Fees and payments
IMS’s Retreat Center course fees are on a sliding scale basis. This allows participants to pay according to individual means. There are five rates – Benefactor, Sustaining, Mid, Base and Scholarship.
In general, these fees do not include compensation for the teachings but go toward the cost of accommodations, meals and other operational expenses only. Teachers instead rely on the generosity of retreatants for a sustainable income. There is an opportunity to offer contributions to the teachers and to IMS at the end of each retreat. This is a practice known as dana (generosity).
Payment at the Base rate covers just over 50% of what is needed to run our centers. To balance our budget and to wisely steward our resources, donations must supplement our registration income.
The Sustaining rate represents the actual cost to IMS to operate our programs. If you can afford this level or higher, you assist our efforts to offer lower sliding-scale rates and ongoing financial subsidies.
The Benefactor rate provides the opportunity to offer more substantial support for IMS.
If you wish to register at the Scholarship rate, you will also need to complete a financial assistance application.
All retreats require a deposit on registering, even if you are applying for a scholarship.
Payment can be made by Visa or MasterCard, or by check or money order (payable to IMS). If your check is drawn on a Canadian bank, please write “USD” after the amount. Unfortunately, we cannot accept checks from other countries, unless they are drawn on a US bank.
Any remaining balance is due one week prior to arrival. You can pay here.
Any amount paid above the Base rate is a tax-deductible donation.
If you need to cancel your Retreat Center course, please contact us as soon as possible. Cancellation fees are $50 if you cancel four or more weeks before a course begins; or your full deposit if you cancel less than four weeks before your retreat starts. For any retreat with a You Choose rate option, cancellation fees are $25 if you cancel four or more weeks before a course begins and $50 after that. For weekend retreats, cancellation fees are $50/$125.
If you are confirmed for a retreat but fail to show up, and did not let us know your change of plans, you will be charged a fee equivalent to IMS’s Base rate for the course. (At this stage, it will be too late to offer your room to someone else.)
Cancellation fees apply if you are confirmed into a course from the wait list and do not accept. So please notify us immediately if you decide you no longer wish to attend.
All cancellation fees support our Scholarship Funds.
If a Retreat Center course is full, you will be placed on a wait list. It is then your responsibility to let us know if you wish to be removed from the wait list and receive a full refund.
Otherwise, if an opening occurs, you will automatically be confirmed into the course and notified. If you do not accept, a cancellation fee will apply.
If no opening occurs, your full deposit will be refunded.
If you wish to transfer from one retreat to another, please call our Registration staff who can help you first cancel from your assigned course and then register for the new one. They can be reached at 978-355-4378 exts. 170, 175 or 180.
One transfer each year is allowed without a cancellation fee, provided you do so before the cancellation date, and provided that the new course is listed. If transfering, you have two weeks to decide which new retreat you’d like to attend. Otherwise, we will process your refund minus the cancellation fee.
If you subsequently cancel from the course to which you have transferred, you will be charged the applicable cancellation fee – even if you cancel from a wait list. (This is the only circumstance where a wait list cancellation fee applies.)
Due to their popularity, admission to certain retreats is by lottery. In this case lottery information will be included in the course description. All registrations received by the deadline will be included in the lottery. Those not selected by lottery, as well as any late registrations, will be put on a wait list.
At the Retreat Center, anyone who has applied for a particular lottery course two or more times without getting in will be eligible for special consideration – but you must notify us if this is the case, prior to the lottery deadline. If the number of registrations for a popular retreat is particularly high, we will conduct an initial lottery for a select number of spaces specifically for those who have unsuccessfully applied twice previously. We will then conduct a second lottery to fill the retreat from all remaining registrations.
Registrations for Retreat Center courses are accepted online, by mail or in person. For security reasons, we do not accept registration by email. We will return any incomplete applications, including those without sufficient deposit.
We process registrations by date received or by lottery.
All retreats, with the exception of the Teen Retreat, are open to adults only.
If you register online, you will immediately receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application.
Whether you register by mail or online, you should receive further correspondence indicating your registration status within one week. If you do not hear from us within this time, please contact our office.
All retreatants are expected to participate in the entire course – this means arriving on time and staying through to the end of the rereat. Prior approval of both the teacher and our office is required for anyone wishing to arrive late or leave early. Once a retreat is in process, such movement is disruptive and places an additional burden on other retreatants, especially with regard to work-as-practice periods. Your room cannot be guaranteed if you arrive late; the full course fee will be charged regardless of length of stay.
If you are chemically sensitive, or have a disability or chronic health issue, please contact our office as soon as you plan to attend a retreat, so we can discuss how retreat life may impact you, and the level of support we can realistically offer.
IMS strives to provide a safe, peaceful and efficient environment for meditators. It is with regret that we find, at times, the need to turn someone away. Please know that we take great care in such situations – the discernment process is thorough and always with the intention to protect the majority of those who practice here.