Social Engagement at SIMS
It is said that the two arms of the dharma are compassion and wisdom. Through wisdom we see our connection with all things and with compassion our hearts open. Using mindfulness and in the quiet of formal practice we witness an inner transformation that allows more easily for well intentioned action in the world. This is the grounding for social engagement from a Buddhist perspective.
Our attention is called to many difficult outer conditions such as the climate crisis, systemic racism, social and economic inequity, homelessness, immigration and refugee issues, LGBTQ rights, sexism and misogyny, and a growing nuclear weapons buildup.
SIMS Climate Action Group
The Climate Action Group at SIMS was started in May of 2018 by a few sangha members concerned about the climate crisis. We were interested in working within our sangha and from the ground of our Dhamma practice to learn, understand, connect, and, with wise intention and view, take appropriate actions.
We meet monthly, have sponsored several programs at SIMS, and facilitated Tim Geil, one of our guiding teachers, in giving annual climate crisis-related Dhamma talks each April, the month during which Earth Day is celebrated. We have an online bulletin board with our mission, goals, and meeting notes, as well as a variety of resources to deepen understanding of climate change issues and how to take meaningful action.
Responding to these conditions from the ground of practice provides a way to engage with less ego and anger, and more kindness and understanding. SIMS has an ongoing Climate Action Group and an Anti-Racism Resources page. Please check them out. We are interested in expanding our efforts to engage compassionately and wisely with our communities. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for how to do this. Please email Iris Antman at to discuss and explore ideas.
As Dhamma practitioners, we are dedicated to understanding suffering and the end of suffering. The root of suffering is the illusion of a separate, isolated sense of self. Racism is a profound manifestation of the separation between self and other. By creating a separate self, we create an other to defend against and to oppress and control. Healing racism is Dhamma work.
We must seek to understand and heal the racism in our own hearts. We must act with wisdom and compassion, confronting and uprooting all aspects of racism. It requires inner transformation and outer action.
Noel House provides safe, comfortable shelter to a diverse community of homeless women, particularly those most vulnerable. We strive to create an environment of dignity, respect and compassion. We recognize the intrinsic value of each person and honor her unique experience.
Noel House is part of Catholic Community Services of Western Washington Programs. For more information go to ccsww.org, click on Shelter and Homeless Programs, scroll down to King County and click on Noel House.
SIMS will be participating in the Noel House 2020 Christmas Holiday Card program.
Please direct questions to Cubba Reese.