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Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
spring 2006| 90 |buddhadharma when Sharon Salzberg joined two other twentysomething medita tors to buy a former Catholic seminary for $150,000, creating the Insight Meditation Society, she learned for the first time what a mortgage was. Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein were just back from several years of practice and study in South Asia. They knew what they wanted to create, more or less, but they weren’t sure they had the skills and experience to make it happen. Could they transmit the teach ings? Would people come? IMS officially opened to the public in 1976, and on July 8 the center will cel ebrate its thirtieth anniversary with a gala event. IMS has become one of the larg est, most influential, and most popular meditation centers in North America. Surrounded by 200 acres of woods on the outskirts of Barre, Massachusetts, it attracts more than 2,000 students a year to more than 25 programs and is sup ported by an international community of 20,000. spring 2006| 90 |buddhadharma heart of town. The Ashland Planning Commis sion approved the design (above) for the three story Tibetanstyle meditation center last June, and in October, Lama Pema Clark and Lama Yeshe Parke, KSC’s resident teachers, conse crated the land with a traditional fire puja. KSC has launched a capital campaign to raise the approximate one million dollars needed to complete the project. The goal is to open the doors of the new Kagyu Sukha Chöling Med itation Center in three years. KSC was estab lished by the late Kalu Rinpoche; its current spiritual director is Lama Lodö Rinpoche, resident teacher at San Francisco’s Kagyu Dro den Kunchab. ■ FeStivaL meDia, launched last fall, is the new video/DVD label of the International Buddhist Film Festival (IBFF), which offers “cinema as a vehicle for wider appreciation and better understanding of Bud dhism by general audiences.” The new label’s first releases are the classic Compassion in Exile: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama by filmmaker Mickey Lemle, and Peace Is Every Step, a retrospective of Thich Nhat Hanh by Gaetano Kazuo Maida. Festival Media mar kets a select group of IBFF presentations to the educational and home markets. Tana Lehr, associate director of the Oaklandbased non profit says, “There are always several excellent films in the festivals that don’t have distribu tors and it’s our mission to do what we can to get these to as many people as possible.” The IBFF’s diverse advisory council includes Rich ard Gere, Alice Walker, Philip Glass, Huston Smith, Pico Iyer, and actress Lucy Liu. ■ Don Goldberg, a member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Deer Park sangha, is launching an actS oF kinDneSS photography project. Professional and amateur photographers are invited to sub proFiLe: imS turnS 30 By David Swick MICHEALLOPER “In the beginning everybody did every thing, because there were just a few of us. And we were, generally speaking, pretty unsophisticated,” Salzberg says with a chuckle. “Suddenly we had an institu tion.” Today, IMS is a nonprofit society with an operating budget in excess of $2.1 mil lion. Half of its income comes from mem ber donations and the other half from endowment funds. The center is run by a staff of over forty people. Half are long MARKDIAMOND Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Jacqueline Mandell-Schwartz, and Joseph Goldstein in the early days at IMS. ➤ continued page 92