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Watch Our Dharma Roots Grow

Thanks to the kindness and boundless generosity of the SIMS sangha (community), we exceeded our fundraising goal! You raised over $175,000 to create a new spiritual home for SIMS.

We thank all the volunteers, the over 200 donors and guest teachers who helped us reach this fundraising goal for the remodel campaign. Thank you so much for everyone who contributed. Your generosity will make it possible for SIMS to continue to offer the Dharma for all who seek it, in a new space on the first floor of University Friends House. Our new home has many features. Whether you are near or far, you will be able to love the Dharma. Please learn more about the new space below.

We turn our efforts to transformation of the space and building a stronger more inclusive sangha. We need to do this together. Please join us! There are volunteer opportunities and more. Together we can connect, inspire spiritual practice, and make SIMS our spiritual home.

October 30, 2023

Our remodel project is moving along well. The drywall is almost complete defining the space in a tangible way. With this well underway, the fitting out of the space with flooring, cabinetry and paint should happen in relatively short order! The current momentum is exciting. Our move in celebration has been tentatively moved to Sunday January 7th.

September 27, 2023

SIMS’s downstairs renovation is nearly ready! Electrical inspections are complete. The HVAC is in place. Paint details are being finalized. All of these puzzle pieces are important parts of our future home. The current construction schedule has completion slated for the end of November. We hope you will join us for a joyous ceremony and celebration sometime late fall or early winter, at a date to be announced.

August 28th, 2023

The project is moving along. The heat pump has been installed within the new fenced area at the southwest corner of the building. Both the plumbing and electrical work have passed inspections. The Design Task Force has just about completed the final design decisions and passed them on to our architect Sally who meets weekly with our contractor.

The Board has started to assemble a ‘move-in transition team’ to facilitate setting up the interior furnishings and getting the new spaces ready for occupation once construction is complete. We need volunteers to help with several tasks on this team.

June 29, 2023

The Design Task Force has approved the total ‘look’ of the new space including color palettes, textures, floor surfaces, cabinets and countertops. This feels like a milestone! We are close to finalizing the layout of the kitchen cabinetry. We have walked through the bathrooms and noted needed improvements.

We are actively planning for an ADA (accessible) pathway on the east side of the building, and security measures will be enhanced by a new fence and gates.

The framing for the space is complete and approved by the city!The Task Force is planning a short presentation on site for the Board and Guiding Teachers within the next month.

We are pleased the project is moving forward.

May 29, 2023

Now that the HVAC design and sighting have been completed and its permitting is in process, we’re looking forward to more visible progress on the remodel. In consultation with our guiding teachers as needed, the Design Committee continues to meet and discuss, research and decide on the myriad smaller decisions needing to be made. We’re all excited about how the space will look and feel.

April 27, 2023

The remodel project continues moving forward. Work on the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are in process, including locating the HVAC with sightlines and security in mind. We have made decisions on most of the accessory items and have ordered the window blinds. That was a big deal, there are a lot of windows! Below is a picture with the framing completed and the space cleaned up. Onward!

member of the Design Task Force

March 29, 2023

The remodel construction is moving along! Framing is completed, electric wiring is in place and plumbing considerations are moving ahead. Our HVAC engineer is still fine-tuning the details for the heat pump and heat recovery ventilation.

Several members of the Design Task Force met with our interior designer this week and picked out paint colors for the walls as well as finalizing cabinet hardware and window/door trim details.

We installed a couple of window blinds and have decided what we like and what we think will be functional for light admittance as well as privacy.

We feel positive about the progress and appreciate your interest, care and patience.

member of the Design Task Force

Kalid, Deb and Liz choosing wall and trim colors.
Kalid, Deb and Liz choosing wall and trim colors
February 23, 2023

Construction in our new space is in full swing! The framing is mostly completed as is the electrical wiring. We’re finishing details on our HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system. In line with our values of caring for all beings and the earth we’re having a heat pump powered by electricity designed and installed to replace the previous gas furnace.

