Current News

2018 Spring Appeal – Supporting IMS’s Teacher Training Program

May 2018 – The focus of IMS’s spring appeal is our current 2017–2021 Teacher Training Program, a major initiative to foster a more diverse and inclusive community of retreat teachers and meditators. The participants are about to enter their second year, and their enthusiasm and dedication are inspiring!

Thanks to the generosity of the IMS community, our goal is in sight. Please join us in providing the continued support necessary to make this multi-year program a powerful force for compassionate change.

Watch core teachers DaRa Williams and Joseph Goldstein discuss the Teacher Training Program.

2019 Retreat for Mindfulness-Based Professionals

May 2018 – Registration is now open for the 2019 course, Mindfulness, Insight, Liberation: The Foundations of Mindfulness-Based Modalities and Research. This retreat is specifically for those teaching, training, researching or otherwise engaged in mindfulness-based approaches. It will be led by Akincano, Chris Cullen and Jaya Karen Rudgard, and runs from January 9–16, 2019. Register now or find out more information.

2019 Forest Refuge Schedule ~ Applications Welcome 

April 2018 – The 2019 schedule of teachers  for the Forest Refuge is now available, and we welcome applications for personal retreats next year.

Funding for People of Color and 18-32 Year Olds for Longer-Term Practice in 2018

August 2017 – Thanks to generous donations, funding is again available to support a number of experienced people of color meditators and young adults (18-32 year olds) who wish to undertake longer-term practice at IMS in 2018. This is in addition to our ongoing program of financial assistance, which annually supports about a third of our retreatants.

This opportunity forms part of our broader vision to develop more leaders of color within our North American insight community, and to ensure leadership among the next generation of yogis.

For people of color who are unable to afford IMS’s usual fees, we are offering a reduced rate to participate in Part 1 or Part 2 of the 2018 Three-Month Retreat. A reduced rate is also available for one month of personal retreat next year at our Forest Refuge

For young adults (18-32 year olds) who are unable to afford IMS’s usual fees, we are offering a similar reduced rate to participate in Part 1 or Part 2 of next year’s Three-Month Retreat.

Fees are on a You Choose basis. This means you can establish the rate you are able to pay, at or above $20 per night. (If paying more than $20 per night is possible, it will allow additional yogis to receive support.)

Prior retreat experience is required. For Part 1 and Part 2 of the Three-Month Retreat, the prerequisite is two courses of a week or more with a recognized insight meditation teacher.

At the Forest Refuge, it’s recommended that applicants have participated in at least one six-week structured and teacher-led insight meditation retreat, or six similar one-week retreats.

Since our funds are limited, we will be awarding spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage those interested to apply as soon as possible. Here’s what to do:

For Part 1 or Part 2 of the Three-Month Retreat, contact our Registration department as soon as possible to request the You Choose rate. You can email or call 978-355-4378 ext. 170. A link will then be sent to you to an online registration form that will include questions regarding your application for this fee, as well as other questions related to this particular retreat. Please note that a deposit of $150 will be necessary to secure a space.

For the Forest Refuge, email or call 978-355-2063 to indicate interest in applying, as a person of color, for a period of retreat during 2018 at this You Choose rate.

Registration for 2018 Retreat Center Courses Now Open

August 2017 – The full schedule of 2018 courses at the Retreat Center is now available. Some retreats run for a weekend; others last up to three months. Most are suitable for both new and experienced meditators. Our 2018 schedule includes themed and identity retreats for mindfulness professionals, women, people of color, teens, 18-32 year olds, and our LGBTIQ community.

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Reserving Retreat Spaces for People of Color

August 2017 – As part of IMS’s efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion, we reserve a portion of all retreat spaces for people of color. 

This applies to every course, whether at our Retreat Center or Forest Refuge, including any retreat where a lottery will be conducted.

