The Board of Directors is the governing body of Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS), a 501 C3 non-profit religious corporation. Board members serve as the stewards of SIMS, its resources, programs and activities. Officers include the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Board meets every other month to discuss issues, deliberate policy and vote. The Board also convenes committee meetings specific to a variety of initiatives. The Board seeks to be an increasingly diverse group bringing a wide perspective of views and skills in service of SIMS and the Dharma.
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Guiding Teacher & Teaching Oversight
Tim Geil began practicing Insight Meditation in 1996 and has taught meditation since 2006 under the guidance of Rodney Smith. In 2016, Tim completed the four-year Residential Retreat Teacher Training through Spirit Rock, Insight Meditation Society, and Insight Retreat Center. The core teachers of this intensive program were Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Carol Wilson, Gil Fronsdal, Guy Armstrong, Andrea Fella, Trudy Goodman, and Phillip Moffitt.
Tim emphasizes three expressions of the Dharma: investigation, non-resistance, and compassion. Our daily lives prove a tailor-made spiritual path for each person when we are willing to investigate areas of constriction and resistance. This reveals our personal suffering created by the illusion of a separate self. A deep sense of non-resistance and compassion brings balance to investigation. Relaxing fully into this moment is the essence of non-resistance. Compassion brings sensitivity and kindness as we meet all aspects of ourselves. This allows the heart’s release into stillness.
A Co-Guiding Teacher of Seattle Insight Meditation Society, Tim offers talks, classes, interviews, and retreats. He also works closely with leadership and volunteers at SIMS as a member of the board of directors. Tim has inhabited many roles: husband, father, wilderness ranger, martial artist, hospice volunteer, massage therapist. His relationship with his wife and daughter are a joyful and fundamental part of his dharma practice.
Guiding Teacher & Sangha Oversight
Tuere Sala is a retired prosecuting attorney who has practiced Vipassana meditation for over 25 years. She has been an active member and volunteer at Seattle Insight since 2001. In 2009, she was appointed to be a Local Dharma Leader and has often supported SIMS in unconventional ways such as answering the many letters SIMS receives from practitioners in prison; offering beginning classes at Angeline Women’s shelter and Jubilee House, a women’s transitional house; and facilitating workshops using nonviolent communication (NVC) to support a mindfulness practice.
Tuere believes that urban meditation is the foundation for today’s practitioner’s path to liberation. She is inspired by bringing the Dharma to nontraditional places and is a strong advocate for practitioners living with high stress, past trauma and difficulties sitting still. Her teachings reflect an approach to Dharma that is both easy to follow and understand– making it accessible to everyone.
Tuere has completed extensive training including: the two-year Spirit Rock/IMS Community Dharma Leader Program; a one-year Focusing for Complex Trauma Course which incorporates mindfulness principles with somatic listening and a one-year Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training Course (MMFT) which incorporates mindfulness principles within the high stress work environments of first-responders. She has sat 300+ days of meditation retreat (including residential, non-residential and day-longs) and has a long history of assisting others in establishing and maintaining a daily practice.
Rob has been a member of SIMS since 2015 when he took the last Intro to Meditation class at SIMS offered by Rodney Smith. He works as a software engineer at Microsoft, where's he's been about 18 years. Before Microsoft, Rob worked as Environmental Engineer/Hydrogeologist. Rob grew up on the East Coast and has lived in Seattle about 30 years.
Rob lives in Downtown Seattle and has two grown children. In his free time, Rob enjoys getting outside and hiking, riding his bike, gardening and volunteer service. Rob feels incredibly grateful for the dharma and the opportunity to serve the SIMS community.
Program & Events
Jason began practicing meditation in 1993. His primary Dhamma focus is on study and practice from the suttas as well as integrating these practices into daily life in the modern world. Jason is working to study all of the Nikāyas as well as available texts from the other lineages of early Buddhism (such as the Chinese Āgamas). He has found Dhamma practice invaluable and aspires to help others to have access to Dhamma as well.
Within SIMS, Jason has volunteered as manager and co-manager for non-residential retreats. He hopes to further benefit the organization through service on the board as Program Director.
In his free time Jason also practices and teaches Buddhist and Taoist Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qigong. He enjoys spending time with his wife Erika and their two dachshund companions.
