Weekend Retreat

Non-residential: Unpacking Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s Talk on The Prison of Life

Venerable Pannavati
with Venerable Pannavati

3/24/2018 9:00 AM - 3/25/2018 4:30 PM (Saturday and Sunday) at Seattle Insight Meditation Center, (2729 6th Ave. S., Seattle, 98134) (Map It)

Each day of this retreat begins at 9:00am and ends at 4:30pm.

On February 10, 1988, the legendary Ajahn Buddhadasa gave a powerful Dharma Talk during a month-long retreat at Suan Mokkh Monastery in Thailand.  His words remain powerful to this day.  The talk, entitled "The Prison of Life," is about learning to understand the thing we call “prison,” and in doing so, learning to understand the thing we call “life.”  In the talk, Buddhadasa leads students from the more superficial and easily recognizable aspects of attachment and clinging into the subtler aspects until he finally unravels the essence of attachment, our fundamental problem in life.  This talk is a perfect culmination to SIMS’s current exploration of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Noble Truths. 

On Friday night, we will hear the talk, read by Ven. Pannavati with her commentary, followed by meditation. Then on Saturday and Sunday, we will unpack and explore each section.  We will have several opportunities to investigate the implications of the various prisons in our lives through meditative practice.

Registration and Donation

The suggested event donation is $90 for Saturday and Sunday, or $50 for one day. Following our tradition, none of this donation will go to the teacher. Please consider offering teacher dana at the event to support their livelihood. (Dana is a term for generosity, or freely offered giving). No one is turned away for inability to offer a donation. Please use your best efforts to pay the suggested donation or another heartfelt amount. Online registration offers three donation levels.

  • Suggested donation - $90 for 2 days or $50 for one day.
  • Benefactor donation - $120 for 2 days or $60 for one day, for those who have the means to make a larger donation to support someone who needs to pay less
  • Supported donation - $60 for 2 days or $30 for one day, for those who need to pay less than the suggested donation amount.

Attendees of Non-Residential Retreats who need to offer less than the suggested donation may choose the online Supported level or register and pay at the door using cash or check in any amount they choose. People who are able to pay more than the suggested donation, and would like to support those who need to pay less, may choose the online Benefactor level or make a donation at the door. The suggested dana is based on what is needed financially to offer this programming. SIMS is committed to providing a spiritual refuge where everyone feels welcome, and to making the dharma accessible to all who seek it. We rely on the generosity of retreat participants to sustain these programs.

There are two registration options:

  • Online: Make your event payment using a credit or debit card. This option is available if you are paying the Suggested, Benefactor or Supported donation amount. (Online registration closes 24 hours prior to the event.)
  • In-person at the event: Make your payment by cash or check at the door on the day of the event.


SIMS is an all volunteer Sangha. There is no paid staff managing retreats. This retreat is possible only with volunteers' dana/generosity of service during the event. Please consider volunteering during this weekend retreat. Our volunteer coordinator will contact you with more details. We appreciate your generosity in action. Thank you.


If you have a question for the teacher or about this event, please send it to


To inquire about the accessibility of SIMS events, such as wheelchair accessibility or seating for those with visual or auditory disabilities, email If, for physical or other reasons, you are not able to participate for the entire event, you are welcome to participate to the extent you are able. Please contact the event organizer or teacher at the event if you have questions.