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.

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 one to three group meetings, including at least one session with the author.
  • If the author/teacher does not participate in all the sessions, an insight teacher from IMS will moderate those discussions in place of the author.
  • 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.
  • Dana:  If you enjoy this free offering and would like to give to IMS, we will include donation links when we email the video recordings of each Book Club meeting to registered members after each session. Note: authors/teachers benefit from the promotion and sale of their books. If other teachers, or assistant teachers, help support a Book Club, IMS will compensate those teachers directly for their time.

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.

We are not separate from each other. But we don’t always believe it, and we certainly don’t always practice it. In fact, we often practice the opposite—disconnection and domination. From unconscious bias to “cancel culture,” denial of our inherent interconnection limits our own freedom.

In You Belong, much-admired meditation expert 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, Selassie leads us in an exploration of all the ways we separate (and thus suffer) and offers a map 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 Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Cheryl A. Giles

with Kaira Jewel Lingo

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.

*New Meeting Dates
March 24, 7-8:30 PM ET:  Ruth King and Kamilah Majied with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Kaira Jewel Lingo
March 31, 7-8:30 PM ET: Gyozan Royce Johnson and Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips
with Pamela Ayo Yetunde and Kaira Jewel Lingo

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

Unwinding Anxiety
New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind 
By Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

We are living through one of the most anxious periods any of us can remember. Whether facing issues as public as a pandemic or as personal as having kids at home and fighting the urge to reach for the wine bottle every night, we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But in this timely book, Judson Brewer explains how to uproot anxiety at its source using brain-based techniques and small hacks accessible to anyone.

We think of anxiety as everything from mild unease to full-blown panic. But it’s also what drives the addictive behaviors and bad habits we use to cope (e.g. stress eating, procrastination, doom scrolling and social media). Plus, anxiety lives in a part of the brain that resists rational thought. So we get stuck in anxiety habit loops that we can’t think our way out of or use willpower to overcome. Dr. Brewer teaches us map our brains to discover our triggers, defuse them with the simple but powerful practice of curiosity, and to train our brains using mindfulness and other practices that his lab has proven can work.

Dates: Tuesdays, April 6, 13, and 20, at 7 PM ET.

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

The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation
By Narayan Helen Liebenson

The magnanimous heart is a heart of balance and buoyancy, of generosity and inclusivity. It allows us to approach each moment exactly as it is, in a fresh and alive way free from agendas and shoulds, receiving all that arises. It has the capacity to hold anything and everything, transforming even vulnerability and grief into workable assets.

In writing evocative of Pema Chödrön’s, Narayan Liebenson shows us exactly how it is possible to turn the sting and anguish of loss into a path of liberation, moving from the “constant squeeze” of suffering to a direct experience of enoughness—the deep joy, peace, and happiness within our own hearts that exists beyond mere circumstances. She teaches how to skillfully respond to painful human emotions, and teaches the art of meditative inquiry, questioning wisely—showing us how to live from a compassionate love that guides our lives and warms whatever it shines upon.

Dates: Thursdays, May 6, 13, and 20, at 7 PM ET.

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

 

Be the Refuge
Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists
By Chenxing Han

With Yong Oh

​A must-read for modern sanghas—Asian American Buddhists in their own words, on their own terms.

More than two thirds of U.S. Buddhists are Asian American. But you’d never guess this from mainstream representations, which all too often whitewash the racial and cultural diversity of American Buddhist communities.

Be the Refuge is both critique and celebration, countering the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting their stories and experiences. The Oriental monk, the superstitious immigrant, the banana Buddhist: dissatisfied with these tired tropes, Han asks, Will the real Asian American Buddhists please stand up? Her journey to answer this question led to in-depth interviews with a pan-ethnic, pan-Buddhist group of eighty-nine young adults.

