Northwest Dharma Association



NW Dharma News

A Quarterly Online Publication
Winter 2017, Volume 30, #4

Lots to Celebrate, as NWDA Opens New Doors Letter from the President and Executive Director

Northwest Dharma Association brings people from many traditions together in harmony, as it has for many years. This photo is of the 2005 Change Your Mind Day celebration, in Seattle’s Volunteer Park.

Everything changes…so the Buddha said. A cold winter becomes a wet spring becomes a dry summer. Northwest Dharma Association is changing too. We’re building inclusive communities, partnering with contemplative caregivers, co-sponsoring the international Buddhist Recovery Summit in October. And of course we maintain our online directory and calendar of Buddhist organizations and their events, across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and…

For the First Time, Washington Prison Inmates To Teach Mindfulness to Others Behind Bars

Nate, second from right, leads a mindful movement exercise, a component of every class.

Four Washington state prison inmates are making history by becoming the first inmates certified to teach Path of Freedom, an emotional intelligence program based on mindfulness meditation. As certified trainers the four are starting to teach the 12-week curriculum to other men behind bars. The Path of Freedom program was developed by the Massachusetts-based Prison Mindfulness Institute. These enthusiastic and…

Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal Visits With Tibetan Community at Sakya Monastery

Abbot of Sakya Monastery Khenpo Jampa Tenphel, Congresswoman Jayapal and her husband, spinning prayer wheels outside the monastery.

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal made a rare visit to Seattle’s Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in June, responding to an invitation from the local Tibetan community. Congresswoman Jayapal, a member of the Democratic Party, is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first woman to represent the 7th District in Congress, and the first…

Vancouver Shambhala Finds New Home Despite Fast-Rising Real Estate Prices

Practicing in the main shrine room: First row Zachariah Finley, Jerry Chapman, Sandy Brooks; second row Paul Belserene, Maria Stella; third row Mariel Gomez, Rolf Erni, Chantal Latendresse; fourth row Nicholas Talloni, Gabriel Latendresse.

We knew it was coming. The specter of homelessness for The Vancouver Shambhala Center was just over the horizon. Our mission statement is to Wake Up! We weren’t caught sleepwalking. Sensing an uncertain future we formed a group six months before we received the notice that our lease would not be renewed. The Vancouver, British Columbia building we were in,…

In India, Seattle Lama Presents on Links Between African Americans’ and Untouchables’ Experience

Martin Luther King III, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and others, during the inauguration of the Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017.

Lama Choyin Rangdrol, a Seattle-based African American lama of Tibetan Buddhism, traveled to India in July as an invited presenter to the B.R. Ambedkar International Conference in Bangalore, India. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, an important figure in India’s history in many ways, is best known among Buddhists for his mass conversion of hundreds of thousands of Indian people to Buddhism. Ambedkar…

Featured Events

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Red Chenrezig & Ngondro Teaching & Practice

Red Chenrezig is a root terma practice of the Tibetan Buddhist deity of compassion. Gargon Lamas practice this continuously since the inception of the Monastery 400 years ago. Ngondro consists of the profound uncommon preliminary practices which contain all the mind training elements to reach enlightenment.

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Drikung Seattle

Start: Saturday, January 20 @ 10:00 am
End: Sunday, January 21 @ 5:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Drikung Kagyu
Teacher: Ven. Abao Lama

Genpo Roshi: Discovering your true creativity and brilliance

A day long event with Zen master, Genpo Roshi.

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Vajra Body Vajra Mind

Date: Sunday, January 28
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Zen

Anam Thubten Teachings and Retreat

Anam Thubten will be in the Seattle area February 1-3, 2018. There will be an evening lecture in Olympia on Feb 1st, and evening lecture at SIMS in Seattle on Feb 2 (2729 6th Ave S) and an all day meditation retreat at Bastyr University in Kenmore on Feb. 3. PLEASE NOTE these 3 events are at different locations. Contact…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Dharmata of Seattle

Start: Thursday, February 1
End: Saturday, February 3

Event Type: ,

Tradition: Nyingma
Teacher: Anam Thubten

Responding to Life with Wisdom, Buddhist Reflections For Difficult Times

Now more than in any recent time in history, we face an extraordinary amount of disturbing news in our daily lives. Buddhist teachings offer a profound array of mental-emotional tools that can help us to not only survive, but to thrive amidst increasing social-ecological pressures. Venerable Robina Courtin, a Buddhist nun, and beloved teacher to students around the world for…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Dharma Friendship Foundation

Date: Thursday, February 15
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Tibetan-non-sectarian
Teacher: Venerable Robina Courtin

Dying With Confidence Level 1 with Anyen Rinpoche

  The Dying With Confidence (DWC) Training Program brings to fruition Anyen Rinpoche’s vision of helping sentient beings around the world who are ill or dying or who wish to prepare for death in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Phowa (Tib. “transference of consciousness”) is a Tibetan Buddhist practice, which helps the dying to leave this life behind without attachment or…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Bainbridge Bodhi Center

Start: Friday, March 23 @ 8:00 am
End: Tuesday, March 27 @ 5:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Longchen Nyingtig Vajrayana
Teacher: Anyen Rinpoche

Venerable Thubten Chodron at East-West Books

Friday, October 19, 2018. 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Public Talk at East West Bookstore. Venerable Chodron will speak on her latest two books co-authored with His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Approaching the Buddhist Path and The Foundation of Buddhist Practice. Free to the Public; an opportunity to offer dana will be available for those who wish. East-West Books is…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Dharma Friendship Foundation

Date: Friday, October 19
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type: ,

