The Insight Center FAQ

What does the Insight Center do?

We offer a variety of courses, workshops, meditation groups and therapeutic services. We teach traditional meditation practices, relational body psychotherapy, NeuroAffective Touch™, and interpersonal neurobiology. We offer workshops that apply these practices to issues such as anxiety and depression. We also offer individual, couple and family therapy sessions using contemporary relational practices.

What is the Insight Center?

The Insight Center is an organization in Los Angeles that offers meditation and psychotherapy direct services and trainings. We are approved continuing education providers for the American Psychological Association and the California Board of Registered Nursing. We have a physical location in West Los Angeles that accommodates 25 students and host our larger trainings in other locations in the Los Angeles area.

Where are you located?

We are located in a residential area of West Los Angeles near Santa Monica and Sepulveda Blvds. For directions and parking suggestions, visit our location details page.

Our physical address is:

1404 Greenfield Ave #1
Los Angeles, CA 91436

Our mailing address is:

The Insight Center
4956 Gaviota Ave
Encino, CA 91436

When was the Center founded?

The Insight Center acquired its physical space in 2006, but our origins come from LA Dharma, which was formed in 2000 as a non-sectarian Buddhist organization that primarily taught mindfulness meditation, vipassana and insight practices. Over a two-year period, we hosted 22 monthly retreats with teachers from Spirit Rock Meditation Center. We have also hosted and taught Sunlun meditation as practiced at the Sunlun Sayadaw monastery in Burma. Our meditation faculty became increasingly trained in various somatic-oriented practices that are now seamlessly integrated into our teaching of meditation.

Who are the principals at the Center?

The Insight Center was co-founded and is guided by Michael Shiffman and Juliet Soopikian. The lead dhamma teacher is Rev. Hye Wol Sunim, a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk with extensive training in Zen and Theravada traditions. For details, visit our faculty profile pages.

How is your approach different from others?

As a Center, our approach is as unique as our faculty. Our faculty offers exemplary expertise in traditional Buddhist practice, relational body psychotherapy, interpersonal neurobiology and the use of touch for trauma resolution.

How do I register for a course? Is it secure?

Registration for our events is managed through our online registration system. Just select the event you want to register for and click on “Register.” It is a secure system operated by PayPal merchant services.  For your safety and our peace of mind we never keep your credit card number on our server.

Do I need to be a professional to take courses or workshops?

No. Most of our events are open to the general public. Those offered only to healthcare professionals are clearly designated “For Professionals.”

What are your refund and privacy policies?

We never disclose your personal information and never rent or sell our mailing lists. We have reasonable and personal refund policies.  We treat you like we want to be treated.  For more detailed information visit our policies page.

Does the Center do corporate or in-service staff trainings?

We do corporate and in-service staff trainings at both our Center and at corporate sites. While we offer a variety of courses and workshops, we also design programs to specifically address the needs of each organization. For more information, visit our corporate training page.

Do you have special groups for mental health professionals?

We offer courses and workshops exclusively for healthcare professionals for two reasons. First, it assures therapists and physicians that they will not run into their patients, unless of course they are other healthcare professionals. Second, it enables us to teach materials and practices that build on professional skill sets using examples from within their scope of practice.

Do you offer groups or classes for people in 12-step programs?

We have extensive experience with 12-Step programs and the recovery from addiction.  We periodically offer Mindfulness in Recovery and Mindfulness and the 11th Step workshops and an Introduction to Mindfulness for People in Recovery, for people with one year or more in their primary program.  If you have a group of eight or more we can arrange a course or daylong workshop for you.  We are also happy to explain what these groups offer.

Is the Center accessible for people with physical challenges?

Unfortunately, the Center is accessed by a staircase and does not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom. We can make special arrangements for persons with disabilities that prevent them from walking up stairs. Contact us and we will make our best effort to work with you. All of our larger classes, workshops and clinical trainings are offered at facilities that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Do you offer CEUs?

Yes. The Insight Center is an authorized CE provider for the American Psychological Association (APA) and the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider Number 14914).  The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA CEUs for MFTs, LCSWs and LPCCs.  If you practice outside of California check with your state licensing board to confirm that they accept CEUs from the APA.

Can I audit a course or workshop before registering?

No. We do not allow auditing of courses or workshops.

What if I need to miss a session?

If you need to miss one or even two sessions during a six- or seven-week meditation course, it is still reasonable to take the course if you maintain a daily practice. Many of our students travel for their work or have unpredictable changes in their work schedule. We can help you to stay up-to-date with what we are doing in the next session.

What should I wear to meditation courses?

We suggest layers of modest comfortable clothing. Many people experience changes in body temperature while meditating or in workshops, so bringing a shawl, sweater, light coat or sweatshirt may be helpful. Bring socks if your feet tend to get cold as we ask people to remove their shoes before entering the Center. We also ask that students avoid using scents because many people are sensitive to them.

How is the Center supported financially?

Our primary source of support comes from direct contributions from individuals who participate in our events. A small portion comes from fees for courses and workshops. To support the work of the Center, please visit our support page.

How are the teachers supported?

They are supported in one of two ways. First, support for the teachers leading our meditation groups comes from dana, the practice of generosity. This means that when there is no charge, support comes from donations. For paid events, a portion of the registration fee goes to the teacher.

How can I support the work of the Insight Center?

We very much appreciate your support.  Single and monthly contributions are greatly appreciated.  For details on how you can support the work of the center, visit our support page.

How can I contact someone for more information?

For our full contact information, please visit our contact page.  You can email us at or call our phone system at 310-479-7996.  Press “1” to contact our faculty and staff directly.