Support Your Practice

Personal Practice Interviews

SIMS Guiding Teachers and local dharma leaders (LDLs) offer the opportunity for personal practice interviews to SIMS sangha members. Even though there is usually ample time for questions in the classes and sits offered by SIMS, some people have difficulty asking a question, or even framing it, in a large group. Others feel that something may be too personal to bring up in a group setting. A one-to-one connection with an experienced practitioner is a way to nourish one's practice.

Interview Guidelines

How to prepare for an interview

  • Frame your question(s) in your own mind as clearly as possible.
  • The interview setting is part of practice, and should be treated with relaxed care and respect. It isn't the place to chat, or to get to know someone socially.
  • Remember, a Dharma interview is not the same as therapy. Although psychological issues can be part of a Dharma interview, generally no effort is made to explore a story or to "fix" problems.  What and how things happen are the focus, rather than why.
  • Some examples of appropriate questions might include understanding a Dharma talk, how to practice, an experience that you had during practice, a daily life experience and how it relates to practice and so forth.

 Interview etiquette

  • Be on time.  We try to keep to our schedule as best we can.
  • If appropriate, take your shoes off outside the door of the interview room.
  • Come in and take your seat mindfully. There's no need to bow or do anything formal.
  • Turn cell phones and other electronics off.
  • There will probably be a clock in the room. Try to follow the middle way: there is no need to look at the clock every 30 seconds, but try to end your interview on time. The person conducting the interview will help you with this if needed.


Interviews are freely offered and, when part of the Day of Mindfulness, there is no need to offer any extra Dana. If you request an interview outside of a retreat setting, a Dana offering is appropriate.

Scheduling an Interview

If you would like to schedule a private practice interview with a Guiding Teacher or Local Dharma Leader, please send an email to one of the individuals below noting their preferred times and location. Your interview will occur at a mutually arranged location for up to 30 minutes.

Guiding Teachers

Tim Geil       Email Tim
Weekdays in the Shoreline area.

Tuere Sala      Email Tuere
Flexible times in the Capitol Hill/Downtown area.


Keri Pederson   Email Keri
Weekdays in the Queen Anne/Fremont area.

Local Dharma Leaders

Jerry Harter       Email Jerry
In the Ballard area.

Lyndal Johnson  Email Lyndal
Weekend days and weekday evenings in the Capitol Hill area.

Ellen McCown
Please contact Ellen on Tuesday night.
In the University Arboretum area.

Anna Ossenfort  Email Anna

Steve Wilhelm   Email Steve
Available most anytime, primarily Eastside.