Exploring Wise Speech through the practice of Insight Dialogue with Jill Shepherd (Sept 7)

9:30am – 4:30pm

Insight Dialogue is an interpersonal meditation practice that brings the mindfulness and tranquility of traditional silent meditation into our experience with others. Resting on the foundation of traditional Buddhist teachings, this practice offers a way to integrate wisdom and compassion into our relational lives through mindful speaking and mindful listening.
In this one-day non-residential workshop, we will use the power of relational meditation practice to understand the habits of heart and mind that lead to stress and distress, and how to free ourselves from those habits so that we can live together with greater ease and happiness.
Working together in pairs, we will explore the six guidelines of Insight Dialogue in conjunction with the classical Buddhist teachings on Wise Speech: speech that is “… spoken at the right time … spoken in truth … spoken affectionately … spoken beneficially … spoken with a mind of good-will.”
For more information about the practice of Insight Dialogue, please see https://metta.org/insight-dialogue-3/
This workshop is best suited to people with an established meditation practice, but previous Insight Dialogue experience is not required.
NOTE: Because the Insight Dialogue guidelines will be taught in sequence and much of the meditation is done in pairs, please plan to arrive on time and stay for the entire day.

Jill Shepherd’s Biography 

Digital Detox: Meditation in Nature with Nikki Mirghafori (Sept 8)

Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter, 2560 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA

Join us for an afternoon retreat at the Environmental Volunteers’ EcoCenter located at the beautiful Palo Alto Baylands’ Nature Preserve. We will collectively turn off our digital devices and turn our hearts and minds to awe inspiring nature inside and outside. The event is held rain or shine, partly indoors and partly outdoors, sitting and walking. There will be guided meditation, periods of silent sitting and walking, Q/A, and a short dharma talk. Beginners and experienced practitioners welcome.  

Chairs available. If you wish to sit on the floor, please bring zafu/zabuton.

Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter, 2560 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
Map and directions

Nikki Mirghafori Biography

An Evening For People of Asian Background (Sept 11)

People of all Asian and South Asian backgrounds are invited to an informal discussion about IMC and participation in IMC. This is a chance to ask questions, raise concerns, and to describe challenges, joys, and possibilities that might exist at IMC for people born in Asia or descendants of Asian immigrants. People coming to IMC from an Asian cultural background will sometimes notice how different IMC is from the form of Buddhism or other religions they may be familiar with. The differences in styles and approaches can raise questions in people’s mind about how to engage and practice in a community like IMC. Discussions about this and other topics will be hosted by Gil Fronsdal (founding teacher at IMC, immigrant from Norway), Lilu Chen (Chinese born, raised in the US with doctorate studying Islam in China), and Ying Chen (Chinese born software engineer, spouse and mother in a mixed Chinese-Indian family, IMC Dharma Leader).

We welcome any Asian or South Asian people who are new to IMC or have been coming for some time. 


The Eightfold Path Program (2019/2020)


Meeting Dates:

  • Sunday 1:00 – 2:30: Sept. 8
  • Sundays 1:00-3:30: Oct 6, Nov 3, Dec 1, Jan 12, Feb 16, March 15, April 19, May 17
  • Saturday: June 13 9:30 to 4:30 Concluding Daylong Retreat at IRC, Scotts Valley

The Buddha’s most explicit path of practice is the Eightfold Path— a set of eight practical approaches to bring Buddhist practice into the width and depth of our lives. The Eightfold Path Program is an introduction to each of the Eightfold factors so participants will discover how to apply each set of practices in ways that are personally meaningful.

Pre-requisite: completion of IMC’s Introduction to Meditation course or the equivalent.

All are welcome to attend the Sunday sessions below. Please register to receive course materials by email. A longer application is required to be assigned a mentor in addition to the group meetings. The form for both purposes is:  APPLICATION LINK.  Applications for mentoring due by September 1, 2019.

