NWDA News

NWDA’s New Website Group and Event Listings!

The new group member directory will include simpler and more comprehensive searches, an easier registration process, and linkage with Google Maps

Your Northwest Dharma Association (NWDA) website is getting a 2020 technology boost that will make it easier for group leaders to list events, and for Sangha members and anyone else to utilize the site. For Dharma groups: Dharma group members will find the new system far easier for building and editing profiles of their groups, and for sharing lineages, practice schedules, and contact information. Leaders will be able to more easily enter and edit calendar listings, with less confusion and fewer problems needing solutions from NWDA volunteer staff.  Groups will find it easier to promote their practice schedules and events…

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Compassionate Action

Breathing with the Disagreeable

Selfie at the Lynching Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama

The Deep Time Liberation Retreat, for descendants of the African diaspora, was cancelled due to the pandemic.  Ancestral healing would have to wait.  Visiting slave plantations with the support of Black practitioners and teachers was not going to happen. Now I had two weeks of unplanned time off from the hospital.  I was sad to miss this retreat, and yet grateful for the respite from the current healthcare grind. I decided to get up early every morning and walk around parts of my Seattle Maple Leaf neighborhood that I had not yet explored.  In that process I discovered Kingfisher Natural…

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Dharma Education

Pariyatti Books Expanded During the Pandemic

Pariyatti’s efforts to respond to the growing pandemic started when a pilgrim felt dizzy climbing Vulture Peak, shown. Luckily, she didn’t have COVID-19

For Pariyatti the COVID-19 era began with a 5 a.m. distress phone call. It was January 27, and 16 pilgrims were one week into their three-week pilgrimage through India and Nepal. Calling from India, the Pariyatti team member said one of the pilgrims had become dizzy while climbing to Vulture’s Peak, one of the Buddha’s favorite places to meditate. She said, “Could it be the novel coronavirus?” Washington-based Pariyatti, the nation’s largest distributor of Theravada books and materials, organizes several pilgrimages each year for vipassana meditators in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. This journey catered specifically to Chinese-speaking participants. Luckily…

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Dharma in Canada

Children Learning to Notice what They Notice:
Introducing Mindfulness at the Art Gallery

Margo McLoughlin telling a story with musical accompaniment

Between October of last year and the middle of March, more than 700 children came to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to participate in a new program called “The Art and Heart of Mindfulness: Discovering the Gift of Perception.” The gallery sits at the top of Moss Street, a short drive from downtown Victoria in British Columbia. Surrounded by Garry oak and Douglas fir, the original building is a Victorian house, beautifully trimmed in grey-green and burgundy. Beside it stands a low structure of post-modern concrete. Art galleries are all about looking and seeing, which makes them perfect sites…

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Dharma Healing, Arts

Sue Tomita: A Deep River of Loving Compassion

As a co-founder of Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Sue remained active, here in 2017 May Day March

Whether family or friend, to be with Susan Kiyoko Tomita was to bask in her warmth and care, rooted in her deep meditation practice. As Sue passed away Sunday evening, May 10, 2020, at 74 years old from pancreatic cancer, she was serene throughout.     With great forethought Sue wrote her own memorial, understanding the reality of her diagnosis, which she shared with her mother who had died years before. In her memorial Sue wrote only of her family, her love of her partner Gregory, of her sons Jason and Mizuho, and of her beautiful grandsons, Max and Julian. She…

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Sangha News

Seattle Betsuin Taps its People to go Digital

Rinban Kusunoki chanting a sutra during one of the online Sunday services Seattle Betsuin has been offering since late March

In early March, the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist temple closed its doors to visitors and temple members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But since March the temple has been re-opening through innovative uses of online technology, a transformational step for a traditional organization that offered its first service 119 years ago. Seattle Betsuin is the oldest Buddhist group in the city. The March closure was significant for temple members, because it meant cancelling the annual salmon dinner fundraiser, numerous classes, social programs, and perhaps most impactful, the Seattle Seafair-sanctioned Seattle Bon Odori Festival normally held in July. While the doors…

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