Participants in this retreat will be offered the unique form of guidance of insight meditation (vipassana) developed by renowned Buddhist monastic scholar and meditation master, the late Mahāsi Sayadaw of Myanmar, and described in his Manual of Insight.
The course, held in the context of silence, will be tailored for beginners as well as more experienced meditators. Instruction will be given in the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the practices laid out by the Buddha that can purify heart and mind, and lead to liberation. The teachers will offer sitting and walking practices, talks, and guided lovingkindness meditations. There will also be opportunities to ask questions clarifying the teachings.
Mahāsi Sayadaw’s guidance includes the use of a primary object and mental noting to help steady attention during each day’s periods of formal sitting, walking and standing meditation. During other activities throughout the day such as eating, bathing, and resting, we will learn to sustain a relaxed continuity of mindfulness. This gentle yet persevering effort produces an ever-deepening understanding of the universal nature of all of life and gives rise to the insight and wisdom that lead to liberation.
This form of meditation training has been foundational for many IMS teachers, including Steve, Kamala, Deborah and Tara, the teachers of this retreat. It has also been taught by other revered insight meditation teachers, such as the late Sayadaw U Pandita, Anagarika Munindra, Dipa Ma, Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. We are honored to be able to preserve and offer this form of guidance from those teachers who have guided us in our own Dhamma practice.