Dates of Public Meetings at IMC (except for the first and last sessions, all are Sunday 1pm to 3:30pm):

The program has the following elements:
  1. 2-1/2 hour monthly meetings that include teachings, meditation, and discussions.
  2. Readings, reflections and practices for each month.
  3. A monthly one-hour personal meeting with an Eightfold Path mentor to discuss one’s practice and reflections on the Eightfold Path factors.  A few slots may be offered for mentoring in Spanish.  
    (Mentoring slots are by application only, see note above, Sunday meetings are open to the public).  
  4. Ends with a one-day Eightfold Path retreat at the Insight Retreat Center in Scotts Valley

Contact eightfoldpath@insightmeditationcenter.org with questions.

Sep 8 – Introduction to the Program
Oct 6 –  Eightfold Path Program – Right View
Nov 3  – Eightfold Path Program – Right Intention
Dec 1 – Eightfold Path Program –  Right Speech 
Jan 12 –  Eightfold Path Program – Right Action  
Feb 16 – Eightfold Path Program – Right Livelihood
Mar 15 – Eightfold Path Program – Right Effort
Apr 19 – Eightfold Path Program – Right Mindfulness
May 17 – Eightfold Path Program – Right Concentration
June 13 (Saturday) – Daylong retreat at IRC Scotts Valley

Deepening Meditation Program (2019-2020)


Mondays, 9:30 am-4:00 pm: 8/26, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm: 10/7, 11/11, 12/2, 1/6, 2/3, 3/2, 4/20 5/18.  Optional retreat: March 15-22.

The DMP is an eight-month program giving experienced practitioners the opportunity to delve into meditation practice and the Buddhist teachings and instructions for meditation. The program will focus on understanding the different attentional factors involved in mindfulness, insight, and concentration meditation. We will also consider the supports and challenges to meditation, and the experiences and insights emphasized in traditional Vipassana practice. Components of the program include monthly group meetings, readings, short reflective writing assignments and small group practice-discussion meetings with Diana Clark, Max Erdstein and possibly other teachers.  Additional optional components are a seven-day retreat at IRC for forty people in March 2020 and a series of daylong retreats at IMC focusing on themes augmenting the program.

As this is an immersion program, having a regular meditation practice is required.  Additional prerequisites are five years of committed insight meditation practice, 4 seven-day (or longer) silent insight meditation retreats and completion of the IMC Eightfold Path Program or its equivalent.

Apply Here ; Applications due by August 1.  Notification of acceptance by Aug 14.

Live Video Streaming of IMC talks

Video recordings of some of the Dharma Talks given at IMC are available on YouTube. When one becomes available there is a Video button associated with the talk in the Audio Dharma list of talks. All the video recordings can be reached from the Video link on the left menu on AudioDharma’s homepage.  

Sunday morning talks by Gil (and occasionally other teachers) will also be live streamed.

You can access the Audio Dharma Youtube channel directly at https://www.youtube.com/user/insightmed/vide

The April-June 2019 Newsletter is Now Available

The April-June 2019 Newsletter is Now Available

Study and Practice Series: The Anapanasati Sutta With David Lorey, Diana Clark, Kim Allen and Ying Chen

Sati Center Program at Insight Meditation Center

Sati Center Program at Insight Meditation Center

Wednesday afternoons, May 1st – May 29th⋅1:30 – 3:00pm

Many forms of insight practice come from the ancient teachings of the Buddha and his disciples as documented in the suttas. In Study and Practice Series, we bring the elements of sutta study and practice together to enrich and deepen our Dharma practice. The sessions include teachings, discussions, practices, and Q&A.

The first series will focus on The Anapanasati Sutta found in Majjhima Nikaya MN 118 – the discourse on mindfulness of breathing. More information at Sati.org; registration required.

Course Material: We recommend purchasing The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha in the long run. There are also several online translations available for this sutta at  Sutta Central and Dhamma Talks

RSVP by April 29th is required to sign up for the course. Please email practicecourses.saticenter@gmail.com with your name and email address.


