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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

Portland Insight Meditation Community

Serving Portland OR for more than 20 years, PIMC is an experiment in American Buddhism - dedicated to the liberation from suffering through the teaching of mindfulness practice and the nurturing of mindful community. We are a 501c3 non-profit that welcomes people of all genders, orientations, religions, beliefs, ages, abilities, and racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Founded by Guiding Teacher Robert Beatty, PIMC does not charge a membership fee and there is no membership process. People are simply welcome to attend. PIMC is a first generation Dharma center with origins in Burma, Thailand and India. Our practice of Insight Meditation (known...

Tradition: Vipassana/Theravada || Location: Portland, OR

Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Seattle Chapter

We welcome anyone passionate about the living, breathing intersections between Buddhadharma and social justice. Our intention for the evening is to connect, listen, support, share resources, and inspire each other's commitment to liberation of all beings.

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

Brahma Vihara Foundation

DaeJa Napier teaches Vipassana meditation with an emphasis on the cultivation of the four Brahma Viharas: loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity. She has been practicing and studying in various Buddhist traditions since 1974. Her root teacher is the late Zen Master Seung Sahn. Her practice continues to be enriched through intensive practice under the guidance of Asian and Western teachers including Sayadaw U Pandita, Pa Auk Sayadaw and her western mentor, Joseph Goldstein. DaeJa has dedicated her life to exploring the traditional pathways to awakening and their application in daily life. Her conveyance of the Buddhist teachings and...

Tradition: Vipassana || Location: , WA

Drukpa Mila Center

The Drukpa Mila Center (DMC) is run by the Venerable Khenpo Karma Namgyel Rinpoche of Bhutan in the Drukpa Kagyu tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism. DMC has temples in Longmont, Colorado and Salem, Oregon and recently acquired land for a retreat center in southeast Washington. DMC is in the process of creating a sangha on Bainbridge Island, WA. Lama Karma Rinpoche will be coming to Bainbridge Island in late March to give teachings and empowerment.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Bainbridge Island, WA

Chagdud Gonpa Amrita

Chagdud Gonpa Amrita is the Seattle branch of Chagdud Gonpa Foundation. Since 1983, it has provided a place for beginning students and long-time practitioners to gather for teachings and practice in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Edmonds, WA

Portland Shambhala Meditation Center

Shambhala Vision is rooted in the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature can be developed in daily life so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. In action, Shambhala is both a spiritual path of study and meditation that helps us work with our minds, as well as a path of serving others and engaging with our world. These vital and timely teachings open the door to the compassionate care of ourselves and others.

Tradition: Tibetan, Shambhala || Location: Portland, OR

Friends of Chamtrul Rinpoche PDX

We support Chamtrul's teaching in Portland, OR.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Portland, OR

Downtown Lunch Hour Meditation

Pause and share silent meditation with others as a means to set the intention for your work week. Basic instruction is provided.

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

Go to the Group Directory page for more!