Northwest Dharma Association



Northwest Dharma News

A Quarterly Online Publication
Spring 2017, Volume 30, #1

An Invitation to Skillful Means: Letter from the Executive Director

George Draffan in landscaping mode.

A couple weeks ago you may have received an email asking you to support NWDA financially. If you haven’t done so yet, you can do it right here. So let’s get right to the topic of this quarter’s letter: WANTED: Teachers, facilitators, volunteers, donors and patrons from across the region’s Buddhist communities: to carry their Northwest Dharma Association into the…

Buddhists Needed by EvergreenHealth Hospice To Help Seattle-area People Move into Death

Volunteer Julia Guderian with patient Roberta M, warmed by a blanket that Guderian’s son’s class knit for this hospice patient.

As the population of Western Washington becomes more diverse, EvergreenHealth Hospice Care is seeking Buddhist volunteers to support people in the last stages of their lives. Already about 250 people volunteer to support people as they near death, with the program supporting more than 3,000 patients in 2016, said Volunteer Coordinator Criss East. Currently only enough volunteers are available to…

Phuntsho Collection Favorites: Photographs of Early Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle

His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, and his wife Her Eminence Jamyang Dagmo Kusho (Dagmola) Sakya, married Mariam and me in Seattle on Nov. 26, 1977. Their ceremony not only marked the beginning of our marriage but also the start of the Phuntsho Collection, a nearly 40-year collection of photographs taken of Rinpoche, Dagmola, the Sakya family, our Sangha and Tibetan…

The Way of the Writer: Charles Johnson about Art, Dharma, Race and Political Action

Charles Johnson frees a bird outside a monastery in Chiang Mai, Thailand, during a 1997 trip there.

Charles Johnson is simultaneously a leading author, a Buddhist, and holds a doctorate in philosophy. Johnson has won multiple awards for his many works of fiction and non-fiction, as well as screenplays, children’s books and book reviews. He has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. For 33 years Johnson taught…

Kagyu Changchub Chuling Buys a Church To Become its New Portland Urban Center

Bill Spangle, KCC president Tim Campbell and Tara Sullivan visit the new center building for the first time.

After years of developing a long-term rural retreat center, Kagyu Changchub Chuling has purchased a former Portland church to become its new urban center. A member’s dog gets some of the credit. The Tibetan Buddhist group, also known as KCC, purchased the Northeast Portland church in December, and is now renovating it. The work should be done in May This…


Featured Events

Support Your Association’s Programs – Spring Fund Drive

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Start: Wednesday, March 1
End: Monday, May 29

Event Type:

In 2016, NWDA focused its work on three new programs: Contemplative Caregiving Inclusive Communities Buddhist Recovery These programs apply Buddhist compassion and clarity where it counts — in real-life suffering in today’s world. In 2017, we will be exploring new and innovative ways of expanding our program reach throughout the region. To learn more about our programs, please visit our…

Inclusive Community Dialogues

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Start: Wednesday, March 1 @ 8:00 am
End: Sunday, April 30 @ 5:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Non-sectarian

Our region includes virtually every Buddhist tradition and culture, and is a great crossroads for tens of thousands of practitioners, those born into Buddhist heritage, and those adopting Buddhist practice as adults. In March and April 2017, the Northwest Dharma Association will be hosting a series of dialogues among Buddhist teachers and leaders. The goal is to share our experiences and perspectives,…

Spiritual Development, Psychological Development, and Buddhist Insight

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Start: Thursday, March 16 @ 2:00 pm
End: Thursday, May 4 @ 4:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Non-sectarian
Teacher: Joe Pearl

Spiritual Development, Psychological Development, and Buddhist Insight Meditation: A Consideration and Conversation What is the nature of psychological development? What is the nature of spiritual development? How are they related? How can they both be facilitated by Buddhist meditation? This class examines those questions from the perspectives of both the Eastern psychology/philosophy of Buddhism and the Western psychologies/philosophies of psychoanalysis,…

Healing the Emotions with Lama Tsering Everest

Member Group: Chagdud Gonpa Amrita

Start: Saturday, April 8
End: Sunday, April 9

Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhist
Teacher: Lama Tsering Everest

We all have the power to cultivate love, compassion, generosity, and patience throughout our daily lives in difficult and troubling times. However, our habitual emotional responses can cause confusion and suffering. Understanding the root cause of these powerful emotions is the first step in training a compassionate heart. Lama Tsering will offer practical examples and applications so that we can…

