IMS Online Schedule

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Ease, Joy and Freedom: Belonging together - LGBTQIA+

A silent mindfulness half-day retreat for the LGBTQIA+ community. This is an opportunity to come together in the safety of our beloved sangha, embracing all of ourselves, as we cultivate wholesome qualities of our hearts and minds. There will be alternating sitting and walking meditation, instruction, and relational practice.


This retreat is open to both experienced and beginner meditators who self-identify as queer, questioning, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, agender, intersex, or two-spirit.


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Sunday, April 28, 2024

Attitudes of Mindfulness: A Half-Day of Practice for People in Recovery

In recovery, cultivating moment-to-moment awareness (or mindfulness) is one of the most important supports we can offer ourselves and those around us. With mindfulness, we change how we relate to what happens both internally and externally–namely, we become less reactive and more open and responsive.


To be truly effective, the practice of mindfulness requires us to cultivate certain attitudes of mind, such as: patience, curiosity, acceptance, kindness and more, especially if we are to have a wiser relationship with strong craving. This half-day retreat for self-identified people in recovery will offer opportunities to deepen our insight meditation practice and to connect in community.


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May 4 - 10

Breaking the Spell of Time: A Retreat for Advanced Practitioners

The spiritual path is directed toward the discovery of and abidance within the fundamental essence of reality, but what are the qualities of this irreducible nature?  It is still, motionless, inclusive, and limitless –  a universe devoid of time.  However, when we look around, we see everything in motion and time-bound, and we see ourselves moving inexorably toward aging and death. How do those two opposite perspectives reconcile? If the destination of the spiritual journey is to abide in the timeless, but we find ourselves bound within time, what is our way forward? The path is to explore what time is, how it is conceptually conceived, and how time and the sense-of-self co-dependently arise. Through those and other forms of inquiry, we discover the stillness that holds all time and motion, yet is beyond both. We then live within the paradox of motion while abiding within that stillness.


Since this retreat is intended to call into question the conventual way we assume reality to be, we are requesting the prerequisites for this course be 10 years of practice in Insight, Zen, or Chan Meditation including extensive retreat experience.


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Sunday, May 19 at 7:00 - 8:30

Joseph Goldstein’s 80th Birthday Celebration

Join us in celebrating 80 years of Joseph Goldstein on planet Earth! The Insight Meditation Society is hosting a virtual birthday party for our beloved co-founder and guiding teacher. The evening features a lively conversation about teaching with Joseph and Sharon Salzberg, and 10% Happier Podcast host Dan Harris interviewing Joseph about aging gracefully. Dharma friends will also be sharing poetry, stories, photos, music, and more. Join us virtually on zoom to be part of a delightful evening sharing our appreciation for someone who has impacted all our lives for the better.


In lieu of gifts, people are welcome to make a donation to the Insight Meditation Society.


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Thursdays, May 23 & May 30

In the Buddha’s Words Applying “Right View” to Daily Life

In a conversation with a student (the Kaccayanagotta Sutta) the Buddha clarifies what “right view” is, and why it is the secret to a peaceful, happy life.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


Teachers

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Thursdays, June 6 & 13

In the Buddha’s Words: Conflict and Working with Thoughts

Described by the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi as “ the collection that combines the richest variety of contextual settings with the deepest and most comprehensive assortment of teachings,” we will look at three suttas in the Majjhima Nikāya (The Middle Discourses) about how conflict arises, recognizing harmful vs. harmless thoughts, and how to stop thoughts.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


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Thursdays, June 20 & 27

In the Buddha’s Words: In the Buddha’s Words: The Call to Free Inquiry

In the Kalama Sutta, the Buddha did not ask us to have blind faith, but instead invited those of us seeking truth to discover it for ourselves through personal inquiry. Instead of dogma, he encouraged curiosity.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


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July 16 - 25

The Nature of Awareness: A Hybrid Retreat for Experienced Students

In this retreat we will explore the nature of awareness, or consciousness, which is at the heart of sentient life. Awareness is always with us, revealing the phenomena of our experience, yet we may not have learned how to use it as a focus in meditation. As we deepen our connection to this mysterious capacity for knowing, it becomes a powerful pathway to inner freedom and liberation.


This retreat is offered in two formats. A full hybrid retreat and an audit-only retreat. Each format offers a different program experience. If you would like to register for the Audit-Only Retreat format, click here.


Assistants

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JULY 16-25

The Nature of Awareness: A Hybrid Retreat for Experienced Students (Audit-Only)

In this retreat we will explore the nature of awareness, or consciousness, which is at the heart of sentient life. Awareness is always with us, revealing the phenomena of our experience, yet we may not have learned how to use it as a focus in meditation. As we deepen our connection to this mysterious capacity for knowing, it becomes a powerful pathway to inner freedom and liberation.


This retreat is offered in two formats. A full hybrid retreat and an audit-only retreat. Each format offers a different program experience. This registration page is for the Audit-Only Retreat format. If you would like to register for the Full Hybrid Retreat format, click here.


