Forest Refuge 2021

IMS’s Forest Refuge program supports experienced meditators in sustained, longer-term retreat practice. A personal retreat, under the guidance of the following teachers, helps strengthen practice faith, confidence and self-reliance.

Please note

  • A self-sustaining practice is necessary to undertake a Forest Refuge retreat.
  • The teaching schedule may change without notice. It is our intention that retreatants will have the opportunity to practice with a variety of experienced and well-qualified insight meditation teachers.
  • When retreat space is limited, priority will be given to those applying for longer stays.
  • Before you apply, please make sure you meet the Forest Refuge application requirements. We expect that candidates have participated in at least one six-week structured and teacher-led insight meditation retreat, or six similar one-week retreats.

Supporting our teachers

Here at IMS, our teachers are continuing the ancient Buddhist monastic tradition of freely offering the teachings while living in the midst of contemporary society. What this means is that they rely on the generosity of retreat participants for a sustainable income.

There is an opportunity at the end of your personal retreat to make an offering to teachers – this is known as teacher dana. At the Forest Refuge, where retreatants often stay for long periods, IMS supplements teacher dana as needed to provide an adequate offering.

Your contributions help teachers to lead a life devoted to teaching both at IMS and in other parts of the world, including communities without the means to donate. Your gifts also allow teachers to take time for their own practice, ensuring that their teachings are continuously enriched.

For availability of specific dates, call 978-355-2063 or email fr@dharma.org.
Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
January 1-7, 2021

Annie Nugent & Winnie Nazarko

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
January 8-31, 2021

Jaya Rudgard & Susie Harrington

The Adventure of Awakening

During this teaching period, we will engage in a three-week journey together through the practices of concentration, insight and awareness. We will begin with concentration practice, when participants will use either mindfulness of breathing or the practice of metta (lovingkindness) to collect and settle the mind. Next, we will open to the immediate moment-to-moment experience of the sense-gates to contemplate directly the three characteristics of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness. Finally, we will turn our attention to the knowing aspect of the heart. In recognizing the nature of awareness, we have the opportunity to taste the collected, clear and equanimous heart-mind as it meets all experience, and realize our potential for freedom.

The teachers will offer regular meditation instructions, talks about the teachings and individual meetings. A minimum stay for the three weeks of the retreat is required, and participants are further encouraged to arrive as early in January as possible to begin the process of settling into retreat. Participants are expected to follow the sequence of instructions as they are given.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
February 1-28, 2021

Sayadaw U Jagara & Beth Upton

The Four Nutriments of Life

Right View (samma ditthi) is the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. It forms the foundation from which we are able to skillfully navigate our way out of suffering and towards Nibbana.

In the Discourse on Right View (MN:9), the Venerable Sariputta expounds various aspects of Right View, one of which is the four kinds of Nutriment, namely: food, contact, volition, and consciousness.

During this retreat, we will look at these four kinds of Nutriment in detail and see how they relate to other aspects of Right View, such as the factors of Dependent Origination and the Four Noble Truths.

Ultimately, we shall discern how these four Nutriments are operating in our own lives and how we can use them skillfully to fuel our path towards Nibbana.

Participants are expected to observe the eight precepts, if they are able to do so.

Priority will be given to anyone applying for the full month of February or longer.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
March 1-31, 2021

Rebecca Bradshaw & Annie Nugent

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
April 1-30, 2021

Annie Nugent & Winnie Nazarko

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
May 1-31, 2021

Annie Nugent & Beth Sternlieb

Lottery
Registration is held via lottery for this retreat.
June 1-30, 2021

Carol Wilson & Andrea Fella

Awareness and Wisdom Retreat

The teachings during this month will explore the four foundations of mindfulness with open awareness and receptive attention, with an emphasis on recognizing the attitude of mind and cultivating the perspective of wise view. The teachings are influenced by both teachers’ practice with Sayadaw U Tejaniya. We request that you agree to work with the instructions that we offer during the retreat.

Practice discussion meetings will primarily be in small groups, meeting twice a week. The teachers will offer some sign-up interviews, so there will be a chance for a private meeting if there is something you don’t feel comfortable bringing up in the group.

A minimum stay for the full month is required.

A lottery will be conducted for this course; applications are due by August 26, 2020. 


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
July 1-31, 2021

Caroline Jones & Deborah Ratner Helzer

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
August 1-31, 2021

Caroline Jones & Bhante Buddharakkhita

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
September 1-30, 2021

Caroline Jones & Jaya Rudgard

Lottery
Registration is held via lottery for this retreat.
October 1-31, 2021

Bhikkhu Anālayo & Jill Shepherd

Early Buddhist Meditation

This month-long retreat offers an opportunity for highly experienced meditators to explore early Buddhist meditation through Bhikkhu Anālayo’s step by step approach to satipatthāna, mindfulness of breathing, the divine abodes, and emptiness meditation.

Each morning, Bhikkhu Anālayo will offer guided meditation instructions and explanations, and an evening question and answer session once a week.

Jill Shepherd will support the meditators through individual practice meetings and an evening dharma talk once a week.

Prerequisites: Participants are expected to have sat at least one previous retreat with Bhikkhu Anālayo. Please document this in your application. They are also asked to have read the following books: Satipatthāna Meditation: A Practice Guide; Mindfulness of Breathing: A Practice Guide and Translations; and Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation.

A minimum stay for the full month is required.

A lottery will be conducted for this course; applications are due by September 14, 2020.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
November 1-30, 2021

Caroline Jones & Winnie Nazarko

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
December 1-31, 2021

Caroline Jones & Mark Nunberg