Forest Refuge Schedule 2023

We are so pleased to welcome you back to Barre for these on-campus retreats! Please note: as part of COVID-19 safety protocols, all staff, teachers, and retreatants at IMS will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination before arrival on campus. For more information, click here.
To explore virtual program 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.
Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
January 1 - January 31, 2023

Winnie Nazarko & Tara Mulay

Winnie will be encouraging retreatants to locate their practice within the framework of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. She will support retreatants in integrating heart and mind, and in going beyond their current view to deeper understanding.

Tara will support retreatants to develop and balance the seven factors of awakening, allowing for a natural unfolding of insight. She encourages refinement of retreatants’ mindfulness practice through the cultivation of clear, calm, non-conceptual awareness of moment-to-moment experience and alignment of the meditation practice with all factors of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Please note: Arrivals and departures are not possible January 19 – 26, 2023.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
February 1 - February 28, 2023

Caroline Jones & Deborah Helzer

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
March 1 - March 31, 2023

Rebecca Bradshaw & Devin Berry

Join us in the beauty and quiet of the Forest Refuge for a month-long retreat focused on developing concentration through cultivating metta (loving kindness). By gathering our attention around the quality of kind friendliness, we develop samadhi (concentration) to increasing depth and unify our minds and hearts in flexibility and strength. Support will be offered for exploration of deeper states of concentration – jhana – within a framework of gentle, non-striving care.

Priority will be given to those applying for the full month or longer.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
April 1 - April 30, 2023

Caroline Jones & Roxanne Dault

Caroline & Roxanne will create a supportive retreat environment that helps each person deepen their practice and honor their unique dhamma path. We will offer reflections on aspects of the Eightfold Path, including right understanding and right effort.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
May 1 - May 31, 2023

Caroline Jones & Greg Scharf

Wait List
Wait lists often move quickly, so consider registering even if a retreat is full!
June 1 - June 30, 2023

Sayadaw U Vivekananda

The Cultivation of Intuitive Wisdom

During this retreat we will study and practice Satipaṭṭhāna meditation with an emphasis on intuitive wisdom (paññā). Ways of cultivating intuitive wisdom will be described from both a theoretical and a practical point of view.

Sayadaw U Vivekānanda will explain how the etymology and definitions of the term paññā reveal different facets of this perfection (pāramī). We will also explore the factors contributing to the acquisition of wisdom.

The texts speak of sharp, strong, clear, and progressive intuitive wisdom, and the meaning of these qualities will be explained. Throughout the month, the gradual unfolding, the benefits, and the goal of intuitive wisdom will be outlined.

Priority will be given to those applying for the full month or longer.

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


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
July 1 - July 31, 2023

Sayadaw U Jagara & Nikki Mirghafori

Ānāpanāsati: Sixteen Steps to Freedom

The Buddha was an artful master of the mind, this powerful and mysterious instrument with which we are each endowed. Following the Buddha’s clear and step-by-step instructions, as if playing notes from sheet music, the beautiful melody of universal freedom can resound in our very own hearts and minds.

The Ānāpanāsati Sutta (MN 118) contains one of the most detailed meditation instructions in the  Pāli Canon and is a celebrated text in Theravāda. There are sixteen steps in the Sutta, grouped into four tetrads – contemplation of the body (kāya), feeling tone (vedanā), the mind (citta), and mind objects (dhammā) – where each tetrad is associated with one of the four satipaṭṭhānas (establishments of mindfulness).

On this retreat, we begin by establishing a space of care and mettā, one of the important preparatory instructions that the Buddha gave to his son Rāhula (MN 62) to prepare him for practicing with the breath. Then we will devote ourselves to the sixteen steps of mindfulness of the breath. Our aspiration is for our minds to develop stability and luminosity, as our hearts rest in ease and joy, and to cultivate the clarity to observe subtler aspects of our experience, all the while gaining more understanding, wisdom, and freedom.

Priority will be given to those applying for the full month or longer.

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


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
August 1 - August 31, 2023

Caroline Jones & Annie Nugent

Lottery
Registration is held via lottery for this retreat.
September 1 - September 30, 2023

Guy Armstrong & Sally Armstrong

The Still Heart of Awareness

This retreat will strengthen our understanding and experience of the nature of awareness in meditation practice. We will explore this in three stages. During the initial part of the month, we will build meditative stability through a focus on anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing). In the next phase, we will introduce a regular practice of metta (lovingkindness), allowing the beautiful and responsive qualities of heart to unfold. Then, with concentration and lovingkindness as our foundation, the last stage of the retreat will focus on specific meditative techniques that allow us to rest in the pure nature of awareness.

The teachers will offer regular meditation instructions, talks about the teachings and individual meetings. Participants are expected to follow the sequence of instructions as they are given.

A minimum stay for the full month of September is required.

A lottery will be conducted for this course; applications are due by October 1, 2022.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
October 1 - October 31, 2023

Caroline Jones & Jaya Rudgard

During this month we will be exploring, amongst other themes, balance, ease and wise effort in practice, supported by the Brahma viharas. Jaya will offer an optional qigong session once a week.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
November 1 - November 30, 2023

Caroline Jones & Mark Nunberg

Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
December 1 - December 31, 2023

Caroline Jones & Nakawe Cuebas Berrios

The teachers intend to support each person’s practice and honor their individual path in the dhamma. Winter can be a wonderful time to deepen our practice and we will include some reflections on the season and the solstice.