This six-week partial of the three-month course is a special time for practice. Each year, up to 100 people come to IMS for this immersion into meditation and retreat life. Because of the course’s extended length and ongoing guidance from the teachers, it is an opportunity for students to deepen the powers of concentration, wisdom and compassion.
Based on the meditation instructions of Mahāsi Sayadaw and supplemented by a range of skillful means, this retreat will encourage a balanced attitude of relaxation and alertness, and the continuity of practice based on the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The teachers ask that you practice within this broad framework and not use this as a time for a “self” or “personal” retreat.
Each week during the course you will have two to three meetings about your practice with members of the teaching team. These meetings are a required and essential aspect of the retreat experience. The teachers also request that you read Your IMS Retreat—What to Expect before registering.
Once a week during Part 1 & 2 an optional period of mindful movement will be offered.
Silence and renunciation are at the heart of any IMS retreat, and a sincere commitment to honoring them has a direct and profound bearing on our deepening in meditation. The teachers of this retreat request, for the sake of your practice and your fellow retreatants’ practice, that you participate in the entire course, without leaving and returning (except in the case of emergencies or medical needs).
An intensive silent meditation course such as this can be a positive and life-transforming experience. At the same time, the practice can be strenuous and requires some stability of physical and psychological health.
If you have recently experienced considerable trauma, significant depression or anxiety, or are currently experiencing strong PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a silent retreat of this length may not be appropriate for you at this time in your life. Shorter retreats or daily life practice may be more beneficial meanwhile. To help you assess this, we urge you to discuss your situation with a therapist. Please contact our registration department if you have any questions or concerns.
The teachers also request that you agree, on registering, to refrain from using cell phones and other communication devices, for the duration of the course. This includes phone calls, emails, texts and other internet use. (Please notify our Front Office if arrangements need to be made for messages to reach you 24/7 from dependent or fragile family members. You can reach our staff at 978-355-4378 or at email@example.com.)
To further protect your retreat time, please also make sure that you schedule any medical appointments, fill prescriptions, and take care of financial or other arrangements before your course gets underway.
Prerequisite is a total of 21 days of silent, residential retreat with recognized insight meditation teachers. Courses must be five days or longer in duration. Please document this experience, including teachers’ names, dates and length of courses when registering. You will also need to submit a questionnaire when signing up – your course participation cannot be confirmed until this is received and approved.
Special fees and deadlines apply for cancellations or confirmed date changes. Part 2: up to August 28, 2019, $100; afterwards $250 . Please note that transferring from one part of the course to another – i.e. any date change within this three-month period – is only possible if space is available; otherwise, you will be placed on a wait list.
A limited number of You Choose fee spaces for this retreat are available for people of color and young adults (18-32 year olds) in financial need. This means you can establish your own retreat fee, based on your financial means. A minimum of $20 per night, or $840 for six weeks, is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.