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

Keeping Your Eye on the Ball

Back in May, during the last class for 2008-2009, I asked them what they had remembered most; what lessons had stuck.  Jacob recalled Jennifer’s teaching on Buddhism’s “five hindrances:” craving, aversion, restlessness, sloth and confusion.  The hindrances hinder peace, wisdom and kindness; they make it hard to experience freedom and happiness.  We teachers make use of visual queues whenever we can and in this case each hindrance was portrayed with the image of an animal: Craving as a pig, aversion as a rooster, restlessness as a monkey, sloth as…a sloth, and confusion as a mole.  We do not teach that the hindrances are “bad” or that the children are doing anything wrong if they experience them.  Instead, we help them become aware – invite them to experience for themselves...

Basic Mind, Extraordinary Kids

Early last night, while sitting our altar room/library/dining room/laundry room, I had the wonderful pleasure of being sandwiched between my two kids, Sundara and Samadhi aged five and three, as I read aloud the life story of Siddhartha from Demi’s wonderful children’s book, Buddha.  With my stomach growling after having read page after page, I let the kids know that we were going to bring our reading to a close soon.  “Ok, Daddy, two more pages!” quipped Sundara.  And so I obliged, reflecting on how remarkable it was that my five year old, who just a year ago wouldn’t have anything to do with Daddy’s “Buddha stuff” or the books I bought for her, was suddenly soaking up all the kid’s Dharma books we owned....