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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

The Goma Fire Ritual at Seattle Koyasan Buddhist Temple Online March 29, 12:00 Noon

Before the pandemic, you would have had to attend the temple in person to take part in this practice. Via Zoom, it is actually a better view of the proceedings. The Goma Fire Ritual uses a special area inside the temple to burn the Goma-gi in front of the Buddha. The fire symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha and the…

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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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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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Group Members

Three Treasures Sangha of the Pacific Northwest

Three Treasures Sangha of the Pacific Northwest (TTS) is a lay Zen group located in Seattle, Washington and affiliated with the Diamond Sangha, an independent lineage founded by Robert Aitken Rōshi, a dharma heir in the Sanbō Kyōdan (Harada-Yasutani-Yamada) lineage. Our form is derived from the Japanese tradition, favoring simplicity. While we focus on individual sitting meditation (zazen), we also recite texts (sutras) together. Talks and private interviews with the teachers provide a chance to ask questions and to refine our understanding. Our practice emphasizes experience over concepts, so no beliefs are necessary; it allows us direct experience of underlying...

Tradition: Japanese Zen Tradition || Location: Seattle, 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

Dharma Rain Zen Center

DRZC is a diverse group of people who come together to share the practice of meditation, and to study the principles of Buddhism. The purpose of the Center is to offer instruction in Zen practice and Buddhist teachings, and to provide a place where people can form a community that supports Zen practice in everyday life.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Portland, OR

Northwest Buddhist Recovery

We are an organization that offers resources to anyone wishing to integrate their Buddhist path with their addiction recovery program. We represent Buddhists from any tradition and offer support to those in recovery from addictive behaviors from any treatment program. We currently sponsor (13) Buddhist Recovery groups in Seattle, (2) in Olympia and Tacoma, and (1) in Bellingham, as well as host a website of resources, meeting listings, articles about Buddhism and recovery and Buddhist recovery facilitator training materials. We are dedicated to bringing meditation skills and Buddhist teachings to those in recovery, through support groups, free events and the...

Tradition: Buddhist Recovery || Location: Seattle, 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

Island Sangha

Mindfulness Community in the Plum Village tradition

Tradition: Zen || Location: Guemes Island, WA

EcoSangha Seattle

EcoSangha is a Zen practice group grounded in Zen practice as an inherently ecological perspective. We are open to all people who would like to practice with us.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Seattle, WA

Lotus Speech Canada

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Sechelt, BC

Go to the Group Directory page for more!