Assistants

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Thursdays, September 5 & 12

In the Buddha’s Words: Entering into Emptiness

In a conversation with his attendant (the Cula-sunnata Sutta), the Buddha describes his own meditation on emptiness and how we, his students, can find our way to its complete understanding.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R


Open
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Thursdays, October 3 - November 7

In the Buddha’s Words: The Final Teaching

In his final days, the Buddha chose to leave us with his most important teachings, and gave us permission to let go of the lesser teachings. Find out what messages mattered most to him before he passed into final Nirvana. During this program, we will explore the Buddha’s words, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our lives today.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


Teachers

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October 10

Lineage Stories with Guy Armstrong

Our vision is to have our teachers share stories about their teachers, to honour our gratitude to the Asian roots of the practice; to give a sense of these teachings being handed down, generation to generation; and to give current practitioners a sense of carrying this precious gift forward.


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Thursdays, November 14 & 21

In the Buddha’s Words: Loving-Kindness and Compassion

Extolling the virtuous qualities of meditative development in the Metta Sutta, the Buddha described the qualities of kindness and compassion that manifest in one who embodies his teachings.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


Teachers

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Thursdays, December 5 & 12

In the Buddha’s Words Blessings of the Buddha Way

While one doesn’t practice the Buddha Way for personal gain, there are benefits to those who do. In the Mangala Sutta, the Buddha describes the blessings that are attained along the path.


Throughout the Sutta series, we will explore narratives about and discourses by the Buddha, which have been passed down for over 2,500 years, and directly apply them to practice in our modern lives.


This program is open to beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This program will include dharma teachings, meditation instructions, and opportunities for Q&R.


Open
Registration is still open for this retreat!
Available On-Demand

The Way of the Buddha: Core Teachings of the Dharma Path

Free Audio Program. Open to all. Welcome to The Way of the Buddha, an immersive audio learning experience from IMS Online. For 45 years, IMS has been a leader in Dharma education rooted in the foundational principles of Early Buddhism. Now, for the first time, our teachers offer the profound insights of the Buddha in a comprehensive practice and study program delivered directly to you in your own online practice space. Each module features IMS teachers from many generations and backgrounds who will guide you on the path.


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Available On-Demand

Wishing Goodness and Safety: A Daylong Metta Retreat

During this daylong on-demand recording, we’ll dive into the practice of Metta, or loving-kindness, as taught in the Visuddhimagga. Using phrases, images and felt sense, we’ll cultivate the unconditional heart that wishes goodness for ourselves, others, and even those most difficult to love. In developing the natural kindness of the heart, we can trust that we’re building the skills to wisely respond to our own challenges, as well as our collective challenges of these times.


Appropriate for beginning and seasoned meditators alike. All are welcome. This on-demand retreat includes dharma teachings and meditation instructions for both sitting and walking meditation.


Teachers

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Available On-Demand

30 Day Meditation Challenge

The 30-Day Meditation Challenge will help you establish your practice by following IMS founding teacher Joseph Goldstein’s book The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation, which offers one practice topic per day for 30 days. Our challenge began on January 2, 2023, with a live talk from Joseph on starting, maintaining, and deepening a daily meditation practice. He responded to pre-submitted questions during this introductory session. Over the following 29 days, IMS teachers Devon HaseRachel Lewis, and Tuere Sala led guided online meditations, beginning each session with instructions and a reflection from the book.

We recommend that you purchase your own copy of The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation to follow along and deepen your experience throughout the month. An audiobook version is also available.

Open
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Available On-Demand

Inside Insight: The Founding Story

A film about the early days of IMS and how this revered Buddhist meditation retreat center came into being. Made in partnership with long-time yogis Eddie and Jan Hauben and filmmakers Joe and Elizabeth Seamans, the documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at the discovery and creation of IMS’s permanent home—where it sits today—in Barre, MA. It includes personal, heartwarming interviews with co-founders Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Jack Kornfield, and other early teachers, board members, and staff as well as photos and archival footage from the beginning days of IMS.


Open
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Available On Demand

The IMS Lineage Project: Dipa Ma

This March, we honor Nani Bala Barua (1911-1989), the beloved teacher known as “Dipa Ma”—mother of Dipa. Born in East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Dipa Ma broke barriers as a married householder committed to the path of enlightenment. Following her training in Burma, she settled in Calcutta, where her reputation as a Buddhist teacher and realized meditator quickly inspired other women to begin spiritual training as part of everyday life. Eventually, her mastery and modesty attracted many Westerners as well, including IMS co-founders Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. Dipa Ma is said to have encouraged relationships with people near and far, saying, “They are hungry for the Dhamma, so let them come.” In 1980 and again in 1984, Dipa Ma came to teach at IMS, establishing a connection that remains in our hearts today.


Through personal stories and the transmission of practices held sacred by Dipa Ma herself, Sharon Salzberg lead three sessions honoring Dipa Ma’s life, legacy, and teachings. Together, we will contemplate her influence and bathe in the maternal love that Dipa Ma represented through her thoughts, words, and actions. We hope you will join us for this special IMS event; the first of several explorations into the lineages and legacies that shaped the Insight Meditation Society and that continue to inspire our work and practice.