March 19, 2024

Teen Retreat 2024 Landing Page Draft (Old)

Register for the Teen Retreat here.

Ages 15-19 years

“Having this kind of introduction to what is possible—a way to live in the world—is very powerful. These teens don’t just learn how to be on retreat, they learn how to be in the world. The Dharma has the potential to be a steadying life-long resource for them.”—Jean Esther, IMS Teen Retreat Lead Teacher


  • Games
  • Music
  • Creative writing
  • Visual arts
  • Bonfire
  • Yoga & meditation

…and other fun workshops all within the framework of mindfulness and how we can bring wisdom and compassion into our experiences.


  • Residential retreat for young adults
  • Supportive environment committed to inclusivity of all
  • Skilled teaching team and adult mentors to support the teens’ experience

Meet the Teaching Team
Jean Esther

Jean Esther, MSW LICSW, has trained in meditation since 1975 and has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 37 years. She is a guiding teacher of True North Insight Meditation Centre in Canada, teaches at Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley , MA, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBME) and elsewhere across North America. Her teachings integrate psychological understanding and somatic awareness with Buddhist teachings on love and wisdom.

Cara Lai

Cara Lai has spent most of her life in pursuit of meaning and happiness, which landed her on a cushion for much of her adult life. Throughout many mind-body adventures including many long-term retreats, she has explored the concentrated mind, chronic illness, the value of pleasure, the power of maternal energy, and connection to the earth. In the past, Cara has worked as an artist, wilderness guide, social worker and psychotherapist. Now she finds herself intently focused on the dharma path, practicing both on and off the cushion in unconventional ways, and using intuition as her guide. She tries her best to teach from the most authentic and vulnerable place she can muster, and is still learning about the contentment of simply existing.

Alexis Santos

Alexis Santos has practiced insight meditation since 2001, including training as a Buddhist monk in Burma with Sayadaw U Tejaniya. He brings a practical, intuitive and compassionate approach to the development of wisdom. Teaching retreats in the US and internationally, he offers daily life practice support online at his website


Jean Esther:

Cara Lai:


The annual teen and young adult retreats at IMS provide a unique opportunity for young people to connect with themselves in a profound and transformative way.

Please consider donating to help young meditators experience the power of retreat, regardless of their financial circumstances:


Teen Retreat

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