EAR Council Members
Ethics and Reconciliation (EAR) Council Members
The EAR Council consists of three SIMS practitioners, who are available to any community member requesting help in dealing with conflicts and grievances within the SIMS community. The SIMS Board appoints council members. The Board may consider a variety of factors in appointing EAR Council members, including conflict-resolution or other relevant background, the length of time in the sangha and/or practicing the Dhamma, and personal qualities such as sound judgment, integrity, and discretion.
Contacting the EAR Council
You are welcome to approach the council members at SIMS events or send an email to them at EAR@seattleinsight.org. If you would prefer to speak with a particular council member, please indicate your request in your message.
Current EAR Council Members
Karen has taught college courses in conflict resolution, women’s studies, non-violent communication, and child and human development. She was actively involved in development of an anti-bias curriculum and courses in social and political contexts of human development and ethics. Karen also was the Academic Dean for 10 years.
Becoming a lawyer in 1985, Karen worked in the Juvenile Courts in Los Angeles for 15 years. During her years as an attorney, she was trained in community conflict resolution and participated in many forms of mediation. Karen also participated in the founding of several non-profit corporations, and served on their boards.
Karen found her way to SIMS at Keystone Church in 2001. She and her partner, Niki, have been regular members ever since. Niki is a child and family therapist. They live in the U-District with various cats and sometimes enjoy visits from their son and granddaughters. They regularly attend the Bioneers Conference and are passionate about the preservation of the earth and social justice.
Temira (they/them) began practicing meditation in 2013 at the urging of a therapist. Two years later, they worked up the courage to join the Pacific Hermitage Sangha in White Salmon, Washington. It wasn’t long before they fell head over heels for the Dhamma and began sitting retreats. In the middle of the pandemic, Temira sat a retreat with Tim Geil and met the SIMS community. They saw something unique, gentle, kind, and ardent in the members of this sangha, and felt an immediate sense of welcome and connection.
Temira brings a background in mediation and counseling to the EAR Council. They were trained in mediation and restorative justice in the early 2010s and completed a Master’s in Counseling in marriage and family therapy in 2018. Prior to this, they worked various service industry and manual labor jobs. They currently work on a mobile crisis response team that covers three rural counties in the Columbia River Gorge. Temira is passionate about fighting for equity and social justice for those holding marginalized identities. They brings that lens and a sense of cultural humility into their work with clients.
Temira believes that spiritual practices are fundamental to our ability to live a fulfilling life. They recognize that spiritual abuse can profoundly affect one’s sense of safety and one’s ability to self-actualize. They also recognize that micro-abuses and micro-aggressions can also impact a person’s spiritual safety. Temira is committed to holding a safe space for people to talk about these experiences and resolve them so SIMS remains a welcoming and supportive place for people of all identities.
Miles stumbled onto the Dhamma path and quickly found his way to SIMS back in 2007. He has been an active and grateful member of the sangha ever since. He served on the SIMS board from 2011 until June 2016.
In his professional life, he’s a lawyer. His practice focuses on litigation and dispute resolution. He is trained in facilitative, interest-based mediation and served for many years as a volunteer mediator with the Snohomish and King County Dispute Resolution Centers. This mediation model is focused on acknowledging and drawing out the often unspoken needs and interests that underlie a dispute, rather than the positions that drive it. It is inspiring to be a part of a process that empowers people to discover their own solutions rather than having them imposed by someone else.
He is also a volunteer at the University of Washington Medical Center, providing companionship and a listening presence to patients referred to the palliative care team, and with Harborview Medical Center’s No One Dies Alone Program. Before that, he was a hospice care volunteer. What he values most about hospice and palliative-care work is not knowing—or even being expected to know—the answers. Instead, he feels privileged to be one of the few people on the hospital staff whose only role is to be present and connect with another person.
Ken began practicing with SIMS in 2011, a year after his wife Ewa joined the sangha. Originally from New England, he came to Seattle in 1998 for graduate study at the University of Washington, where he is now staff, working in engineering education research and faculty development.
His current favorite pastimes include cooking, cheering on OL Reign, and all things bicycle-related, and he is a long-time volunteer mechanic with Bike Works.