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  through the IMS Online Learning Center.
  • 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.

2023 Schedule 

Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future
By yung pueblo

yung pueblo’s path to deep healing began only after years of drug abuse had taken a toll on his mind and body. Searching for a way forward, he found that by honestly examining and addressing the anxieties and fears that he had been running away from, he no longer felt like a stranger inside of his heart and mind. And once he dedicated himself to meditation and trusting his intuition, he started to finally feel mentally lighter, with more love emerging from within.

In his #1 New York Times bestselling book Lighter, yung pueblo demonstrates how we can all move forward in our healing, from learning self-compassion to letting go to becoming emotionally mature. As we grow stronger and expand our self-awareness, it’s our responsibility—and also part of the healing journey—to take actions to support the health and harmony of all people.

“A beautiful encouragement for tending your own heart: for learning and healing, for finding well-being, and being part of the solution for all you care about.”—Jack Kornfield

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 7– 8:15 PM

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


Mindful of Race
Transforming Racism from the Inside Out
By Ruth King

“Racism is a heart disease. And it’s curable.”

Revered teacher Ruth King shines a compassionate, provocative, and practical light into a deeply neglected and world-changing domain profoundly relevant to all of us. In Mindful of Race, Ruth King shares: Understanding how we have been conditioned to think and react is at the root of both racial distress and racial healing.  Drawing on her expertise as a meditation teacher and diversity consultant, King helps readers of all backgrounds examine with fresh eyes the complexity of racial identity and the dynamics of oppression. She offers guided instructions on how to work with intense emotions mindfully and shows us how to cultivate a culture of care from a less tangled place to a place of greater clarity and compassion.

Mindful of Race is a wonderfully pragmatic and inspiring guide on this journey of transformation. King explores the role of mindfulness in understanding the suffering of racism and the power of mindfulness for healing that corrosive conditioning. Highly recommended.” —Joseph Goldstein

Date: Thursday, February 2, 7-8:15 PM ET

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


What Happens in Mindfulness
Inner Awakening and Embodied Cognition
By John Teasdale

What goes on in our minds when we are mindful? What does it mean to talk of mindfulness as a way of being? From a scientific perspective, how do core elements of contemplative traditions have their beneficial effects? In this book, pioneering researcher John Teasdale—renowned for applying mindfulness to the treatment of depression—explores the broader changes that people can experience through contemplative practices. Teasdale describes two types of knowing that human beings have evolved—conceptual and holistic–intuitive—and shows how mindfulness can achieve a healthier balance between them. He masterfully describes the mechanisms by which this shift in consciousness not only can reduce emotional suffering, but also can lead to greater joy and compassion and a transformed sense of self.

“A remarkable book that I will contemplate and revisit many times. Teasdale addresses mindfulness as more than a technique or an end in itself—he reaches beyond applications to mental illness and stress and toward discovering the ways we can be the flourishing, happy, and responsive human beings we have the potential to be. I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of mindfulness and how it can bring about profound inner change.”—Christina Feldman

Date: Sunday, March 5, 11 AM – 12:15 PM

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

Navigating Grief and Loss
25 Buddhist Practices to Keep Your Heart Open to Yourself and Others
By Kimberly Brown

Navigating Grief and Loss is a book for anyone who’s experienced the pain of mourning, who’s struggled to find a job, who is devastated by a bad breakup—yearning to rest, feel understood, and believe in themselves and the future. It’s a guidebook filled with relatable stories and practical meditations to help navigate the profound experience of death and loss, be it an elderly parent succumbing to a lingering illness, the shock following a tragic accident, a divorce after years of conflict, or euthanasia of a beloved pet.

Filled with traditional Buddhist wisdom into the nature of life, each short chapter honestly describes a personal experience dealing with death or grief—staying at a hospice facility at a mother’s bedside, feeling frustrated by the options for a terminally ill friend, or dealing with difficult family members in the midst of a crisis.

“Kimberly Brown writes poignantly about the loss of parents, job and friends and how we can navigate the bereavement process. Learning to respond in a wise, sympathetic and caring way is useful for everyone because no matter what—loss will come our way. Navigating Grief describes 25 practices to support us through trying times and is sure to resonate with anyone who has been impacted by grief.”— Sharon Salzberg

Date: Wednesday, April 26, 7-8:30 PM

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

One Long Listening
A Memoir of Grief, Friendship, and Spiritual Care
By Chenxing Han

How do we grieve our losses? How can we care for our spirits? one long listening offers enduring companionship to all who ask these searing, timeless questions.

A profound and searching memoir of life, loss, grief, and renewal from a vital new voice in American Buddhism. one long listening asks fearlessly into the stories we inhabit, the hopes we relinquish, and what it means simply to be, to and for the ones we love. Immigrant daughter, novice chaplain, bereaved friend: author Chenxing Han (Be the Refuge) takes us on a pilgrimage through the wilds of grief and laughter, pain and impermanence, reconnecting us to both the heartache and inexplicable brightness of being human.

one long listening is Chenxing Han’s journey through East and West, life and death, resiliency and vulnerability. It is written like Thomas Merton’s classic Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, but from the perspective of engagement. In one long listening, Chaplain Han actually shares what she heard: amplify the compassion, remember to try and taste the many flavors of this world, and refresh our stories. This book will inspire you to listen very deeply.” —Pamela Ayo Yetunde

Date: Thursday, May 18, 7-8:15 PM ET

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


A Field Guide to Nature Meditation
52 Mindfulness Practices for Joy, Wisdom and Wonder
By Mark Coleman

In this clear and methodical field guide, Mark Coleman shows readers step-by-step how to develop a nature-based meditation practice every week of the year. Through systematic cultivation of mindfulness techniques, he teaches readers how to attune to their senses and connect with the richness of the sensory world.

Coleman demonstrates how to meditate in a variety of settings, in different landscapes, and in all kinds of weather with confidence and clarity. The book is divided into sections, each of which is oriented to different kinds of meditations. There are practices one can do sitting in stillness, those that involve walking and movement, and meditations that allow for an intimate, direct connection with the rich facets of the natural world.

This book is for anyone who wishes to take the contemplative awareness that comes from meditation into the outdoors.

“Coleman’s book prompts readers to lean into the mysteriousness of life, to evoke curiosity, to feel into the awe that nature bestows, and to accept the gift of living existence.”—Sharon Salzberg

Date: Tuesday, June 6, 7-8:15 PM

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

Previous IMS Book Club Authors Include
  • Sharon Salzberg
  • Gregory Kramer
  • Rodney Smith
  • Joseph Goldstein
  • Sebene Selassie
  • Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Ruth King, Lama Dawa Tarchin Phillips, Kamilah Majied, Gyozan Royce Andrew Johnson
  • Judson Brewer
  • Narayan Helen Liebenson
  • Chenxing Han
  • Mark Coleman
  • Kaira Jewel Lingo
  • George Mumford
  • Mark Epstein
  • Rhonda V. Magee
  • Martin Aylward
  • Dan Harris
  • Kate Johnson
  • Guy Armstrong
  • Jacoby Ballard
  • Allan Cooper
  • Christina Feldman
  • Rima Vesely-Flad
  • Amita Schmidt
  • Shaila Catherine
  • Valerie Brown