About this IMS Online Hybrid Retreat

Sunday, March 10, 2024 - Sunday, March 17, 2024

On this retreat, we will explore the heart of the Buddha’s teaching: suffering and its causes, and freedom and its causes. With the help and cultivation of our natural and relaxed awareness, we can become intimate with what it is like to be human.

We will train our ability to bear witness to our personal and social pains, and will immerse ourselves in timeless teachings to incline our hearts and minds toward appreciating the joy of living.

By taking refuge in a loving and kind awareness, we can slow down to listen to the truths of the present moment and find peace in our own awakened hearts.

This course is open to everyone. We will honor and abide in noble silence throughout each day. The retreat format includes alternate periods of silent sitting and walking meditation practice, and dharma talks. Please note that there is no direct interaction with the onsite teachers.

This retreat begins on Sunday, March 10 at 7:15 pm ET and concludes Sunday, March 17 at 10:45 am ET. A full home retreat schedule and instructions will be offered. 


Bart van Melik has been teaching meditation since 2009, with a special focus on diverse communities. He brings the practice to juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters and NYC public schools, and is passionate about supporting people finding new ways to relate to life’s stresses. Bart is guiding teacher of the Community Meditation Center in New York City.

Devin Berry has been meditating for over 20 years. His practice is primarily informed by the classical teachings of early Buddhism and the Insight Meditation tradition. He has undertaken many periods of silent long-term retreat practice. Devin completed the Dedicated Practitioners Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where he is a visiting teacher and is a graduate of the 2017-2021 Insight Meditation Society Teacher Training Program. Devin served as a core leader with San Francisco POC Insight Sangha. He is a community teacher at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA where he co-founded the teen sangha and the Men of Color sangha. Devin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Insight World Aid. He has recently relocated to Western Massachusetts and teaches nationally.

Nakawe Cuebas Berrios feels blessed to be able to study and journey through different healing and spiritual traditions in her life. The common thread between the many traditions that have touched her path has been the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and heart. The healing systems that she has studied are: Midwifery, Chinese acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Spiritually the practices are Lucumi (Cuba), with roots from the African Yoruba culture and indigenous ceremonies. These practices helped to strengthen her connection to the Earth and Cosmos. Her ancestral home is Puerto Rico, blending the Spanish, African and Taino Indian roots that flow from her ancestors, and give her guidance and strength daily. Her Nuyorican roots are honored by her experiences growing up in New York City. By profession she has been a Midwife for 40 years and has worked in  community health centers in the Bronx providing services of midwifery/well women health care. For over 20 years she has immersed herself in the teachings of the early Buddhist schools, mainly Theravada and Thai Forest. She studied in the Dedicated Practitioners Program and Community Dharma Leaders Program affiliated with Spirit Rock. She teaches Meditation through the Buddha Dharma. Presently she is in the IMS Teacher Training program, where she shares the Dharma by assisting and teaching on retreats. For 10 years she has served as a mentor with the BAUS Prisoner Correspondence course. She believes we all have the potential to live a life of wisdom and compassion for our benefit and for the benefit and happiness of all beings. These are the teachings of liberation, the truth that she wants to share. She gives gratitude to all her teachers who have guided her throughout the years.


Éowyn Ahlstrom grew up a stone’s throw away from the then emerging Insight Meditation Society. She left the area to go to college, and looked around the world for about a decade, searching for a way to live. In her journeys, Éowyn first discovered meditation through the yoga tradition. But, to her happy surprise, that way to live she was searching for turned out to be very close to home – at IMS, with the liberating practices of vipassana and metta meditation and the profound wisdom of the early Buddhist teachings. During the past two decades, she has attended many IMS retreats, both at the Retreat Center and the Forest Refuge, and has often led mindful movement sessions for retreats too. Éowyn has served as a staff member and volunteer here, and is currently glad to be receiving mentorship from Kamala Masters and Greg Scharf as she continues her ever deepening relationship with practicing and teaching dhamma. Her contributions to the broader field include the development of MBSR2 at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University; teaching community mindfulness, meditation and yoga programs at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at the Cambridge Health Alliance; and teaching for many other organizations in the region as well. She loves consulting with both individuals and organizations to provide pragmatic guidance and support for integrating contemplative awareness into 21st century living. Éowyn is also a poet, and the author of Mindscapes: Practice Poems. In addition to her master’s degree in health and wellness, along the way Éowyn has received qualifications as a massage therapist, yoga teacher (E-RYT 500), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, and Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher. 

More Information

  • Equity Pricing Model

    As one part of our ongoing effort to expand access to the teachings of the Buddha, all IMS Online programs feature equity-based registration fees, including the opportunity to self-select a low-cost scholarship rate. No-fee enrollment is available for those who request a fee-waiver at [email protected], no questions asked. Our system supports the cultivation of a dynamic and inclusive community and is made possible by our generous donors and those who choose to support other students by contributing at the “Benefactor” level.

  • Registration Deadline

    Registration for this program closes on March 10, 2024 at 6:00 pm ET.

  • Program Recordings

    This program will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing after the live sessions. On-demand videos will be available to registered participants only for 90 days.

  • Additional Questions

    If you have additional questions please contact us at [email protected].