15 Feb
Posted in: Retreats, Teachers
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A Bunch of Crazy Kids

just-kidsForty years ago a group of kids in their 20’s — Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein,¬†Jack Kornfield and a few others — having studied/practiced Buddhist meditation in Thailand and India — had the crazy idea of opening a meditation retreat center in the US.

The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) website tells the story like this: “On hearing of a Catholic novitiate for sale in Barre, Massachusetts, they came to take a look. As they traveled through the picturesque New England town, its motto, displayed on the town common, came into view: Tranquil and Alert. This seemed a fitting sign and captured the spirit of meditation.¬†Generous friends and supporters provided enough funds to purchase the property, priced at $150,000. And on February 14, 1976, a small band of teachers and staff opened the center.”

As Sharon likes to say, “For the first 20 years or so, IMS was run without any adult supervision.” Joseph adds, “There were many ups and downs, but somehow, with the help of many people, 40 years later we’re really in a good place.”

Click here for a great little video celebrating IMS’ 40th Birthday. Click here for more information and to see photos of these “kids” and the center they built, over the past four decades.

Happy Birthday, IMS!

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