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

The Five Daily Recollections

“Such a dire meditation,” I thought to myself, when joining the monastics in their daily chant.  I was visiting the Bhavana Society for a few days. There was no retreat going on at the monastery, so visitors joined the monastics in their daily morning and evening chant. One of the selections is called the “Dhammas (Dharma) to Be Reflected upon Always” or, more popularly, the Five Daily Recollections [or Remembrances]....

Basic Mind, Extraordinary Kids

Early last night, while sitting our altar room/library/dining room/laundry room, I had the wonderful pleasure of being sandwiched between my two kids, Sundara and Samadhi aged five and three, as I read aloud the life story of Siddhartha from Demi’s wonderful children’s book, Buddha.  With my stomach growling after having read page after page, I let the kids know that we were going to bring our reading to a close soon.  “Ok, Daddy, two more pages!” quipped Sundara.  And so I obliged, reflecting on how remarkable it was that my five year old, who just a year ago wouldn’t have anything to do with Daddy’s “Buddha stuff” or the books I bought for her, was suddenly soaking up all the kid’s Dharma books we owned....

To Scratch or Not to Scratch

Here’s the quandary:  You’re in the middle of what you hope will be a long meditation. About ten minutes in you feel an itch appearing on your nose that really, really, really wants to be scratched. You decide to remain still and not scratch it....