Financial Assistance

In the spirit of generosity – an essential aspect of IMS’s Buddhist roots – we are committed to offering financial assistance to those who are genuinely unable to afford the cost of a meditation retreat.

At the Retreat Center, financial assistance is offered in two forms – scholarships for online and residential courses, and also You Choose fee options for certain retreats (see our schedule).


Registration fees support the Insight Meditation Society’s work online and at our physical retreat centers in Barre, MA.

For Online Courses: Scholarships are available! We welcome you to reach out; nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, please email

For Residential Retreats: IMS offers a sliding scale scholarship rate. By selecting the highest amount you can reasonably afford, you support our ability to meet the large number of requests we receive for financial aid.

We recommend that you apply for financial assistance as early as possible, as these resources are limited. Scholarships are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and are generally restricted to one per person, per year, at each center (Retreat Center and Forest Refuge). Please note that the Three-Month Retreat is considered separately.

However, don’t let finances stop you from registering for a course! If you’re  a senior on a fixed income or need financial assistance for any reason in order to attend an IMS retreat, we warmly encourage you to apply. While we cannot guarantee that every application will result in a scholarship, we will do our best to help you attend a Retreat Center course.

You Choose fee option

Rates for the following annual Retreat Center courses are on a You Choose basis: Monastic, BIPOC, for experienced meditators who are people of color, and 18-32 Year Olds. “You Choose” means that you can establish your own retreat fee, based on your financial means. For 2023 courses, a minimum of $25 per night is required. Paying more, however, allows IMS to continue offering financial aid to as many people as possible.

No financial assistance application is necessary when registering for any of these three retreats.

From time to time, and on fairly short notice, we may offer a limited number of You Choose fee spaces for other retreats – please check our Retreat Center schedule for availability. Note that you log into your IMS Portal to register.

Thanks to generous donations, IMS is offering a limited number of places in either Part 1  or Part 2 of the 2024 Three-Month Retreat on a You Choose fee basis. These are specifically for BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) and young adults (18-32 year olds) who meet the practice requirements for these longer-term retreats.

Fund for Formerly Incarcerated People

Thanks to generous donors, funds are available for formerly incarcerated people to attend IMS retreats at no cost. For further information or to register, please


All retreats require a deposit on registering, even if you are applying for financial assistance. Please refer to theRetreat Center schedulefor specific deposit amounts.

For ages 18-26

To support the practice of young adults, IMS invites anyone aged 18–26 to apply for a You Choose fee space for the retreats listed below.

You Choose means you can establish the rate you are able to pay, based on your financial means. For 2024 retreats, a minimum of $25 per night is required. Paying more, though, allows IMS to continue offering financial aid to as many people as possible.

A limited number of these spaces are available for certain Retreat Center courses – see below. If you are in this age group, and would appreciate an increased level of aid to help you sit an IMS retreat, please submit a financial assistance application.

You might also consider our Insight Meditation Retreat for 18–32 Year Olds,  which is entirely offered on a You Choose fee basis.

Contact us at for You Choose spaces for 2024 retreats.

Financial Assistance Application

For all of our scholarship rates, simply select the rate that works best for you when you register. For some of our special rates, email with your request.

Additional Resource

Open Dharma Foundation is a scholarship fund for silent meditation retreats. It exists in order to provide individuals from all over the world with scholarships for silent meditation retreats who without financial aid would be unable to access sustained, intensive practice. If you are someone interested in meditation who wants to explore the depths of practice available through silent retreat and are in need of financial assistance, the Open Dharma Foundation may be able to help.

For more information and to review the application process: Open Dharma
(Please note: IMS does not handle any portion of the application or grant process. Please direct all inquiries to Open Dharma Foundation.)