News & Updates

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Illustration by Keith Negley, Courtesy of Tricycle Magazine

Changing Activities

In-person activities at Nalanda

For now, only a few small activities are meeting at the Dharma Center in person.  You must wear a mask and be fully vaccinated to participate.  Do not enter the Dharma Center if you are not vaccinated.  Keep a social distance.  Air filters will be in use.

  • Noon Meditation on Mon, Wed, and Fri, 12:15 - 12:50 PM.  Bob Harris and Kim Abbey share leadership of these brief, non-sectarian midday sessions.
  • Long Sit, 10 AM - Noon on 2nd Sundays of the month.  Art Costantino leads.

Except for those activities noted above, The Nalanda Institute is temporarily suspending all face to face practices, programs, and activities.    We will maintain an on-line presence and practice support for a limited number of our practices, programs, and activities using ZOOM.

Covid-19 Risk Reduction Update

The Board has decided to keep the Dharma Center basically closed due to Covid activity, and will re-assess in about mid-January 2022.  We have installed two HEPA-filtered air purifiers at the Dharma Center -- more than twice the capacity needed based on our square footage.  But as you may know, Thurston County is experiencing record numbers of new Covid-19 cases and related deaths, and is rated as having substantial or high transmission risk.  When in-person programs resume at the Dharma Center [1620 Fourth Avenue, a few blocks west of Ralph's Thriftway], attendees must follow the current Statewide mask mandate.  For now, this includes vaccinated individuals in indoor settings.

See the updated Quick Reference to Nalanda's On-Line Zoom Activities below.

Zoom has some problems with meeting security, so in addition to a meeting #, they require a password to enter all meetings.  For now, we have enabled all meetings to have the password: Nalanda.

We will provide regular updates through email about on-line access to Nalanda Zoom meeting rooms for various practices and programs and the necessary meeting I.D.s to participate.

You will need to download the Zoom app to your smart phone and set up an account or you may connect to a Nalanda practice/program meeting from a desktop or laptop computer directly through the Zoom website without an account.  Zoom is a generally user friendly platform, though please be mindful that many are new to Zoom and there will be a learning curve for some.

We will also provide scheduling updates through the email newsletter and Nalanda's website, and through our Facebook page, so please check back regularly.

Please stay informed, stay in the moment, and stay healthy!

Nalanda activities accessible through Zoom

Go to zoom.us; click 'join a meeting'; then enter the meeting number.    Or on your browser, type in the URL - or click the links - below.  Password for all Nalanda meetings is Nalanda

The following practices, programs, and activities have been suspended until further notice:
  • Guru Yoga of Sapan (Thursdays)
  • Core Principles (4th Saturdays)
  • Feeding the hungry at the Community Kitchen (3rd Tuesdays)

Thursday Evenings, 7 - 8:30 pm

On-Line Presentation
Join on Zoom
Meeting ID: 459433559
Password: nalanda
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Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Mental Well Being Program

Nine Thursdays, - , 2022, 7 - 8:30 PM

This Program replaces usual Thursday evening practice and monthly First Thursday Teachings

Video Recording: Introduction to the Well Being Course
Audio only

Note: Registration for this session has closed, but the course will be offered again on Thursday evenings April 7 through May 26.  It will probably be repeated in the fall as well, perhaps at a different time of the week.  Even if you did not register for the course, you are invited to attend the final half-hour, 8-8:30 PM, for a guided practice led by Geshe-la. Just sign into the Zoom meeting at 8 PM.

For the first 3 months of 2022, regular Thursday evening practice and discussion will be basically replaced by the Mental Well Being Program. Loppon Jamyang's weekly plans include three half-hour sections:

  • 7 - 7:30 PM: presentation about the weekly topic
  • 7:30 - 8 PM: discussion and questions
  • 8 - 8:30 PM: well-being practice exercise

Attendance at all the sessions is recommended, due to the sequential knowledge base and skill development. There are explicit learning objectives, required relevant readings, and weekly practices and exercises.  See textbook note below.

This program is designed for anyone -- Buddhist or not -- interested in learning and practicing universal concepts and skills that are applicable to personal life satisfaction, without association to Buddhism as a religion.

Regular meditators are encouraged to do their own homage and refuge practices before the Well Being sessions, and follow with their own dedications.

