The IMS Lineage Project
Welcome to The IMS Lineage Project, an ongoing exploration of the people and practices that inspired the creation of the Insight Meditation Society.
This March, we honor Nani Bala Barua (1911-1989), the beloved teacher known as “Dipa Ma”—mother of Dipa. Born in East Bengal (now Bangladesh), Dipa Ma broke barriers as a married householder committed to the path of enlightenment. Following her training in Burma, she settled in Calcutta, where her reputation as a Buddhist teacher and realized meditator quickly inspired other women to begin spiritual training as part of everyday life. Eventually, her mastery and modesty attracted many Westerners as well, including IMS co-founders Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. Dipa Ma is said to have encouraged relationships with people near and far, saying, “They are hungry for the Dhamma, so let them come.” In 1980 and again in 1984, Dipa Ma came to teach at IMS, establishing a connection that remains in our hearts today.
Through personal stories and the transmission of practices held sacred by Dipa Ma herself, Sharon Salzberg lead three sessions honoring Dipa Ma’s life, legacy, and teachings. Together, we will contemplate her influence and bathe in the maternal love that Dipa Ma represented through her thoughts, words, and actions. We hope you will join us for this special IMS event; the first of several explorations into the lineages and legacies that shaped the Insight Meditation Society and that continue to inspire our work and practice.
As one part of our ongoing effort to expand access to the teachings of the Buddha, all IMS Online programs feature sliding scale registration fees and the opportunity to self-select a low-cost scholarship rate. No-fee enrollment is available for those who request a fee-waiver via email. 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.