NW Dharma News

Planning for 2019, but Only With Your Help

People from many regional Buddhist groups came together for the  opening convocation of the November Celebrating the Sangha event

Letter from Your NW Dharma Association From the depths of the Northwest winter, we’re looking forward to the renewal of spring. The Northwest Dharma Association relies entirely on the generosity of volunteers and members. We recently sent out our winter appeal. If you haven’t renewed your membership, now would be an excellent time. And if you have renewed recently, please…

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Northwest Dharma News Going Twice Yearly

Steve Wilhelm

Sangha Support Needed to go Quarterly Again Starting with this winter issue, Northwest Dharma News will be shifting to twice yearly instead of quarterly. How long it remains that way, and if it’s able to continue publishing at all, depends partly on the financial and human generosity of the region’s dharma community, the mahasangha. Since you’re reading this, it also…

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Dharma Education

Joy in the Northwest, as Tibetan Buddhist Nuns In India and Nepal Earn Highest Geshema Degree

Ten geshemas wearing yellow hats take part in damcha, a formal debate process during which the graduating geshema nuns debate with the other nuns

In November there was rejoicing in the Tibetan Nuns Project’s Seattle office, with the news from India that 10 more Tibetan Buddhist nuns had made history by attaining their geshema degrees. The 10 nuns received their degrees at a Nov. 5 ceremony at Kopan Nunnery in Nepal. Headquartered in India, with the North America office in Seattle, the Tibetan Nuns…

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Zen Meditating, While Hiking in the Mountains

Yoshi Hose and friend Aiden reflect in silence along the trail to Stuart Lake, in Washington state’s Cascade Range

Every month members of Seattle Soto Zen practice while hiking, a step off the cushion they call mountain meditation. This complements their twice-weekly sitting meditation sessions at their zendo, near the shore of Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. The roots of this hiking meditation practice go back to China’s 8th century Tang Dynasty, and even earlier to the mendicant monks…

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Online Teaching in Multiple Places At Once

Students gather, virtually and in person, for a dhamma class.

I am unable to be in two places simultaneously, or three places. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t do it.  And yet I want to be able to work with my students in Denver, Colorado, and at three temples in Oregon.  Practitioners want and need the mutual support of others, and their teacher’s guidance.  But I just…

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Prison Dharma

Prison Dharma Grows and Deepens in Washington

Volunteers at Twin Rivers Unit in October. 2018.  From left to right: Jordan Van Voast, Jean Berolzheimer, Venerable Thubten Chodron, Jack Buce, Colette Janning, Eric Schmidt.

More people serving time in Washington state prisons are practicing the dharma, and doing so more deeply, as a growing number of volunteers offer a widening array of options. The increasing activities include more people taking refuge, more people doing retreat, and more people studying from the growing Buddhist library collections, and with the guidance of visiting Buddhist teachers. These…

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Compassionate Action

How Two Black Women Utilize Buddha Dharma

Sharyn Skeeter meeting Sunita Ghosh at Agra University in India, February, 2018. (Charles Johnson is in background.)

I believe that there is something specifically in Buddhist practice for Black Americans.  How can there not be?  It’s about suffering and the end of suffering.  Our particular brand of suffering comes from being born into these black bodies, in a country that was forged, from its birth, in anti-blackness. How have other Black American women found their way to…

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Northwest Buddhists Attend Ancient Ceremony at California Nun’s Training Monastery Aloka Vihara

Eleven monastics -- fully ordained bhikkhunis, novice samaneras, and trial-year anagarikas in white robes -- stand in line and give thanks for the food they have been offered on kathina day

Three Northwest women traveled to the Aloka Vihara Training Monastery in California last fall, for the nuns’ annual Kathina ceremony. The Kathina ceremony, a tradition carried on since the time of the Buddha, is an opportunity for the lay community to offer monastics cloth for robes, and other monastic requisites. We went because we wished to support the full ordination…

