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NW Dharma News

Winter 2019, Volume 32, #2

NW Dharma News

Trains, Cats, and Dharma; A Great Man Gone

David was a great lover of cats…and they loved him

In September the Northwest Dharma community was saddened to hear of the passing of David Forsythe, the long-time volunteer leader of Northwest Dharma Association. For the past several years NWDA has been re-visioning and planning for the transition to a new generation of Dharma leaders and association volunteers. If it hadn’t been for David’s vision and skill, the organization might not have survived long enough to make those transitions. David came to Seattle from upstate New York, where he’d been managing online library catalog systems. He began volunteering for NWDA in 1996, and was unfailingly enthusiastic about rolling up his…

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Dharma Education

Mindfulness Retreat Transforms Teens in Oregon

Teens practice mindfulness while prone, a favorite during the retreat.

This past August more than 50 teens and adult mentors gathered at the Ananda Center at Laurelwood, just outside of Portland, to spend a week together practicing the art of mindful meditation. This was the 6th teen retreat held in the Pacific Northwest sponsored by Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme – “I be me”). Today’s teens report high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Add to that family conflicts, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol use, and national problems such as overt racism and political adversity, and our teens need more support than ever. Inward Bound Mindfulness Education retreats for…

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Dharma in Canada

Retreat Center Offers Canadian Mountain Solitude

The Mahasiddha Retreat Centre provides a tranquil and inspiring environment for retreat and study

Less than a year after opening in the snowy Canadian Rockies, the Mahasiddha Retreat Centre is planning more retreats for 2020. Mahasiddha is the first rural retreat center to be operated by Seattle-based Nalandabodhi. That organization, under the direction of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, offers traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings tailored for contemporary practitioners. Mahasiddha Retreat Centre complements Nalandabodhi’s normal focus on daily practice, study and mindful activity. Since its opening last spring Mahasiddha Retreat Centre has supported several group retreats. We’ve also welcomed retreatants who found there the space and tranquility for individual practice of several days or weeks. We look…

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Compassionate Action

Pacific Northwest Peace Pagoda, a dream revived

Nipponzan Myohoji monks and nuns make an offering

In August people traveled from across the U.S. and Japan to Poulsbo, Washington, to celebrate the ground purification ceremony for what will be the first peace pagoda on the West Coast by the Nipponzan Myohoji Order. The 150 attending the ceremony witnessed a living prayer for peace; with a soft breeze moving the many colorful flags, and sunlight illuminating the grass, the trees, and the opened earth for the peace pagoda. The pagoda project is being led by Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist nuns, monks, and their supporters. The ground purification ceremony or Jichin-sai, is a traditional Buddhist and Shinto ceremony asking…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

What’s New and What’s Ancient With Your Mala?

People wearing malas celebrate a "Listening to the Sound of Silence” retreat at the Trappist Abbey in Carlton, Oregon. The retreat was taught by Jerry Braza from the Order of InterBeing.

Around the Northwest, Buddhist practitioners are using the strings of beads called malas in new and sometimes-surprising ways. And maybe not so surprising, here in 2020, some people are adapting digital devices to support their dharma practice as effectively as physical malas have since the time of the Buddha. As I reached out to Buddhist practitioners around the region, I was fascinated by the array of perspectives they bring to their mala use. Malas sold in Seattle empowering refugee Tibetan nuns in India Seattle-based Tibetan Nun Project in 1987 began raising funds to educate and empower nuns in the Tibetan…

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Sangha News

Female Leader Takes Over at Seattle Soto Zen

Outgoing teacher Eko Jeff Kelley prepares to bow with Kanshin Allison Tait, incoming teacher, in 2019.

