July 15, 2022

Returning to IMS—A Photo Essay

By Walt Opie, IMS Teacher

Returning to IMS for the first time since right before the pandemic hit felt like waking up in the middle of an exceptionally vivid dream, only to realize I wasn’t dreaming after all. It was truly wonderful to be back. Everything looked very clear and bright, almost sparkling. The meditation hall gave me pause as I entered it again, recalling countless hours well-nourished by the dharma within those walls. At one point I walked downstairs just to see the shiny wooden bowling lane (turned walking meditation spot) again, and yes, it was still there exactly as I remembered it.

Deep bows to the caretakers and all IMS staff who cared for these beautiful buildings and grounds in the absence of the rest of us. And someday I’m going to write a poem called “The Gazpacho Sutta” inspired by that tangy red gazpacho served during the retreat!

Vance Pryor, who co-taught the retreat, holds open the Retreat Center front door for Walt.
An elegant Kuan Yin statue in the Upper Walking Room displays the royal ease pose.
Surveying the view from the front of the main Meditation Hall right before the yogis arrive.
Admiring the purple and white orchids and the new wooden Buddha statue on the main altar.
Enjoying an afternoon in June at the Retreat Center.
The view as we entered the grounds of the Retreat Center from Pleasant Street.

Photos by Walt Opie