Awakening Wisdom: Joy of Living 3 With Senior Tergar Instructor Tim Olmsted

Member Group: Tergar Meditation Community of Oregon

Start: Friday, April 14 @ 7:00 pm
End: Sunday, April 16 @ 5:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Kagyu and Nyingma
Teacher: Mingyur RinpocheS

Awakening Wisdom Joy of Living 3 Meditation Workshop With Senior Tergar Instructor Tim Olmsted Portland, Oregon USA Video Invitation from Tergar Instructor Tim Olmsted In this weekend workshop, we will explore the practice of insight meditation. By bringing our unchallenged beliefs and patterns into the light of awareness, we can see how our rigid ideas often blind us to the…

HE Garchen Rinpoche Teachings & Empowerments, April 21-30!

Member Group: Drikung Seattle

Start: Friday, April 21 @ 7:00 pm
End: Sunday, April 30 @ 6:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Drikung Kagyu
Teacher: HE Garchen Rinpoche

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche Returns to Seattle! His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche was imprisoned during the Communist occupation in Tibet for 20 years in the prime of his life. There, he met his guru Khenpo Munsel and secretly practiced. After his release, Rinpoche spread the teachings of dharma to all corners of the world, sharing his radiance and inspiring all with…

Dying with Confidence

Member Group: Bainbridge Bodhi Center

Start: Saturday, April 22
End: Sunday, April 23

Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Anyen Rinpoche

We are so honored that Anyen Rinoche, author of Dying with Confidence, will be coming to the Bodhi Center Saturday and Sunday April 29 – 30. As a culture, we have little insight into death – the most important moment of our lives after birth. The Tibetan teachings are deep and rich and Anyen Rinpoche has made them a focus of…

Dancing the Dharma Path: Celebrating Feminine Wisdom

Member Group: Nalandabodhi

Date: Saturday, May 6
Time: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Event Type: , ,

Tradition: Mahasangha
Teacher: Shastri Trinley Busby, Bonnie Duran, Zen Master Jeong Ji, Tuer Sala, Mitra Lee Worley

Five charismatic, dynamic and established Buddhist women teachers rooted in their lineages display wisdom through teachings and stories.  Rich in professional, family and dharmic lives, each teacher is living her unique human experience: joys and struggles; pleasures and pains. How did they emerge so beautifully? What sustains them? How do they bring it all into “moment to moment life.” What…

Dr. Jan Willis, Dharma and Activism

Member Group: Dharma Friendship Foundation

Date: Tuesday, May 23
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism, non-sectarian
Teacher: Dr. Jan Willis

Jan Willis is one of the earliest American scholar-practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism, having studied Buddhism with Tibetan teachers for more than forty years, including as one of the first western students of Lama Thubten Yeshe. She discovered dharma as a path to healing the trauma of racism growing up in the segregated south, and has forged paths for the integration…

Chamtrul Rinpoche Visits Seattle

Member Group: Vajra Body Vajra Mind

Start: Tuesday, August 1 @ 7:00 pm
End: Wednesday, August 2 @ 10:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Chamtrul Rinpoche

Chamtrul Rinpoche Lobsang Gyatso is the recognized reincarnation of the second Chamtrul Rinpoche, Pema Nangsel Dorje, who was one of the heads of the Mardo Tashi Choeling Monastery in Tibet and the holy incarnation of the Kathok Chamtrul Kunzig Dorje. At fourteen, Chamtrul Rinpoche entered his monastery to study with his first Root Guru, the Dzogchen Master Naljor Yeshe Wangchuk….


Calendar of Events

Support Your Association’s Programs – Spring Fund Drive

In 2016, NWDA focused its work on three new programs: Contemplative Caregiving Inclusive Communities Buddhist Recovery These programs apply Buddhist compassion and clarity where it counts — in real-life suffering in today’s world. In 2017, we will be exploring new and innovative ways of expanding our program reach throughout the region. To learn more about our programs, please visit our…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Start: Wednesday, March 1
End: Monday, May 29

Event Type:

Family Mindfulness Weekend Retreat

Registration is now open for the Mindfulness Community of Puget Sound’s April Family Mindfulness Weekend Retreat at beautiful Camp Indianola from April 14-16, 2016. Our guiding teachers will again be Michael Ciborski and Fern Dorresteyn, both lineage holding teacher in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Michael and Fern were Plum Village monastics for 9 years and then set up…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Mindfulness Community of Puget Sound

