Refuge in the Midst of the Holidays

This retreat is held online.

IMS Online
This retreat is held online.
November 28 - November 29, 2020 (Saturday to Sunday)


The time period between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be complex in the best of times. This year it is likely to be even more so, given the constraints around contact with family and friends. How do we care for the heart and continue to train the mind during this time? A tried and true option for over 2,600 years is to be with others in a sincere practice community, engaging in the ancient forms of sitting, walking, being mindful in daily life activities while at home, and listening and applying the teachings of liberation.

During our time together on this retreat, we will practice honestly acknowledging things as they are, allowing the clouds of thought and emotion to be experienced and released, and inquiring into the questions and confusions that are important in our lives. We will practice, as one Zen master suggested, “complete unrestricted cooperation with the unavoidable,” which means an open-hearted approach to life as it is. In this way we can fortify ourselves to engage in the world with greater clarity and connectedness.

This retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teacher at the end of this course.

Cost is sliding-scale: $200, $130, or $80, your choice. Registration fees support the Insight Meditation Society’s work online and at our physical retreat centers in Barre, MA. Scholarships ($40) are available. We welcome you to reach out, nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, please email imsonline@dharma.org.

Daily Schedule - all times listed in Eastern Standard Time EST:
Note: all sessions (except Q&A & movement) will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you missed one.
Saturday, November 28
10 am - 11 am - Opening Session, Guided Meditation, Instructions for the day
12:15 am - 1 pm - Q&A
3 - 3:45 pm - Dharma Talk & Sitting
4 - 4:45 pm - mindful movement with Éowyn Ahlstrom
6:15 - 7 pm - Guided Meditation

Sunday, November 29
10 am - 11 am - Guided Meditation, Instructions for the day
12:15 am - 1 pm - Dharma Talk & Sitting
3 - 3:45 pm - Q&A
5 - 5:30 pm - Guided Meditation, Closing Session

Suggested at-home schedule:
Saturday
7:30: sitting
8:00: breakfast and tasks
9:00: walking (outside or in)
10:00: first group session
11:00: walking
11:30: sitting
12:00: mindful break
12:15: second group session
1PM: lunch
2:00: walking (outside or in)
3:00: third group session
3:45: mindful break
4:00: mindful movement
4:45: dinner
5:45: walking
6:15: fourth group session
7:00: walking
7:45: sitting
8:15: mindful break
8:30: sitting
9:00: sleep or continued practice

Sunday:
7:30: sitting
8:00: breakfast and tasks
9:00: walking (outside or in)
10:00: first group session
11:00: walking
11:30: sitting
12:00: mindful break
12:15: second group session
1PM: lunch
2: walking (outside or in)
3:00: third group session
3:45: walking
4:15: sitting
4:45: mindful break
5:00: last group session

Teachers