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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

A Helping Hand by Sally ZenKa Metcalf

There are many voices in the world calling for help. It can be hard to know what to do. Yet in this Pandemic, so many, like the horse therapist, are finding ways, great and small, to help others. Gradually, we may discover that, together, we ARE the countless arms of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, seven billion strong, reaching out to connect, to care, to lend a hand, or to offer something useful such as a handy tool, some garden-fresh tomatoes, or a Covid test.

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Shambhala Meditation Center of Seattle seeks a Communications & Marketing Coordinator

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Seattle is looking for a Communications and Marketing Coordinator to join a dedicated team of staff and volunteers supporting our organization, our programming, and our community. This person would be responsible for creating and implementing marketing strategies and supporting leadership in fundraising and membership campaigns. The ideal candidate is organized, collaborative, has marketing experience, especially in inclusive and culturally appropriate outreach to diverse communities, and has an interest in meditation and what our center has to offer.

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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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Group Members

Chagdud Gonpa Amrita

Chagdud Gonpa Amrita is the Seattle branch of Chagdud Gonpa Foundation. Since 1983, it has provided a place for beginning students and long-time practitioners to gather for teachings and practice in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Edmonds, WA

Sorig Institute

The Sorig Institute is dedicated to teaching Sorig Rigpa - the Science of Healing - and the related Vajrayana practices.  The curriculum of traditional Tibetan medicine follows that taught for centuries in Tibet based on the Four Tantras. The spiritual practices follow the Yuthok Nyingthik and related practices.  These practices were handed down by Yuthok Yonten Gompo and have a number of wonderful characteristics.  These practices are a full cycle of Vajrayana practices from ngondro to mahamudra and dzogchen practices.  Further, they are intended for householders and those who have little time for practice.  In the West they are one...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

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

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

Methow Zen Group

The Methow Zen group is a satellite of the Zen Center of Las Vegas, which is in the Kwan Um School of Zen.  KUSZ is an international organization of Zen centers and groups founded under the direction of the Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn.  KUSZ has more than a hundred centers and groups and over 40 authorized Zen masters (Soen Sa’s) and Dharma masters (Ji Do Poep Sa’s) who teach in more than 12 languages. Kwan Um Zen centers provide scheduled meditation practice sessions, public talks and retreats that are open to all who wish to practice Zen. The School also...

Tradition: Korean Zen, Kwan Um School of Zen || Location: Winthrop, WA

Portland Shambhala Meditation Center

Shambhala Vision is rooted in the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature can be developed in daily life so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. In action, Shambhala is both a spiritual path of study and meditation that helps us work with our minds, as well as a path of serving others and engaging with our world. These vital and timely teachings open the door to the compassionate care of ourselves and others.

Tradition: Tibetan, Shambhala || Location: Portland, OR

Upright Noble Zen

Upright Noble Zen is a community based in Anchorage, Alaska. Members of this community engage in Zen practice together.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Anchorage, AK

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

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