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IMCW News

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

Mindfulness Online: What it is Like to Participate in Retreats, Workshops, Courses and Classes via Video Conference

As we settle into an extended season of protecting ourselves from the covid-19 virus, many of the gatherings we would have engaged in are shut down. For now, we cannot meet in person for any of the IMCW programs we formerly attended: retreats, workshops, courses, classes, sanghas, and Spiritual Friends groups. Fortunately, online versions are available for many of these programs, and are becoming more and more available. While initially there may be aversion to retreats and workshops offered via video conference, as we engage in them we find many benefits to the new medium as well as ways to work through the challenges we encounter. Here, then, is a listing of some of the benefits of attending IMCW programs online, as well as some tips for how to navigate the challenges....
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Black Lives Matter: A Call to Awareness for Non-Colored Practitioners of Mindfulness

Like a child grabbing for a treat, white people and white institutions reach out to black people they barely know or have forgotten about over time. I am a crone, and was around the last time black people were feared and thus brought into white awareness. As a crone, a Buddhist, and a practitioner of mindfulness, I choose to understand this as reaching out rather than reaching in. Reaching in is the first obligation of practice. It is by this practice that I have found space and freedom. I have found a space -- not afforded to me as a black, female body in this world -- to discover my body, my breath, and for the purpose of this writing, the contours of my life....
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Lessons from Comet Neowise

Recently, I was fortunate to be in a location where I could view Comet Neowise with the naked eye. It was food for my soul to take this pause, lean back, shift my vantage point, and take in the majestic heavens, the Milky Way, and this stunning comet -- particularly given the difficult times we find ourselves in. With the help of binoculars, my father and I witnessed the comet's ball and tail grow and shrink. While observing, we suddenly beheld the International Space Station passing right by the comet. Witnessing this modern marvel of human invention cross the path of an ancient remain of our solar system took my breath away....
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Waking Up through Lived Experience: What Dis/ability and Deafness Can Teach Us

If mindfulness means to be awake, what wakes us up? Practice, certainly. What else? It may surprise you to know that living with a chronic illness or biological challenge is also very effective way to wake up and stay awake. If attention is required to take every step or if severe pain is your constant companion, being asleep or distracted from this moment is very risky.  We who are known as “dis/abled” or “hearing impaired” (whether or not we identify with these labels) live the daily experience that while the challenges with which we live can use enormous amounts of energy and concentration, they are also moment-to-moment opportunities to practice....