Who We Are
Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS) is an all-volunteer Dharma community devoted to offering the Buddha’s teachings on wisdom and compassion to all those who seek them. Through meditation and daily practice, SIMS encourages an ongoing investigation of our lives for the liberation of all beings and the stewardship of the planet.
SIMS offers classes, Dharma talks, non-residential retreats and special events to support the development of mindfulness in daily life. SIMS is a welcoming space for all people to share Dharma practice. We make the teachings freely available to all regardless of the ability to pay.
The mission of Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS) is to offer the Buddha’s teachings on insight and awareness to all those who seek them and to support a spiritual community centered in the Pacific Northwest.
The vision of SIMS is that all beings will realize the possibility of liberation.
Affordability – SIMS is sustained by the generosity of the sangha, allowing it to make the teachings freely available to all regardless of ability to pay.
Welcoming Community – SIMS values diversity and is dedicated to creating a space that welcomes all people.
Service – Recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings, SIMS values service as a living expression of the dharma.
Living the Teachings – SIMS encourages living the dharma and deepening our understanding through all the challenges of life, at all times and within every environment.
Environmental Stewardship – SIMS promotes expanding our conscious involvement to include stewardship of the planet and its natural resources.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Seattle Insight Meditation Society acknowledges that many people face barriers to participating in our work due to biases and social structures based on race, class, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion and other factors. Thus, in accord with Buddhist teachings as we understand them, SIMS takes a proactive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and is engaged in ongoing initiatives to promote these three values throughout our work.
What is Insight Meditation?
The term “Insight Meditation” refers both to a spiritual practice shared by all forms of Buddhism, and to a particular historical Buddhist tradition. The word “insight” is a common translation of the Pali word vipassana, which means “clear seeing.” Developing “clear seeing” helps people live their lives with growing skillfulness and ease.
As a spiritual practice, Insight Meditation helps cultivate the qualities of mindfulness and equanimity, which in turn foster the deepening of wisdom and compassion, the gateways to liberation and freedom.
As a spiritual tradition, Insight Meditation draws on the accumulated wisdom of the Theravadin Buddhist lineage as practiced over centuries in the monasteries of Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka, and as transmitted over the last thirty years to teachers in the West.
SIMS activities support the development of mindfulness across a continuum of situations, from silent retreats to daily life:
- Weekly sittings with meditation and dharma talk or discussion
- Ongoing practice groups and open meditation times at the center
- Classes in Insight Meditation for beginning and experienced students
- Nonresidential meditation retreats, including “days of mindfulness”
- Dharma talks with visiting teachers of Insight Meditation
- Social gatherings where people can meet and support each other in practice
- Community outreach activities