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NW Dharma News

Winter 2019, Volume 32, #2

NW Dharma News

Trains, Cats, and Dharma; A Great Man Gone

David was a great lover of cats…and they loved him

In September the Northwest Dharma community was saddened to hear of the passing of David Forsythe, the long-time volunteer leader of Northwest Dharma Association. For the past several years NWDA has been re-visioning and planning for the transition to a new generation of Dharma leaders and association volunteers. If it hadn’t been for David’s vision and skill, the organization might not have survived long enough to make those transitions. David came to Seattle from upstate New York, where he’d been managing online library catalog systems. He began volunteering for NWDA in 1996, and was unfailingly enthusiastic about rolling up his…

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Dharma Education

Mindfulness Retreat Transforms Teens in Oregon

Teens practice mindfulness while prone, a favorite during the retreat.

This past August more than 50 teens and adult mentors gathered at the Ananda Center at Laurelwood, just outside of Portland, to spend a week together practicing the art of mindful meditation. This was the 6th teen retreat held in the Pacific Northwest sponsored by Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme – “I be me”). Today’s teens report high levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Add to that family conflicts, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol use, and national problems such as overt racism and political adversity, and our teens need more support than ever. Inward Bound Mindfulness Education retreats for…

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Dharma in Canada

Retreat Center Offers Canadian Mountain Solitude

The Mahasiddha Retreat Centre provides a tranquil and inspiring environment for retreat and study

Less than a year after opening in the snowy Canadian Rockies, the Mahasiddha Retreat Centre is planning more retreats for 2020. Mahasiddha is the first rural retreat center to be operated by Seattle-based Nalandabodhi. That organization, under the direction of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, offers traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings tailored for contemporary practitioners. Mahasiddha Retreat Centre complements Nalandabodhi’s normal focus on daily practice, study and mindful activity. Since its opening last spring Mahasiddha Retreat Centre has supported several group retreats. We’ve also welcomed retreatants who found there the space and tranquility for individual practice of several days or weeks. We look…

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Compassionate Action

Pacific Northwest Peace Pagoda, a dream revived

Nipponzan Myohoji monks and nuns make an offering

In August people traveled from across the U.S. and Japan to Poulsbo, Washington, to celebrate the ground purification ceremony for what will be the first peace pagoda on the West Coast by the Nipponzan Myohoji Order. The 150 attending the ceremony witnessed a living prayer for peace; with a soft breeze moving the many colorful flags, and sunlight illuminating the grass, the trees, and the opened earth for the peace pagoda. The pagoda project is being led by Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist nuns, monks, and their supporters. The ground purification ceremony or Jichin-sai, is a traditional Buddhist and Shinto ceremony asking…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

What’s New and What’s Ancient With Your Mala?

People wearing malas celebrate a "Listening to the Sound of Silence” retreat at the Trappist Abbey in Carlton, Oregon. The retreat was taught by Jerry Braza from the Order of InterBeing.

Around the Northwest, Buddhist practitioners are using the strings of beads called malas in new and sometimes-surprising ways. And maybe not so surprising, here in 2020, some people are adapting digital devices to support their dharma practice as effectively as physical malas have since the time of the Buddha. As I reached out to Buddhist practitioners around the region, I was fascinated by the array of perspectives they bring to their mala use. Malas sold in Seattle empowering refugee Tibetan nuns in India Seattle-based Tibetan Nun Project in 1987 began raising funds to educate and empower nuns in the Tibetan…

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Sangha News

Female Leader Takes Over at Seattle Soto Zen

Outgoing teacher Eko Jeff Kelley prepares to bow with Kanshin Allison Tait, incoming teacher, in 2019.

Leadership changed at Seattle Soto Zen in September, with new spiritual director Kanshin Allison Tait replacing Eko Jeff Kelley as resident teacher. Kelley has retired after serving in the role for nearly 10 years. Shortly after the teacher transition ceremony Seattle Soto Zen conducted its annual September sesshin at Camp Indianola, west of Seattle. Tait and Kelley shared teaching responsibilities for a topic Kelley had chosen, “Impermanence Is Buddha Nature.” The sesshin participants were very aware of the truth of impermanence, as they said farewell to their beloved teacher. “Now things are changing,” said Kelley in his closing remarks. “That’s…

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What's Happening

Dharma Relief: Let’s get medical supplies to where they’re needed!

