IMS Book Club

Introducing the IMS Book Club!

Each month, the IMS Book Club brings together authors and readers for a facilitated discussion on the featured dharma-book-of-the-month. Our book club offers participants a deeper experience and engagement with early Buddhist teachings and practice through the lens of the selected book.

The IMS Book Club launches on October 2, featuring Sharon Salzberg’s new book, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and Our World.

Essential Information:

  • The IMS Book Club is entirely free of charge.
  • All Book Club meetings will be held online  via Union and Zoom.
  • Each monthly Book Club event will feature a new book and three group discussions, including at least one session with the author.
  • Featured authors will lead at least one of the three group discussions. If the author/teacher does not participate in all three sessions, an insight teacher from IMS will moderate those discussions in place of the author.
  • Discussion questions will be offered to participants in advance of each meeting session so that everyone has a chance to consider if and how they want to contribute to the discussion.
  • Beyond these basic guidelines, authors will be able to tailor their book club meetings as they see fit, so the structure of book club gatherings may vary from month to month.

Want to Join?

To join the IMS Book Club, simply register hereYou will receive monthly invitations to sign up for the book-of-the-month discussions that interest you. Although there is no charge to join the book club, participants will need to secure their own copies of the books prior to the start of the monthly discussion group.

How Are Books Chosen? 

All titles featured in the IMS Book Club are selected by IMS staff and Guiding Teachers. Selections must align with IMS’s mission and values. Rooted in the early Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration, and wisdom, chosen titles will support the development of awareness and compassion.

2021 Schedule 

The Experience of Insight
A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation
By Joseph Goldstein

On January 1, the IMS Book Club will launch a free online 30-Day Meditation Challenge! Join us for daily practice based on The Experience of Insight—the first book by IMS co-founder Joseph Goldstein, recently re-released by Shambhala Publications.

Originally published in 1976, The Experience of Insight offers a simple and direct guide to Buddhist meditation in the format of a 30-day meditation retreat.

Following the path offered by Joseph and Sharon Salzberg during their first monthlong retreat in Sequioa National Forest more than forty years ago, the book—and the 30-Day Meditation Challenge—includes meditation instructions, dharma talks, commonly asked questions, and references to other spiritual traditions that help to deepen one’s understanding of the practices and their meaning.

Our 30-Day Meditation Challenge begins at 11:00 AM EST on January 1, 2021, with instructions from Joseph on starting, maintaining, and deepening a daily meditation practice.

Over the following 30 days, IMS teacher Jozen Tamori Gibson will lead guided online meditations each day from 9:00-9:15 AM EST, beginning each session with instructions and a reflection from the book.

The Meditation Challenge will last for 30 days to help you establish your practice in the new year and to complete all 30 chapters of The Experience of Insight; one for each day day of practice.

Every week, Joseph Goldstein will offer words of encouragement and inspiration to help support you on the journey.

Dates: January 1, 11 AM EST (Joseph Goldstein), followed by 15-minute daily sits from January 2-31, 9 AM.

For more information and to register for each meeting date, click here.


You Belong 
A Call for Connection 
By Sebene Selassie

With Yong Oh

You are not separate. You never were. You never will be.

In You Belong, much-admired meditation teacher Sebene Selassie reveals that accepting our belonging is the key to facing the many challenges currently impacting our world. Using ancient philosophy, multidisciplinary research, exquisite storytelling, and razor sharp wit, she leads us in an exploration of all the ways we separate (and thus suffer) and offers a guide back to belonging.

Dates: February 9, 16, and 23, at 7 PM ET.

For more information and to register for each meeting date, click here.

Black and Buddhist
What Buddhism Can Teach Us about Race, Resilience, Transformation, and Freedom
Edited by Cheryl A. Giles and Pamela Ayo Yetunde

What does it mean to be Black and Buddhist? In this powerful collection of writings, African American teachers from all the major Buddhist traditions tell their stories of how race and Buddhist practice have intersected in their lives. The resulting explorations display not only the promise of Buddhist teachings to empower those facing racial discrimination but also the way that Black Buddhist voices are enriching the Dharma for all practitioners. As the first anthology comprised solely of writings by African-descended Buddhist practitioners, this book is an important contribution to the development of the Dharma in the West.

With contributions by Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, Cheryl A. Giles, Gyōzan Royce Andrew Johnson, Ruth King, Kamilah Majied, Lama Rod Owens, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Sebene Selassie, and Pamela Ayo Yetunde.

March 17, 7-8:30 PM ET:: Dawa Tarchin Phillips with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles
March 24, 7-8:30 PM ET:  Ruth King and Kamilah Majied with Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Cheryl A. Giles
March 31, 7-8:30 PM ET: Gyozan Royce Johnson with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles

For more information and to register for each meeting date, click here.