New People Stepping Up at Northwest Dharma

Earth Day Seminar at Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, April 20, 2019

Earth Day Seminar at Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, April 20, 2019.
Photos by: Connor McKinney, Robin Smith

As the year comes to a close, we’d like to share with you some of what we accomplished:

We held eight community meetings over six months, on topics ranging from:

  • Diversity and inclusiveness in Buddhist communities
  • Buddhist-inspired arts, traditional and contemporary
  • Secular mindfulness in modern organizational settings
  • The Dharma as a tradition for health and well-being
  • Planning for the future of the Northwest Dharma Association

We’d like to thank everyone who participated and offered us their insight and feedback. These people have significantly contributed to planning the association’s future, and many of them are now taking new roles to move the association forward.

For the April 20 Earth Day, NWDA participated in the Earth Sangha Seminar at Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple. Keynote speakers included Duncan Ryūken Williams, Jason Wirth, and Rev. Donald Castro.

There NWDA Executive Director George Draffan helped moderate a group discussion on how Buddhist communities can better understand the world’s ecological challenges and become more active in supporting sustainability. An online list of resources and projects has been compiled here.

NW Dharma co-sponsored the second annual Buddhist recovery summit, near Tacoma in September, 2019

NW Dharma co-sponsored the second annual Buddhist recovery summit, near Tacoma in September, 2019

In June NWDA was a festival partner at the 11th Global Conference on Buddhism in Berkeley. NWDA was represented by President Tim Tapping.

An “unconference series” titled NWDharma Presents was initiated in Seattle by Kaitlyn Hatch, starting with the theme of mindfulness and relationships.

Kaitlyn also contributed an article to the Northwest Dharma News on Strengthening Diversity and Inclusion on the Path. And she’s setting up tutoring sessions to help NWDA boost its social media presence. Thank you Kaitlyn!

In November NWDA was a community partner in the Compasssionate Leadership Summit at the University of Washington. We were invited to participate by Rick Gage, founder of Seattle Wisdom, a hub for conscious conversations and mindfulness practices in professional spaces.

We’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration with secular mindfulness teachers and communities in 2020.

In 2020 we’ll also continue 17 years of hosting day-long regional gatherings for Buddhist teachers from all traditions. If your group or temple would like to host a meeting, please send an email to George Draffan.

We’re also planning to offer a series of community potlucks to bring together friends new and old to learn about each others’ practice and traditions. Keep an eye on our online calendar and What’s Happening blog for announcements!

As always, we invite your participation. We’re excited to be able to offer our programs at host temples and centers. It’s a great way to learn about the diversity of Buddhist traditions and cultures. And we look forward to your presence and ideas and energy at potlucks and other community events.

We also need your financial support!

NWDA publishes the Northwest Dharma News, informing and inspiring you with stories about Buddhist meditation, arts, and education. You can have the Dharma News delivered to your email inbox, free of charge, simply for the asking.

NWDA provides an online directory of Buddhist groups and a calendar of their events. Membership in the asociation is free to any Buddhist group in the Pacific Northwest!

NWDA sponsors events that bring together diverse people practicing mindfulness and compassion across the region.

Northwest Dharma’s website, the events we sponsor, the news we gather — they’re expensive to produce. But NWDA doesn’t charge you when you read the news or attend events. We simply ask you to support your association, and trust in you to keep it going.

WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU. We’re 100 percent relying on the generosity of our readers, or member groups, and the community at large. Your organization entirely depends on donations from people like you.

It’s easy to make a one-time or recurring donation of any size — $10, $100, $1,000 — whatever fits your budget.

If you value this unique association of the Buddhist community in the Northwest, PLEASE help the work continue so all beings will benefit.

Thank you!

Executive Director George Draffan

Board President Tim Tapping,

Treasurer Timothy O’Brien