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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

Sorig Khang Portland

Portland, Oregon branch of Sorig Khang International (www.sorig.net): to support the study and practice of Traditional Tibetan Medicine and the Yuthok Nyingthig spiritual tradition under the guidance of our teacher, Dr Nida Chenagtsang

Tradition: Vajrayana Buddhism || Location: Portland, OR

Seattle Friends of the Dhamma-SeaFoD

This is a small group of people with a shared interest in the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah, as well as other Forest Traditions. The group is facilitated by Upasika Sujata (Carson Furry), a student of Ajahn Sona of Birken Forest Monastery. Once per month we meditate together and listen to teaching by a Bikkhu or Bikkuni (male or female monk) and have a potluck meal and a discussion.

Tradition: Theravada Forest Traditions || Location: Seattle, WA

Mindfulness Northwest

Mindfulness Northwest offers heart-felt, caring and insightful instruction in mindfulness and compassion to community members, health professionals, patients, businesses, and anyone with an interest. We currently offer classes and workshops to the Seattle, Kirkland, Everett and Bellingham communities, the University of Washington, Western Washington University, King County employees, PeaceHealth Bellingham, The Everett Clinic, Snohomish School District, and at many other sites throughout the region. Staff and leadership development programming is also available. Our programming is rooted in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) curricula. Participation in MBSR has been shown to be a very effective pathway to learning...

Tradition: MBSR, MSC || Location: Bellingham, WA

Palmo Center for Peace and Education

The Palmo Center for Peace & Education is founded and directed by the inspiring vision of Venerable Naljorma Jangchup Palmo and her honorable sons, His Eminence Ngalo Rinpoche and Venerable Tulku Jigme Rinpoche. Understanding the global urgency for our world community, we are inspired to fulfill His Holiness the Dalai Lama's vision of global peace and happiness. The Palmo Center is dedicated to promoting investigation into the potential and nature of the mind, through the study and integration of modern science and the contemplative methods of the ancient wisdom traditions. We are committed to educating the heart and mind by...

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Springfield, OR

Shambhala Meditation Center Seattle

Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center offers classes in Shambhala Buddhism, traditional Tibetan Buddhism, and open house meditation instruction and practice opportunities.

Tradition: Tibetan || 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

Go to the Group Directory page for more!