TEXTBOOKS FOR WELL BEING PROGRAM

One required workbook you will definitely need:
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer

Two other books are recommended:

  • The Practicing Happiness Workbook by Ruth Baer & Mark Williams
  • Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman & Richard Davidson

Thanks to Browser's Bookshop downtown, about a dozen copies of the required workbook are available for your individual purchase at Browser's, where it will be kept behind the counter so just ask the staff.  Browser's will also have a smaller number of copies of the Practicing Happiness Workbook and Altered Traits.  Some of you may already have Altered Traits from when Jamyang taught it in the past.

Loppon Jamyang's description of the Mental Well Being series

Mental wellbeing consists of psychological stability and flexibility toward both challenging and pleasant life events.  In this course, we will learn how our thought and emotion function as important sources of overall wellness, their influence on our mental being and brain physiology, and methods of cultivating and maintaining mental wellbeing for personal benefit or for helping others.  We will discuss core elements, develop skills in multiple models of mental wellbeing, and engage in empirical practices to actualize the state/traits of mental wellbeing.  The information and practices are based both on models of Eastern contemplative wisdom and Western empirical approach.

Applying East-West mind training approaches, you will develop an individually sustainable mental well-being program that will include personally effective practices as a foundation either for your own growth or helping others or society.

CONTEXT OF THE SERIES

This course is designed for anyone -- Buddhist or not -- interested in learning and practicing core concepts and skills that are universal and applicable in personal life without association to Buddhism as a religion.

Loppon Jamyang is striving to make this course directly helpful and applicable to your daily life.  Even though the title emphasizes mental well being, I entirely expect he will address wider aspects of well being, such as physical, family, spiritual, and social well being.

By attending this inaugural presentation, you will be introduced to the learning objectives, structure of the 10-week program, weekly practices, required relevant readings and the source combination of contemplative wisdom and contemporary research on the topics.

OUR TEACHER

Loppon Jamyang is well prepared to teach this program.  He is a former Buddhist monk for 20 years, Dharma teacher in Olympia 30 + years, Mental Health therapist 30 + years, and faculty member for 16 years at TESC.

ZOOM MEETING INSTURCTIONS

For ZOOM access information see Quick Reference to Nalanda's On-Line Zoom Activities, or Contact Jan Vleck, 360-584-5972 or email.

This meeting I.D.  will remain the same for every upcoming Thursday night practice also.

Some of you may be new to Zoom, so we’ve included these instructions.  Zoom is fairly user friendly and the learning curve is relatively quick for newcomers.

If you are using a laptop or desktop PC to participate:
  • Go to the Zoom Meeting # 459433559 for this meeting.
  • You do not have need a Zoom account.  All you need is the meeting I.D. 459433559 and password: Nalanda
  • You will see a button near the top right that reads “join meeting”.
  • Enter the meeting I.D and then the password, Nalanda, to join the meeting.  
  • You may have to click a button to start the video and the audio
  • You should be able to see Jamyang and the other participants as well as hear them.
  • They will be able to see you, assuming you sit in front of the computer camera.
  • If the host takes up the whole screen, when someone else talks, the view shifts to that person, the next person talking, etc.  That’s how the discussion will occur.
  • You can also have a “gallery” view where everyone is on the screen at the same time.
If you are using a mobile phone or a tablet to participate:
  • You will need to download the Zoom app to your device.  The app is free.
  • From the app, “join the meeting” by entering the meeting I.D.   459433559 and then the password: Nalanda.
  • When you tap the screen, a menu pops up at the bottom of the screen.  That is where you will find controls to turn on video and audio if they are not initially on.  
  • As with the PC, you will see everyone and they will see you (if video is on).

Stay safe, stay in the moment, and stay well.

Class for People New to Buddhism

Tuesdays, 3 to 4:30 pm
-
brown wheel

Introduction to Buddhism

with Bob Saunders

New Year’s resolution to investigate and cultivate a spiritual path?  Here you go.  On , Bob Saunders will start a new session of Introduction to Buddhism on zoom.  It runs 5 weeks, it’s free.   To register or ask questions, contact Bob Saunders: email or phone 360 402-6815.

This course is designed for people new to Buddhism.  However, more experienced students have also found it helpful for consolidating their overall understanding the Buddhist views.   The class is an overview of fundamental concepts, practices and goals of Buddhism.  It emphasizes the overall structure of how Buddhist thought and practices form a coherent path.   It includes some basic meditation instruction.  A suggested text is The Best Way to Catch a Snake by Karma Yeshe Rabgye; however there are hand-outs that summarize each class and the text is supplemental.

