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Forest Refuge – Schedule

IMS's Forest Refuge program supports experienced meditators in sustained, longer-term retreat practice. A personal retreat, under the guidance of the following teachers, helps strengthen practice faith, confidence and self-reliance.

2017 Schedule
2018 Schedule

2017 Schedule

Jul 1 – Jul 31 Winnie Nazarko & Caroline Jones
Aug 1 – Aug 31 Annie Nugent & Caroline Jones
Sep 1 – Sep 30 Susan O’Brien & Caroline Jones
Oct 1 – Oct 31 ** Thanissara & Kittisaro *full, long waitlist*
Nov 1 – Nov 10 Susan O’Brien & Caroline Jones
Nov 11 – Nov 30 Annie Nugent & Caroline Jones
Dec 1 – Dec 31 Greg Scharf & Caroline Jones
** Priority will be given to anyone applying for the full month of October or longer. A minimum stay of two weeks is required, with arrivals and departures on October 1 or 15.

2018 Schedule

Jan 1 – Jan 31 + Annie Nugent & Winnie Nazarko    
Feb 1 – Feb 28 * Bhikkhu Anālayo & Alexis Santos                  
Mar 1 – Mar 31 Rebecca Bradshaw & Caroline Jones                        
Apr 1 – Apr 30 Susan O’Brien & Caroline Jones
May 1 – May 31 Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia & Caroline Jones
Jun 1 – Jun 30 ^ Carol Wilson & Andrea Fella *FULL*
Jul 1 – Jul 31° Sayadaw U Jagara & Nikki Mirghafori
Aug 1 – Aug 31 Annie Nugent & Caroline Jones
Sep 1 – Sep 30 Winnie Nazarko & Caroline Jones
Oct 1 – Nov 5 Marcia Rose & Caroline Jones
Nov 6 – Dec 4 ++ Ajahn Sucitto
Dec 5 – Dec 31 Caroline Jones & Jill Shepherd

+ Arrivals and departures are not possible January 24–30, 2018.

* Early Buddhist Meditation Retreat. Throughout this practice period, instructions will be offered on the four establishments of mindfulness, the four divine abodes, emptiness meditation, and the 10 perceptions in the Girimananda-sutta leading up to mindfulness of breathing.
Participants are encouraged to prepare by reading Bhikkhu Anālayo's books, Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation and Mindfully Facing Disease and Death: Compassionate Advice from Early Buddhist Texts (in particular the last chapters on meditation practice).
This month is open to those who have already sat a retreat led by Bhikkhu Anālayo (at IMS or elsewhere). A minimum stay for the full month of February is required. A lottery will be conducted for personal retreats during this time; applications due by June 15, 2017. Participants are expected to follow the daily schedule and instructions and, if able to do so, to observe the eight precepts. 
^ Awareness and Wisdom Retreat. The teachings during this month will explore the four foundations of mindfulness with open awareness and receptive attention, with an emphasis on recognizing the attitude of mind and cultivating the perspective of wise view. The teachings are influenced by both teachers’ practice with Sayadaw U Tejaniya. We request that you agree to work with the instructions that we offer during the retreat.
Practice discussion meetings will primarily be in small groups, meeting twice a week. The teachers will offer some sign-up interviews, so there will be a chance for a private meeting if there is something you don't feel comfortable bringing up in the group.
Priority will be given to anyone applying for the full month of June or longer; a minimum stay of two weeks is required. Arrivals or departures will only be possible on June 1, 15 or 30. 
° Participants are expected to observe the eight precepts, if they are able to do so. Priority will be given to anyone applying for the full month of July or longer.
++ A lottery will be conducted for personal retreats during this time; applications due by July 26, 2017. Priority will be given to anyone applying for Ajahn’s entire teaching period or longer. Participants are expected to follow his schedule and instructions, which include observance of the eight precepts.

Please note

  • A self-sustaining practice is necessary to undertake a Forest Refuge retreat.
  • The teaching schedule may change without notice. It is our intention that retreatants will have the opportunity to practice with a variety of experienced and well-qualified insight meditation teachers.
  • When retreat space is limited, priority will be given to those applying for longer stays.

Supporting our teachers

Here at IMS, our teachers are continuing the ancient Buddhist monastic tradition of freely offering the teachings while living in the midst of contemporary society. What this means is that they rely on the generosity of retreat participants for a sustainable income.

There is an opportunity at the end of your personal retreat to make an offering to teachers – this is known as teacher dana. At the Forest Refuge, where retreatants often stay for long periods, IMS supplements teacher dana as needed to provide an adequate offering.

Your contributions help teachers to lead a life devoted to teaching both at IMS and in other parts of the world, including communities without the means to donate. Your gifts also allow teachers to take time for their own practice, ensuring that their teachings are continuously enriched.

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