February 18, 2021

Contemplating Arising and Passing Away: The Path to Insight

Contemplating Arising and Passing Away: The Path to Insight

with Shelly Graf, Tara Mulay and Andrea Castillo

Friday, May 7 – Sunday, May 9

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).

During this insight meditation retreat, we will explore impermanence (“anicca” in Pali), which the Buddha identified as one of the three characteristics of conditioned existence. The Buddha encouraged us to practice mindfulness and, in doing so, to contemplate the nature of arising and passing away in the body and the mind. This contemplation creates the conditions for a more direct and intuitive understanding of impermanence. With a deeper understanding, we can begin to let go of clinging and ground our lives in wisdom and compassion. We can cultivate clarity of mind and an open heart, empowering us to meet the challenging conditions of our world. Practitioners of all levels of experience are invited to participate in this retreat, which will include guided meditation, silent sitting and walking meditation periods, dharma talks, and chanting.

For this course, sliding scale fees are $80, $130, or $200. We also offer a scholarship fee of $40, 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 imsonline@dharma.org 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 – times listed in Eastern Time (ET)
Note: all sessions (except interactive opening, practice discussions and Q&R sessions – questions & responses and closing) will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you miss one.

Friday, May 7
7 pm – 7:30 pm – Opening introduction
7:45 – 8:30 pm – Opening interactive & Meditation

Saturday, May 8
10:00 – 11:00 am – Meditation & Instructions
1:00 – 1:40 pm – Dharma Talk
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Meditation & Q&R
5:30 – 6:30 pm – Group Practice Discussions (For one-half of retreatants)
7:00 – 7:45 pm – Guided Meditation

Sunday, May 9
10:00 – 11:00 am – Meditation with Instructions
11:30-12:30 pm – Group Practice Discussions (For one-half of Retreatants)
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Dharma Talk
3:00 – 4:30 pm – Closing, Check-In & Q&R


Teacher Bios

Shelly Graf started their meditation practice in 2004 at Common Ground Meditation Center. Since 2010, they’ve taught this practice to young adults, in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes, and at meditation retreats. They are a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.

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.

Andrea Castillo has practiced Insight Meditation since 1998. Her teachers have been Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. Andrea has taught Dharma in Spanish at the Insight Meditation Center since 2011, and offers residential retreats in the US and Latin America. She completed a Ph.D. in the Humanities at Stanford University in 2009. Andrea is a graduate of the Sati Center Chaplaincy Training Program, the Dharma Mentoring Training Program, and the Local Dharma Leaders taught by Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella. Presently she is part of the Insight Meditation Society’s Teacher Training.

Information you might find helpful:
Guidelines For Your Home Retreat
IMS Online Program Etiquette
IMS Online FAQ’s