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


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....

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....

The Untold: What White People Can Do with Privilege!

Dear White People: You must teach your children about racism, not from a distance, but from your own wise heart. Imagine telling your children (regardless of age) some version of the following story with such regularity that they remember and tell their children. And don’t just tell them this story, notice how such truth telling impacts you and your actions, then talk about that too: My child, I’d like to tell you, from my lips, the truth about our racial history — about whiteness and about being a member of the white tribe....

Treasure Hunt: Exploring Buddhism’s Early Teachings

Buddhist traditions have been arising, developing and spreading in the world for 2,500 years. For most of their history, the traditions remained fairly isolated from each other, both geographically and culturally. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that Buddhism “came to the West,” and the various Asian traditions started to encounter each other. This was also a period in which the West created its own versions by applying its own cultural lenses to interpret, highlight, add to and discard parts of the historic traditions. Many experience the everything-all-at-once situation as an all-you-can-eat buffet. However, I felt caught in the middle of cafeteria food fight!

The Imposter

I have often felt like an imposter. The first time was when I was in school being coerced into the debate team because my parents thought it would be good to break me out of my shy, timid, and quiet ways; a natural outcome from receiving too many report cards in grade school that read, “Rashmi is a shy, quiet, and timid child, who needs to speak up in class.” It is a visceral memory, standing behind a podium in front of over 300 schoolmates, my knees knocking against each other, my heart thumping so loudly I thought it would leap out of my chest. Actually, I cannot recall anything I thought, only the terror of looking stupid, and the abject fear of not being able to answer my debate opponent and losing the debate for my team. I was such a good little girl, obedient, loyal, a good student, and above all the model child and good daughter. Who was I? I was whoever my parents, extended family, teachers, society wanted me to be. No wonder I felt like an imposter....