Sangha Support Needed to go Quarterly Again
Starting with this winter issue, Northwest Dharma News will be shifting to twice yearly instead of quarterly.
How long it remains that way, and if it’s able to continue publishing at all, depends partly on the financial and human generosity of the region’s dharma community, the mahasangha. Since you’re reading this, it also means you.
While we keep expenses low, publishing quarterly still costs about $1,000 an issue, and the Northwest Dharma Association coffers are bare. We’re throttling back publication until hopefully we’re in better financial shape, which means more support from the Buddhist community.
As most of you know this publication is supported and made possible by Northwest Dharma Association, which is in turn supported by member groups and individual donors. The association, often called NWDA, is a unique collective of Buddhist groups, in the Northwest U.S. and western Canada, which collaborate to support Buddhist teachings in many forms.
The newsletter is a key part of that, dear to my own heart, because it’s a way people in the dharma community can stay informed about the truly remarkable things their sisters and brothers are doing.
But the difficulty in recent years, has been to find the fresh volunteer energy and fresh donors to carry the organization forward.
To be sure, a bit of the current hiatus also coincides with some new demands on my time: a dharma book I’m to be editing, my wife Ellen’s retirement from U.W. research, and some trips we’ll be taking.
These and NWDA’s financial squeeze made it seem best to dial back to twice yearly.
The irony about reducing frequency now is that in recent years the publication has become better known in the Buddhist community, and more useful the larger sangha. These days we often get multiple pitches for stories for each issue, whereas that seldom happened in the past. And when we do decide to do a story we’re getting much more enthusiastic responses, and more volunteer writers, than at any time in the past.
Truly I hope we can go back to quarterly publication relatively soon, perhaps once I’m done editing the book. So many dharma groups are doing so many interesting things, it would be a shame for nobody to know. It would be a shame for the dharma community to become siloed and separated, as is the case in many urban areas of North America, with little contact or friendship between groups.
Deep thanks to everyone who contributes to Buddhism in the Northwest. I hope you enjoy this issue, and I look forward to producing future issues for all of you.
This organization, over 28 years, has been built and made possible by people who stepped up. Please think about the importance of stronger connections within the dharma community, and how you or your sangha may step up, in terms of volunteers or funding.
With you as part of this effort we can publish quarterly again, and we can make Northwest Dharma Association stronger to benefit people in the decades to come.
Steve Wilhelm is editor of Northwest Dharma News. A former journalist, he has edited three dharma books. He serves as a local dharma leader for Seattle Insight Meditation Society, and leads Eastside Insight Meditation in Kirkland. He serves on the board of Tibetan Nuns Project, and was a former Northwest Dharma Association board member. He lives in Kirkland with his wife Ellen, and a very harmonious dog and cat, Bluothor and Aerazele.