Ongoing Practice Support

SIMS offers a range of opportunities to continue and deepen your practice. If you are new to meditation, please see our Getting Started page. Once you’ve taken an introductory course, or if you’ve had similar instruction in Insight Meditation elsewhere, we invite you to participate in any of the following offerings

Weekly Dharma & Meditation

SIMS guiding teachers and local dharma leaders 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.

During the pandemic we are offering Daily Drop In Sits to help keep us all sane.

Dharma Classes

In addition to the ongoing Monday evening gathering, guest teacher dharma talks, and nonresidential retreats, SIMS offers dharma classes throughout the year – some oriented towards new practitioners and some towards more experienced practitioners.

These classes are usually led by a SIMS guiding teacher, a guest teacher, or a SIMS local dharma leader. Check the Calendar for the start dates of upcoming classes as offerings are added throughout the year.

Please see our ongoing classes in Buddhist Essentials and Introduction to Meditation (which begins anew every quarter)

Small Groups

Kalyana mitta (KM) groups, shared interest groups, and neighborhood sitting groups provide the opportunity for SIMS members to develop sangha by practicing and socializing with other like-minded individuals.

KM groups form around a specific practice topic and are facilitated by practitioners with at least two years of experience.

Shared interest groups are a more informal way to practice or make friends while joining together in a social, educational, or recreational activity.

Neighborhood sitting groups are open-ended, drop-in groups that meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly and give individuals an opportunity to practice together in a smaller group with other SIMS members who live in their neighborhood.

Weekend Retreats

Retreats offer sustained practice that deepens our understanding of the dharma. They usually include meditation instructions, sitting and walking meditation practice, dharma talks and dialogues with the teacher.

These retreats typically start at 9:00 AM and end at 4:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday, allowing participants to sleep in their own homes.  They follow the same format of a residential retreat.  They provide an opportunity for a weekend of extended practice.  They also provide a great opportunity to sit with different guest teachers. 

 

Residential Retreats

SIMS does not have the facilities to sponsor residential retreats but there are many offered at Insight retreat centers (see Retreats and Daylongs above) Residential retreats allow one to deepen their mindfulness practice within a continuous environment that includes periods of sitting, walking, dharma talks, and everyday living activities. Residential retreats are usually at least three days in length but can also be a full week, two weeks, or longer. Check our Links page for recommended residential retreat centers. Residential Retreat Scholarships For SIMS members with limited financial resources, SIMS offers scholarships of up to fifty percent of the retreat center registration fee for retreats led by Rodney Smith or our Guiding Teachers. For more information and to apply, please see the Scholarship Program and Application Form.

Personal Practice Interviews

SIMS guiding teachers and local dharma leaders 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.

For more information, and to request a practice interview, please review the Interview Practice Meetings page.

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