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IMCW News

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

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The Art of Gratitude

In the mid-1970s, the girls of the Bethel Girls Orphanage in a remote village in the Indian state of Kerala, gathered in our Sunday-best to remember the generosity of American families for our Christmas. We had a plastic Christmas tree with ornaments from America, including my favorite: holly leaves with red berries. I had no idea these trees were real until I came to America. Our home in northern Virginia has one holly tree in front and one at the back of our house. I am grateful to these two trees for keeping me grounded and not letting a day go by without remembering how lucky I am to have gone from an orphanage in India to America....
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Mandalas for Mental Health

Ajahn Chah said that all people without exception are mentally ill. If I take time and, instead of thinking about Carolyn and Her Problems and focus on other people, I find I am less so. I have practiced in this way 2009 within a volunteer program that was initiated by IMCW, Insight on the Inside, IOI....

Larry Yang BIPOC Support Fund Launch

IMCW is honored to announce the launch of the Larry Yang BIPOC (Black, Indigeneous and People of Color) Support Fund. This fund will be used to provide resources to BIPOC students and teachers as they seek to learn, teach, and otherwise deepen their experience in the dharma. Our sincere belief is that when barriers to full inclusion are eliminated, there is a natural shift in the balance of power that leads to a greater sense of community and collective transformation for the benefit of all.....

Aspiring Allies Finding Our Way

In our Buddhist and mindfulness communities, there are many times that call for us to be allies to one another. My own aspiring ally journey has brought a lot of growth along with many setbacks; heart-felt intentions along with plenty of uncomfortable mistakes; and it continues to bring deeper, more real, loving, joyful relationships with folks in my life. On this journey I’ve been looking for freedom; freedom and justice for myself and for all beings. All of this is spiritual practice.....
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Joy is a Choice: Cultivating Joy & Savoring the Good

Despite the divisive times we find ourselves in, I believe there is one thing nearly all of us can agree on. Our nervous systems are getting more than their fair share of wear and tear these days. With an apparent oversupply of unpleasantness, these times are an easy set-up for negative emotional feedback loops that lead to escalating levels of anxiety and stress. It is a natural human tendency to avoid or resist the unpleasant, to run away from our fears. We raid the cookie jar, or much worse, which just adds fuel to the fire. What we resist, persists. This isn't good for our mental or physical health and, as a nurse practitioner and meditation teacher, I have found that many of us--myself included--become easily drained. We can't drink from an empty cup. Yet as caregivers, we keep on giving....With all this, there is good news. Antidotes exist that help us break out of our negativity bias. In times like these, I am reminded of how deeply grateful I am for my meditation practice.