Kalyana Mitta Groups

What are KM Groups?

"Kalyana mitta," which means "spiritual friend," is at the heart of every sangha. Kalyana mitta (KM) groups serve as sub-sanghas within SIMS. All KM members must be attendees of SIMS, meditators within the Vipassana (Insight) Buddhist tradition, and have had the beginning meditation instructions. These KM groups of six to twelve people provide a sense of intimacy and enhanced opportunities to move one’s practice beyond the cushion and into daily life. Some are peer groups with evolving themes; other groups remain focused on a selected subject. New groups are formed sporadically and meet for an initial period of three to six months, with each member expected to attend all meetings. Then, if group members wish to do so, the group may continue for a length determined by the group. If some members elect to leave, the group may open to new members.

As with sitting meditation, the foundation for kalyana mitta groups is stillness and mindfulness through eye, ear, body, and mind. This naturally fosters an awareness of our connection with one another which, in turn, deepens the sense of safety and kindness in the group allowing for rich investigation.

The spirit of generosity is at the heart of every kalyana mitta group. Your service as a participant not only nourishes your own practice off the cushion, but also becomes a practice of generosity—an offering of temporal, emotional, and experiential dana to the SIMS sangha. Without this generous commitment these groups could not be sustained.

To contact the facilitator of a current group or learn whether there are group openings, please use the contact information for each group listed below, or contact the  KM Coordinator. The current status of KM groups and any openings can also be found on the bulletin board at the Tuesday-night sits.

KM Facilitators

Two experienced SIMS sangha members facilitate each kalyana mitta group: one with at least three years years of Vipassana practice experience, and a second with at least two years of practice. The primary responsibility of facilitators is to create the optimum space for rich dharma discussion—a place and time of safety, confidentiality, nurturing and commitment.

Rather than leading or teaching, KM facilitators serve the group more like an observing mind during meditation. Facilitators help establish the primary focus and gently direct and re-direct the group back to the dharma and selected subject whenever it wanders by creating structure and modeling behaviors that contribute to healthy group dynamics. As the group matures, this gentle “calling back to the moment” becomes self-reinforcing and opens the way for the group to grow deeper intod practice and spiritual friendship—the very meaning of kalyana mitta.

New facilitators and anyone interested in becoming a facilitator must attend an introductory session for guidance and support. 

SIMS provides a variety of supportive resources for facilitators throughout the year, including quarterly facilitator gatherings and individual guidance whenever requested.

Your service as a facilitator not only nourishes your own practice off the cushion, but also becomes a practice of generosity—an offering of temporal, emotional and experiential dana to the SIMS sangha.

If you are interested in participating in a KM group as co-facilitator please contact the KM Coordinator.

 

Current KM Groups

Groups that have openings appear at the top of the list. Please contact the KM coordinator for information about joining one of these groups.

  • Friction at the Edge of Me

    Description:

    We often encounter friction between ourselves and others in daily life.  Sometimes the friction leads to conflict.  Even if we are able to act skillfully, the emotions that may arise are painful.  If we examine this friction closely, it reveals itself as the edge of me.  It is the boundary between self and other.  Our group is about illuminating and exploring this boundary.  What can we learn about the pain we feel between ourselves and others?  What causes it to arise?  What causes it to release?  What is left in its absence?

    We meet in the Wedgwood neighborhood.

    Status:

    Open

    Meeting day:

    Second and fourth Wednesdays, 7 to 9pm

    Duration:

    3 months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • The Four Noble Truths

    Description:

    This is a KM group for SIMS members interested in an in-depth exploration of the Four Noble Truths, using readings from the 2008-2009 Dharma Foundations Course.  Meetings are lead by KM facilitators and consist of a sitting, a check in, and a discussion of the Dharma Foundation readings for the session and its relationship to our practice in everyday life. 

    Status:

    Open

    Meeting day:

    Wednesdays per schedule starting September 11th

    Duration:

    1 year

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Surrender - a practice of not doing

    Description:

    A discussion about the ways we try to control our transformation. How do we suffer and what can we stop doing to eliminate suffering. We will review and discuss passages of books that may shed light on ways we may hinder rather than help our evolution by our thoughts and actions. The discussions are meant to focus on what happens off the cushion. Topics/quotes for discussion would be similar to the following…“It is as if we are passing through our lives to achieve the true reward on the other end of the present moment. Our efforts and interests are toward the future while the present remains impoverished and meaningless. It is the rewards of living that we are after, not living itself.” We meet in the Sandpoint/UW area. The format will be 25 minutes of sitting and the rest of the time discussing a couple of topics/quotes proposed by the facilitators and/or topics/quotes proposed by the members.  Group members should have at least one year in active practice.

    Status:

    Open

    Meeting day:

    Once a month on a Thursday from 6:30-8:30

    Duration:

    September 2013 to June 2014

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    sseavecki@hotmail.com
  • Meditation and Chanting

    Description:

    There is a long history in our tradition of sacred chanting, and it's a wonderful way of engaging the body and mind. We'll be learning and chanting mostly in English, with some Pali depending on the group's interest. The group meets twice monthly at a home near University Village. 

