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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

Patacara Community Services

Mission: To offer compassionate and respectful care to those who are suffering. We provide services inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism. Our organization is a faith based and nonsectarian community that takes refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and values service, generosity, compassion, interdependence, ethical conduct, equanimity, and kindness.

Tradition: nonsectarian || Location: Seattle, WA

Buddhist Global Relief

Founded in 2008, BGR's mission is to combat chronic hunger and malnutrition. Bearing in mind the Buddha’s statements that “hunger is the worst kind of illness” and “the gift of food is the gift of life,” we sponsor projects that promote hunger relief for poor communities around the world.

Tradition: nonsectarian || Location: Seattle, WA

Younge Drodul Ling (Washington)

YDL-WA is a local practice community of Tibetan Buddhism, studying the great masters of all lineages- Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug- under the spiritual guidance of Younge Khachab Rinpoche. Our main focus is on the meditation and teachings of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, 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

No-Rank Zendo

A Rinzai Zen meditation and practice group meeting in SE Portland. We practice simple and direct Zen with an emphasis on settling gracefully into form and tradition with the encouragement that each participant develop the confidence to be the master of their own practice. The group is facilitated by Rinzan Pechovnik Osho and is affiliated with Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji in Seattle run by Genjo Marinello Osho.

Tradition: Rinzai Zen || Location: Portland, OR

Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland

Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland (DSSP), founded in 2004, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to spread authentic Buddhist teachings and to support the enlightened Dharma activity of Great Perfection of Wisdom lineage holder H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Since its founding, DSSP has sponsored many teachings by the Vajra Master and lineage teachers throughout the greater Portland metro area, Salem and Vancouver, WA. DSSP offers ongoing weekly teachings and weekend workshops for beginning and continuing dharma students and continues to support activities at the Dzogchen Retreat Center USA. Since the inception...

Tradition: Tibetan – Nyingma || Location: Portland, OR

Seattle Wisdom

A Seattle hub for conscious conversations and mindfulness practices in professional spaces. Seattle Wisdom was founded in 2013 to unite the Seattle community. The group encompasses mindfulness teachers, coaches, facilitators, private mediation practitioners as well as those seeking to learn new ways bring authenticity into the workplace. We are a community/volunteer run organization with all members encouraged to take action to fuel the Seattle community.

Tradition: none || Location: , WA

Empty Field - Zen West

The Zen West ~ Empty Field community offers an intimate  setting to engage Zen Buddhist practice adapted and expressed within a Western context. Our sangha fosters genuine warm relationships and values practice connected to the earth and responsive to contemporary social and ecological challenges.  Zen West meets weekly in Eugene for meditation, dharma teaching, discussion and social connection.   We offer introductory classes for beginners and holds two concentrated practice periods each year – one in the fall and another late winter – along with several rural retreats. Empty Field ~ Zen West is guided by transmitted Soto Zen lay teacher,...

Tradition: Zen || Location: Eugene, OR

Go to the Group Directory page for more!