence that captures what this spiritual center means to you. Or, you can tell
a brief inspiring anecdote from retreat time here, deliver a humorous message, or simply say what you
love about IMS.
It’s easy to take part. Simply shoot the footage, 10-15 seconds max, in a horizontal or wide frame orientation
(not vertical or tall frame). A smartphone or tablet is fine for this – you don’t have to worry about
using more substantial equipment. Then email your message to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and we’ll take it from there.
Some of the submitted footage will be woven into our videos. And other clips will be shared at various times
during the year via our social media, website, or in upcoming issues of Sangha News.
In September, teachers and staff gathered at IMS’s Memorial Wall at the Forest Refuge to honor the life
of beloved dharma elder Ruth Denison, who passed away last February.
(L) An engraved memorial stone has been placed along IMS’s Memorial Wall, and some of Ruth’s ashes now lie beneath it. She had chosen this spot several years ago. (R) At the start of the ceremony, a procession of teachers and staff, led by Joseph Goldstein, walked to the wall.
Thanks to generous gifts, we’re happy to once again offer financial support to a number of experienced
people of color (POC) meditators and young adults (18-32 year olds) who’d like to practice longer-term
at IMS next year.
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 Buddhist meditators.
This funding is in addition to our ongoing program of financial assistance, which annually supports about
a third of our retreatants.
For people of color who are unable to afford IMS’s usual fees, we’re offering a reduced
rate to participate in Part 1 or Part 2 of the 2016 Three-Month Retreat. A reduced rate is also available
for one month of personal retreat next year at our Forest Refuge.
For 18-32 year olds who are unable to afford IMS’s usual fees, a similar reduced rate is available to
participate in Part 1 or Part 2 of next year’s Three-Month Retreat.
Fees are on a You Choose basis. This means you can establish the rate you are able to pay, at or above
$17 per night. Details about how to apply can be found here. Please
help spread the word.
Last week, work was completed on two improvements to our Retreat Center dining room – an indoor extension
and an attached deck.
Retreatants are now enjoying the new light-filled dining area, which has eased traffic flow and provides
more seating. It also features an additional tea station which is accessible for those using wheelchairs.
In warmer weather, the deck will be a lovely spot for drinking tea and taking meals, as well as for outdoor
The final step will be to install an acoustical ceiling treatment in the main dining room to soften sounds
on opening and closing days. We anticipate finishing this in the new year.
Much appreciation for the generosity that made this project possible.
The new Retreat Center dining room extension.
The beautiful new deck.
The Forest Refuge Buddha looks over a sunny meadow of flowers and grasses – you can download this serene image for your mobile device or desktop.
Three more nourishing vegetarian recipes have been uploaded to our website: Ratatouille, Tassajara Nutloaf
and Minestrone Soup. Delicious additions to your home menu. Enjoy!
(L-R) Ratatouille, Tassajara Nutloaf and Minestrone Soup
Are you involved in the education field? Do you aspire to promote a positive school culture through embodying
the qualities of mindfulness, compassion, personal well-being and professional efficacy?
If so, a generous grant from the Hemera Foundation is allowing IMS to
once again offer fellowships for educators at our Retreat Center in 2016. These will be allocated
on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hemera’s Contemplative Fellowships are open to teachers and staff currently employed in a pre-K program
or K-12 school, or to anyone currently enrolled in a Masters of Education program. If you meet these
qualifications and would like to pursue this opportunity, please consider applying.
For more information, click here.
If you know others who might be interested, please pass on this news.
ABC anchor Dan Harris and IMS co-founder Joseph Goldstein have designed a short meditation course in
the form of an app. Titled 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,
the app is an effective, two-week introduction to practice, and features guided meditations from
Joseph. Access it online or download
it from the iTunes store.
You can watch the official ABC launch of the app to learn more about this program.
If you know anyone who might enjoy learning about meditation or refreshing their practice in this way,
please share this helpful resource. Some of the proceeds will be donated to IMS.
IMS co-founder Sharon Salzberg is creating a series of
videos marking the 20th anniversary of the publication of her first title, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.
Each short clip offers meditation support and guidance as we navigate the busyness of our daily lives.