Four Foundations of Mindfulness Monday Evening Series with Gil

Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Monday evening Dharma Talk series
With Gil Fronsdal
Starting January 7, for the months of January, February, and March, when he is present to teach on Monday evenings, Gil we give talks on the Buddha’s Discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.  These are the ancient teachings on mindfulness which are the source for the modern prcatice in mindfulness practice.

The January-March 2019 Newsletter is Now Available

The January-March 2019 Newsletter is Now Available

Dharma Talk Videos Now Available

Audio Dharma Video

In 2018 we began to video record some of the Dharma Talks given at IMC, and hosted on YouTube. When one becomes available there is a Video button associated with the talk in the Audio Dharma list of talks. All the video recordings can be reached from the Video link on the left menu on AudioDharma’s homepage.

You can access the Audio Dharma Youtube channel directly at https://www.youtube.com/user/insightmed/videos

In the future we hope to live stream some of our Dharma Talks.

Year End Letter from Gil Fronsdal

Dear Friend of IMC /IRC/Audio Dharma,

Thirty-four years ago a few people began to gather together in Menlo Park on Monday evenings to practice mindfulness meditation and listen to Buddhist teachings. They planted the seed that grew to become IMC. Not only do we now have an active urban meditation center, but we have the Insight Retreat Center, a thriving residential retreat center in Santa Cruz, and also a large “online center” of tens of thousands of people who listen to our talks online through Audio Dharma and other websites.

It is remarkable that these three centers exist entirely due to the generosity of many people. All those who value our teachings, practice in our centers, volunteer, and financially donate to IMC contribute to the field of generosity and goodwill which allows us to continue.

In this annual fundraising letter, I first and foremost want to express my great gratitude to all the people who practice with and support IMC and IRC. For me, our community is a wonderful expression of the liberation, compassion, and love that the Buddha pointed to. When, years ago, I started teaching at IMC, I never could have imagined teaching in such an inspiring community based on the most meaningful values found in Buddhism. Many, many thanks!

The donations we receive in response to this end-of-the-year fundraising letter are a significant means by which we finance our three centers, including new ways to support people’s interest in mindfulness and Buddhist practice. For all forms of support we are deeply appreciative.

May the programs at IMC help address the sufferings of our world and bring Dharma joy to many.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Gil Fronsdal

Donations can be made on the website’s “Donate” page or by sending checks to

IMC,  108 Birch S Redwood City,  CA 94062

January 12 Daylong Retreat with Gil Fronsdal

Daylong with Gil Fronsdal
Saturday, January 12, 20198:30am – 5:00pm
Description:Practicing mindfulness on retreat is one of the foundations for maturing insight meditation. The simplicity, silence and support of retreats contribute to letting go of many of the distractions that get in the way of clear seeing. Retreats also are a wonderful environment for developing a continuity of awareness for an extended period. This particular daylong retreat is meant for people who already understand the basic practice of mindfulness; no instruction will be given. The schedule consists of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation. At the end of the day Gil gives a Dharma talk. Brief interviews to talk about the practice will be available with Gil. Previous experience is recommended. Bring Lunch. Gil Fronsdal’s biography

Parking Around IMC

Recently we received a neighbor’s complaint about parking near IMC. In addition, a person from the Abigail senior living facility across the street interrupted a Dharma talk to announce that people attending IMC were using their private parking lot. We are eager to be good neighbors. We also realize that if we cannot reduce our parking impact we will need to reduce the number and scheduling of our programs.

Therefore, we ask that people attending IMC events do not park on the 100 block of Birch Street, i.e. the block IMC is on that is a one-way street. The exception is for people who are not able to walk more than a short distance.

It is also important that you not park in the Abigail parking lot across the street from IMC; your car may get towed.

Abundant street parking is found within a 3-minute walk of IMC. These can be found on El Camino, Brewster, Broadway and Hopkins near the intersection with Fulton. Parking further from IMC will not only help our neighbors, it will also provide more accessible parking for people for whom walking is a challenge.

Everyone’s help with this is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



Summer-Fall 2018 IRC Newsletter is now available

The Summer-Fall 2018 IRC Newsletter is now available