Joy of Seclusion

Wisdom Publications has shared an article on "The Joy of Seclusion." This piece is based on a chapter from Shaila Catherine's book, Focused and Fearless. Enjoy it here: https://wisdomexperience.org/wisdom-article/joy-of-seclusion/

2021-02-24T11:38:19-08:00February 24th, 2021|News, Uncategorized|

Join an online course to Cultivate the Jhana Factors

Shaila Catherine will offer Cultivating the Jhana Factors. It is a brilliant online course that nurtures the profound qualities and mental skills that support deep concentration. Registration ends April 27, 2021. Register Now at: https://bodhicourses.org/cultivating-jhana-factors/ This is what one student said: “Studying with Shaila has demystified Jhana practice and made deep concentration available to me.”

2021-02-13T13:07:07-08:00February 13th, 2021|News, Uncategorized|

Open IMSB Volunteer Opportunities

IMSB is currently seeking volunteers in the following areas: Administrative Assistant Assist teacher and other administrative volunteers with various ongoing tasks supporting the sangha, such as Google Drive administration, spreadsheet and membership database maintenance, flyer creation. Assistant Audio Editor Assist Audio Editor with transcription and posting of dhamma talks on Dharmaseed.org. Assistant Social Event Coordinator [...]

2017-09-28T16:20:27-07:00August 29th, 2017|News, Uncategorized|

60 people joined us for the launch of a new meditation group in Saratoga

The opening of our new Thursday evening meditation group in Saratoga got off to a superb start with 60 people in attendance. Shaila Catherine gave teachings on mindfulness with breathing, and we enjoyed meeting each other over refreshments. The new facility at Westhope Presbyterian Church was warm, spacious, comfortable, and very quiet. With a broad array of guest [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:50-08:00January 23rd, 2015|News, Uncategorized|

Resting the mind on the breath

I am leading a concentration and jhana retreat in France now, and it is a delight to introduce these practices. One student shared that by learning to settle the mind upon the breath, he gained deeper insight into the meaning of restlessness. Restlessness is a descriptive term: a mind without rest. The mind that does [...]

2012-06-18T06:51:41-07:00June 18th, 2012|Breath, Jhanas, Meditation, Uncategorized|

Are Sense Pleasures Suffering?

We often link happiness to the attainment of sensory pleasure; or we expect sensory pleasures to bring happiness. The emphasis on the unsatisfactoriness of conditioned experiences, as taught in the Buddhist tradition can, at first, seem disheartening.  Why equate innocuous and natural pleasures with suffering? Is the Buddhist path life-denying? We had a rousing dialog [...]

Returning from a Four Month Retreat

I recently returned from a four month retreat that was lead by the Venerables Pa-Auk Sayadaw and U Jagara in Massachusettes. It was a experiential approach to the Buddha's teachings that emphasized deep concentration (especially jhana) practice; the careful discernment and analysis of mental factors, cognitive processes, material elements, and causal relationships; and culminated in [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:56-08:00December 18th, 2011|Meditation, Sangha Practice, Uncategorized|

Embarking on a four month retreat

Ah, at long last, after months of organizing and arranging my worldly responsibilities, I am finally packing and preparing to embark on a 4 month meditation retreat that will be led by the Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw of Burma, and assisted by Venerable U Jagara. It will take place at the Insight Meditation Society in MA [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:56-08:00June 17th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Kabbhalah: Jewish Mysticism

At this interfaith symposium, I attended an inspiring presentation by the scholar, Daniel Matt, on Kabbhalah, which is a form of Jewish mysticism that seems to address contemplations of nothingness and being, emptiness and fullness, the divine and the incarnate. It was fascinating to listen to their descriptions of nothingness, which at moments sounded remarkably [...]

2011-03-26T11:37:54-07:00March 26th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Noticing Judging as a State of Hatred

Although the refinement of attention may not be as acute in daily life as it is during retreat, you can still resolve to clear your mind of obstructive states and refuse to fuel the reproduction of unwholesome states. For example, when you become aware that your mind is entertaining a stream of judging thoughts mindfully [...]

2010-11-06T08:10:57-07:00November 6th, 2010|Daily Life Practice, Emotions, Uncategorized|

Daily Life Insight While Bathing

After speaking about the subtle Buddhist practices in which a meditator discerns, analyzes, and contemplates the ultimate realities of phenomena, a student asked me how she could apply the teaching during daily life practice. Although it can be challenging to consistently see the subtleties of mind and matter during active daily life, you can certainly [...]

2010-11-05T08:04:42-07:00November 5th, 2010|Daily Life Practice, Mindfulness Practice, Uncategorized|


I’ve been quite impressed by the power of diligence. It is inspiring to see the transformation in students who have been returning year after year for our annual jhana retreat. Some have travelled across many state lines, or simply preserved the time in their local schedule to spend these ten days doing intensive samadhi practice. [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:59-08:00October 28th, 2010|Jhanas, Meditation, Uncategorized|

Feeling the breath today

Meditation teachers often speak about the breath, encouraging students of anapanasati samadhi to carefully observe the breath with a continuity of mindful attention. How closely are you observing your breath as you eat breakfast, walk down the stairs, drive your car, and also when you meditate? I enjoy highlighting mindfulness of the breath once in [...]

2017-02-16T09:34:59-08:00October 21st, 2010|Breath, Daily Life Practice, Meditation, Uncategorized|


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