We encourage you to apply, even if our website says a course is full – spaces for people of color may still be available. And so we can support your participation in the retreat of your choice, please fill out the people of color affiliation section of the registration or application form.

Please note that these spaces will be reserved only until a certain time before courses begin. At the Retreat Center, for courses lasting a week or less, unused places we’ve held for people of color will be released two months before the start date. For retreats longer than seven days, unused reserved spaces will be released four months prior.

At the Forest Refuge, any unused slots for people of color will be released four months beforehand.

We hope you can help spread the word about this initiative. 

New Books from Our Teachers

August 2017 – IMS co-founder Sharon Salzberg’s latest title is Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Guiding Teacher Christina Feldman’s new publication is Boundless Heart: The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity. Guiding Teacher Guy Armstrong’s first book, Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators is also now available, as is co-founder Jack Kornfield’s No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are

IMS’s 2017-2021 Teacher Trainees

February 2017 – We’re delighted to announce that the cohort of teacher trainees for IMS’s 2017-2021 Teacher Training Program has now been finalized.

We extend a heartfelt welcome and much mudita (empathetic joy) to the following 20 participants who are embarking on this exciting journey toward becoming insight meditation retreat teachers – Andrea Castillo, bruni dávila, Dawn Scott, Devin Berry, Devon Hase, Jeanne Corrigal, Jessica Morey, Jozen Gibson, Matthew Hepburn, nakawe cuebas, Neesha Patel, Nolitha Tsengiwe, Rachel Lewis, Roxanne Dault, Shelly Graf, Tara Mulay, Tuere Sala, Vance Pryor, Walt Opie and Yong Oh.

This group, comprising 75% people of color, will gather for their initial training session at our Retreat Center in August this year.

The program’s core faculty is Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal, with Carol Wilson and Guy Armstrong also contributing. Together with visiting teachers, including Sharon Salzberg and Ruth King, all will offer guidance over the course of the four-year training.

This program is a major IMS initiative, and the culmination of several years of discussion and planning. It represents a significant milestone in our efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive community of retreat teachers and meditators. On completion in 2021, the training will result in a substantial increase in the number of people of color and white ally teachers and leaders, in turn benefiting the many insight meditation communities across North America.

Affirming Our Commitment

February 2017 – As the US and the world face significant challenges and upheaval, IMS affirms its commitment to providing a spiritual refuge, where everyone who comes to practice at our centers feels welcomed, honored and included.

We dedicate ourselves to the Buddha’s teachings that hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone, and remain steadfast in upholding non-harming and nonviolence as the pillars of compassionate action.

Never has our meditation practice provided a more important foundation for wise engagement. We counter the destructive forces of greed, hatred and delusion by cultivating friendliness, joy, generosity and peace. These are boundless qualities that inspire our vision and deepen our resilience. They include all, and prompt action that can offer safety and protection for anyone whose race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or immigration status puts them at risk.

May oppression and division, and all their causes, be dispelled. May the force of kindness and the power of our collective commitment to justice, inclusiveness and awakening serve all.

New Teacher Training Program

January 2017 – After some years of discussion and planning, IMS is set to begin a new Teacher Training Program in 2017, designed to train participants to become insight meditation retreat teachers. The majority of the trainees will be people of color.

The program’s core faculty is Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal, with Guy Armstrong and Carol Wilson also contributing to the curriculum development and program implementation. Together with other visiting teachers, including Sharon Salzberg, all will offer guidance over the course of the four-year training.

Both this program, and a separate one to be offered by Spirit Rock (led by Gina Sharpe, Larry Yang and Lila Kate Wheeler), reflect our shared visions of greater diversity, equity and inclusion in our sanghas. When the trainings end in 2021, they will result in a significant increase in the number of people of color teachers and leaders, in turn benefiting the many insight meditation communities across the country.

An invitation and application process is currently underway, with the first gathering of IMS trainees scheduled for August 2017 at our Retreat Center.

IMS Teacher Training Program core faculty, (L-R): Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal.


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