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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

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

Snow Buddha Meditation

Snow Buddha Meditation & Yoga offers mindfulness meditation and mindfulness yoga classes, based on Theravada Buddhist teachings in combination with Hatha Yoga and Western scientific research into Mindfulness.

Tradition: Theravada, Vipassana || Location: Anchorage, AK

Generous Heart Sangha

A lay Soto Zen sitting group located on Bainbridge Island and online via Zoom where practitioners from other States and Countries are also practicing, meditating and studying together. Mark Lancaster has been practicing Soto Zen Meditation formally since 1988. He is an ordained Soto priest, registered with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and received Dharma Transmission from Dairyu Michael Wenger at San Francisco Zen Center in 2006.  Mark's teaching focuses on the intersection of spiritual practice and daily life.  

Tradition: Soto Zen || Location: Bainbridge Island, WA

Puget Sound Zen Center

The Puget Sound Zen Center is located at 15401 Westside Highway SW on Vashon - and on Monday evenings at the Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle. Our services include tea, chanting, sitting periods, walking meditation, and a dharma talk or discussion. We also offer retreats, dharma classes, workshops and day sits. Newcomers welcome--please join us! For more information on upcoming events, see our website at pszc.org.

Tradition: Zen || Location: Vashon, WA

Rigpa Seattle

Rigpa aims to present the Buddhist tradition of Tibet in a way that is both completely authentic, and as relevant as possible to the lives and needs of modern men and women. Open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom, and with the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rigpa offers those following the Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice, along with the environment they need to experience the teachings fully.

Tradition: Tibetan || 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

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

Dharmata of Seattle

Part of  the Nyingma tradition, we are an affiliate of the Dharmata Foundation located in Point Richmond, Ca. We meet once a month on a weekend day for meditation and fellowship, listening to a recent audio of Anam Thubten teaching the dharma.  Pacific NW retreats are offered every year. Please call for more information.

Tradition: Tibetan/Non-sectarian || Location: Seattle, WA

Go to the Group Directory page for more!