This three-month course, including its six-week partials, is a special time for practice. Because of its extended length and ongoing guidance, 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 silent retreat will encourage a balanced attitude of relaxation and alertness, and the continuity of practice based on the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
Once a week an optional period of mindful movement will be offered by Éowyn Ahlstrom.
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 three silent residential retreats of a week or more with recognized insight meditation teachers. 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: up to August 30, 2023, $100; afterwards, $250 for Part 2. 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 waitlist.
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.