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

The Sacred Pause

In the midst of daily life there are other simple ways to take a “mini sacred pause,” bring awareness to what is alive here and now, and relax into presence. It is very easy—amidst the stress, busyness and demands of modern life—to live much of our time on autopilot, leaning into the future or ruminating on the past, dislocated from our lives in this moment.

What Is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

The MBSR series itself is intended to help people establish their own unique mindfulness practice, teach them techniques that can help address physical and emotional symptoms made worse by stress, and increase their peace and quality of life. The classes are intimate, highly experiential, and focus on helping students understand the various mental causes of stress (i.e. suffering), how it affects the mind and body, and how to work with it through mindfulness to reduce its effects. And, while the more spiritually-based teachings that involve topics such as ethics, kindness, and compassion are taught, the modern science around the practice of mindfulness meditation tends to be strongly emphasized.

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....