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Mission and Values
IMS is a spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom of mind and heart. We offer meditation retreats rooted in the Theravada Buddhist teachings of ethics, concentration and wisdom. These practices help develop awareness and compassion in ourselves, giving rise to greater peace and happiness in the world.
The vision of IMS is to uphold the possibility of liberation for all beings.
Our guiding values
Core value: the Buddha-Dharma
The teachings - IMS’s purpose is to offer the dharma in the West by passing on the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the liberation from suffering.
The Buddha taught that the path of awakening rests in the practice of the fourfold sangha (community) which includes monks (bhikkhus), nuns (bhikkhunis), lay women and lay men. IMS is committed to supporting the full equality of women in both the lay and ordained communities of Theravada Buddhism.
The practice - We embody this by offering retreats and a place of refuge; practicing and encouraging the practice of meditation; and practicing service, renunciation, ethical conduct and lovingkindness as a society of yogis (retreatants), teachers and staff.
The culture: our shared beliefs on keeping the core value
Moderation - We value simplicity of life as a way of living the Teachings. In this we make every effort to use resources wisely, respect the environment, and practice the principle of moderation.
Diversity - We value making the dharma accessible to as many people as possible, and we value diversity in staff, yogis and teachers.
Harmony - We value harmony in our community life. We seek to resolve conflicts non-violently and honestly, recognizing that harmony can exist amidst diversity and disagreement. In areas of conflict, individual needs are considered in light of community needs; and the needs of the community normally take precedence over individual needs or wants.
Right communication - We value right speech, honest communication, respectful listening, healthy expression of disagreement, and openness to divergent views.
The organization: a society of yogis, teachers and staff in mutual service
Stewardship - We value responsible stewardship of financial, human and natural resources.
Organizational clarity - We value the clarity that comes with a structure that allows for the exercise of authority and promotes accountability at all levels of the institution.
Participation - Within that structure we value the inclusion of staff in mindful decision making that is transparent, efficient, and considerate of everyone’s needs.
Stability - We value the ease that comes with organizational stability. We support all staff being able to stay at IMS as long as they are able to contribute to the work, meet the needs of the institution, and support the life of the society.