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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

Mahasati Retreat Association

The Mahasati Retreat Association is a group of over twenty volunteers, in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, and Houston, Texas, including several Theravadan Buddhist monks, who are dedicated to promoting the teachings of Ajahn Jamnian (also know as Luang Por Jumnien), a meditation master in the Thai Forest Tradition. Each summer, in June, Ajahn Jamnian travels from Thailand to teach Dhamma retreats in the Pacific Northwest and in Southern California.  For more information, visit our website at www.forestretreat.org.

Tradition: Theravada- Vipassana (Thai Forest Tradition ) || Location: Olympia, WA

Zenwest Buddhist Society (formerly Victoria Zen Centre)

Zenwest Buddhist Society is a dynamic community and offers a sustainable environment for the practice of living Zen in our families and in our world. Zenwest offers: Training for many non-residential members, and a few residential members. A variety of inclusive activities for the Sangha and broader community. Zenwest: Is located in Sooke on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada Was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the province of British Columbia and registered federally as a charity in November, 1980. Was recognized as an independent religious body in the province of British Columbia in May, 2009. Zen practice here...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Sooke, BC

Seattle One Drop Zendo - Water Moon Dojo

A place for zazen/sitting meditation in the Rinzai tradition, sutra chanting, readings, occasional sesshins and public talks. Please contact us for orientation if needed.

Tradition: Rinzai (Myoshinji lineage) || Location: Seattle, WA

Heart of Wisdom Zen Buddhist Temple

The purpose of Heart of Wisdom is to provide a refuge of stillness and peace in a busy urban environment, to practice and share Buddhist teachings, and to cultivate the qualities of unflagging optimism, self-discipline, compassion, and wisdom. Daily zazen and free instruction in how meditate geared to beginners is offered. People of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to find a comfortable way to meditate using a chair, a bench, or cushion. Individual and group practice support is available. Also offered are quarterly day-long silent retreats, called zazenkai, and every full moon the temple is open for Loving...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Portland, OR

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

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

NO Sangha (North Olympic)

NO Sangha has been sitting together for 15 years, a small group in a small town, we average 8 - 11 participants. We sit every Sat. morning, 8:00 - 9:30. During the school year, on 2nd Saturdays, we have Zazenkai 8am - 3pm. In 2012, we began doing a "working" Rohatsu sesshin, 8 days of 6am - 9pm, with long breaks during which people went to work, with a full Zazenkai on the last day. Our teacher is Kristen Larson, a Master of the Diamond Sangha, transmitted to by Fr. Pat Hawk, Roshi, who was transmitted to by Robert Aitken,...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Port Angeles, WA

Ligmincha Northwest

We meet weekly to practice Bon Buddhist healing meditations. We also have the good fortune of listening to and participating with our teacher and the international sangha in a regularly scheduled monthly webcast. This is followed with discussion and potluck. The dates for the webcasts are posted at the website, www.ligmincha.org The Olympia practice group also shares viewing films that have some relevance to practices and we are currently doing a book study group, with one of Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's books. Each November we have the good fortune of sponsoring a weekend teaching and practice retreat with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal...

Tradition: Bon Buddhist || Location: Olympia, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!