January 5, 2023

The Forest Refuge: Sustained Practice in Deep Silence

As the Forest Refuge turns 20, a new series of videos celebrates this unique center’s vision and history, as well as the joys and benefits (and at times the challenges) of sitting retreat there.

In “The Forest Refuge: Sustained Practice in Deep Silence,” Joseph Goldstein, Winnie Nazarko, Caroline Jones, Ajahn Sucitto, Tara Mulay, and Devin Berry discuss the origins of the Forest Refuge and share their experiences practicing and teaching in this special environment. (View the full series below.)

On February 14, 2003, the Forest Refuge welcomed its first retreatants—IMS board members and staff. Coinciding with the 27th anniversary of the Retreat Center, this retreat was the first of a series of short self-retreats that served, in part, as a test run for the new center’s official public opening on May 12.

Since then, thousands of experienced meditators have traveled from all over the world to sit at this one-of-a-kind retreat center located a short distance through the woods from IMS’s main campus.

Now, as the Forest Refuge enters its 20th year in 2023, we’ve created a series of videos celebrating this unique center’s vision and history, as well as the joys and benefits (and at times the challenges) of sitting retreat there.

Watch the full 18-minute video featuring Joseph Goldstein, Winnie Nazarko, Caroline Jones, Ajahn Sucitto, Tara Mulay, and Devin Berry:

The Forest Refuge: Sustained Practice in Deep Silence

Or view the video’s six individual chapters here:

An Inspired Vision
A Design that Serves Function
Seclusion that Supports Practice
Differences Between the RC and FR
Joys and Benefits of Deep Practice
The Next 20 Years—and Beyond

If you are a seasoned meditator and would like to experience deep practice in a less structured retreat environment, consider joining us at the Forest Refuge. The 2023 FR retreat schedule is available here.

Additional Videos

“How to Pick a Retreat Month,” with Forest Refuge Resident Teacher Caroline Jones.

“Arrival & What to Expect on Retreat,” with Forest Refuge Teachers Tara Mulay, Devin Berry, Caroline Jones, and Ajahn Sucitto.

“The Memorial Wall,” with IMS co-founder Joseph Goldstein.

“The Thai Forest Tradition,” with Forest Refuge Teacher and Theravada Buddhist Monk Ajahn Sucitto.