Broadening Teachers’ Meetings Across Region

Written by: George Draffan

People gathered at last year’s teachers’ meeting in Portland

People gathered at last year’s teachers’ meeting in Portland.
Photo by: Tim Tapping

After 13 years of coordinating annual teachers’ meetings, Northwest Dharma Association is broadening this tradition to encourage more frequent meeting, in more diverse locales.

The gatherings could be simple conversations between a few teachers, or a larger day-long conference at a meditation center or temple. Local teacher-leaders will determine the date and location, and are invited to consider a theme or initiative for the participants to discuss.

NWDA will co-sponsor the meetings, and can help with outreach and logistics, agenda and topics, and facilitation.

The new outreach is part of NW Dharma Association’s Mahasangha Initiative, intended to empower Buddhist groups of all sizes across the region. To find out more about the Mahasangha Initiative, visit the Spring 2015 issue of the News.

Nurturing understanding and cooperation among diverse Buddhist traditions and practitioners is the mission of the Northwest Dharma Association.

The annual teachers’ meetings, on the first Saturdays of October, have been a key part of that. They have brought together Buddhist teachers from multiple traditions, at Zen, Theravada, Tibetan and Pure Land temples, in Portland, Seattle, Olympia and other cities.

These annual day-long gatherings have been a rare opportunity for Buddhist monastics, teachers, and leaders from different traditions and cultures, to meet one another and to explore issues of common interest and concern.

Topics have included teaching styles and methods, teacher-student ethics, opportunities for social service, the commonalities and differences among Buddhist traditions, and building communities of practice. The meetings include facilitated discussions, informal time to get to know one another, and lunch.

If you are a teacher, leader, or monastic of any Buddhist lineage or organization, and would like to help organize or host a meeting anywhere in Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Washington, or British Columbia, your Northwest Dharma Association is here to help.

For more details send an email to the NWDA office at, or call George Draffan at 206-659-1954.

About the Author: George Draffan
George Draffan is a Seattle-based Buddhist practitioner, who teaches Buddhist meditation and Taoist energy practices. He is a long-time volunteer for the Northwest Dharma Association, and served as president from 2001 to 2005.