The latest video in this #StreetLovingkindness series is Blowing Bubbles.
In addition, Happify has released an animated video narrated by Sharon, Where Does Compassion Really Come From?
In July, IMS Guiding Teacher Christina Feldman gave the keynote address at a UK conference organized by
The Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. Titled “Contemporary Mindfulness – The Long View:
Perils and Possibilities in the Path of Mindfulness Teaching,” you can watch her presentation
here. (Shared with permission.)
Neuroscientist, philosopher, author and meditator Sam Harris recently invited Joseph Goldstein back for a
second conversation, this time to answer a range of questions about the path of practice. Listen here.
For the rest of October you can access the free online event, The Mindfulness Summit,
and hear talks by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, as well as other dharma teachers and leaders in
the mindfulness field.
At the Forest Refuge, retreatants have been deepening their practice as the surrounding woods and countryside take on rich autumn colors.
L-R) Patricia Genoud-Feldman and Annie Nugent capably guided practitioners in September.
Throughout October, (L-R) Marcia Rose and Ariya B. Baumann are offering the teachings.
At the Retreat Center, the summer program featured retreats that varied in theme and length.
In July, IMS’s second course for our LGBTQI community was taught by Arinna Weisman (2nd from R) and Jean Esther (R), with John Martin (L) assisting and Leslie Booker offering yoga.
The teaching team for the Your Life Is Your Practice retreat in August was led by Narayan Liebenson and George Mumford (both C), assisted by Alexis Santos (L). Éowyn Ahlstrom (R) provided mindful yoga sessions.
(L-R) Anushka Fernandopulle and Pascal Auclair taught the Labor Day weekend course, Uncovering Innate Freedom.
In September, the annual Three-Month Retreat got underway with Part 1 teachers (L-R) Kate Munding (assistant), Kamala Masters, Sally Armstrong, Greg Scharf, Andrea Fella and Guy Armstrong. This unique opportunity for long-term practice has been part of IMS’s annual schedule since our founding.
If you are an experienced meditator, consider applying for a personal retreat at the Forest Refuge. A stay here can help strengthen practice faith, confidence and self-reliance.
For more information, please email or call us at 978-355-2063.
Visit our Audio page to download or stream recent Forest Refuge teacher talks.
Golden yarrow flourishes at the Forest Refuge.
At the Retreat Center, check out our early 2016 courses. Winter is an especially beautiful time to explore the mind and heart, as the quiet of the natural world supports our silent practice
First up is Joy on the Path, a five-day retreat with Pascal Auclair and Lila Kate Wheeler, January 9-14.
Lila returns to offer another five-day course, The Wisdom of Equanimity, with Winnie Nazarko, February 5-10.
This is followed by a three-day weekend, The Way of Wisdom, led by Alexis Santos and Jaya Karen Rudgard, February 12-15. During this retreat, we’ll also mark IMS’s 40th anniversary on February 14.
Later in the month, Winnie will be back to teach Establishing Presence, together with Annie Nugent, February 19-24.
If you are 18-26 years old, some spaces are available at our You Choose rate for several retreats next year. Find out more here.
Wild turkeys too enjoy walking the peaceful grounds around the Retreat Center.
IMS has an opening for the position of Facilities Manager. We’re seeking an experienced leader with a strong maintenance and building background to oversee our physical plant and supervise maintenance and housekeeping staff.
If you’re interested in working at IMS, and have the necessary skills for this position, please apply.
Also, we’d be grateful if you can pass on word of this job opportunity to others.
Here in New England we continue to gather the bounty of the harvest season. May all find nourishment, and may the fruits of our practice benefit all beings!
You can find an archive of Sangha News on our website. If you change your email address, please let us know, so that you’ll continue to receive this publication.
IMS is a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We offer meditation retreats rooted in the Theravada Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration and wisdom. These practices help develop awareness and compassion in ourselves, giving rise to greater peace and happiness in the world.You have received this email because you are on the Insight Meditation Society’s list to receive information via email regarding IMS, IMS programs and IMS teachers. If you do not wish to receive these e-announcements, please click on the ‘SafeUnsubscribe’ link below.