Tradition: Tibetan-non-sectarian
Teacher: Venerable Thubten Chodron

One Day Retreat with Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Thubten Chodron will lead a one day retreat based on the book Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness: A Commentary on Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland. (written by Khensur Jampa Tegchok, edited by Venerable Thubten Chodron). The retreat will feature traditional Buddhist prayers, guided meditations, and explanations on Buddhist philosophy. Some background in Buddhism helpful, but not required to attend. The event…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Dharma Friendship Foundation

Date: Saturday, October 20
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Type: , , ,

Tradition: Tibetan-non-sectarian
Teacher: Venerable Thubten Chodron


Calendar of Events

The World Is On Fire: A Buddhist’s Perspective On Anger

The Buddha said “the world is on fire” – burning with greed, hatred, and delusion. He also offered a perspective on anger that includes practices that have the capacity to transform anger into strength of heart and clarity of mind – and offer protection from being consumed by the flames of this powerful state of mind. This vipassana retreat will…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Brahma Vihara Foundation

Start: Friday, April 27
End: Monday, April 30

Event Type: ,

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: DaeJa Napier

Special Lecture: The Pragmatic Teachings of the Buddha

Based on the book After Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor, this class reviews fundamental Buddhist teachings:  the Four Noble Truths, the Two Truths, and Dependent Arising. We will consider the effects of the spread of Brahmanism in India and of doctrinal orthodoxy in shaping the transmission of these teachings. In addition, the Four Tasks and Two Grounds are presented as pragmatic and accessible teachings…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism

Date: Wednesday, January 24
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism
Teacher: Jeffrey Schoening (Upasaka)

Family Morning @ Seattle Insight Mediation Society

Join us for an interactive and fun morning of mindfulness, movement and stories geared toward children and their parents. We will group the children and teenagers by age and rotate through three 20-minute stations where they will learn the basics of mindfulness, explore mindful movement and listen to age appropriate stories about how mindfulness transforms our lives. All are welcome,…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Seattle Insight Meditation Society

Date: Sunday, February 11
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Vipassana
Teacher: Tim Geil

Residential Meditation Retreat with Arinna Weisman For Lesbian, Bi, Trans & Queer Community

In this retreat, we come together as a lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to explore our own minds and hearts through the practice of silent meditation. By cultivating moment to moment awareness, we deepen our connections to ourselves, each other and our lives, in an environment of love and compassion. In this retreat, we come together as a lesbian, bisexual…

Mahasangha Event

Member Group: Lotus Sisters

Start: Friday, February 16 @ 4:30 pm
End: Wednesday, February 21 @ 12:30 pm
Event Type:

Tradition: Theravada
Teacher: Arinna Weisman

Go to the main calendar page!

What's Happening

Before We Were White series

Offered by White Awake (National Buddhist Inspired Anti-racist org) An online workshop series for white-identified people seeking greater emotional resilience in their work against racism and for a sustainable future.  Four Sundays 2-4 pm — Jan 28, Feb 2, 11, and18 2 Ways to Participate (or mix it up) 1) Participate on your own by registering here For a richer experience 2) Participate with a group…

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BPF hosts January 20th celebration

From the Seattle Chapter of BPF: Dear Friends, We hope you’ll join us for a community-building celebration for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) on Capitol Hill on January 20th at 4pm.  BPF co-director Dawn Haney will be joining us for an afternoon of good friends, good food, and exploration of BPF’s core (and beautifully strengthening) Block, Build, Be framework for weaving the spiritual and political…

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Last chance! Contemplative caregiving workshop

Jonathan Prescott is the founder of Wise Caregiving, a non-profit dedicated to helping people become compassionate caregivers. Jonathan’s career as a hospice, cancer-care, and hospital Chaplain, along with his spiritual practice as an ordained student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, gives him a unique perspective on how to thrive within the helping professions. His trainings help people learn to use listening, balance, boundaries, and presence as therapeutic tools.

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Group Members

Natural Awareness

George Draffan has trained since the 1970s in the Tibetan and Theravada Buddhist traditions, and in body-based practices including taiji-qigong and Feldenkrais. In his teaching George emphasizes body-based awareness, stability (shamatha) and clarity (vipassana), and compassionate awareness of the habit-patterns that prevent us from being present and responsive. He encourages students to connect with their own situation and motivation. George offers workshops,...

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Seattle area, WA

Rigpa Seattle

Rigpa aims to present the Buddhist tradition of Tibet in a way that is both completely authentic, and as relevant as possible to the lives and needs of modern men and women. Open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom, and with the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rigpa offers those following the Buddhist...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Dorje Ling/Yeshe Nyingpo Portland

A Vajrayana (Tibetan) temple in the Nyingma tradition on 7.5 acres next to Forest Park in Northwest Portland. We are closely associated with Tashi Choling Center near Ashland, Oregon, and have been in Portland since the early 1980s. Our practices are open to all and every level. We also celebrate the tsoks of Dakini Day and Guru Rinpoche Day each...

Tradition: Vajrayana (Nyingma) || Location: Portland, OR

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

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)...

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

Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Seattle Chapter

We welcome anyone passionate about the living, breathing intersections between Buddhadharma and social justice. Our intention for the evening is to connect, listen, support, share resources, and inspire each other's commitment to liberation of all beings.

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Seattle, WA

Portland Friends of the Dhamma

Portland Friends of the Dhamma is a Buddhist Meditation Center in Portland, Oregon affiliated with and advised by the Abhayagiri monastic descendants of the Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho lineage. This center is supported by the goodwill and generosity of its participants.

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

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...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Springfield, OR

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Go to the Group Directory page for more!