IMS’s Forest Refuge

The program

IMS’s Forest Refuge has continuously hosted experienced meditators since 2003. Its program is specifically designed to encourage sustained, longer-term retreat practice – a key component in the transmission of Buddhism from Asia to the West.

Within a harmonious and secluded environment, meditators can nurture the highest aspiration for liberation. In consultation with visiting insight meditation teachers, a program of training in one or more Theravada Buddhist practices is created for each participant, allowing the continuing unfolding of deeper levels of wisdom and compassion. A personal retreat here strengthens practice faith, confidence and self-reliance.

Participants are welcome to apply for retreat periods ranging from seven nights to stays of a year or more. We require a minimum stay of seven nights. Retreatant feedback suggests, however, that a stay of 10-14 nights or longer is beneficial to deepening practice and supports a more fruitful retreat.

Listen (Download, Stream) to former Teacher-in-Residence Sky Dawson talk about life on retreat at the Forest Refuge.

The facility

G\]Careful consideration was given to the design and construction of the center. A beautiful meditation hall is nestled in the woods with several walking meditation rooms close by. There is single-room accommodation for up to thirty retreatants in a dormitory adjacent to the meditation hall.

Each bedroom allows for both sitting and walking meditation for those who wish to practice in a more secluded way. The meditation hall, walking rooms, dining hall and dormitory are all linked by interior walkways.

https://nana.dharma.orgExternal walkways lead to the Administration building and Counsel House. Interviews with teachers take place in the Counsel House – the building also contains a small library of Buddhist books and recordings of dharma talks, as well as a room for yoga or other forms of gentle mindful movement.