Planning for 2019, but Only With Your Help

Written by: George Draffan & Tim Tapping

People from many regional Buddhist groups came together for the  opening convocation of the November Celebrating the Sangha event

People from many regional Buddhist groups came together for the  opening convocation of the November Celebrating the Sangha event.
Photos by: Tim Tapping

Letter from Your NW Dharma Association

From the depths of the Northwest winter, we’re looking forward to the renewal of spring.

The Northwest Dharma Association relies entirely on the generosity of volunteers and members. We recently sent out our winter appeal. If you haven’t renewed your membership, now would be an excellent time. And if you have renewed recently, please consider donating again — any amount is appreciated. Online donations are easy and secure. You can make a one-time donation, or better yet, a recurring donation of any amount. Just visit and click the DONATE button.

We need more than money, of course. As a voluntary association of members, NWDA is all about participation. The support NWDA offers its members comes from the diverse members. We rely on volunteer event organizers, writers, social media posters, photographers, artists, teachers and facilitators. By participating in Northwest Dharma Association you benefit all of its member groups, and all of the larger communities in which they thrive.

Please join us in a series of upcoming meetings to re-vision NWDA’s mission to support Buddhist teachings and community. If you’re interested in participating, please contact or

Rev. Seiho Mudo Morris addresses people at the Celebrating the Sangha event at NalandaWest. Other teaches and leaders, left to right: Ven. Lama Rangdrol, Phyllis Moses, Jason Tetsuzen Wirth, Elizabeth Myoen Sikes (hidden), Ven. Khyenpo Jampa Rinpoche, and Irene Goto.

We had a busy fall. In late September NWDA partnered with Rev. Seiho Mudo Morris and Nalanda West to create an all-day immersive event entitled People of Color and Allies: Exploring Individual and Cultural Identity. Rev. Morris led us through a program for race awareness modeled on the 12 Steps, with a distinctly Buddhist sensibility. One highlight was Chef Paige Morris preparing two lovely vegetarian meals for the participants.

Next the day-long Celebrating the Sangha event took place in early November. We began the day with a convocation, with seven traditions sharing elements from their liturgy with the gathering. This was followed by a “Sangha News Circle,” where we went around the group relating our own sanghas’ news with the larger community.

After another delicious lunch with Chef Paige Morris, the afternoon was filled with music and dance. We culminated with a participatory dance workshop that created movement from Milarepa’s Songs of Enlightenment, guided by choreographers Tara Stephenson and Joshua Crouch and with live music.

We’re now planning events for 2019. We’d like to co-sponsor events on dharma and social justice, arts and the dharma, and mindfulness in the workplace. Do any of these pique your interest? Please contact if you want to partner in creating events of interest to fellow Buddhists and the wider mindfulness community. Fresh ideas and energy are always welcomed!

Everything changes, and of course this includes NWDA. To save some money, and to give our editor Steve Wilhelm some time to breathe, the Northwest Dharma News is for a while cutting back from quarterly to twice yearly — see Steve’s letter in this issue.

In 2019 NWDA will be reaching out to member groups and individual supporters, as well as to new teachers and groups who haven’t yet discovered NWDA. These will include secular practitioners of mindfulness and compassion in health care, education, the workplace, and the arts.

Whether you are new to mindfulness and compassion, or an old hand at Buddhist practice, we invite you to learn more about Northwest Dharma Association. You can be part of this timely opportunity to shape the association of the future. The time is now!

Please join us in visioning and community-building. Our unique regional association is an inclusive umbrella, stretching to cover a growing community.

May everyone find the inspiration, support, and community they need to truly thrive. May the Northwest Dharma Association fulfill its mission of supporting Buddhist teachings and communities.

For the Northwest Dharma Association,

George Draffan and Tim Tapping

About the Author: George Draffan & Tim Tapping

George Draffan is a landscaping, poetry-loving practitioner of Buddhism and qigong.

Tim Tapping is a software engineer, world traveler, and, you guessed it, a practitioner of Buddhism and qigong.