September 25, 2020

Refuge in the Midst of the Holidays

Refuge in the Midst of the Holidays

Narayan Helen Liebenson

Saturday, November 28 – Sunday, November 29

Cost is sliding-scale: $200, $130, or $80, your choice. Registration fees support the Insight Meditation Society’s work online and at our physical retreat centers in Barre, MA. Scholarships ($40) are available. We welcome you to reach out, nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, please email imsonline@dharma.org.

REGISTER HERE

The time period between Thanksgiving and the New Year can be complex in the best of times. This year it is likely to be even more so, given the constraints around contact with family and friends. How do we care for the heart and continue to train the mind during this time? A tried and true option for over 2,600 years is to be with others in a sincere practice community, engaging in the ancient forms of sitting, walking, being mindful in daily life activities while at home, and listening and applying the teachings of liberation.

 

During our time together on this retreat, we will practice honestly acknowledging things as they are, allowing the clouds of thought and emotion to be experienced and released, and inquiring into the questions and confusions that are important in our lives. We will practice, as one Zen master suggested, “complete unrestricted cooperation with the unavoidable,” which means an open-hearted approach to life as it is. In this way we can fortify ourselves to engage in the world with greater clarity and connectedness.

 

This retreat is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.

A note on dana (generosity)
Most IMS teachers—like insight teachers around the world—rely on the generosity of students for their livelihood, and receive no compensation from course fees. All IMS online teachers receive a modest dana advance from IMS to guarantee a minimum level of financial support. (Click here to learn more about the dana practice.) There will be an opportunity to offer a contribution to your teacher.

Daily Schedule – all times listed in Eastern Standard Time EST:
Note: all sessions (except Q&A & movement) will be recorded and posted so you can view it later if you missed one. 

Saturday, November 28
10 am – 11 am –  Opening Session, Guided Meditation, Instructions for the day
12:15 am – 1 pm –  Q&A
3 – 3:45 pm – Dharma Talk & Sitting
4 – 4:45 pm – mindful movement with Éowyn Ahlstrom
6:15 – 7 pm – Guided Meditation 

Sunday, November 29
10 am – 11 am –  Guided Meditation, Instructions for the day
12:15 am – 1 pm –  Dharma Talk & Sitting
3 – 3:45 pm – Q&A
5 – 5:30 pm – Guided Meditation, Closing Session  

Suggested at-home schedule:

Saturday
7:30: sitting
8:00: breakfast and tasks
9:00: walking (outside or in)
10:00: first group session
11:00: walking
11:30: sitting
12:00: mindful break
12:15: second group session
1PM: lunch
2:00: walking (outside or in)
3:00: third group session
3:45: mindful break
4:00: mindful movement
4:45: dinner
5:45: walking
6:15: fourth group session
7:00: walking
7:45: sitting
8:15: mindful break
8:30: sitting
9:00: sleep or continued practice

Sunday
7:30: sitting
8:00: breakfast and tasks
9:00: walking (outside or in)
10:00: first group session
11:00: walking
11:30: sitting
12:00: mindful break
12:15: second group session
1PM: lunch
2: 00 walking (outside or in)
3:00: third group session
3:45: walking
4:15: sitting
4:45: mindful break
5:00: last group session

REGISTER HERE

Teacher Bios

Narayan Helen Liebenson finds it a joy and a privilege to share the Buddha’s teachings with all who are interested. She serves as an IMS guiding teacher, and has been a guiding teacher of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center since its inception in 1985.

Her training over the past forty years includes study in the United States and in Asia with meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan traditions.  She was a student of the late Chan master Sheng Yen for over ten years. Asked by Master Sheng Yen to teach, Narayan decided to integrate her understanding of Zen into her already existing Vipassana lineage.

Narayan is the author and illustrator of a small book titled Life as Meditation, and for many years wrote a meditator’s advice column in Buddhadharma magazine. Her latest book, The Magnanimous Heart, was published by Wisdom Publications in January, 2019.

REGISTER HERE