Start: Friday, April 14 @ 1:00 pm
End: Sunday, April 16 @ 2:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village
Teacher: Michael Ciborski

Memorial Day Weekend Retreat

How to See Yourself as You Really Are course with Ven. Thubten Chodron What’s the root of all our problems? We don’t know who we are and how things actually exist. This is the very heart of the Buddha’s teaching. Ven. Thubten Chodron continues teaching from the book, How to See Yourself as You Really Are, by His Holiness the…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Sravasti Abbey

Start: Friday, May 26 @ 3:00 pm
End: Monday, May 29 @ 2:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Ven. Thubten Chodron


A unique opportunity to meet with His Eminence Dza Kilung Rinpoche for two full days to receive teachings on Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice and its vital role in your life and in the modern world. These sessions are designed for anyone who has an interest in learning more about Buddhism, for new students and those with many years of…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Pema Kilaya Sangha

Start: Saturday, April 1 @ 10:00 am
End: Sunday, April 2 @ 4:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Vajrayana
Teacher: DZA Kilung Rinpoche

One-Day Retreat with Steve Armstrong

Steve Armstrong led meditation retreats, including the annual 3-month retreat at Insight Meditation Society for 18 years. Since 2004, he has been practicing “mindfulness of mind” with Sayadaw U Tejaniya and now integrates the teachings of these two awareness and insight traditions. He has taught mindfulness, insight and abhidhamma retreats in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US since…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: Steve Armstrong

Go to the main calendar page!

Member Groups

Vajra Body Vajra Mind

Vajra Body Vajra Mind is a human development podcast and home of coach/mentor Damien Abel. Damien offers coaching to help people develop a daily meditation practice, destroy disturbing emotions and habits, train and tame the mind, and develop deep access to awareness and compassion.  

Tradition: Non-Sectarian || Location: , WA

Bellevue Dharma Group

We practice Buddhist meditation--Recollective Awareness as taught by Jason Siff of the Skillful Meditation Project. The facilitator of our group is Bill Cooper, who has practiced meditation for over 30 years. Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome.

Tradition: Early Buddhism || Location: Bellevue, WA

Seattle Koan Discussion Group

We are two groups of Buddhist meditators interested in Zen Koan practice. We are following the teachings of John Tarrant that are much more open, informal and inclusive than the traditional Japanese monastic style of Zen. "We have an openly collaborative culture; we develop our understanding of Zen by practicing our spiritual methods and sharing our experience. It is a...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Seattle, WA


Do-it-Yourself Dharma is a peer-led Buddhist community of freaks, geeks, queers, trans folks, rebels, outcasts, stream-enterers, and friends young and old. Folks of all backgrounds, cultures, and traditions are welcome. We meditate together in East Vancouver, following the Buddhist tradition. We strive to create a space for kindness, mutual respect, and safety, free from violence and oppression.   We also have...

Tradition: all traditions and lineages || Location: Vancouver, BC

Dance Mandal

Emphasis is on the sacred arts particularly of Vajrayana Buddhism, and focusing mainly on a style of vajra dance from the Nepalese lineage of Newar Buddhist priests. Dance classes and performance offerings are held regularly at the Newar Buddhist temple of Nritya Mandala Mahavihara. Dance Mandal also offers presentations, workshops, and performances for dharma centers, universities, schools, museums, etc.

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Portland, OR

Nalandabodhi Vancouver

Please see our website for full description.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Vancouver, BC

Buddhist Meditation Society of Northern BC

BMSNBC Known informally as the Open Door Sangha, we hope to 'open the door' to Buddhist practice by providing a suitable space for regular formal mediation, and by bringing people in touch with a rich history as well as qualified teachers. Our organization is composed of two individual meditation groups (Vipassana and Zen) each embodying its own particular forms and...

Tradition: Vipassana & Zen || Location: Prince George, BC

Shared Heart Arbor

Do Shin Tei Kai focus of the study and practice of traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Along with learning the movements of Chado ~ the Way of Tea; they specialize in blending the traditional philosophy  with contemporary views of the Ceremony itself.

Tradition: Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony || Location: Portland, OR

Go to the Group Directory page for more!