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Winter 2014 Newsletter
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More on the Precepts

To listen to Rodney's 2002 series of talks about the Five Precepts, click here.

For a talk by Rodney about Sila (ethical conduct) from his 2012 series on the Fundamentals of the Dharma, click here.
Flower Hollyhock

More on Death & Dying

For a talk by Rodney about Death and Denial from his 2012 series on the Fundamentals of the Dharma, click here.

When we bring death closer, we notice that it is "immediately accessible and ultimately friendly. Dying is not self-controlled; it is the ultimate act of surrender. It requires both releasing our need to control and the courage to face life without the influence of thought." Birthing the Heart: Living Our Death.

Volunteering and the SIMS Death & Dying Support Project

For information about current volunteer opportunities and about how to get involved with the Death & Dying Support Project, click here.

KM Groups

For more information about KM groups and how to become a co-facilitator, click here.


The Pali word for "generosity," dana is what makes the work of SIMS possible.  To make a gift, click here.


A Farewell from Our Outgoing Board President

bamboo forest with stone pathMy tenure as SIMS Board president ended in 2013. Serving as board president over the last three years has been a meaningful and rewarding experience. There have been lots of changes for SIMS in this time period. We now offer more introductory and other classes than ever before, and our cadre of Local Dharma Leaders has grown, including three in formal teacher training. We also have a new online accounting system, have made lots of web-site improvements, and have documented the procedures for most of our events. 

I started volunteering for SIMS soon after I took the Introduction to Meditation class. The experience helped deepen my understanding of generosity, service, and the importance of sangha. I am thankful for all of the wonderful SIMS volunteers and sangha members that I have met and worked with since then. It has been an honor to work with the SIMS board and with Rodney. 

I leave with an enormous sense of gratitude to all of you and I hope to continue to be connected to SIMS in the future. Meanwhile, SIMS is in good hands. Joyce Michelson will serve as the new SIMS board president as of January 2014.                   
                                                                                            Linda Taggart

The Five Great Gifts
By Tim Geil

The Buddha spoke of the precepts as five great gifts for oneself. In the Anguttara Nikaya, he described these gifts as “immeasurable freedom from fear, enmity, and affliction.” By exposing our harmful impulses, the precepts help reveal our unconscious assumption of separation and identity. This shifts our view of the precepts as a rudimentary and simple teaching to a vital and indispensable aspect of awakening. 

My Father's Death
By Hollis Giammateo

father's death 3This personal narrative describes the heart-opening process of helping a parent let go: "Since the ultimate mission of the [SIMS Death & Dying] project was to use our learnings to offer support to any dying member of the sangha, I waited eagerly for my “assignment.” I did not get one, nor the chance to apply our learnings in the way I had hoped. My father got there first. Instead of sharing the experience of “birthing” a death with a few earnest group members, I had to set my life aside, go back 'home,' and help my father die." Read more.

The Four Noble Truths, or How to Start a New KM Group
By Iris Antman

A sangha member describes how she helped to start a new KM group working with the Four Noble Truths. Read more.   

A Lesson in Meditation 
By Christa Quackenbush

3 Queseria school kidsWhen my husband traveled to the small village of Cofradia de Suchitlan on the slopes of Colima’s Volcano of Fire in Mexico for a Spanish immersion course, neither of us could have predicted how our lives would change. This course was offered by a non-profit organization called Project Amigo, which provides the poor children of Colima programs encouraging them to stay in school, promoting literacy, and improving access to higher education. Read more and see photos.

Seattle Insight Meditation Society is a welcoming community devoted to offering the Buddha's teachings on wisdom and compassion to all those who seek them. SIMS encourages an ongoing investigation of our lives for the liberation of all beings.

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Seattle Insight Meditation Society
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Seattle, Washington 98145-2817

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