News & Updates

Loppon Jamyang - First Thursday Teaching

Aspirational Prayers and Practice

Loppon Jamyang is beginning a new series of Dharma teachings on aspirational prayers and practices.  The December teaching will be a general introduction, covering 'what, why, and when'--a good opportunity to discover if this topic interests you.  Then beginning on January 2, 2020 (extending through at least the first half of 2020) he will focus on The Aspiration of Samantabadhra, known as the "King of Prayers".  We have recited this prayer on special Nalanda occasions over the years, and will make available a standard English version of the prayer for reference during the teachings.  He will teach from an untranslated commentary written by his own teacher, Khenchen Appey Rinpoche (1927-2010).  The commentary that you will hear provides enormous insight into the structure and meaning of the prayer, which we have recited on special Nalanda occasions over the years.  I expect this series will comprise a complete class on Dharma, accessible to absolute beginning meditators as well as long-time practitioners.  If you can, attend the December session to hear at least the overview.

The Sakya Monastery of Seattle has a web page entitled What is the Significance of Samantabhadra's Aspiration to Noble Deeds?

Also see the Sakya Monastery's English Translation of The Aspiration of Samantabhadra.

Training Sessions at the Community Kitchen

Tuesdays, Nov 19 & Dec 15
2:30 - 4:45 pm and 5 - 6:30 pm
Local Tastes Best
Courtesy of Mimi Williams

Feeding Those in Need

The Community Kitchen at the downtown Olympia Salvation Army building on Plum St. serves 3 nutritious meals a day, 365 days a year - almost 12,000 meals each month to working poor, low income families with children, aging seniors, and people who are homeless.  Volunteers provide most of the labor.  Members of our local Buddhist community (including Nalanda members) have stepped up to fill a need for a new crew on the 3rd Tuesday each month.  The Kitchen will supply the food we prepare, and will train our group for the first three months.

The actual work involves food preparation (of the same set menu every month), serving, and cleanup.  Food preparation happens from 2:30 to 4:45 P.M.  Dinner is served from 5:00 to 6:00. Dishes are washed throughout the dinner hour and final cleanup is done by 6:30.  When you train, please plan to be there the entire 4 hours to see all the jobs.  After being trained, you can sign up to work the whole 4 hour shift, or just food preparation, or serving and clean up.

Gerry C is leading Nalanda's effort to support this enormous act of kindness.  Please join the crew - if we have 15-20 volunteers it will be easy to fill vacancies that might occur, and lighten the load on everyone.  This is only once a month!  Many volunteers are grateful for what they learn about the homeless and needful among us. Drop us a line at to add your name to the list to receive more information or to join the training.  Or better, contact Gerry directly at 541-913-0631 or email to learn more.

2nd & 4th Mondays of the Month

7 pm

Guru Yoga of Sapan Manjushri

Loppon Jamyang leads this Vajrayana practice on the second and fourth Mondays.  If you attended the Guru Yoga 'combined blessing' given by HH the Sakya Trizin, bring your Guru Yoga sadhana and join us! If you did not receive the initiation, you are welcome to attend as a blessing and an introduction to Vajrayana.

To learn more about Vajrayana practice, here are two books we have recently studied at Nalanda:

  • Turning Confusion into Clarity by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (Snow Lion, about $25).
  • Tantra by Geshe Tashi Tsering (Wisdom Publications; volume 6 in The Foundations of Buddhist Thought, about $17). You might even want to read volumes 1-5 of this series before you jump directly into Tantra!

Please call Jan Vleck 360-584-5972 to learn more about joining this group.

Thursday Evenings
Meditation Cancelled Thanksgiving evening

7 pm

Training the Mind, Changing our Self

Chanting, Meditation, and Discussion

These sessions are appropriate for any level of student.  We meet all year, including during the summer, for a 7 PM meditation featuring chanting, meditation and discussion.  Weekly discussion periods after the closing dedication prayer are intended to support your meditation and understanding-- they form around questions and comments of those in attendance.  Plus they're a fun way to get to know your sangha companions.

Loppon Jamyang presents Dharma teachings on the first Thursday of each month, and also leads meditation on the 3rd Thursdays.  Other weeks are led by senior meditators.


1:30 - 3 pm
Courtesy of Mimi Williams


This group meets weekly to read aloud and discuss a selected book along with Sonam Dorje as a fellow student and expert resource.  We are beginning a new book, so if you are interested in joining this group this would be a good time to check it out.

The book is Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation by Jamgon Kongtrul, with a Commentary by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (Wisdom Publications, $18.95).  For more information call either Bob Harris 360-352-2819 or Jan Vleck 360-584-5972.

Green Tara Group

2nd Sunday of each month
12:15 - 1:45 pm

Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

The Tara Circle is a wonderful way to engage body, voice, and mind. Moving to recorded music, our Tara Circle learns hand mudras and movements to bring bliss and joy.  We move then we 'sit' for 20 minutes.

This practice follows the second Sunday 'Long Sits'.

For information, contact Kim Abbey at 206-387-6134 (phone or text).

The Nalanda Study Group

1st & 3rd Saturday of the Month
1 - 3 pm

You're Invited!

Come and try out this friendly ongoing book group, guided by Sonam Dorje.  Each book will be discussed at alternate sessions.  You may read either or both (and attend either 1st or 3rd Saturdays, or both as you choose).  Typically the group reads aloud, then discusses, so it's low pressure.  Books are not available through Nalanda.

1st Saturdays: The Sun of Wisdom by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, a commentary on Nagarjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way.

3rd Saturdays: Being Nobody Going Nowhere by Ayya Khema, contemporary clear, practical instruction on meditation and techniques for overcoming counterproductive mental habits and beliefs in our daily lives.

Extended Sitting

2nd Sunday of the Month
9 am

Long Meditation

Are you curious to try out longer meditation sessions?  Come to the monthly long sit, where the conditions are highly conducive to practice: you will be with other meditators and surrounded by a beautiful dharma center!  Mark your calendar for the second Sunday each month.



Selected Teachings from Nalanda

Some of Geshe Jamyang Tsultrim's teachings on the first Thursday of each month as well as teachings from Nalanda's Retreats are now available online at Talks.