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NW Dharma News

Summer 2020, Volume 33, #1

NW Dharma News

NWDA’s New Website Group and Event Listings!

The new group member directory will include simpler and more comprehensive searches, an easier registration process, and linkage with Google Maps

Your Northwest Dharma Association (NWDA) website is getting a 2020 technology boost that will make it easier for group leaders to list events, and for Sangha members and anyone else to utilize the site. For Dharma groups: Dharma group members will find the new system far easier for building and editing profiles of their groups, and for sharing lineages, practice schedules, and contact information. Leaders will be able to more easily enter and edit calendar listings, with less confusion and fewer problems needing solutions from NWDA volunteer staff.  Groups will find it easier to promote their practice schedules and events…

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Dharma Education

Pariyatti Books Expanded During the Pandemic

Pariyatti’s efforts to respond to the growing pandemic started when a pilgrim felt dizzy climbing Vulture Peak, shown. Luckily, she didn’t have COVID-19

For Pariyatti the COVID-19 era began with a 5 a.m. distress phone call. It was January 27, and 16 pilgrims were one week into their three-week pilgrimage through India and Nepal. Calling from India, the Pariyatti team member said one of the pilgrims had become dizzy while climbing to Vulture’s Peak, one of the Buddha’s favorite places to meditate. She said, “Could it be the novel coronavirus?” Washington-based Pariyatti, the nation’s largest distributor of Theravada books and materials, organizes several pilgrimages each year for vipassana meditators in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. This journey catered specifically to Chinese-speaking participants. Luckily…

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Dharma in Canada

Children Learning to Notice what They Notice:Introducing Mindfulness at the Art Gallery

Margo McLoughlin telling a story with musical accompaniment

Between October of last year and the middle of March, more than 700 children came to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to participate in a new program called “The Art and Heart of Mindfulness: Discovering the Gift of Perception.” The gallery sits at the top of Moss Street, a short drive from downtown Victoria in British Columbia. Surrounded by Garry oak and Douglas fir, the original building is a Victorian house, beautifully trimmed in grey-green and burgundy. Beside it stands a low structure of post-modern concrete. Art galleries are all about looking and seeing, which makes them perfect sites…

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Compassionate Action

Breathing with the Disagreeable

Selfie at the Lynching Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama

The Deep Time Liberation Retreat, for descendants of the African diaspora, was cancelled due to the pandemic.  Ancestral healing would have to wait.  Visiting slave plantations with the support of Black practitioners and teachers was not going to happen. Now I had two weeks of unplanned time off from the hospital.  I was sad to miss this retreat, and yet grateful for the respite from the current healthcare grind. I decided to get up early every morning and walk around parts of my Seattle Maple Leaf neighborhood that I had not yet explored.  In that process I discovered Kingfisher Natural…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

Sue Tomita: A Deep River of Loving Compassion

As a co-founder of Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Sue remained active, here in 2017 May Day March

Whether family or friend, to be with Susan Kiyoko Tomita was to bask in her warmth and care, rooted in her deep meditation practice. As Sue passed away Sunday evening, May 10, 2020, at 74 years old from pancreatic cancer, she was serene throughout.     With great forethought Sue wrote her own memorial, understanding the reality of her diagnosis, which she shared with her mother who had died years before. In her memorial Sue wrote only of her family, her love of her partner Gregory, of her sons Jason and Mizuho, and of her beautiful grandsons, Max and Julian. She…

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Sangha News

Seattle Betsuin Taps its People to go Digital

Rinban Kusunoki chanting a sutra during one of the online Sunday services Seattle Betsuin has been offering since late March

In early March, the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist temple closed its doors to visitors and temple members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But since March the temple has been re-opening through innovative uses of online technology, a transformational step for a traditional organization that offered its first service 119 years ago. Seattle Betsuin is the oldest Buddhist group in the city. The March closure was significant for temple members, because it meant cancelling the annual salmon dinner fundraiser, numerous classes, social programs, and perhaps most impactful, the Seattle Seafair-sanctioned Seattle Bon Odori Festival normally held in July. While the doors…

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What's Happening

Dharma Relief: Let’s get medical supplies to where they’re needed!

