This blog contains announcements, insights and articles from the Insight Meditation Community of Washington

Holding all beings with a compassionate heart

IMCW would like to reach out to our community as we process what, for many, has been deep distress following the recent election. All of us, however we voted, can use this time to recommit ourselves to mindfulness, compassion, and awareness. We can use our practice every day to give what we can--whether time, talent or money-- to help work for issues that affect all of us
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The Characteristics of Mindfulness

So what is mindfulness, really? It’s more than just being aware of what the mind is doing. For starters, mindfulness is knowing what is happening in the mind, body and heart. Mindfulness is radically inclusive…nothing is left out. I remember when a teacher mentioned that my mindfulness practice did not extend to family relationships and thinking, “of course not, that’s the really hard stuff.” When we practice mindfulness as a hobby we tend to pick and chose the times to bring this kind of refined attention. At some point we practice not just to be free from our own suffering but for all beings to be free from suffering....

Suttas: Digging for Treasure

For the last 8 years, I have been on a quest, a kind of archeological dig. The site? The suttas (discourses) of the Buddha. The treasure? To hold in my mind and heart the wisdom of a fully enlightened being and it’s power to reshape my life. “I always ask myself: What did the Buddha say?” Alicia said. “I love to go to the original sources. Reading the suttas reveals that they are alive and rooted in reality, back then...and now.” Alicia is part of a group that gathers in Silver Spring one evening a month to study the suttas....

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness

In these challenging times it is easy to forget the incredible blessings that we enjoy. The Buddha taught that this human birth is a most precious gift—and provides the possibility of realizing our true nature of immeasurable freedom. Further, for those fortunate to have encountered the Buddha’s teachings, access to the Dharma provides a clear path from a life built around the illusion of a separate, limited self to a freedom that is not dependent on conditions—on the ups-and-downs of the stock market, the political cycle or our mood of the day....