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

For the Retreat Center’s annual Monastic, BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of color) and 18-32 Year Olds courses, rates are on a You Choose basis. This means you can establish your own retreat fee, based on your financial means. A minimum of $20 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.

Thanks to generous donations, IMS is offering a limited number of places in either Part 1 or Part 2 of the 2022 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 emailregistration@dharma.orgor call 978-355-4378 ext. 175.


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. A minimum of $20 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. (Registrations for this retreat will open October 19, 2021.)

2022 Retreats

Financial Assistance Application

To apply for financial assistance, first register for the course you wish to attend.

Then complete a financial assistance application:

Email your application or mail it to:

IMS Retreat Center – Registration
1230 Pleasant Street
Barre MA 01005
Phone: 978-355-4378 ext. 175