Body-based meditation is central to Buddhist practice; however, the term for body, “kaya,” can refer to a wide range of bodies, as its meaning conveys the sense of collection, agglomeration, group, or heap. It can refer to the gross aspect of materiality, seen as body parts, or physical body in general, and also to mental bodies down to the subtle microscopic aspects of mind and matter.
The purpose of this retreat is to deepen and refine the knowledge of our own body, and in the same way, develop a similar understanding of our own mind.
With the Buddhist texts as the basis for our approach, we will see how simple concepts related to anatomy came to represent what experienced yogis of many traditions perceived as pure energy. We will explore how “body scan” methods, as in the tradition of Goenka and U Ba Khin, and meditation on the four elements, as in the Mahasi and Pha Auk schools, brought yogis not only to expanded perceptions of what is considered to be reality, but also to full liberation and awakening.
Our practice will help us to reconnect with ourselves, to get more grounded in the body and see the mutual dependence between the body and the mind, including our thoughts and emotions. Our investigation will lead us to wake up to our interconnection with the world around us, taking us beyond the limitations of a self-centered mode.
An optional daily period of mindful movement will be offered by Éowyn Ahlstrom.
Participants are invited to observe the eight precepts.
Our wish is to make this retreat accessible to anyone who would like to participate. We offer a You Choose fee option for this course, charging a minimum of just $25 per night (i.e. $200 minimum total). Those who can contribute more, however, help IMS to continue providing financial aid to as many people as possible. Don't let cost be an obstacle: as long as there is space in the retreat, we will find a way for you to attend.
Teacher Support: Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—offer their teachings freely, and rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood. Teachers do not generally receive compensation from IMS program fees. Click here to learn more about teacher support. There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teachers at the end of this program, or you may donate now.