Thursday, June 24, 7:00-8:30 PM ET

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

Faith
Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience
by Sharon Salzberg

In this beautifully written work, one of America’s most beloved meditation teachers offers discerning wisdom on understanding faith as a healing quality. Through the teachings of Buddha and insight gained from her lifelong spiritual quest, Salzberg provides us with a road map for cultivating a feeling of peace that can be practiced by anyone of any tradition.

More information and registration coming soon!

Awake in the Wild
Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery
by Mark Coleman

“Nature deficit disorder” has become an increasingly challenging problem in our hyper modern world. In Awake in the Wild, Mark Coleman shows seekers how to remedy this widespread malady by reconnecting with nature through Buddhism. Each short (two to three pages) chapter includes a concrete nature meditation relating to such topics as Attuning to the Natural World, Reflecting the Rhythms of Nature, Walking with Compassion, Releasing the Inner Noise, Freeing the Animal Within, Coming into the Peace of Wild Things, Weathering the Storms of Life, and more. Incorporating anecdotes from the author’s many nature retreats, Buddhist wisdom and teachings, important nature writings by others, and nature itself, the book invites readers to participate in, not just observe, nature; develop a loving connection with the earth as a form of environmental activism; decrease urban alienation through experiencing nature; embody nature’s peaceful presence; and connect with ancient spiritual wisdom through nature meditations.

More information and registration coming soon!

We Were Made for These Times
Ten Lessons on Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption
by Kaira Jewel Lingo

We all go through times when it feels like the ground is being pulled out from under us. What we relied on as steady and solid may change or even appear to vanish. In this era of global disruption, threats to our individual, social, and planetary safety abound, and at times life can feel overwhelming. Not only are loss and separation painful, but even positive changes can cause great stress.

Yet life is full of change: birth, death, marriage, divorce; a new relationship; losing or starting a job; beginning a new phase in life or ending one. Change is stressful, even when it is much desired or anticipated—the unknown can feel scary and threatening. In We Were Made for These Times, the extraordinary mindfulness teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo imparts accessible advice on navigating difficult times of transition, drawing on Buddhist teachings on impermanence to help you establish equanimity and resilience.

Each chapter in We Were Made for These Times holds an essential teaching and meditation, unfolding a step-by-step process to nurture deeper freedom and stability in daily life. Time-honored teachings will help you develop ease, presence, and self-compassion, supporting you to release the fear and doubt that hold you back.

More information and registration coming soon!

The Mindful Athlete
Secrets to Pure Performance
by George Mumford

Michael Jordan credits George Mumford with transforming his on-court leadership of the Bulls, helping Jordan lead the team to six NBA championships. Mumford also helped Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom and countless other NBA players turn around their games. A widely respected public speaker and coach, Mumford is sharing his own story and the strategies that have made these athletes into stars in The Mindful Athlete: The Secret to Pure Performance. His proven, gentle but groundbreaking mindfulness techniques can transform the performance of anyone with a goal, be they an Olympian, weekend warrior, executive, hacker, or artist.

Mumford’s deeply moving personal story is unforgettable. A basketball player at the University of Massachusetts (where he roomed with Dr. J, Julius Erving), injuries forced Mumford out of the game he loved. The meds that relieved the pain of his injuries also numbed him to the emptiness he felt without the game and eventually led him to heroin. After years as a functioning addict, Mumford enrolled in Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, and made meditation, on and off the cushion, the center of his life. He kicked drugs, earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology and began teaching meditation to inmates and others.

When Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls to play baseball in 1993, the team was in crisis. Coach Phil Jackson, a long-time mindfulness practitioner, contacted Dr. Kabat-Zinn to find someone who could teach mindfulness techniques to the struggling team – someone who would have credibility and could speak the language of his players. Kabat-Zinn led Jackson to Mumford and their partnership began. Mumford has worked with Jackson and each of the eleven teams he coached to become NBA champions. His roster of champion clients has since blossomed way beyond basketball to include corporate executives, Olympians, and athletes.

More information and registration coming soon!