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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

Beginners Mind Zen Meditation

Simple, Zen-style meditation for beginners and experienced meditators, led by Ellen Enmei Simpson.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Salem, OR

Planet Dharma

Spiritual awakening is our birthright. Our teaching combines teachings from our diversee and  bona fide spiritual lineage, including Vajrayana, Mahayana, Theravadin and Western Mysteries traditions. We also draw on psychology, art, science and international interculturalism for a contemporary and global form of spiritual practice. We practice, train, work and live in conscious community at our retreat center, Clear Sky, in southeastern British Columbia, an hour north of the Idaho/Montana border. Through Planet Dharma, we teach at Clear Sky, internationally and virtually. Learn more at PlanetDharma.com.   Life is a fascinating journey, filled with discovery, exploration and awesome experiences. It can...

Tradition: Karma Kargyu (Tibetan) || Location: Fort Stele, BC

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

Seattle Wisdom

A Seattle hub for conscious conversations and mindfulness practices in professional spaces. Seattle Wisdom was founded in 2013 to unite the Seattle community. The group encompasses mindfulness teachers, coaches, facilitators, private mediation practitioners as well as those seeking to learn new ways bring authenticity into the workplace. We are a community/volunteer run organization with all members encouraged to take action to fuel the Seattle community.

Tradition: none || Location: , WA

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

BodhiHeart Sangha

Bodhiheart Sangha is led by two resident teachers who have recently returned to the States after years of study and practice in Asia. They are both students of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and are trained in both the Tibetan and Vipassana traditions. They live in Seattle year round and, as Westerners, teach Buddhism in terms readily understood by Westerners, in a way that can be applied to the particular difficulties of our daily lives. Please see of website for biographies of Ven. Dhammadinna and Tenzin Jesse.

Tradition: Tibetan || Location: Seattle, WA

Natural Awareness

George Draffan has trained since the 1970s in the Tibetan and Theravada Buddhist traditions, and in body-based practices including taiji-qigong and Feldenkrais. In his teaching, George emphasizes stability, clarity, and intention, and a compassionate awareness of the habit-patterns that prevent us from being present and responsive. He encourages students to find authentic and skillful ways to meet the challenges of their own life while serving the greater good. George offers workshops and retreats, and has taught in Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Canada. He also offers coaching by video conference. George has worked as a landscaper, as...

Tradition: Non-sectarian || Location: Seattle area, WA

AiShinKai

AiShinKai Fudō Myōō-Ji is both a Buddhist shrine and a martial arts organization devoted to “a life worth living.” Since 1990 we have engaged in Japanese martial and cultural arts order to discover what it means to be fully human: what is the full potential of our body, of our mind, and of our spirit? We study Rinzai, Shingon, and Aikido-based Ki meditation and breathing, mind-body coordination, calm self-confidence, and the ability to express excellence and leadership in daily life. Our training is suitable for everyone regardless of size, age, or gender: gentle, aerobic training in traditional Japanese martial arts...

Tradition: Shingon/Rinzai || Location: Edmonds, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!