June 9, 2020
We have made the difficult decision to extend the closure of both IMS retreat centers through the end of 2020. Before COVID-19 arose as a serious public health issue early this year, we couldn’t have imagined the kind of disruption one new thing could bring to every human life—even those quietly meditating in peace here in the farmlands of rural Massachusetts. But the vastness of what is now unknown has underscored what we hold most precious: the wellbeing of every person who works, teaches, practices, and volunteers at IMS.
As meditation teacher Ruth King has noted, the Buddha taught that nothing is permanent, nothing is perfect, and nothing is personal. However, the decision to remain closed is deeply personal and painful as it requires us to significantly scale back our staffing levels. Although our reserves and a federal loan allowed us to maintain our full team for the first three months of the closure, we will soon need to say goodbye to many extraordinary staff members who have been focused primarily on serving teachers and yogis on-site. We know you will share in the very real sadness our entire staff community is holding today.
IMS remains committed to offering spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom. We will continue to offer transformative online retreats and other community events that connect and heal. Throughout this period, we will work diligently to find new ways to support you in your work and practice. And even as we offer help to all who suffer, we too may need help.
For now, we rest in gratitude for our community. May all find health and healing in the weeks and months to come, and comfort in the strength and resilience of our sangha.