NWDA News

Welcoming Executive Director to New Stage 
Of Northwest Dharma Association

The board of Northwest Dharma Association is very pleased to welcome George Draffan as the executive director of NWDA. Many of you have heard of or met George over the many years of his involvement with the association. He brings tremendous background and commitment to the position. We are very pleased to have him on board. George will be focused on strengthening the bonds we have with one another as Buddhists throughout the region. He will also be helping the board plan strategically for the long-term sustainability of NWDA. For more on that, please see my article in the last…

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Dharma Education

Young Adults Gather to Wake Up Together 
Explore Compassion, and to Have Fun

Group campsite photo at Hannegan’s Pass in the North Cascades during the Wake Up backpacking retreat, August 2015. Dylan Sympson (top); left to right: Johanna Stulting, Ed Wayt, Vanessa Loucky, Jennifer Wood and Mercia Moseley

During the summer of 2015, a group of young adults from Bellingham and Seattle gathered upon mountaintops, in living rooms, at parks during sunsets, with potlucks, and in beautiful community centers. But we were not just socializing or partying… we were gathering to meditate, coming home to our bodies and minds, studying teachings on the art of mindful living, and supporting each other through deep listening and openhearted discussion. And yes, we also had tons of fun! In January, a young adult mindfulness group, known as Wake Up in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, started in Bellingham, meeting a…

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Prison Dharma

A Special Commitment Brings Alive New 
McNeil Island Practice Pagoda

Residents of McNeil Island, and friends and supporters, at the dedication ceremony

The sangha at McNeil Island’s Special Commitment Center in mid-September celebrated their new outdoor pagoda, a building intended to support their Buddhist practice while they’re incarcerated. Sept. 16 was bright and beautiful, perfect for the long-awaited special ceremony, and official dedication, that would open the new outdoor practice space for the Buddhist residents of the Special Commitment Center. The gathering included the SCC Buddhist Group, SCC staff, special invited guests, and about 20 non-Buddhist SCC residents who had helped make the celebration possible. SCC residents have spent the last few years raising the funds to build this gazebo, which they…

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Dharma in Canada

At 50th year, Zen Centre of Vancouver 
Plans to Pay Off Center to Better Serve Members

Our work to complete our center has also brought us together in community

For its 50th anniversary, Zen Centre of Vancouver has launched a campaign to pay off the last remaining portion of its mortgage, about $81,000, by mid-2016. “Once we no longer depend on rental income,” said the centre’s abbot and teacher, Eshin John Godfrey, “we can support live-in accommodations for practitioners, particularly younger ones, so they can benefit from a more intensive immersion into Zen practice.” Paying off the mortgage will support the centre‘s core of dedicated practitioners, he said, and will “Sustain our role as a major Buddhist institution contibuting to the well-being of the city and province.” Two Zen…

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Compassionate Action

Nalandabodhi Buddhists Bring Food, Compassion,
To Homeless Youth in Seattle’s U District

Nalandabodhi Seattle members (L to R) Don Ross, Susan Kirchoff and Damayonti Sengupta help prepare Friday Feast

Members of Seattle’s Nalandabodhi Buddhist sangha recently turned out not to meditate but to cook, for 150 homeless youth and adults in Seattle’s University District. The meals-for-homeless project was inspired in part by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who visited Seattle in May. Bringing compassion into action was the focus of his Seattle Center public talks, which included a panel of young adults devoted to projects such as youth homelessness. “It’s a real inspirational time for us to really put our meditation into action and walk our talk,” said Nick Vail, a co-director of the Seattle Nalandabodhi sangha, during a related panel …

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Sangha News

Cloud Mountain Retreat Center Expands 
Dining Room, in Mindful Stewardship

The final result: The enlarged dining hall, with plenty of space for all retreatants

Cloud Mountain Retreat Center recently completed a transforming renovation of its main building, expanding capacity and upgrading elements of its dining room and several other areas. The bulk of the recent renovations were completed during a rare, carefully structured break in the retreat schedule that allowed for the tearing down and reconstruction of the dining area. The majority of the work was completed during March and April of 2015, with the final details completed over the summer and early fall. Cloud Mountain is a non-sectarian Buddhist retreat center located in rural southwest Washington near the town of Castle Rock. Founded…

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