To address concerns about the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid, the Design Task Force applied to a King County Environmental Health Services Division program that grants free portable HEPA-equipped air cleaners to public organizations within the County. We were approved and received five new air purifiers. They were delivered on Feb. 22nd. See photo below. These will help to ensure optimum air quality in our new space.


member of the Design Task Force

The photo above shows one of Seattle/King County's Health and Environmental Investigators delivering a new air purification unit to SIMS.
January 28, 2023

The framing for the remodel is due to start next week. The electrical and plumbing work which is planned to be done concurrently, will follow the framing and take about a month to complete. 

The Design Committee has continued to collaborate with our interior designer Liz Davis on wall paint colors and window coverings. We have been offered and accepted chairs for the entry space donated by a former sangha member which we think will be a wonderful addition.

We are looking forward to seeing progress in the next months towards the remodel that will offer us our own full time dedicated meditation space.

member of the Design Task Force

December 23, 2022

Barbara E. and Deb S., two of our Design Task Force members, met with Liz Davis, our interior designer at our remodel space to discuss elements related to the desired feel of the environment. Liz was very positive about the decisions made so far and offered further comments and suggestions on wall paint colors, entry furnishings, kitchen cabinet materials and window coverings. We are excited to have this level of professional input to make our future space elegant, warm and calming.

We have received responses from several volunteers to help with design ideas, possible building of entryway furnishings and helping with set-up in the new space. Barbara E. has reached out to these generous folks and will coordinate their efforts once we reach that stage of the project.

We look forward to our contractors beginning the build out early in the New Year!

member of the Design Task Force

November 25, 2022

The remodel project is moving ahead, but progress on actual construction has been slowed because of the availability of subcontractors and the need to work out specific design details. As subcontractors are being scheduled, the Design Task Force is moving forward with ideas and drawings to furnish the entryway area.

As we decide what to purchase, we are looking for  volunteers from our sangha who have handyperson skills to help us envision and assemble/build the furniture to create a welcoming environment. If you are interested in helping, please contact Iris at Thank you.

member of the Design Task Force

October 21, 2022

Demolition of our space is complete! Though rebuilding has not yet begun, LOTS of planning continues. We are very happy that Sally Knodell of Environmental Works Architecture has agreed to continue in the architectural role of liaison between us and our contractors. We have confidence that she, along with our interior designer and with input from the Design Task Force, can communicate with Dane DuBose and Malcolm MacNeil, our contractor team, in an efficient and constructive manner to create a beautiful new home for SIMS.

The Design Task Force has made decisions on some of the materials and we’re getting close to agreeing on others. Big kudos to Deb S. and Barbara E. who have done the lion’s share of researching materials, visiting showrooms, and bringing to the group detailed information on pricing, sustainability and other issues of concern.

Barbara who has a background in lighting design has helped us think about how to light the various spaces – what kinds of fixtures to use, where they should be, etc.

Our A/V superstars Cheryl M. and Ken Y. are working with Kalid A. to develop the most elegant wiring plan for a great hybrid A/V set up.

member of the Design Task Force

A room that is under construction
September 26, 2022

The demolition of our new space is complete! Dane and his partner Malcolm have been working with subcontractors on different aspects of the project including floors, walls, electrical plan, and a new HVAC system. SIMS has committed to converting the current heating system from gas to an electric heat pump, an environmentally friendly technology which both heats and cools (air conditions) the space.

The Design Task force is collecting samples of floor surfaces, cabinet materials, lighting fixtures and paint color samples. Here are pictures of the site taken on September 12 when several Design Task Force members met there in person.

member of the Design Task Force

Two people standing in an empty room that is under construction
August 23, 2022

After almost two years of discussion, planning and fundraising, actual physical work has begun on the Remodel of our new sangha space on the first floor of UFM. Last week Dane DuBose, co-owner of MacNeil/DuBose LLC as well as a sangha member, signed our contract. Demolition of the space began today.

The Design Task Force has been meeting regularly for months using the drawings, ideas and suggestions from our architect and interior designer to think about materials for floors, cabinets, window coverings, and other elements of the project. And our AV/Communications Team is helping to figure out what we’ll need to have good, reliable hybrid events.