Several Buddhist groups are organizing a charity relief program to help deliver medical supplies to where they are needed. You can help by donating and by coordinating supplies. Visit DharmaRelief.org

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Buddhist Centers Respond to Pandemic

Responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are shifting rapidly. Many centers have suspended public events and are streaming programs via Zoom, YouTube, Facebook, and other video platforms. The following are a few announcements made in recent days. Check with your local center to confirm whether events are being held.

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Finding upsides in digital sangha when we have no choice

Practical tips on leading meditation and discussion using video conferencing.

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Group Members

Whidbey Island Insight Meditation Group

We meet on Thursdays at Healing Circles Langley. From September to June, sessions include a meditation period, a short dharma talk on a specific topic, and time for practice sharing.  Everyone is welcome and all sessions are freely offered. In July and August, sessions include a meditation period and practice sharing only.

Tradition: Insight || Location: Langley, WA

Buddhist Dharma

Our group follows the practice of the Buddha with emphasis on Tibetan Vajrayana and Mahayana Buddhism.

Tradition: Buddhism || Location: Seattle-Edmonds, WA

Military Buddhists

Currently I am the military leader of this military members only Buddhist religious group. I shall be learning, promoting, representing, and sharing our Buddhism ways of simple life to nonBuddhists with interests in learning and finding about the Buddha teachings and simple meditations to help with their everyday life sufferings and coping skills. I really hope with the help of other Buddhist religious teachers and leaders, we can reach our ultimate goal together, which is to reach Nirvana in our life times or after.

Tradition: Mahayana Buddhism || Location: Tacoma, WA

Touching Earth Sangha

Touching Earth Sangha is a spiritual practice community dedicated to awakening the clarity, joyfulness, and compassion that is our full potential as human beings.  We understand that such an awakening is fundamentally nurtured by a responsible and caring way of life in harmony with all living creatures and with our life-giving natural world.  And such a non-harming and compassionate way of living is also the most essential fruit of the spiritual path. As our current society’s habits and behaviors are often dangerously far from alignment with such a path, we recognize that a genuine and relevant spiritual practice must include...

Tradition: Zen/non-traditional || Location: Portland, OR

Foundation for Active Compassion

Our Mission: To empower people with profound, accessible spiritual practices that support their individual and collective work to become better people and to make a better world. We provide powerfully transformative practices from Tibetan Buddhism, adapted into new forms that can meet the hearts and minds of people from all backgrounds and faiths, so as to help them bring out the best in themselves within relationships, service, and social action. Through practices that awaken the heart of innate wisdom and compassion, we also provide methods that can support a complete path of spiritual awakening in our time. Guided meditations of...

Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism || Location: Portland, OR

Open Gate Zendo

The Open Gate Zendo is the primary practice center of the The Boundless Mind Zen School. The fundamental practices of Boundless Mind Zen are zazen(silent, seated meditation), mindfulness(fully responsive awareness) and personal development in both mental and physical disciplines that incorporate spirituality into everyday life.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Olympia, WA

Dzogchen Community Seattle

We are over a dozen people here following the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. We do not have a 'center' in the Seattle area. It's usually around 4-8 people practicing informally together. Practice dates are being posted below and updated frequently. In March 2006 we founded a Gakhyil in Seattle and started to invite teachers from the Dzogchen Community after meeting more informally since 1997.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Kirkland / Seattle , WA

Creativity & Dharma Group

Sandy Boucher has been practicing and teaching in the Theravada tradition for thirty-five years. She leads retreats such as "Dharma and Writing," "A Celebration of the Divine Feminine," and "Meditation and Spirit of Creativity" in the Northwest and the San Francisco Bay area. Sandy has chronicled the contribution of women to American Buddhism through her nine Dharma books. Her new book, She Appears! Encounters with Kwan Yin Goddess of Compassion, offers stories and artwork presenting the Celestial Bodhisattva of Compassion Kwan Yin through Western eyes.  

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Bellevue, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!