Looking back on Northwest Dharma Association’s last year, I am awed by the wonderful diversity and cultural richness of the Mahasangha in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Witness:
- International Vesak Day brought a gathering of clergy and lay people from 15 different Buddhist groups in the Seattle area, on May 30 at Seattle Meditation Center.
- A little to the south, the 13th annual 24-Hour Interfaith Chant for Peace at Great Vow Monastery in Oregon Aug. 11, was a shining example of harmony among many spiritual traditions.
- In Portland, the 12th Annual Buddhist Festival in the Park on June 13 was a magical day of music, chanting, talks and fellowship, during a sunny day in the park.
- Our northern neighbors were busy as well. Members of more than 20 British Columbia Buddhist groups gathered in Vancouver, B.C. May 30, for the first annual BC Buddhist Festival.
- During his visit to Seattle the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, forged an amazing connection with youth and young adults. This visit was organized by organized by Nalandabodhi.
The Northwest Dharma Association continued to provide new services for its members during 2015. A big step was an upgraded website, where member groups can now edit their own group page, and add events to the calendar.
We cannot fail to mention the incomparable Northwest Dharma News, a collective effort of editor Steve Wilhelm and the many kind contributors. This is an absolutely unique quarterly news magazine focused on our regional dharma activities. There is simply nothing comparable in the world.
For 2016, I invite and exhort all member groups to please consider the larger community, the Mahasangha, when planning activities.
If there is an opportunity to partner with one or more sanghas, please take advantage to build cultural richness in our community. The Northwest Dharma Association can help by suggesting collaborators, and with publicity both on our website and through email.
Our new Executive Director George Draffan is your contact for all things Mahasangha, and he is eager to help. He can be reached via email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the year of the Red Fire Monkey.
Red is action. Fire symbolizes passion, creativity, and joy. The monkey possesses physical stamina and mental alertness.
Let’s take advantage of these characteristics in service of our Mahasangha. May this year be auspicious for all!