August 26, 2019

Announcing—IMS Urban Retreats

This fall, IMS will launch a new series of non-residential retreats designed to support meditators in urban areas who seek an intensive IMS practice experience closer to home. IMS Urban Retreats are led by IMS teachers and feature many of the same qualities of retreat structure and practice experience offered in residential retreats at IMS. The first IMS Urban Retreats will be offered in NYC in partnership with New York Insight Meditation Center.

This urban retreat series is a natural extension of IMS’s core mission to offer refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We recognize that for many, the time, travel and expense involved in longer residential retreats is a serious challenge. IMS’s Urban Retreats are designed to address those needs.

All IMS Urban Retreats support the practices of noble silence, sitting and walking meditation and teacher dana.

The practice of noble silence entails a quieting of the body and voice that helps cultivate a calm and peaceful retreat environment. For the duration of each retreat, participants will maintain silence—refraining from verbal or non-verbal communication with others,  including evenings during retreats when participants are not on site.

Another feature of all IMS retreats is the practice of teacher dana. IMS teachers follow the ancient Buddhist tradition of freely offering the teachings, which means they receive no compensation for teaching at IMS or at any Insight meditation center and rely instead on the generosity of course participants for a sustainable income. There will be an opportunity for participants to offer contributions to the teachers at the end of each urban retreat.

The IMS Urban Retreats will range from 2-3 days, often spanning holiday weekends to accommodate work schedules.

Meet the teacher of the second IMS Urban Retreat – in this interview, Bart van Melik describes how the city can become our practice arena and training ground for mindfulness.

To register for an IMS Urban Retreat, see availability below:

When Awareness Becomes Natural
taught by Alexis Santos at New York Insight
with Susa Talan offering mindful movement

Saturday, October 12, 2019 | 9:00 am – 6:00pm
Sunday, October 13, 2019 | 9:00 am – 4:00pm

Finding the Way Home to Kind Awareness
taught by Bart van Melik with Leslie Booker
at New York Insight 

Saturday, January 25, 2020 | 9:30am – 6:00pm
Sunday, January 26, 2020 | 9:30am – 4:00pm

During this retreat, we will explore the heart of the Buddha’s teaching: suffering and its causes and freedom from its causes. With the help and cultivation of our kind and natural awareness, we can become intimate with what it is like to be human.

We will train our ability to bear witness to our personal and social pains and will immerse ourselves in timeless teachings to incline our heart-minds towards appreciating the joy of living. By taking refuge in the heart of kind awareness we will slow down and listen to the truths of the present moment and find peace in our own awakened heart.

This retreat is open to everyone. We will honor and abide in noble silence including the periods of silent sitting, mindful movement practice and group inquiry. There will be group meetings with the teachers and plenty of time for Q&A.

New York Insight will provide vegan lunch with gluten free options for these two days as well as Masala Chai and nutritious snacks.

IMS Urban Retreat
taught by Bonnie Duran
at New York Insight 

Saturday, June 13, 2020 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, June 14, 2020 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

IMS Urban Retreat
taught by DaRa Williams with Devin Berry and Tara Mulay
at New York Insight 

Saturday, July 25, 2020 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, July 26, 2020 | 10:00am – 6:00pm

Cultivating Curiosity, Kindness & Care: An IMS Urban Retreat
taught by Bart van Melik
at New York Insight 

Saturday, September 26, 2020 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, September 27, 2020 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

Four Beautiful Qualities of Heart: An IMS Urban Retreat
taught by Narayan Liebenson
at New York Insight 

Saturday, December 12, 2020 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, December 13, 2020 | 10:00am – 4:00pm