    You don't have to "be able to sing" to join this group!  We do however request that you've been involved with the Dharma for at least two years and have sat at least one retreat. Please contact the kmcoordiator  with questions and for more information. 

    Status:

    Open

    Meeting day:

    2nd and 4th Sundays, 6:30-8:30pm

    Duration:

    ongoing

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • A Path with Heart

    Description:

    Currently working with Toni Packer's book, The Silent Question,reading slowly and discussing, with the intention of supporting each other in deepening our practice. Meetings combine a sitting meditation, check-in, and discussion.   

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Third Sundays, 3:00pm to 5:00pm during Daylight Savings, 4:00pm to 6:00pm during Standard time.

    Duration:

    Three months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Aging and the Dharma

    Description:

    The group is a support and discussion group for people who are interested in the process of aging. We have 13 members, ranging in age from 55 to mid-eighties. We plan to start each meeting with a 30-minute sit, then each member will check in with whatever is of concern to them. We are compiling a reading list, and our subject matter will take form as member interests become known. We plan to bring our lunches.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Second Thursdays, 11:00 am

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Buddhist Book Group

    Description:

    Our group will explore Buddhist teachings and practice through books by authors affiliated with IMS or in the Theravadan tradition. Our typical format includes readings and practical exercises, and bi-weekly meetings with a meditation period, tea, and discussion.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Every other Wednesday from 7-9 pm

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Dancing With Life

    Description:

    We will use Phillip Moffit's book, Dancing with Life, to explore our practice and our lives in relation to the Four Noble Truths.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Second Thursdays, 7-9:00pm

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Dharma Dudes

    Description:

    A group for men interested in discussing various dharma related topics with a view to deepening their practice and strengthening their relationships within the SIMS sangha. Facilitators will set a topic and reading or other study material for each meeting. Members must have taken the beginning series, regularly attend Tuesday night SIMS classes, commit to attend the km group for the 6 month period, and be prepared to complete the study material in preparation for the monthly meeting.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    First Thursdays

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Exploring the Shadow

    Description:

    As a group we will explore the Shadow, the hidden side of our character created by our fears and resistances.  We will explore how it manifests in our daily lives through such mental habits as impatience, low self-esteem, aversion and obsession, both on and off the cushion.  Using Rodney's series of talks on the Shadow, we will investigate our willingness to acknowledge all parts of ourselves, to focus on being "whole".  Meetings will include  meditation, check in and discussion.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    First Fridays, 7 to 9pm

    Duration:

    Six Months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • The Dharma and the 12 Steps

    Description:

    This group will explore the connections between the Dharma and the 12 steps.  The group contains a  mixture of complementary 12 step traditions-- AA, Al-Anon, NA and OA.  All 12 step traditions are welcome.   The format of the group is a 30 minute meditation followed by group discussion, and a short Metta meditation to close.  The first year we worked with Kevin Griffin's book "One Breath at a Time".  The next book for group discussion is yet to be decided.  We suggest that group participants have at least one year experience with both meditation/Buddhism and a 12 step program.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    4th Thursdays, 7 to 9pm

    Duration:

    Six months.

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Young Adults

    Description:

    We are a group in our twenties and thirties, coming together to practice and explore the dharma from the perspective of a young adult.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    First Sundays, 5 to 7pm

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Sandpoint Neighborhood KM Group

    Description:

    This neighborhood KM group is for SIMS members who live in or near the Sandpoint neighborhood near University Village. Meetings are led by KM facilitators and consist of group meditation and discussions of various topics related to practicing the dharma in everyday life. Regular attendance is not required. Please contact facilitator for location information.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Second Thursday each month, 7:00-8:30pm

    Duration:

    Ongoing

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    girlfromtheboards@gmail.com
  • Harmonious Living

    Description:

    What does it mean to open to struggle and suffering? How can we use the pain and contraction in our everyday lives skillfully as a means to awaken our hearts? With guidance from the book Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron, we'll take a practical approach to the subject of harmonious living, sharing our experiences and insights in monthly meetings. 

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Fourth Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm

    Duration:

    Six months

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org
  • Dharma and Relationships

    Description:

    This group used David Richo's book, How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, for the last year, as a guide for exploring the interface of love and the dharma. We will continue this year by using a variety of resources such as books, articles, and dharma talks. The basic format will be a sitting meditation, brief check-in and discussion.

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Second Sundays, 6:30-8:30 pm

    Duration:

    6 months, starting in January 2013

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    derclure80@yahoo.com
  • Dependent Origination

    Description:

    For the rest of 2013, this group will focus on Dependent Origination.  Proposed discussion material will include the extra readings on this topic on the SIMIS website and the homework slips used for this series. The format of the gathering will include sitting meditation, a brief check-in and discussion.  To participate, we ask that you have at least six months participation in the SIMS sangha. 

    Status:

    Closed

    Meeting day:

    Third Sunday of each month, 4-6pm.

    Duration:

    1 year with the possibility of becoming ongoing

    Download:

    Visit our page:

    Contact:

    kmcoordinator@seattleinsight.org