For a dharma teacher like me, who doesn’t live in a large metropolitan area like Portland or Seattle, Northwest Dharma Association’s annual Teachers’ Meeting, this year on Saturday, Oct. 5, is a precious opportunity.
For me the meeting is my primary opportunity to meet with other dharma teachers to discuss the responsibilities, and rewards, of teaching and leading a sangha. No matter how large or small a teacher’s sangha might be, teachers shared issues and concerns unique to their role.
Seattle Zen temple Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji has generously offered its space for year’s annual teachers meeting, which will be co-facilitated by Genko Kathy Blackman, resident teacher of Cho Bo Zen Ji.
The all-day event will include lunch and social time, to support teachers becoming more personally acquainted.
The wealth of diversity and experience teachers bring from their traditions has always been a boon to those of us who feel we can all benefit from the collective wisdom that comes from the experiences of our peers. This single day of focused interaction with other dharma teachers has led me to many personal insights, and has caused me to change way I approach and present the teachings, as well as changing my own attitudes about myself as a teacher.
Through these meetings I have developed many personal relationships with teachers of my own tradition, as well as long-standing friendships with teachers of other traditions. These connections, which probably would never have happened without the meetings, have brought new appreciation and understanding of the dharma.
Every year I discover at least one nugget of gold that stays with me, and makes me very glad that I took the time attend and participate, even when I thought that it was going to be just another teachers’ meeting. Between the things I learn from other teachers, and the friendships that have developed over the years, the annual teachers’ meeting has become high point of my yearly calendar of activities within Northwest Dharma Association.
I look forward to attending, and look forward to meeting you there.