We’ll post monthly updates on this page and in our monthly announcement emails.

member of the Design Task Force


Grow Our Dharma Roots Benefit Talks

The Grow Our Dharma Roots series is a special series of Dharma talks featuring five master meditation teachers including Rodney Smith, Sharon Salzberg, Ofosu Jones-Quartey, Narayan Liebenson, and Zoketsu Norman Fischer, who explore meditation as a gateway to transcendent awareness; caring in a troubled world; sangha and refuge; diversity and the intersection of Dharma and hip hop; and spirituality as relationship to self and the world.

Share your Storyin60!

Listen to sangha members speak briefly about the dharma in their own lives.​

Storyin60 bridges the spoken and written word to share our inspiration about the Dharma, celebrate our new spiritual home, and grow a strong, diverse Sangha. In an effort to build connection between individual sangha members, and share what inspires us to practice, we have created a platform to share the written and spoken word via short audio recordings and written reflections.

Why do you seek refuge in the Dharma? What has inspired your practice? 
Reflect on a first retreat experience, a powerful moment of awakening, a memorable quote from a teacher, a conversation with a sangha member, a Dharma high “moment,” or other powerful yet small encounter with the Buddha, Dharma, or Sangha.

Keep SIMS Dharma Roots Growing Strong

Your Support is Dana. Dana is a Pali term for generosity, giving, or gift. Your gift, no matter how small, allows SIMS to fulfill its mission: to offer the Buddha’s teachings on insight and compassion to all those who seek them and to support a spiritual community centered in the Pacific Northwest.

Better than a thousand meaningless statements
Is one meaningful word,
Which, having been heard,
Brings peace
~Dhammapada 100

With Deep Gratitude,
SIMS Board and Guiding Teachers

If you would prefer,  you can mail us a check to the address below. Please indicate on your check the intention to donate to the UFM Remodel.

Seattle Insight Meditation Society
ATTN. Grow Our Dharma Roots Fund
4001 9th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Your donations may be tax deductible as SIMS is a registered 501(c)(3).

SIMS Spiritual Home Q&A

What are funds being used for?

Funds will be used to create our own dedicated spiritual space for 75 participants, available to us 24/7. We will have a permanent AV system to allow for live-streaming of SIMS events, as well as offer “hybrid” events—both in person and virtual. There will be a separate entrance to the building with a small courtyard garden. An HVAC system will provide healthy air flow, cooling and heating. Our vision is to include a lobby and tea service area, small kitchen, small library space, and upgrades to the bathrooms. SIMS has a 10-year lease on the space at University Friends Meeting.

The City of Seattle has given the remodel project the go ahead to apply for a construction permit. Permitting questions had been centered around fire safety compliance. Project architect, Sally Knodell of Environmental Works (EW), supported by a code compliance consultant at Code Unlimited, had assisted in these negotiations. The project architect and interior designer, Liz Davis of ECD Design, are working with a core group of SIMS volunteers, led by former President Rob Long and current Board member Kalid Azad, to create the details of our vision for the space. Former Board president Barbara Erwine, is working to put together a package of ideas that reflect the need for the space to be functional as well as spiritual.

Our expected timeline for construction and completion:

  1. Submit Construction Permit – January 2022
  2. Permit approval – March/April 2022
  3. Select Contractor – March/April 2022
  4. Start Construction – February 2023
  5. Construction Ongoing – February through May 2023
  6. Finish Construction – May 2023
  7. Move in – June 2023
How can I stay informed of the progress of the remodel?

We will be providing updates in our monthly newsletter.

How soon will SIMS be able to move into its new space?

While this is a moving target, construction could be finished by Summer 2023. Plans to move in could be realized shortly thereafter.

How easy is it to get to SIMS?

The property has easy access to transit and light rail. The new U-District light rail station is about a 10 minute walk away, and the area is served by numerous bus routes including a stop right across the street. UFM has 21 existing onsite parking spaces which includes 1 marked handicap accessible space. There is another accessible parking space on the street immediately in front of the building (adjacent to the sidewalk).

What are the design elements?

Please see the architect’s drawing of the space below.

Where can I read about the plan and see more photos?

Please see the link below to view the remodel site plan PDF.

Photos and site plan

Architect’s proposed floor plan
SIMS Remodel Project at UFM - Proposed Floor Plan

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