The Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS) is a nonprofit organization devoted to offering the Buddha's teachings on insight and awareness to all those who seek them. Founded by a group of longtime practitioners of the dharma (teachings of the Buddha), SIMS intends to create and nurture an open and cohesive spiritual community, or sangha, to support the practice of mindfulness in daily life.
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
- Classes in Insight Meditation for beginning and experienced students
- Residential and 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's practice
- Community outreach activities
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.