This issue includes news about our Forest Refuge Teacher-in-Residence and 2015 schedule, our latest wallpaper image, and two new recipes. It also spotlights new books from IMS teachers and an illustrated piece on retreat life by artist Maira Kalman. We encourage you to participate in our programming survey, and check out retreat spaces available and job openings.
A quiet moment by Gaston Pond on a sunny winter’s day.
The Forest Refuge Teacher-in-Residence plays an essential part in the smooth running of the center. The person
in this position not only guides retreatants in their practice for many months of each year, but also
provides much-needed continuity as visiting teachers come and go.
Sky Dawson has ably filled this role since 2010. At the end of this year, she’ll finish her time here and
return to her home in Australia. Her gracious and welcoming presence will be much missed.
“This period of my life at IMS has been special beyond words,” Sky reflected. “I cannot express how supportive
it has been for me to be a part of this community. I’ve deeply valued the opportunity to get to know
so many retreatants, teachers and staff, and these relationships have brought much happiness. This year
I’ll continue to offer the teachings and strengthen connections with everyone who comes to the Forest
Refuge. And I plan to continue my relationship with the broader IMS community when I return to live in
We’re delighted to announce that Caroline Jones will officially step into this position in December 2015.
Originally from the UK, she’s practiced meditation for 25 years and currently serves as a member of the
Gaia House teacher council. We look forward to welcoming Caroline
to IMS – although not yet in the new role, her first teaching month will be in April next year.
Sky Dawson (L) and Caroline Jones (R)
In a few days, on April 1, the Forest Refuge schedule of teachers for 2015 will be posted on our website. Applications from experienced meditators
for a personal retreat next year will be accepted from that date on.
As many of you know, IMS is actively working to ensure that our centers offer an environment that is
fully welcoming and safe for all who want to practice or serve here.
Key to accomplishing this is to increase the sensitivity and awareness of IMS teachers, Board members
and staff around a range of diversity issues. Undoing racism trainings and acquiring greater cultural
competence are vital aspects of this undertaking.
Members of IMS’s Diversity Committee worked with undoing racism consultants at a training in mid-February.
After a long and cold winter in the northeast, spring is hopefully on the horizon! It’s a beautiful season
at IMS, as our latest wallpaper image attests. download it for your computer screen.
Muhammara (L) and Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup (R)
IMS co-founder Sharon Salzberg’s newest book, Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace,
takes a clear look at the challenges that are an inevitable part of our job life, and offers “an
array of tools for cultivating greater stability, openness and fulfillment while working.”
The book is filled with people’s stories from their widely-varied job experiences. Sharon gives us meditations
and exercises to help us develop what she calls the eight pillars of happiness in the workplace:
balance, concentration, compassion, resilience, communication and connection, integrity, meaning,
and open awareness.
Click [media-downloader media_id=”1868″ texts=”here “] to read the chapter, “Communication and Connection.”
IMS guiding teacher Rodney Smith, founder of Seattle Insight Meditation Society also has a new book out. Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart starts with the observation, “Many of us do not understand what spiritual transformation requires.”
Rodney describes the book’s territory:
This book attempts to explain genuine spiritual realization. When we speak of enlightenment and awakening,
what do we mean? What actually occurs when we slip beyond consensus or conventional reality,
and why would we undertake such a journey? This book looks at the topography of the journey from
beginning to end, the multiple ways we undermine the very growth we seek, the shift in consciousness
that does occur, and the life that arises out of that shift.
Kate Johnson, a teacher with the Interdependence Project,
participated in IMS’s Three-Month Retreat last fall. In this interview with the Huffington Post, she describes how being unplugged from technology during the course
deepened her awareness and benefited her practice.
For many years, the print journal Inquiring Mind listed
local insight meditation sitting groups. But these days, it’s more effective for this information
to be offered online. As a result, the Buddhist Insight Network (BIN) has initiated an online, interactive and searchable database for insight meditation communities and sitting groups around the world.
If you’re looking for a sitting group in your area, check this out. We also encourage existing sitting
groups to contact BIN to add your details.
We’d love your feedback! Please take a moment or two to complete this survey about IMS’s retreat offerings. Your responses are confidential – we are not able to identify
Rodney Smith and Teacher-in-Residence Sky Dawson are guiding retreatants at IMS’s Forest Refuge this
Sharon Salzberg’s annual Metta Retreat took place in mid-February. Here she’s shown (C) with her team: (L-R) mindful yoga assistant Leslie Booker, teachers Winnie Nazarko and Larry Yang, and assistant Oren Sofer.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of IMS’s annual Women’s Retreat. The course took place this past week with teachers (L-R) Christina Feldman, Narayan Helen Liebenson and Madeline Klyne.
At the Forest Refuge,
some rooms are available for experienced meditators April 1 – May 14, during some parts of July,
and from August 1 on.
There’s also a Work Retreat opening, November 1 – December 1. Find out more information here.
As mentioned above, the 2015 Forest Refuge schedule will be posted April 1, and we’ll begin accepting
applications then for next year.
For more information, contact our office – pleaseemail or call
us at 978-355-2063.
Visit our Audio page to download
or stream recent Forest Refuge teacher talks.
Lady slippers bloom each spring in the woods between the Forest Refuge and the Retreat Center.
At the Retreat Center,
there are still some openings during the summer months.
Steve Armstrong, Deborah Ratner Helzer and Mark Nunberg will teach an insight meditation retreat,
Awareness with Wisdom, August 1-10.
This will be followed by Your Life is Your Practice, August 15-22, offered by Narayan Helen Liebenson,
Greg Scharf and Madeline Klyne.
We are also delighted to announce IMS’s first insight retreat for our LGBTIQ community, Freedom and
Ease of Being. It will be led by Pascal Auclair, Anushka Fernandopulle and Madeline Klyne, September
Job Openings – IMS currently has two job openings. One is for a Communications and
Development Specialist, and the other is for a Facilities Worker to help with the care and landscaping
of IMS’s 240-acre grounds.
If you are interested in working at IMS and have the necessary experience, please consider applying.
Opportunities for meditation and deepening wisdom, as well as friendships and connecting with
like-minded people, are all benefits.
Staff Retreat – Each January, volunteers arrive at IMS to step into staff shoes for a week. Because
of this generous support, staff can be on retreat together, allowing for a precious time of renewal
Staff and volunteers on the closing day of the 2014 Staff Retreat.
With the arrival of spring, we wish you, your families and your communities the blessings of peace,
happiness and insight.
You can find an archive of Sangha News on our website. If you change your email address, please let
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IMS is a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We offer meditation retreats
rooted in the Theravada Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration and wisdom. These practices
help develop awareness and compassion in ourselves, giving rise to greater peace and happiness
in the world.
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