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


Is There a Self?

What did the Buddha say about the nature of the self? While his teachings were preserved in the oral tradition through recitation, nothing was written down until 450 years after his passing.   I can’t help but wonder how much editorial enhancement his teachings received as they were shared over the centuries following his death. There are some fantastical sayings attributed to the Buddha...

Incarcerated Students Struggle During Lockdown

I miss their shy smiles, their hugs, the way they loosen up and get a little goofy during mindful movement. Most of all, I miss the peace on their faces and the tangible sense of ease in their orange-clad bodies after a guided meditation. It is a visceral experience that anchors me to a unique sangha: the men and women incarcerated in the DC Department of Corrections....

Going Nowhere: Being at Home

For those of us who are privileged enough, to have a safe place to call home, and to not be an essential worker, these past 6 months have meant spending time at home. Even though the pandemic, which is the reason we are staying home, can heighten our sense of anxiety and uncertainty, we can use this time to bring our practice precisely to where we need to be, home. As Sharon Salzberg says “At a time of great suffering when there’s nothing else to rely on and nowhere to go, the return to the moment is an act of faith. Openness to possibility can arise...

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....

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....