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: Saturday, April 1
End: Thursday, June 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…

Mahamudra: The Single Sufficient Path

Member Group: Younge Drodul Ling (Washington)

Start: Saturday, May 27 @ 10:00 am
End: Sunday, May 28 @ 5:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Younge Khachab Rinpoche

Join us for a weekend of teachings and meditation instruction.  Younge Khachab Rinpoche will be teaching Gampopa’s Single Sufficient Path of Mahamudra.  Rinpoche will be presenting these teachings from the point of view of one’s practice based on his own extensive study and experience.  This is a rare opportunity to receive teachings and instruction from a true Dzogchen and Mahamudra…

Sunyata and Chandrakirti’s Sevenfold Reasoning & The Importance of Sunyata in the Hevajra Practice

Member Group: Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhsim

Date: Saturday, May 27
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Type: , ,

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism

Sakya Monastery is pleased to welcome the Vidyadhara Acharya Mahayogi Sridhar Rana Rinpoche of Nepal to give a Dharma lecture on Saturday, May 27th at 2 pm. “Emptiness is the main view of the Paramitayana. It is considered the only antidote to ignorance, which is the innate clinging to the concept of a self as real existence. In the Vajrayana…

Nejang Tibetan Healing Yoga

Member Group: Sorig Khang Portland

Date: Sunday, June 4
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism
Teacher: Christiana Polites

Nejang (Tib. གནས་སྦྱངས་) is a Tibetan healing yoga practice that literally means ‘cleaning the energy sites of the body.’ It consists of simple breath work, physical exercises, and self-massage designed to improve the function of the sense organs and inner organs, balance the internal energy, open the channels, and relax the mind. It has roots in the Tibetan Buddhist Kalachakra tradition and has…

Yuthok Nyingthig Ati Yoga with Dr Nida Chenagtsang

Member Group: Sorig Khang Portland

Start: Thursday, July 13
End: Sunday, July 16

Event Type: ,

Tradition: Yuthok Nyingthig, Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism
Teacher: Dr Nida Chenagtsang

Four Day Urban Retreat with Dr Nida Chenagtsang: Ati Yoga (Tib: Dzogchen), literally meaning the ‘utmost yoga,’ is the pinnacle of Buddhist Vajrayana practice. It is the most simple, direct, and profound path to reveal the primordial wisdom which is one’s basic nature. In this four day practice-centered urban retreat, Dr Nida Chenagtsang offers Ati Yoga instruction according to Tibet’s…

Dream Yoga with Chamtrul Rinpoche Part 1

Member Group: Vajra Body Vajra Mind

Date: Tuesday, August 1
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Chamtrul Rinpoche

Tibetan Dream Yoga is the original form of lucid dreaming documented for at least 1,000 years. Also known as Milam – the yoga of the dream state – it’s a suite of advanced tantric techniques. Just like our Westernized understanding of lucid dreams, the initial aim is to awaken the consciousness in the dream state. In the Tibetan tradition, dream…

Chamtrul Rinpoche Visits Seattle

Member Group: Vajra Body Vajra Mind

Date: Wednesday, August 2
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan
Teacher: Chamtrul Rinpoche

Tibetan Dream Yoga is the original form of lucid dreaming documented for at least 1,000 years. Also known as Milam – the yoga of the dream state – it’s a suite of advanced tantric techniques. Just like our Westernized understanding of lucid dreams, the initial aim is to awaken the consciousness in the dream state. In the Tibetan tradition, dream…

Buddhist Recovery Summit 2017

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Start: Friday, October 20 @ 5:00 pm
End: Sunday, October 22 @ 2:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Non-sectarian

Buddhist teachers and leaders are developing innovative practices that support recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The Buddhist Recovery Network and the Northwest Dharma Assoication are bringing these leaders together in a working retreat in Lacey Washington in October 2017. While the retreat is invitation-only, you can participate in several ways. We are raising money to help cover the costs of bringing…

Celebrating the Sangha

Member Group: Northwest Dharma Association

Date: Saturday, November 11
Time: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Non-sectarian

The Northwest Buddhist community is huge, and diverse, encompassing traditional temples from every Buddhist culture, modern practice and study groups, and creative applications of Buddhist perspectives by health professionals, teachers, social activists, and others. NWDA invites you to explore our shared aspirations as Buddhists and contemplative practitioners. We’ll engage in large and small group discussion to strengthen our individual and…


Calendar of Events

Daylong Retreat w/ John Mifsud

Clearing the Mind is for both experienced and new meditators. We will explore practical techniques that increase deep relaxation and steady concentration.  Simple, how-to tools will combine with traditional Buddhist teachings to strengthen calm abiding in meditation practice. Participants are encouraged to attend the entire Friday evening/Saturday event as the teachings will build upon each other. We will investigate The…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: John Mifsud

Dharma Talk w/ Alexis Santos: The Sila of Thought: How our Thoughts can cause harm

Looking at the attitude of the mind is essential to understanding suffering and its causes. A subtle but meaningful aspect of our experience are the motivations behind our thoughts. A Dhamma reflection will be offered. There will be plenty of time for comments and questions. All are welcome.

