Big changes at Northwest Dharma Association

Written by: Koro Kaisan Miles

Koro Kaisan Miles, president of Northwest Dharma Association and founder of Open Gate Zendo in Olympia.
Photos by Cooper Carras, Timothy O’Brien

As we are taught in the dharma, and as time and technology have proven out, all things are indeed impermanent.  In today’s interconnected world, our work at the Northwest Dharma Association depends far more on human resources and financial support from our membership, than it does on a fixed office space.

As more and more of our work is conducted on the internet, it becomes more and more apparent that the Northwest Dharma Association is a regional organization that really has no physical center, but is centered in the lives of our community members and member organizations.

So in light of these rapidly changing times, we will be vacating the office in Seattle that we have leased since 1999. Since that time, the physical space requirements once needed to support the printed Northwest Dharma News, and all the operations around distributing a printed newsletter and keeping printed records, have literally evaporated into the ether (net). With file cabinets and bulk mail bins becoming dust-collecting novelties, it is past time for us to move on to free up our financial resources, to better provide direct service to our membership and to our mission of supporting Buddhist teachings and community in the Pacific Northwest.

This shrine was for many years the center of the Northwest Dharma Association office in Seattle.

This shrine was for many years the center of the Northwest Dharma Association office in Seattle. The organization closed the physical office Dec. 31, to increase operating efficiency.

The board of the NWDA has long been meeting in virtual space both by internet and conference calls, transacting our daily business almost entirely in the electronic medium.  With Timothy O’Brien in his role as NWDA administrator, we are in the process of designing a very significant upgrade to our website, as the board develops a long-range business plan for the perpetuation of the NWDA in the virtual age.

As these changes and upgrades are planned and implemented we are wholly dependent on you, our supporters and member groups, for your financial contributions and dedication to keep the Northwest Dharma Association in the forefront of Buddhist membership organizations.  There are no other trans-denominational Buddhist organizations like the NWDA, and we are often called upon to bring a united voice to American Buddhism, even outside the regional barriers of the Northwest.

Even though we are a bare-bones operation and becoming more and more “virtual” with every advance in technology, we still need your support to keep the NWDA viable. The costs of upgrading and maintaining a state-of-the-art website, publishing the Northwest Dharma News, and maintaining our lists and contacts, is as real as it has always been.

We are blessed with a community and members who believe in our mission, and support the need for an organization that unites the Buddhist community throughout the region. Member groups far and wide have repeatedly acknowledged that their membership and association with the NWDA is what keeps them connected to the greater mahasangha of the Pacific Northwest. We also are constantly being contacted by individuals who are seeking sanghas for refuge.

So as we move forward to continue to maintain and improve upon our mission of supporting Buddhist teachings, practice, and community in the Pacific Northwest, remember that it would not be possible without your support and contributions.  We depend on your contributions for us to be able to make our contributions, virtual and otherwise.

In gratitude,

Koro Kaisan Miles

President, NWDA

About the Author: Koro Kaisan Miles
Koro Kaisan Miles is board president of Northwest Dharma Association, and resident teacher of the Open Gate Zendo in Olympia, Washington.