IMS’s 2017 Spring Appeal is dedicated to raising funds for our new Teacher Training Program. This is a major initiative in our efforts to foster a refuge that better reflects the reality of our world in all its diversity and cultural richness – 75% of the trainees are people of color.
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.
The initial gathering of 20 trainees and several senior teachers will take place in August at our Retreat Center. Over the next few years, a rigorous curriculum, together with mentoring and further training sessions will deepen the trainees’ ability to transmit the Buddha’s teaching’s of liberation. On graduation in 2021, the new cohort of teachers will carry the collective wisdom of their varied life experiences and perspectives into insight meditation communities throughout the world.
Ethnic diversity in our centers is a visible statement that the Dharma is for everyone and that we have an environment of inclusivity and access. When people of widely different backgrounds are on retreat together, this fuller humanity supports both our individual and collective awakening.
Thanks to the generosity of some supporters, we already have seed funding for this endeavor. Please join us in making IMS’s Teacher Training Program a powerful force for compassionate change. Once we’ve raised $90,000 or more, over and above current gifts, we can confidently complete the program in 2021.
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All gifts, of whatever size, will help us create a more diverse and welcoming refuge, where the Buddha’s teachings of compassion and liberation are available to all.