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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

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

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

Dharma Voices for Animals Portland Chapter

Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is an international nonprofit organization committed both to practicing the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma) and to speaking out when the actions of those in Dharma communities and the policies of Dharma centers lead to animal suffering. We want to be the voice of the animals who cannot speak our language. With the help of members and a global team of volunteers, DVA works to accomplish its mission by engaging in advocacy, education, and outreach efforts with Buddhists throughout the world.

Tradition: all Buddhist traditions || Location: , OR

Pine Street Sangha

Welcome to the Pine Street Sangha: Befriending Meditation, Exploring Experience, Integrating Insight We meditate in a gentle and accepting way, allowing whatever occurs in our inner worlds to unfold naturally. At the conclusion of meditation, we reflect upon and consider what happened during meditation through journaling and exploring our experience with a teacher.  Over time, we learn more about the inner conditions and habitual patterns of thought and feeling that shape our lives. We grow to understand which conditions shape difficult inner states and those that shape beneficial ones. By letting our meditation into our lives, our meditation enters and...

Tradition: Vipassana || Location: Portland, OR

Ellensburg Zen Group (Rai Un Zan Ji)

Weekly small group seated & walking meditation. Half-day retreats twice a year with Genjo. At least one of us regularly participates in retreats at these centers: Dai Bai Zan Cho Bo Zen Ji, Great Vow Zen Monastery, Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Ellensburg, 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

Pema Kilaya Sangha

Pema Kilaya is the sangha of western students of H.E. Kilung Jigme Rinpoche. Begun in 1998 in Seattle, the group has members around the US and Canada, and in Denmark. We organize teachings of Kilung Rinpoche, bringing him to the west at least once a year or more. Rinpoche's seat is now on Whidbey Island, where many of his teachings and retreats take place. Our program of study and practice follows the traditions of the Dzogchen-Longchen Nyingtig.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Clinton, WA

Dharma Friendship Foundation

Our Mission Statement: To sponsor qualified Buddhist teachers to teach Buddhist philosophy, psychology, and meditation. To provide a mutually supportive spiritual community for Buddhist practitioners. To offer the public a variety of Buddhist educational programs ranging from lectures and class series to intensive retreats. To foster the spirit of peace, nonviolence, and compassion in our world, following the inspiring example of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by putting into practice the principles in the Eight Verses of Mind Training.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!