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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

Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship

We are Buddhists from many different lineages and traditions, and we include non-Buddhist meditators. We come together as activists for whom meditation, in public and in private, is an empowering and unifying practice and strategy. Our three main purposes are to BE, that is, to strengthen our spiritual foundations by meditating and working together; to BUILD community and solidarity among ourselves and throughout the community of meditators and activists in Portland, Oregon; and to BLOCK HARM to sentient beings and to the planet on which we live by taking a public stand for justice. We share the Vision and Mission...

Tradition: Pan-Buddhist || Location: Portland, OR

Northwest Dharma Association

The mission of the Northwest Dharma Association is to support Buddhist teachings, practice, and community in the Pacific Northwest. We foster a network of friendship and support among Buddhist groups and individual Buddhists from all traditions. We promote communication among Buddhists and with the larger community. We sponsor activities of interest and benefit to Northwest Buddhists. NWDA seeks to fulfill its mission by maintaining an informative website, publishing the NW Dharma News, and sponsoring events of interest to Buddhists of multiple traditions. We are a membership organization welcoming Buddhist groups throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Northwest Dharma Association offers its...

Tradition: Non-Denominational || Location: Seattle, WA

Insight Meditation of the Mid-Columbia

We are a Buddhist meditation group located in Eastern Washington that practices in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition. However, anyone interested in meditation practice is welcome to join us. We meet each week for meditation and study.  We also organize regular meditation retreats and support a prison Dharma practice at Coyote Ridge Correctional Center.

Tradition: Vipassana || Location: Richland, WA

Sravasti Abbey

Sravasti Abbey is an American monastic community in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The Abbey's mission is to support a flourishing monastic community where learning and practicing the Buddha's teachings cultivates peace in the hearts of its residents, visitors, and, by extension, in the world. While monastic training is the focus, lay visitors are welcomed. Founded in 2003, we are located in rural Eastern Washington on 240 acres of beautiful meadow and forest lands.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Newport, WA

Nritya Mandala Mahavihara

Nritya Mandala Mahavihara preserves and shares the spiritual, artistic, and cultural traditions of the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley. Established in Portland, Oregon in 2009, our center holds the first Nepalese Buddhist temple in the West, performance and art-making spaces, and a library of old and new Buddhist texts. We are also the home of Dance Mandal dedicated to the practice of Charya Nritya, dance as a spiritual discipline, a unique part of Nepalese Buddhist tradition.

Tradition: Nepalese, Newar, Vajrayana || Location: Portland, OR

People of Color and Allies Sangha

The People of Color and Allies Sangha (POCAS) is a Buddhist inspired, peer led mindfulness group. It meets weekly on Thursday Nights for a sit and Dharma discussion. All People of Color interested in meditation and Buddhism are invited to attend. Allies must be sponsored by a person of color and current member that can vouch for their level of understanding of POC issues beyond a Racism 101 level.

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Seattle, 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

Rigdrol Dechen Ling Vajra North

established in 1984, only Canadian affiliate of Chagdud Gonpa  

Tradition: Vajrayana || Location: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, BC

Go to the Group Directory page for more!