We Are Building American Buddhism

Insight Meditation Society

1230 Pleasant Street
Barre, MA 01005
Telephone: (978) 355-4378
Website: www.dharma.org
Attn: Robert V. Agoglia

Description of Organization

IMS is one of the Western world's oldest and most-respected meditation retreat centers. We are dedicated to providing a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart.

Our experienced teachers offer guidance in Buddhist meditations known as vipassana (insight) and metta (lovingkindness). While the context is the Buddha’s teachings, these practices are universal. They help to develop awareness and compassion in ourselves, giving rise to greater peace and happiness in the world.

Grant(s) Awarded

The Foundation made a grant in 2009 in the amount of $10,000 payable over two years in connection with Insight Meditation Society’s “People of Color” and “Young Adult” Retreats. The Retreats provide an in-depth experience of the Buddha’s teachings on mindful awareness, with meditation instruction, half-hour sitting and walking periods, facilitated discussion groups, meditative arts and free time. This allows young adults to develop and value their natural spirituality within a supportive environment. There is much evidence to suggest that the training in Buddhist meditation received by participants' acts as a resource long after their retreat ends. Participants carry greater wisdom, self-reliance and compassion back into their daily life relationships and activities, creating a ripple effect. These retreats are offered to participants at a reduced rate based on their ability to pay (with a minimum requirement of $10 per day), and the purpose of the Foundation’s grant was to cover part of the shortfall for two of the courses offered in 2009 and 2010.

In 2012, the Foundation made an additional grant of $50,000 to support the People of Color retreats. 

 

Results/Updates

For the second consecutive year, funding from The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism has supported the Insight Meditation Society’s (IMS) work of offering the Buddha’s teachings to all.

In 2010, IMS once again offered its People of Color (POC) and Young Adults (YA) Retreats, thereby making meditation teachings available to two communities that have had limited access to them. Both courses were well-attended in 2010; they were booked to capacity at 92 and 89 participants, respectively. By continuing to offer these courses, we hope to ensure that the Buddha’s teachings will take further root in American society.

Retreatants continue to share feedback with us about the transformative experience that these retreats provide:

 “I deeply appreciate the beauty of these teachings.”

“The teachings have helped me to let go of suffering and to offer myself metta (lovingkindness).”

 “Thank you for creating such an incredible experience –

for this gift to my heart, mind, body and spirit.”

2010 POC Retreatants

 

“Practicing the dharma with my peers has been a deeply meaningful experience: the many moments of warmth, silence, concentration, connection and understanding spent with beings on the same part of life's path serve to inspire the mind and encourage the heart.”

“I am very grateful for all of the work and planning that went into the YA retreat. I especially appreciate the financial assistance.”

 “I am deeply grateful to the teachers, staff and fellow yogis for this experience.”

 
2010 YA Retreatants

 

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