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Thursday, June 1
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: Alexis Santos

Weekend Retreat w/ Sharon Salzberg

Each day of the retreat begins at 9:00am and ends at 4:30pm. Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Saturday, July 22
Time: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: Sharon Salzberg

2017 Buddhist Recovery Summit

The Northwest Dharma Association is organizing the 2017 Buddhist Recvoery Summit in conjunction with the Buddhist Recovery Network. The summit will be held at Gwinwood Retreat Center in Lacey, Washington on the weekend of October 20-22, 2017. The summit is designed as a gathering of leaders engaged in the BR movement. Space is quite limited, so it is important to…

Member Group: Timothy2

Start: Friday, October 20 @ 4:00 pm
End: Sunday, October 22 @ 4:00 pm

Introductory Meditation 6-Week Class Series w/ Tim Geil

Six-week class series on Monday evenings from June 5 through July 10 (7-9:00 PM) Insight meditation also known as mindfulness or vipassana meditation comes from the Buddhist tradition. It aims to free the mind from the distortions of self-centeredness, negativity, and confusion. Seeing life as a constantly changing process, one begins to accept pleasure and pain, fear and joy, and…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Monday, June 5
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: Tim Geil

Go to the main calendar page!

Member Groups

Seattle Soto Zen

Come Sit with Us Our weekly Sunday sitting is open to all. Beginners are more than welcome. We offer zazen instruction at 9:10 AM. Seattle Soto Zen practices in the tradition of Suzuki Roshi, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. We follow the forms of Soto Zen with a spirit of warmth and inclusion. Anyone interested in meditation is...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Seattle, WA

Portland Community of Mindful Living, Thursday Night Sangha

Joyful practice of meditation followed by discussion based on readings from the Sutras and from Thich Nhat Hanh's writings. Dharma discussion includes shared experiences of members' practice and insights.

Tradition: Thich Nhat Hanh || Location: Portland, OR

White River Buddhist Temple

Our monthly gatherings center on a dharma discussion of some aspect of Buddhist social activism. All are welcome to attend. Our intent is to make our monthly discussions alive and meaningful, open to new folks, and Buddhist in inspiration. The practice of listening as a way of healing and being present with the suffering of the world is the focus...

Tradition: Mahayana Buddhism - Pure Land Sect - Nishi Hongwanji Ha - Founder Shinran Shonin circa 13th Century || Location: Auburn, WA

1Open Heart

We practice loving kindness and mindfulness meditation followed by Dharma learning and discussion. If you provide your e-mail address we can keep you on the distribution list.

Tradition: Theravada || Location: Shoreline, WA

Nalanda Institute

The Nalanda Institute of Olympia is a Buddhist meditation center. Our teachers draw on Tibetan and other Buddhist traditions to present classical Buddhist wisdom for modern life that emphasizes meditation, learning, inner growth, and “non-harming” attitudes and actions.  We support all participants in their pursuit of mindful living, meditation practice, and the Buddhist path. We provide a quality meditation space and...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Olympia, WA

Bodhi House

Two groups hold regular Buddhist practice at Bodhi House and we are blessed with wonderful visiting teachers. Our Nyingma teachers are Lama Pema Dorje, Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo, and Lama Tsering Gyaltsen. Our Kagyu teachers are K.C. Ayang Rinpoche and Ani Tsering Chodron.Check our events calendar at for teaching schedule updates!

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Olympia , WA

Ewam Sang-ngag Ling

Ewam is a member-supported organization relying on the generosity of our friends and sangha members. The most important benefit of membership is the continuation of the center itself. Membership helps support the mission of the center, the growth of dharma worldwide and the work of Gochen Tulku Rinpoche. Rinpoche's main project is building the Magadha Garden of 1,000 Buddhas in...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Arlee, MT

Blue Heron Zen Community

Blue Heron Zen Community practices Zen in the lineage of Zen Master Seung Sahn, the first Korean Zen Master to live and teach in the West. Zen Master Jeong Ji (Anita Feng), Dharma heir of Zen Master Ji Bong, is the guiding teacher of Blue Heron Zen Community. Jeff Tipp, JDPSN,  and Eric Nord, JDPSN., teach, lead retreats, and teach...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Seattle, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!