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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

Mountain Lamp Community

Mountain Lamp is a rural practice center located on 115 acres of meadow, lake, and forest lands nestled in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains about 45 minutes east of Bellingham, near Deming. It is a place of serenity and refuge which embraces the path of an engaged Buddhist practice in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Diamond Sangha tradition of Robert Aitken, Roshi. We offer day events, group and individual retreats and hold a year-round daily practice schedule.

Tradition: Zen (Thich Nhat Hanh), Zen (Robert Aitken) || Location: Deming, WA

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

Salem Insight

Vipassana practice (guided and unguided sitting periods and a walking period) with tea and dharma discussion before and after the practice. We meet at Oregon School of Massage's Salem Campus (2111 Front St NE) on Monday evenings 7-9 PM, with tea 30 minutes before and after. The two founders are Theravadan practitioners, but the group is nondenominational. Beginners and experienced meditators are all welcome.

Tradition: Vipassana || Location: Salem, OR

Metta Programs

Our community extends globally, coming together on teacher-led retreats, in online practice, and in local peer-led groups. We warmly welcome all people to explore with us the practices of Insight Dialogue and Dharma Contemplation, and teachings of relational Dhamma.

Tradition: Theravada || Location: Seattle, WA

Pristine Mind Foundation

Pristine Mind Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Orgyen Chowang Rinpoche dedicated to helping people live fully, die fearlessly, and transform every area of their lives by offering accessible and experiential Buddhist teachings.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: , WA

Wise Caregiving

Anyone can learn to be a contemplative caregiver. All it takes is a commitment to serve with an open heart. Wise Caregiving is dedicated to helping professional and personal caregivers learn the art of meeting diverse needs with appropriate responses.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Guemes Island, WA

Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery

Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery is a traditional Rinzai Zen training monastery on Whidbey Island. Osesshin (7 day intensive retreat) and Kosesshin (shorter retreats) emphasizing Zazen practice are offered with opportunity of sanzen with Shodo Harada Roshi and Daichi Roshi. Daily Zazen and Sutra chanting schedule is ongoing as well as mini weekend retreats, all day sits, and work (samu) days. Residency opportunities are available; please contact us for an application. We welcome visitors.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Freeland, WA

Nalandabodhi

Nalandabodhi, Center for American Buddhism Seattle, offers opportunities for students to study and practice Buddhism under the guidance of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. As part of Nalandabodhi,  we study and explore the teachings of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and masters of the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Nalandabodhi runs Nalanda West, a center for contemplative arts and meditation.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!