September 4, 2020

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Retreat: Honoring (Y)our Doorways to the Dhamma

Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Retreat: Honoring (Y)our Doorways to the Dhamma

Tara Mulay, Yong Oh, Neesha Patel, Jozen Tamori Gibson

Friday, October 16 – Sunday, October 18

During this weekend retreat, we invite self-identified people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to gather in community and open ourselves to the transformational potentials of insight meditation. Amidst the difficulties that have arisen this year, including heightened anti-API racism, there is a greater need to cultivate resilience, the capacity for wise response, and a sense of deep connectedness.

We will practice the dharma together as people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, recognizing both our shared experiences and our differences. In this setting, we will have a unique opportunity to allow our minds to settle and to see the path and our highest intentions more clearly.

During this meditation retreat we will acknowledge and honor our unavoidable need to navigate the relative world of identities as well as the liberating potential of dharma practice to reveal to us the emptiness of identities and all conditioned phenomena. By taking time to cultivate awareness, we strengthen our ability to respond with compassion, insight, and wisdom to whatever is arising in the moment.

This course will incorporate guided meditations, dharma talks, relational practices, and devotional chanting, and is open to all people who self-identify as of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. We welcome both experienced practitioners and those without previous meditation experience.

Cost is sliding-scale: $80, $120, $195 or $300, your choice. Registration fees support the Insight Meditation Society’s work online and at our physical retreat centers in Barre, MA.  Scholarships ($20) are available, simply choose the scholarship rate when you register.

A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of this course.



Daily Schedule
**all times listed in Eastern Daylight Time EDT:

Sessions will be held on Zoom and include: Chanting Refuges & Precepts, Guided Meditation, Instructions, Movement, Dharmettes, Q&R, Silent meditation, Relational practice.


Friday, October 16

7 pm – 9 pm – Opening Session


Saturday, October 17

10 am – 12:30 pm – Morning Session

1:30 pm – 5 pm – Afternoon Session


Sunday, October 18

10 am – 12:30 pm – Morning Session

1:30 pm – 3 pm – Closing Session


Teacher Bios

Tara Mulay has practiced Insight Meditation since 2003. She has undertaken numerous intensive retreat practice periods in the United States and Myanmar. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders Program and is currently participating in Insight Meditation Society’s 2017-2021 teacher training program. In 2016, she co-founded the San Francisco People of Color Insight Sangha. She remained a core teacher with the group until the spring of 2019, when she relocated to Western Massachusetts. Tara currently serves on the Board of Directors of Insight World Aid. Her root tradition stems from the teachings of Mahasi Sayadaw. She has gratefully drawn influence from many other teachers within and outside of the Mahasi lineage, including Howard Cohn, Kamala Masters, Gil Fronsdal, Joseph Goldstein, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, and Ayya Anandabodhi. Tara practiced criminal defense law in California for over 20 years, and her dharma offerings often reflect a focus on daily life practice, including in the realms of work and livelihood.

Tara is of South Asian (Indian) descent. She felt initially drawn to dharma practice upon encountering the Buddha’s teachings rejecting social caste as a measure of worth and of capacity for awakening. She believes classical Buddhist practices, designed to cultivate compassion, non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, are uniquely potent vehicles for empowering people in marginalized communities and effecting social change.

Yong Oh
Yong’s initial doorway into the Dharma was through Soto Zen. His love for Vipassana began with his, then and now, primary teachers Kittisaro and Thanissara. He is currently a Dharma Council teacher at the Durango Dharma Center, teaches for the Chattanooga Insight Meditation group, and is currently on the Leadership Council for Thanissara and Kittisaro’s Sacred Mountain Sangha.

Yong is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leaders program and is currently a participant in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Retreat Teacher Training program as well as the Sacred Mountain Sangha Dharmapala program. Yong is also an acupuncturist, loves the outdoors and bringing the practice of meditation into nature, and aspires to support practitioners of color in the Dharma.

Neesha Patel, PhD is deeply grateful for the liberative teachings of the Buddha. She has been fortunate to have learned and practiced in both Asia and the US. Her practice has been influenced by the guidance of many wonderful teachers including Sayadaw U Tejaniya and Thai Forest Tradition teachers. She is a participant in the 2017-2021 IMS Teacher Training Program.

Jozen Tamori Gibson (they, them) began formal meditation practice and study in 2004. Jozen is a student of Sotō Zen and Theravada practices, wisdom traditions, and serves on the New York Insight teacher council. A participant in the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program, Jozen shares their path of interdependent liberation by honoring the wisdom and compassion of all teachers, highlighting their mother, Akimi, and their dharma root teacher, Pamela Weiss.