From the Executive Director: The Region’s Dharma Community is Increasingly Collective and Effective

Participants in the May 7 Christian-Buddhist roundtable at Elliott Bay Books included Will Haag, Stephanie Eichentopf, George Draffan, CJ Young, Phil Peterson, Kyle Reynolds, Kathy Adams, Mark Winwood, Polly Trout, and Paul Metzger

Some 20 years ago, when I started volunteering with the Northwest Dharma Association, it was about old-fashioned mailing parties, loading bundles of original paper version of Northwest Dharma News into giant post office sacks, and getting event flyers out. After a while I served on the board for a few years, and then I focused on organizing and facilitating gatherings of Buddhist teachers. In the six months I’ve been back at NWDA in an official capacity, I’ve noticed a LOT of changes — in the organization, in the community, and in society at large. Buddhist teachers and organizations are much…

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Compassionate Action

Buddhism in Black America: A Global Perspective

Dr. Charles Johnson, Lama Choyin Rangdrol, and Dr. Jason Wirth “turned the dharma wheel in new directions,” during a talk before a packed house March 8

Does BuddhaDharma philosophy and practice offer critical spiritual succor for African Americans? Two of the best-known and celebrated African American male Buddhist practitioners say yes. They shared their views on the relevance and urgency of BuddhaDharma for black Americans, before a packed house at Seattle University March 8. Lama Choyin Rangdrol opened and closed the unforgettable evening with short guided meditations. In a very real sense, the audience could detect the dharma wheel turning in unprecedented new directions. Dr. Charles Johnson, National Book Award recipient and professor emeritus at the University of Washington, has provocatively described BuddhaDharma as “a matter…

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Dharma in Canada

Canadian Leader to Offer First Online Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery courses

Author and teacher Valerie Mason-John, is now taking her eight-step work online

After years of offering the Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery courses in person, I will in July for time offer an online version of the series. The courses are a unique approach to breaking the cycle of addiction, based on the mindfulness teachings. As chairperson of the Vancouver Buddhist Centre, I am Dr. Valerie Mason-John M.A. (hon.doc of letters), a Buddhist teacher also known as Vimalasara. Every week during the month of July there will be an interactive session with me, along with a pre-recorded session, and homework. This secular mindfulness course is for anyone who has behavior that is substance related…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche Book ‘Emotional Rescue’
Offers Real Solutions to Emotional Tangles

Ponlop Rinpoche laughs as he teaches on his new book, "Emotional Rescue," during a recent weekend event at Nalanda West in Seattle

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s  newest book, “Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion into Energy that Empowers You,” is a self-help guide for a broad audience. Unlike his previous books, such as “Mind Beyond Death” or “Rebel Buddha,” this one is written for a more Western readership, with little direct reference to Buddhist teachings or concepts. When Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche speaks or writes about emotional pain and confusion, he doesn’t set himself up on a teacher’s superior pedestal. The roller coaster of emotions is universal, without religious or secular boundaries, so he includes lightly-humorous stories…

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Prison Dharma

Freedom Project Resumes Mindfulness Circles

Rich Blick leads a mindfulness meditation session

Seattle Freedom Project’s monthly Mindfulness Circle has been re-started by Rich Blick, a former convict who is working to give to others what he received from the dharma. The Mindfulness Circle and discussion group now meets 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the 4th Wednesday of each month, at the University Christian Church in Seattle. This is due to the efforts and generosity of Rich Blick, who learned these practices while he himself was in prison. Mindfulness practice has become a way of life for Blick.  We are grateful for his willingness to lead this group.  Freedom Project values any ways…

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Sangha News

A Great Leader Passes on in Seattle,
H.H. Jigdal Dagchen, Sakya Monastery Founder

The palanquin bearing the Thudkam, the body of H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, arriving at Sakya Monastery. On the left carrying the palanquin are H.E. Khondung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche, H.E. Dhungsey Zaya Vajra Sakya, H.E. Dhungsey Minzu Sakya. Also on the left, in glasses and dark hair, is H.E. Khondung Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche

His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya, the founder and for decades leader of Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Seattle, has passed into Paranirvana. Known more formally as His Holiness Vajra Dhara Kyabgön Dagchen Rinpoche Ngawang Kunga Sönam of the Phuntsok Phodrang, he died on April 29th, 2016. He was 87. His Holiness was considered a major leader within the world of Tibetan Buddhism. He headed one of the two families that led the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism over generations. The Sakyas are one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche was weak for some months,…

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