Several Buddhist groups are organizing a charity relief program to help deliver medical supplies to where they are needed. You can help by donating and by coordinating supplies. Visit DharmaRelief.org

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Buddhist Centers Respond to Pandemic

Responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are shifting rapidly. Many centers have suspended public events and are streaming programs via Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, and other video platforms. The following are a few announcements made in recent days. Check with your local center to confirm whether events are being held.

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Finding upsides in digital sangha when we have no choice

Practical tips on leading meditation and discussion using video conferencing.

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Group Members

Sakya Tsechen Thubten Ling

Sakya Tsechen Thubten Ling (STTL) is a centre for Buddhist meditation and learning belonging to the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Its activities are guided by His Holiness Sakya Trichen, the spiritual head, and its founder and resident spiritual director, Her Eminence Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche. The centre holds regular Sunday puja sessions and hosts teaching and other spiritual events conducted by Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche, as well as visiting teachers.

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism || Location: Richmond, BC

Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji

A Rinzai Zen temple in an urban setting that includes a residential lay-practice that offers: Daily meditation services Beginning instruction Dharma talks Various practice-oriented classes and gatherings Quarterly week-long retreats (sesshins) An online electronic bookstore Weekly email updates and a quarterly newsletter There is an apartment unit available in the temple for housing guests and students during sesshins. It can also be reserved to participate in the daily practice (meditation, work, study), or as a quiet, in-city, spiritual retreat. If you are interested in staying at Chobo-Ji, please contact us!

Tradition: Zen (Hakuin/Rinzai School) || Location: Seattle, WA

Seattle Community Practice Group of the Dzogchen Foundation

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Ligmincha Northwest

We meet weekly to practice Bon Buddhist healing meditations. We also have the good fortune of listening to and participating with our teacher and the international sangha in a regularly scheduled monthly webcast. This is followed with discussion and potluck. The dates for the webcasts are posted at the website, www.ligmincha.org The Olympia practice group also shares viewing films that have some relevance to practices and we are currently doing a book study group, with one of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's books. Each November we have the good fortune of sponsoring a weekend teaching and practice retreat with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal...

Tradition: Bon Buddhist || Location: Olympia, WA

Portland Insight Meditation Community

Serving Portland OR for more than 20 years, PIMC is an experiment in American Buddhism - dedicated to the liberation from suffering through the teaching of mindfulness practice and the nurturing of mindful community. We are a 501c3 non-profit that welcomes people of all genders, orientations, religions, beliefs, ages, abilities, and racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Founded by Guiding Teacher Robert Beatty, PIMC does not charge a membership fee and there is no membership process. People are simply welcome to attend. PIMC is a first generation Dharma center with origins in Burma, Thailand and India. Our practice of Insight Meditation (known...

Tradition: Vipassana/Theravada || Location: Portland, OR

Mountain Lamp Community

Mountain Lamp is a rural practice center located on 115 acres of meadow, lake, and forest lands nestled in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains about 45 minutes east of Bellingham, near Deming. It is a place of serenity and refuge which embraces the path of an engaged Buddhist practice in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Diamond Sangha tradition of Robert Aitken, Roshi. We offer day events, group and individual retreats and hold a year-round daily practice schedule.

Tradition: Zen (Thich Nhat Hanh), Zen (Robert Aitken) || Location: Deming, WA

Open Gate Zendo

The Open Gate Zendo is the primary practice center of the The Boundless Mind Zen School. The fundamental practices of Boundless Mind Zen are zazen(silent, seated meditation), mindfulness(fully responsive awareness) and personal development in both mental and physical disciplines that incorporate spirituality into everyday life.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Olympia, WA

Kathok Centre

Kathok Centre is a Tibetan Buddhist Centre under the spiritual guidance of V.V. Lingrtul Rinpoche and Tulku Karzang. We hold monthly Guru Yoga Tsok offering practices, Green Tara and Nyundro practices for practicing Buddhists. We also hold Open Meditation a couple of times a month and weekly open times for the general public in Spring and Summer.

Tradition: Tibetan Nyingma || Location: Qualicum Beach, BC

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