Jessica McKimmie is a friend and confidant to many, a mindfulness and meditation practitioner and educator, and a Buddhist / Interfaith Chaplain, based in the Seattle area. Jessica believes that accessibility to therapeutic and spiritual services within the LGBTQIA+ and youth communities is very important, and prioritizes work in those communities.
Jessica’s formal training includes Upaya Zen Center‘s Buddhist Chaplaincy Program and work as a chaplain at the VA Healthcare of Puget Sound. Jessica has also completed Mindful Schools “Mindful Educator Training” and has taught secular mindfulness in various classrooms and educational settings. Jessica has been providing meditation, mindfulness, and chaplain services to individuals, families, and classrooms since 2016.
Prior to Jessica’s work as a chaplain, she was unknowingly developing a “chaplain’s heart” through her own grief processing, work, and volunteer time. As Executive Director of LGBTQIA+ youth-focused 501(C)3, Pizza Klatch, Jessica created internship programs and facilitated support groups for LGBTQIA+ teens from high schools across Thurston County, WA. Jessica also worked as a counselor at YouthCare’s Orion Center, connecting with many inspiring youth experiencing homelessness.
Informally, Jessica has been a meditation practitioner for many years, with her first exposure to Zen Buddhism and mindfulness in the late 1990s. She currently practices with and serves on the board of Mindfulness Community of Puget Sound, a meditation and mindfulness community in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen Master and “father of mindfulness in the West”.
Jessica also has an entrepreneurial spirit, spending many in business arenas, including several years operating a boutique marketing agency focused on small and medium sized businesses, nonprofits, and “marketing for social change”. In addition to her Buddhist Chaplaincy certificate, she holds a BS in Business Management from San Francisco State University.