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

IMCW's Core Curriculum Offerings

Starting in September, IMCW teachers will be offering a wide range of online courses designed to support and deepen your practice. From foundational Dharma like the Eightfold Path and the Brahma Viharas to the practical application of these teachings in daily life, there are offerings for every level....

I Am Family to Myself: Finding Refuge in Yourself

About 30 years ago, when I was first introduced to the Buddhist teachings at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, the monastics and teachers there assured me that there was a path out of the suffering I was experiencing, and that this path was inside ME.  I just needed to learn how to take a good look inside, they said, which, after some diligence, would illuminate a light – one that I could then use to follow the map of the dharma that the Buddha laid out for us. In other words, they let me know that I could do it – I could light my own way.

Awareness is Liberating: Let Go, Be Free

Karma means action. Each individual’s thoughts, words and actions create their own karma (good, bad, or neutral). We often see life, not as it truly is, but as we think it is, superimposing thoughts and judgments onto present moment experience. Awareness is our true essence yet thinking can cloud our perceived experience. Regular mindfulness practice helps cultivate consistency in remaining consciously aware, beyond delusional thinking. When we shine the light of awareness on our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, this helps to transform our behaviors into more skillful responses to life’s experiences....

Beginning Again

When I was a child, my family moved from the bustling metropolis of Tehran, Iran to the small, quiet town of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I didn’t speak English and everything, including the landscape, seemed foreign. Disconnected from life as I knew it, I felt confused and stuck—until I looked up at the night sky and found home again in the moon....

The Need for Self-Compassion

One of the hardest things for us to practice is self-compassion. This has been true in my own life. My loud inner critic, coupled with my mental/emotional tendency toward intrusive negative thoughts, anxiety and depression, have made self-compassion both a challenge and purpose in my life.  In my time as a teacher, father, friend, etc. I’ve found that this is true not just for myself but for many of us....