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Offering Buddhist Hospice Support for Animals

H.E. Dagyum Jusho ( Dagmola ) speaks to the group about the death process of animals from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective

An organization of Seattle Buddhists is offering a new expression of compassion, a program of hospice support for animals at the ends of their lives. The program, called HOSTA (Hospice Support for Animals) was launched late in 2018 by members of the Marici Fellowship, the social outreach program at Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle. When our animal companions…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

The Dharma Behind ‘The Compassionate Kitchen’

Ven. Thubten Pende and guest Rashika Stephens from Seattle strain chai together

Despite the title the new book, “The Compassionate Kitchen: Buddhist Practices for Eating with Mindfulness and Gratitude,” is a dharma book more than a food book. It is based on a series of talks I gave at Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in the northeast corner of Washington state, where I serve as abbess. The book describes different ways that…

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Koro Kaisan Miles: Zen and the Art of Astronomy

MILIFE photo 1 – Richard Miles sipping well-aged pu’er tea with friends, in Portland, Oregon.  Left to right: Jack Pockley, Richard Fagan, Miles, Eric Reed and Jeff Miles.

As a 10-year-old boy gazed through a telescope at the mystery of the night sky, he dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Today, sitting beside his own paintings of planets, moons and stars, drawn from first-hand observations and impressions, Richard Miles (as Zen teacher Koro Kaisan Miles), speaks of teaching college astronomy and preparing fuel for his next rocket launch. “I’ve…

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Sangha News

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo Supported by NW Team

Caterina was the first English teacher for the first group of nuns that joined the nunnery in the days it was still based in Tashi Jong, northern India.

Two Northwest women are playing a key role in the global empowerment of Buddhist women, by leading the organization that is supporting one of the world’s best-known female Tibetan Buddhist monastics, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. Dongyu Gatsal Ling Initiatives, Inc., is a U.S. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization registered in New York, comprised of a volunteer board of directors. Two of these directors…

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Watt Dhammacakkaram Marks a Milestone Vote

Venerable Soveth Moun, a monk for 25 years, addressing the audience before the vote

Reversing some early years of organizational difficulty, members of Washington state’s oldest Cambodian Buddhist temple in November successfully elected their third board of directors in November. Members of Watt Dhammacakkaram gathered in celebration Nov. 25, appreciative of their improved Seattle facilities and newfound political acumen.  “I’m so proud of our community,” said Pakum Sin, a former board member. “Within a…

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Lively Sangha Enrichens Life on Tiny Island

Lopez Island sangha, front row left to right: Marney, Suzanne. Back row left to right: Martha, Jeff, Dianne, Karen, Julienne, Wendy, Harold, Ruthie

Buddhist activity on small Lopez Island is growing fast, and is becoming a significant portion of the population. The Lopez Island Buddhist group has grown to nearly 50 practitioners in just nine years.  We practice the dharma together with meditation sittings two Sundays a month, and a weekly dharma book group. Lopez, in Northwest Washington state, is part of the…

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Friendship Supports Small Bellevue Dharma Sangha

Bellevue Dharma attracts people from across the Eastside, including here Jack Barker, Ellen Cooper, Sharon Rodman and Dennis McCreery

There are many ways to learn Buddhist teaching. One way is to learn it by attending retreats or studying texts. Another way is to meet with a small group of friends. Since 2013 a small circle of friends and I have been meeting in the large city of Bellevue, Washington, east of Seattle, to learn the dharma together. In the…

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Prior Friends Speed Growth of Anacortes Sangha

Jonathan Prescott offers a dharma talk on preparing the mind and body for meditation.

Building on relationships members have created in the community, the Anacortes Mindfulness Community was recently offered a rent-free home in Christ Episcopal Church’s parish hall. The new space in the small town of Anacortes, north of Seattle, was timely. In fewer than two years the Anacortes Mindfulness Community has grown so rapidly it has quickly needed more room. The parish…

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