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IMCW News

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

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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....

Racial Justice: What Can I Do?

Over the years, the hateful killing of black Americans at the hands of police has been shocking, heartbreaking, and paralyzing. Why does this keep happening and what can we do to stop it...what can I do to stop it? And to stop other horrendous acts of hatred toward minority communities and individuals in our country? The heinous murder George Floyd (a horizontal lynching, actually) has galvanized much of America. Modern social media tools have shown a spotlight on this cancer of hate and have broadcast it to the entire world. This is what America has become?
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What the Flowers Can Teach Us

There’s a Zen story about a laywoman, wise and enlightened; a practitioner who many centuries ago, traveled around visiting teachers. She composed the following verse: Upon the high slopes, I see only woodcutters Everyone has the spirit of the knife and the axe. How can they see the mountain flowers  Reflected in the water – glorious, red? When I read this recently, as so often happens with ancient Zen stories, the relevancy and timelessness of the verse drew me in....
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Learning to Stay

At least here in the Washington, DC area, we've entered our fourth month of mostly stay-at-home, shelter-in-place, quarantine—however you want to label it. And no matter where you are in the world, more than likely you've felt a mixture of emotions, thoughts, motivations, intentions, challenges, successes, etc. around this new reality of a worldwide pandemic....