Iris began meditating in 2007 after receiving a serious health diagnosis and quickly found her way to the dhamma. She has been a regular attendee at SIMS since 2011. Beginning at that time she found volunteering to be the path to the heart of the sangha. She has volunteered as a Tuesday night greeter, greeter for introduction to meditation classes and daylongs, manager and co-coordinator for non-residential retreats, and a co-lead volunteer of the cleaning squad during SIMS’ first two years in SODO. She has participated in several KM groups and co-facilitated a year long KM group on The Four Noble Truths. In May 2018 she spearheaded the formation of SIMS’ Climate Action Group. She is honored and excited to fill the role of a new Board position as the Social Justice and Environmental Liason.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Iris has been in Seattle since 1982. She is a retired psychiatric nurse practitioner having worked in community mental health for the bulk of her career. She has a small gardening business, is a sometimes painter; loves music, film, the arts and the beauty in nature. Her dhamma practice is the key to her happiness. She aims to serve the sangha with kindness and an open heart.
Deb began her meditation practice in September 2012 with an introductory class taught by Rodney Smith. The practice of the dhamma has been transformational for her. She initially sat with a small SIMS sangha at Keystone Church, then moved on to the Capitol Hill sangha, with Tuere Sala as teacher. Deb began her volunteer work at SIMS as a greeter at Keystone. She's also been a non-residential retreat manager, and for the last year has been one of three retreat coordinators for SIMS. She is honored to be invited to join the SIMS board and for the chance to give back to the organization.
A native of Connecticut, Deb was a social worker in the medical field, initially as a counselor and psychotherapist, then later as a facilitator and consultant. In her retirement, she enjoys volunteer work at several other community-based organizations; travel and bicycle-touring with her husband, Walt; and messing around with making art in her studio at home in the Greenlake area of Seattle.
Cheryl has been studying and practicing yoga and meditation since the early 2000s. She has been a member of SIMS since the fall of 2018 has found being part of the sangha to be an important support in maintaining a regular sitting practice. Cheryl has attended several non-residential retreats and volunteered in various capacities. She is honored to serve the sangha through her work as Board Treasurer
Cheryl is a CPA and is the Chief Financial Officer and VP Administration at Forterra. She lives in Columbia City with her husband, two young children and three cats.
Kalid joined SIMS in 2018 while attending a daylong Rodney Smith talk with his aunt. He came to Seattle from Boston in 2003, and works remotely as a software engineer. He enjoys blogging about intuitive math explanations, snowboarding, and Brazilian Ju Jitsu.
Since joining SIMS, Kalid and his wife Valerie eagerly attend weekly sits and retreats. He looks forward to serving the Sangha and deepening his practice.
Steven was first introduced to Vipassana meditation in 2008 via a radio program on prison Vipassana instruction by the late teacher S.N. Goenka. He credits his practice and the SIMS Death and Dying Support Group Project with “saving his life” through the difficult terminal illness of his late wife. Several Goenka retreats and SIMS introductory classes later, Steven has made the SIMS community his home. Along the way he received Rodney Smith’s blessing to train with Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts to facilitate the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction curriculum as a way to open the door to others to Vipassana meditation, and he has worked to establish a Vipassana program run by students at Bastyr University with guiding teacher Tuere Sala, as well as continuing to pursue several research projects on the physiology of meditation and focused attention. Steven feels privileged to serve as board secretary and at-large member representing introverts and shy singles.
With deep roots in Kansas, and a deep affinity with the Emerald City, Steven maintains close ties with both, continuing to teach neuroscience at Bastyr University and helping out during planting and harvest seasons on the family farm back home. He has three grown children, likes to kayak to work and work in the garden, and acknowledges that some cats and dogs seem to have taken up residence in his house.
Cheryl began practicing Vipassana meditation in 2016 while taking an 8 week MBSR class at the VA Medical Center in Seattle and came to SIMS in late 2017.
Volunteering at SIMS has deepened Cheryl’s connection to the sangha. First as a greeter and then as a registrar, the AV team, and website upgrade project; she has especially enjoyed working with others. Cheryl is a retired IT Systems Engineer, who, for 15 years, led a number of local and enterprise IT project teams for the VA. A couple of her hobbies are building websites and working in Photoshop.
Along with practicing the dharma and a little yoga, she enjoys reading and being creative.
Cubba found the SIMS community through friends and will be forever grateful. She took a beginning meditation class from Rodney Smith in 2016 and again from Tim Geil in 2019, each experience unique and rich. She's followed SIMS from St. Marks to SODO to Friends Meeting. The dhamma has been a steadying practice in her life, no matter the meeting place. She appreciates all the spaces SIMS provides, volunteer opportunities little and big, to connect with and grow this community.
A native of Detroit, Cubba has lived on Seattle's Eastside for the past 20 years where she and her husband raised their three children. A social worker by training, she is a currently a Parent Education Instructor at Bellevue College with a private practice coaching parents. For fun she is an amateur dog trainer and loves dogs, horses, hiking, grandchildren, and as many books as the library will allow her to check out.