One particularly vivid image comes to mind. In 1979, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited IMS and we gave him a tour. When we got to the old bowling alley, left from the time when this was a Catholic novitiate, His Holiness demonstrated the joy and ease of heart for which he is so well known. He took a ball and sent it flying down the lane.
~ Joseph Goldstein, IMS co-founder
The “Instant” Meditation Society
Shortly after we opened IMS, we received numerous requests for information. Two remain etched in my mind for how they were addressed. One had been written to ‘The Hindsight Meditation Society,’ seeming to convey either that our retrospection was perfect or that we started IMS as an afterthought.
The other was addressed to ‘The Instant Meditation Society.’ What I find interesting here is that the only ‘instant’ part of meditation is this instant, now, followed by the next instant, and then the next. The most important quality in ‘instant meditation’ is patience.
~ Sharon Salzberg, IMS Co-founder
IMS is one of the great dharma portals and jewels on this planet. I have been going there to sit retreats whenever I can since it began thirty years ago. The teaching is uniformly superb, and the conditions for deep practice optimal. The vision for mindfulness-based stress reduction arose there one afternoon, while I was sitting in my room in the Catskills [now Karuna House] dormitory.
A retreat at IMS is potentially the best vacation you could ever give yourself – a true vacating, a thorough washing of the accumulated detritus of obsessive and deluded mind states, a reconnecting with what has always been deepest and most beautiful in your being. It is also the hardest work in the world. On the other hand, what else is there to do? As Kabir put it, ‘Don’t let a chance like this go by.’
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of UMass Medical School’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program