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

Every Day is Earth Day

As an annual observance, Earth Day has been, for me and perhaps for you, complicated. ​​​​​​​While I appreciate the intention to turn our collective attention to the health and even spiritual value of Earth, the allocation, one day out of three-hundred and sixty five, cries out with glaring insufficiency. In light of multiple looming ecological crises, the urgent need to reimagine and actively reprioritize humanity’s pursuits requires instead daily practice. Happily, in that imagining, we’re not starting from scratch. As we move forward in an enormously complex situation, there are wisdom traditions that support us in remembering to what and just how much we belong....

The Magic Mustard Seed

There is a well-known Buddhist story about a woman called Kisa Gotami. She was married at a young age, and after many years of trying, gave birth to a precious son, who was her pride and joy. For a few years she was very happy. But then just as her son was reaching the age where he was able to run about and play, he suddenly fell ill and died. Overcome by shock and grief, Kisa was not able to accept that her child was dead and insisted that he was just sleeping. She lifted him on her hip and wandered from door to door, asking for medicine. People were horrified and didn’t know what to say to her. Eventually, a wise person directed her to the Buddha....

Tools for a More Meaningful Life

Sharing the Dharma with people who are curious and inquisitive about tools to make their lives more fully and meaningful has become a passion for me. Since I began the practice of insight meditation about 15 years ago, my main focus has been to find ways in which the Dharma can be used as a source of tools to live better....

Post-Retreat Meditation Practice Encouragement

There is something special about the ending of a silent retreat. Whether it feels as if it’s the best retreat we’ve sat, the most difficult, or in-between. Perhaps it’s the sense of leaving the intensive, protected atmosphere for practicing the Dharma and wondering how to incorporate it into the usual routine of our daily lives.      If you’re new to practice, then you have a wonderful foundation on which to build. If you’ve been practicing for a while, then the retreat may have been a resetting of your practice. What now?

Prayer and the Dharma

For the last two months, my now 7-month-old child has woken me up around 4:20 a.m. I’m lucky if I get five hours of sleep a night. I am exhausted.  All of the effects of low sleep are painfully apparent. I’ll put the box of Cheerios in the refrigerator or forget to put my daughter’s shoes on before we go out for a morning walk. Trying to complete a 10-minute work task may take 30 minutes because I follow every impulse to get a snack, text a friend, step outside, or find a new exciting song on Spotify. But the most harmful effect is that I am more irritable. I struggle to be gentle, kind, and non-reactive in some of the most important relationships in my life....