Leadership changed at Seattle Soto Zen in September, with new spiritual director Kanshin Allison Tait replacing Eko Jeff Kelley as resident teacher. Kelley has retired after serving in the role for nearly 10 years. Shortly after the teacher transition ceremony Seattle Soto Zen conducted its annual September sesshin at Camp Indianola, west of Seattle. Tait and Kelley shared teaching responsibilities for a topic Kelley had chosen, “Impermanence Is Buddha Nature.” The sesshin participants were very aware of the truth of impermanence, as they said farewell to their beloved teacher. “Now things are changing,” said Kelley in his closing remarks. “That’s…

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What's Happening

The Goma Fire Ritual at Seattle Koyasan Buddhist Temple Online March 29, 12:00 Noon

Before the pandemic, you would have had to attend the temple in person to take part in this practice. Via Zoom, it is actually a better view of the proceedings. The Goma Fire Ritual uses a special area inside the temple to burn the Goma-gi in front of the Buddha. The fire symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha and the…

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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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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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Group Members

Sorig Khang Portland

Portland, Oregon branch of Sorig Khang International (www.sorig.net): to support the study and practice of Traditional Tibetan Medicine and the Yuthok Nyingthig spiritual tradition under the guidance of our teacher, Dr Nida Chenagtsang

Tradition: Vajrayana Buddhism || Location: Portland, OR

Shambhala Meditation Center Seattle

Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center offers classes in Shambhala Buddhism, traditional Tibetan Buddhism, and open house meditation instruction and practice opportunities.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Sravasti Abbey

Sravasti Abbey is an American monastic community in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The Abbey's mission is to support a flourishing monastic community where learning and practicing the Buddha's teachings cultivates peace in the hearts of its residents, visitors, and, by extension, in the world. While monastic training is the focus, lay visitors are welcomed. Founded in 2003, we are located in rural Eastern Washington on 240 acres of beautiful meadow and forest lands.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Newport, 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

Planet Dharma

Spiritual awakening is our birthright. Our teaching combines teachings from our diversee and  bona fide spiritual lineage, including Vajrayana, Mahayana, Theravadin and Western Mysteries traditions. We also draw on psychology, art, science and international interculturalism for a contemporary and global form of spiritual practice. We practice, train, work and live in conscious community at our retreat center, Clear Sky, in southeastern British Columbia, an hour north of the Idaho/Montana border. Through Planet Dharma, we teach at Clear Sky, internationally and virtually. Learn more at PlanetDharma.com.   Life is a fascinating journey, filled with discovery, exploration and awesome experiences. It can...

Tradition: Karma Kargyu (Tibetan) || Location: Fort Stele, BC

West Seattle Buddhist Meditation

We meet at the Westside UU in Seattle to meditate and discuss the Dharma. The group is a combination of UU members and community members. You are welcome to join us. For now, we are meeting on Zoom, Tuesday nights at 7PM. You can join us at https://zoom.us/j/377575371

Tradition: Insight / Theravada Thai Forest || Location: Seattle, WA

Palmo Center for Peace and Education

The Palmo Center for Peace & Education is founded and directed by the inspiring vision of Venerable Naljorma Jangchup Palmo and her honorable sons, His Eminence Ngalo Rinpoche and Venerable Tulku Jigme Rinpoche. Understanding the global urgency for our world community, we are inspired to fulfill His Holiness the Dalai Lama's vision of global peace and happiness. The Palmo Center is dedicated to promoting investigation into the potential and nature of the mind, through the study and integration of modern science and the contemplative methods of the ancient wisdom traditions. We are committed to educating the heart and mind by...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Springfield, OR

Wat Buddha Oregon

This is a fully functional and traditional Thai temple where many residential retreats are held through the year.  Most Americans know nothing of this temple and its warm hospitality.  The quiet practice hall is large and is nestled in a grove of trees.  Housing and food are provided.  The retreats are held on a donation basis only. The local Thai/Lao communities use the temple well for ceremonial purposes and they also come on retreat many times a year. There are three monks living at the temple and your local contact will be Ajahn Montri Chaiyo at 503-391-9866.  For further information,...

Tradition: Mahasi style Thai Vipassana || Location: Turner, OR

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