March 24, 2020

An Update on the IMS Response to COVID-19

In his book, Mindfully Facing Disease and Death, Bhikkhu Anālayo offers compassionate advice from early Buddhist texts including an examination of the four ways to develop fearlessness when sick. They are:

Firm confidence in the Buddha;
Firm confidence in the Dharma;
Firm confidence in the Community;
Being accomplished in noble virtue.

While COVID-19 is changing the systems, structures and activities of society, IMS teachers and staff continue to develop confidence in these four streams so that our response to this pandemic can be both compassionate and fearless.

At this time, we can confirm that the Retreat Center will remain closed until May 20 and the Forest Refuge will remain closed through May 31. Our temporary closure reflects an abundance of caution and a recognition that the alleviation of unnecessary suffering is a way to honor our mission even when no one is sitting in our meditation halls.

Like millions of other beings and entities at this time, we will do all we can to maintain health and connection during a period of uncertainty. Our commitment to serving others remains our top priority. As we move forward, we will continue to provide support to all beings in need, through the offering of ongoing teachings, dharma study, and community building for the duration of this unprecedented event.

We miss you — our sangha — dearly, and look forward to the day when the doors of our place of refuge may once again shelter all those seeking freedom of heart and mind. May you be healthy, happy, safe and protected, and may we all find peace and liberation in the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, and in noble virtue.