December 16, 2020

Mindfulness & Insight Meditation: The Mahāsi Method

Mindfulness & Insight Meditation: The Mahāsi Method

Kamala Masters, Steve Armstrong & Mark Nunberg

Thursday, February 25 – Sunday, February 28

Both Webinar and Meeting Format (Some program sessions allow you to see and hear only the teacher, while other program sessions will allow you to see and hear the teacher as well as other program participants).

Participants in this at-home retreat will be guided in the unique method of insight meditation (vipassana) developed by renowned Buddhist monastic scholar and meditation master Mahāsi Sayadaw, and described in his Manual of Insight. The course will be tailored for beginners as well as more experienced meditators. Instruction will be offered over several daily sessions and there will be opportunities to ask questions clarifying the teachings.

People of all walks of life are warmly welcome!

Mahāsi Sayadaw’s method 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 Kamala Masters and Steve Armstrong and Mark Nunberg, the teachers of this retreat. It has also been taught by other revered insight meditation masters, such as the late Sayadaw U Pandita, Anagarika Munindra and Dipa Ma.

For this course, sliding scale fees are $160, $260, or $400. 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. Email for more information or to request a scholarship or no-fee enrollment.

A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of this course.


Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Note: All sessions will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you miss one. A morning group chanting and guided meditation session will be offered via Zoom in addition to the posted schedule.
Thursday, February 25
12 noon – 1:30 pm – Opening Session – Kamala & Steve & Mark
Introduction of each one of us
Mahasi Sayadaw and the Retreat
Refuges & Precepts
Short Intro to Sitting
3 pm – 4 pm – Dharma Talk “Mahasi’s Preparation for Practice” – Steve
5 pm – 6 pm – Guided Meditation, Dharmette: “Talk on Understanding the Instructions” – Kamala
8 pm – 9 pm – Instructions, Meditation – Mark

Friday, February 26
12 noon – 1 pm – Meditation with Instructions – Steve
3 pm – 4 pm – Dharma Talk: “Mindfulness” – Mark
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Q&A – Kamala, Steve, Mark
8 pm – 9 pm – Instructions, Meditation, Reflections – Kamala



Saturday, February 27
12 noon – 1 pm – Meditation with Instructions – Kamala
3 pm – 4 pm – Dharma Talk: “Four Noble Truths” – Steve
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Q&A – Kamala, Steve, Mark
8 pm – 9 pm – Instructions, Meditation, Reflections – Mark


Sunday, February 28
12 noon – 1 pm – Meditation with Instructions – Mark
3 pm – 4 pm – Dharma Talk: “Faith in Our Potential for Liberation” – Kamala
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Q&A – Kamala, Steve, Mark
8 pm – 9 pm – Closing Session – Kamala & Steve & Mark


Teacher Bios

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.

Mark Nunberg began his meditation practice in 1982. In 1993 he co-founded Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis and continues to serve as the center’s Guiding Teacher. Over the years of practice, Mark has undertaken over three years of intensive retreat practice including retreats at monasteries in Thailand and in Burma where he ordained as a Bhikkhu for a five month retreat. More recently he has practiced with Sayadaw U Tejaniya during his visits to the U.S. to teach. Mark has been leading residential insight meditation retreats since 2003. Mark continues to be a grateful student of the Buddha’s teachings.


Information you might find helpful: 

Guidelines For Your Home Retreat

IMS Online Program Etiquette

IMS Online FAQ’s