Forest Refuge 2021

Due to COVID-19, the Forest Refuge and Retreat Center will remain closed through the end of June 2021. To explore online retreat options, please visit the IMS Online page.

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

Caroline Jones & Deborah Ratner Helzer

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

Caroline Jones & Bhante Buddharakkhita

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

Caroline Jones & Jaya Rudgard

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.

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

Caroline Jones & Winnie Nazarko

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

Caroline Jones & Mark Nunberg