Sangha News – February 2017

In This Issue

This issue features a commitment statement from IMS’s board, an announcement of the participants in our new Teacher Training Program, and several Dharma resources. You can also see retreat space available, and check out staff and volunteer opportunities.

Light and Shadow on Gaston Pond

Statement from the IMS Board

From IMS Board President Ed Hong: In response to recent events here in the US, the members of the IMS board wanted to reiterate our stand against intolerance, injustice and oppression, and to state our support for action informed by ethics, wisdom and compassion.

We offer this statement, with gratitude for the Buddha’s teachings that guide our lives.

As the US and the world face significant challenges and upheaval, IMS affirms its commitment to providing a spiritual refuge, where everyone who comes to practice at our centers feels welcomed, honored and included.

We dedicate ourselves to the Buddha’s teachings that hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone, and remain steadfast in upholding non-harming and nonviolence as the pillars of compassionate action.

Never has our meditation practice provided a more important foundation for wise engagement. We counter the destructive forces of greed, hatred and delusion by cultivating friendliness, joy, generosity and peace. These are boundless qualities that inspire our vision and deepen our resilience. They include all, and prompt action that can offer safety and protection for anyone whose race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or immigration status puts them at risk.

May oppression and division, and all their causes, be dispelled. May the force of kindness and the power of our collective commitment to justice, inclusiveness and awakening serve all.

Statement from the IMS Board

2017-2021 Teacher Trainees

We’re delighted to announce that the cohort of teacher trainees for IMS’s 2017–2021 Teacher Training Program has now been finalized.

We extend a heartfelt welcome and much mudita to the following 19 participants who are embarking on this exciting journey toward becoming insight meditation retreat teachers – Andrea Castillo, Bruni Davila, Dawn Scott, Devin Berry, Devon Hase, Jeanne Corrigal, Jessica Morey, Jozen Gibson, nakawe cuebas, Matthew Hepburn, Neesha Patel, Nolitha Tsengiwe, Roxanne Dault, Shelly Graf, Tara Mulay, Tuere Sala, Vance Pryor, Walt Opie and Yong Oh.

This group, comprising over 75% people of color, will gather for their initial training session at our Retreat Center in August this year.

The program’s core faculty is Joseph Goldstein, DaRa Williams, Kamala Masters, Rebecca Bradshaw, Bonnie Duran and Gil Fronsdal, with Carol Wilson and Guy Armstrong also contributing. Together with visiting teachers, including Sharon Salzberg and Ruth King, all will offer guidance over the course of the four-year training.

This program is a major IMS initiative, and the culmination of several years of discussion and planning. It represents a significant milestone in our efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive community of retreat teachers and meditators. On completion in 2021, the training will result in a substantial increase in the number of people of color and white ally teachers and leaders, in turn benefiting the many insight meditation communities across North America.

2017-2021 Teacher Trainees

Dharma Resources

New Title – IMS guiding teacher Christina Feldman has a new book, Boundless Heart: The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity.

Why Meditate? – In this thought-provoking podcast, IMS co-founder Joseph Goldstein talks with neuroscientist Sam Harris about the spiral of greater fulfillment and greater ease.

Mindfulness in Arabic – The nonprofit ToWo Group is planning to launch Mindfulness in Arabic (MiA), an online eight-week mindfulness course in Arabic. It will be offered free of charge, providing Arabic-speaking refugees vital tools for coping with the trauma of facing and fleeing violence. Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield and many other Dharma teachers are collaborating with the ToWo Group to help raise the needed funds.

Program Highlights

Retreat Space Available – At the Forest Refuge, we have openings for a personal retreat beginning in August. Check out the full schedule of Forest Refuge teachers, retreat guidelines and information about the application process. For further details, please email or call us at 978-355-2063.

Snow Meditator
A snow meditator sits at the Forest Refuge.

At the Retreat Center, some slots are still available in Annie Nugent and Deborah Ratner Helzer’s upcoming retreat, Cultivating a Wise Heart, taking place March 9–14. Watch Annie’s intro to this course.

For those who can’t afford the cost of this retreat, we’re offering a limited number of You Choose fee spaces. This means that you can establish the rate you are able to pay, at or above $20 per night. Email to apply.

Serving Our Sangha

Job Opening – IMS has an opening for the position of Communications Specialist. We’re seeking a skilled and motivated professional to support our expanding outreach and communications initiatives by raising awareness of meditation and the benefits of retreats.

Communications Job at IMS

If you have the required qualifications and experience, and are interested in supporting our mission, please apply.

Please pass on word of this job opportunity to others.

Volunteering – We are looking for Working Guests to provide extra support in our Kitchen and Housekeeping departments for our summer Teen Retreat, serving June 23–28. You don’t have to be an experienced cook or housekeeper to apply for this role. Click here for more information and to download the application.

Wishing You Well

May the force of kindness and the power of our collective commitment to justice, inclusiveness and awakening serve all.

Wishing You Well