IMS is a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We offer meditation retreats rooted in the early 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.
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.
Our guiding values
Core value: the Buddha-Dharma
The teachings – IMS’s purpose is to offer the dharma in the West by passing on the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the liberation from suffering.
The Buddha taught that the path of awakening rests in the practice of the fourfold sangha (community) which includes monks (bhikkhus), nuns (bhikkhunis) and laypeople. IMS is committed to supporting the full equality of women (cis, trans and genderqueer) in both the lay and ordained communities of Theravada Buddhism.
The practice – We embody this by offering retreats and a place of refuge; practicing and encouraging the practice of meditation; and also practicing service, renunciation, ethical conduct and lovingkindness as a society of retreatants, teachers and staff.
The culture: our shared beliefs on keeping the core value
Moderation – We value simplicity of life as a way of living the Buddha’s teachings. In this we make every effort to use resources wisely, respect the environment, and practice the principle of moderation.
Diversity – We value making the teachings accessible to as many people as possible. We value diversity among our retreatants, teachers and staff.
Harmony – We value harmony in our community life. We seek to resolve conflicts non-violently and honestly, recognizing that harmony can exist amidst diversity and disagreement. In areas of conflict, individual needs are considered in light of community needs; and the needs of the community normally take precedence over individual needs or wants.
Right communication – We value right speech, honest communication, respectful listening, healthy expression of disagreement, and openness to divergent views.
The organization: a society of retreatants, teachers and staff in mutual service
Stewardship – We value responsible stewardship of financial, human and natural resources.
Organizational clarity – We value the clarity that comes with a structure that allows for the exercise of authority and promotes accountability at all levels of the institution.
Participation – Within that structure we value the inclusion of staff in mindful decision making that is transparent, efficient, and considerate of everyone’s needs.
Stability – We value the ease that comes with organizational stability. We support all staff staying at IMS as long as they are able to contribute to the work, meet the needs of the institution, and support the life of the society.