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IMCW News

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

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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...
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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....

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?