Insight (Vipassana) Meditation Leading to Liberation
Kamala Masters & Steve Armstrong, Deborah Helzer & Tara Mulay
Thursday, August 5 – Monday, August 9
Meeting format (During program sessions, you will be able to see and hear the teacher, as well as other program participants, and they will be able to see and hear you if you want).
Participants in this at-home retreat will be offered the unique form of guidance of insight meditation (vipassana) developed by renowned Buddhist monastic scholar and meditation master the late Mahāsi Sayadaw of Myanmar, and described in his Manual of Insight.
The course will be tailored for beginners as well as more experienced meditators. Instruction will be given in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the practices laid out by the Buddha that can purify heart and mind, and lead to liberation. The teachers will offer sitting and walking practices, talks, and guided lovingkindness meditations. There will also be opportunities to ask questions clarifying the teachings.
Mahāsi Sayadaw’s guidance includes the use of a primary object and mental noting to help steady attention during each day’s periods of formal sitting, walking and standing meditation. During other activities throughout the day such as eating, bathing, resting, and household chores, we will learn to sustain a relaxed continuity of mindfulness. This gentle yet persevering effort produces an ever-deepening understanding of the universal nature of all of life and gives rise to the insight and wisdom that lead to liberation.
This form of meditation training has been foundational for many IMS teachers, including Steve, Kamala, Deborah and Tara, the teachers of this retreat. It has also been taught by other revered insight meditation teachers, such as the late Sayadaw U Pandita, Anagarika Munindra, Dipa Ma, Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. We are honored to be able to preserve and offer this form of guidance from those teachers who have guided us in our own Dhamma practice.
People of all walks of life are warmly welcomed!
Registration for this program closes 30 minutes prior to the opening session.
For this program, sliding scale fees are $160, $200, $260, or $400. Please select the highest rate you can reasonably afford. We also offer a scholarship fee of $80, and no-fee enrollment for those who request a fee-waiver. Our “Pay What You Can Afford” system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and contributes to the health and vibrancy of the sangha. Select the rate of your choice when you register. Email email@example.com for more information or to request a no-fee enrollment.
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—offer their teachings freely, and rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. Teachers do not generally receive compensation from IMS program fees, though IMS may offer a modest advance to ensure financial support and the continuation of the teachings. Click here to learn more about teacher support. There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of your program, or you may donate now.
Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Time ET:
Note: all sessions will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you missed one
Thursday, August 5
5 – 6:30 pm – Opening Session
Friday, August 6 – Monday, August 9
9 – 10 am – optional sitting
10 – 11 am – optional walking
11 – 12 noon – break
12 – 1 pm – Sitting Meditation with Instructions for both, walking and sitting
1 – 2 pm – walking meditation
2 – 3 pm – Dharma Talk
3 – 4 pm – break or walking
4 – 5 pm – Q&A
5 – 6 pm – break
6 – 7 pm – Sitting meditation with Instructions
7 – 8 pm – break or walking meditation
8 – 9 pm – Metta Meditation and Chanting
Kamala Masters is a co-founder with Steve Armstrong of Vipassana Metta Foundation, and serves as an IMS guiding teacher. A meditator since 1977, she trained intensively in metta (lovingkindness) and vipassana (insight) in the Mahasi tradition with Sayadaw U Pandita and Anagarika Munindra. Continuing her practice with Sayadaw U Tejaniya, she encourages a balanced relaxed awareness that has the clarity of precision as well as kindness. She is a mother of 4 children and grandmother of 7.
Steve Armstrong, a co-founding teacher with Kamala Masters at the Vipassana Metta Foundation‘s dhamma sanctuary on Maui, shares the Buddha’s teachings on human development and liberation of mind. Steve is the Managing Editor of Mahāsi Sayadaw’s Manual of Insight. Out of compassion for future generations, he plants trees on Maui.
Deborah Helzer first took up Buddhist meditation 30 years ago to reduce stress while working on her engineering degree. She has been teaching at IMS since 2004, as well as with theInsight Meditation Community of Washington, DC where she lives. She has studied and practiced with both western and asian teachers, including a year as a nun with the late Sayadaw U Pandita. Her teaching style reflects the influence of the 20th century Burmese master Mahasi Sayadaw and his emphasis on clear, non-judgmental awareness. Since becoming a mother, she has also been actively exploring practice within family life.
Tara Mulay’s teachings stem from the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw. She has gratefully drawn influence from many other teachers within and outside of the Mahasi lineage, including Howard Cohn, Kamala Masters, Gil Fronsdal, Joseph Goldstein, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, and Ayya Anandabodhi. Tara practiced criminal defense law in California for over 20 years. She was a leader of Mission Dharma in San Francisco, and in 2016 she co-founded the San Francisco People of Color Insight Sangha. She remained a core teacher with the group until the spring of 2019, when she relocated to Western Massachusetts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Insight World Aid. Tara is of South Asian (Indian) descent. She felt initially drawn to dharma practice upon encountering the Buddha’s teachings rejecting social caste as a measure of worth and of capacity for awakening. She believes classical Buddhist practices, designed to cultivate compassion, non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, are uniquely potent vehicles for empowering people in marginalized communities and effecting social change.