Mission and Vision

Mission and Vision


The Insight Meditation Center (IMC) is dedicated to the study and practice of Buddhist ideals – mindfulness, ethics, compassion, loving-kindness, and liberation. At the heart of all IMC activities is the practice of Insight Meditation, sometimes called mindfulness or Vipassana meditation. Based on a 2500-year-old Buddhist teaching, this practice helps us to see more deeply and clearly into our lives. With insight, we develop ways of living more peacefully, compassionately, and wisely.

Daily practice forms the foundation of Insight Meditation practice: daily meditation practice, and the practice of mindfulness and compassion as we go about our daily lives. Buddhist tradition also emphasizes the value of intensive meditation retreats. IMC’s mission is to stay firmly rooted in the practices of meditation and retreats. From this foundation in meditation and mindfulness, we actively seek to find ways to support practitioners in integrating and applying the spiritual life in all areas of life.


Practicing Kindness, Clarity and Liberation

Our vision for the Insight Meditation Center is to be a community-based meditation center where the practices and teachings of mindfulness and Insight (vipassana) Meditation are made available broadly to all who are interested. We are guided by the Buddhist teachings on cultivating kindness, clarity, and liberation.

In fulfilling this vision, IMC has ten interrelated aspirations:

  • To provide a simple and quiet environment at our Redwood City center where the contemplative life can be developed and protected amidst the complexities of urban living.
  • To have a coordinated, sequential set of programs at IMC and online for those beginning mindfulness practice to those with years of involvement with IMC and Buddhist practice.
  • To provide opportunities to deepen one’s practice through regular meditation opportunities and daylong meditation retreats.
  • To provide opportunities to deepen one’s practice by offering residential retreats at our Insight Retreat Center.
  • To offer teachings and practice opportunities that complement Insight Meditation in supporting a balanced spiritual, family and social life from a Buddhist perspective.
  • To welcome, with appreciation for our diversity, equally people of all cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, racial identities, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, education, and abilities.
  • To foster a community of practitioners mutually supporting each other in exploring Buddhist practice.
  • To be an all-volunteer organization, offering all activities, including residential retreats, free of charge.
  • To train teachers, meditation instructors and mentors to teach and support others in Buddhist practice.
  • To contribute to the welfare of our society and world.

The Dharma of IMC

You can listen to Gil Fronsdal’s talk, “The Dharma of IMC” here.  He discusses some of the history, values, and Buddhist orientation that underlies IMC.

A Broader Vision

Gil Fronsdal has written an inspiring document, A Broader Vision, about the relationship between the Insight Meditation Center (IMC), the Insight Retreat Center (IRC) and the Sati Center.

Making a Difference: A Vision for the Role of Mindfulness in Society

As interest in mindfulness has exploded in recent years, the practice has been applied to many aspects of modern life. It has been shown to bring benefits in such areas as education, parenting, medicine, mental health, business, sports, prisons, and conflict resolution. Gil shares his vision for the important role mindfulness can have in our society and how it can help create a society that benefits and supports all its members. Video: Making a Difference.

IMC Speaks Out Against Anti-Asian Violence

We are heartbroken by the horrific surge in relentless, unprovoked harassment and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States since March 2020. The Insight Meditation Center (IMC) and its community open our hearts to the pain of anti-Asian hate, bearing witness to the suffering and heartache that result from hatred, fear and ignorance. We hold all who experience such hate and violence in our hearts with compassion, expressing sorrow and offering condolence. We sit, walk, and stand in solidarity with Asian immigrants, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders who are targets of discrimination and violence. We aim to be a community opposed to racism everywhere, including in our own midst and in our own minds.

Read the full statement here.