Bob Saunders, has been studying and practicing Buddhism for over 35 years.   He has studied with Nalanda founder, Loppon Jamyang Tsultrim, for 30 years; has had over 30 days of instruction from His Holiness the Dalai Lama; has been on pilgrimage to the 8 holy sites in India & Nepal; and on other pilgrimages in Tibet.  Nepal and Thailand.  

Ideas: Traditional & Modern

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Buddhism East and West

Nalanda’s Buddhism East and West study group explores cross-cultural themes in traditional and Buddhist modernism as well as in Western philosophy and science.  We explore the philosophy, phenomenology, and psychology of nonduality both East and West by reading both traditional and modern texts and essays.  We explore the many dimensions of both waking up and growing up, what they mean and how they differ.

By request of the participants, the group is ongoing and meets fluidly by agreeing on the dates of the next one or two sessions and what the focus will be.  The past four Zoom sessions have been exploring the nonduality of Advaita Vedanta and comparing it to the nonduality of the Mahayana schools.  These sessions have featured a teacher from California who’s trained in both Buddhism and Advaita.  Although the current format is primarily study, past formats have included some practice in addition to study.

For more information contact Blaine Snow.

Sakya Monastery Events

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Sakya Monastery Fall 2021 Course Catalogue

Sakya Monastery is always a treasure box of opportunity for Dharma practitioners, and despite the pandemic they have put together an incredible set of virtual events. Check out Sakya's Fall 2021 VEI catalogue [Virupa Educational Institute].
Or check Sakya's News & Events page

Book Group

Thursday Afternoons
1:30 - 3 pm
Zoom Meeting # 878 935 457
Remembering
Courtesy of Mimi Williams

BOOK DISCUSSION

If you are available and interested, consider joining this ongoing Nalanda bookgroup (Thurdsays, 1:30 - 3 pm by Zoom].  We read aloud and discuss.  The group is usually about 6-8 people including Sonam Dorje.  Call Jan Vleck to learn more 360.584.5972

Our current selection is Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham.

Ritual Chanting

Every Saturday
10 - 11:30 am
Note: Practices with "Zoom"
Go to Zoom Meeting # 817 534 3467
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Chenrezig and Green Tara Practices at Nalanda

If you are not a current participant and wish to join, contact Zack Zinn (before the meeting time!).

Lama Lungrik leads a practice to transform our body, speech, and mind into the Dharma, the union of compassion and emptiness.  Once a month closest to the full moon we do Green Tara practice, drawing closer to the action aspect of compassion.

The Nalanda Study Group

1st & 3rd Saturday of the Month
1 - 3 pm
Note: Practices with "Zoom"
Go to Zoom Meeting # 86108811736
password: Nalanda
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You're Invited!

The Saturday Study Group will be starting a new book on Saturday January 15, 2022 on zoom. Newcomers are welcome. The book is "The Sun of Wisdom" by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. The author provides commentary on a few key verses from each of the chapters in Nagarjuna's "Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way" to help us understand the Buddhist Madhyamika view of emptiness. We will do a thorough analysis of the book by reading it out loud with pauses for discussion.

For more information see Saturday Study Group

Extended Sitting

2nd Sunday of the Month
10 am - Noon
at the Dharma Center
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www.kenroizu.com; Courtesy of
Howard Greenberg Gallery.  NYC; Tricycle Magazine

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.

Art Costantino leads.

You must wear a mask and be fully vaccinated to participate.  Do not enter the Dharma Center if you are not vaccinated.  Keep a social distance.  Air filters will be in use.

Green Tara Group on Hiatus

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Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

Kim Abbey's Tara Circle (Tara Dhatu) is on hiatus until after January, due to Covid and wet weather restricting outdoor practice.  Contact her for information and updates. 206.387.6134

Recordings

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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.

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Many thanks to our Pledge Donors!

Just like many struggling small businesses, Nalanda has ongoing expenses and reduced income in this plague time.  Because we are not able to meet at the Dharma Center, our 'in-person' donations (such as cash or checks in the Dana box) have dried up, yet we still have costs related to owning and operating our physical Dharma Center.  We also have the new cost of a monthly Zoom account to support our programs, and Nalanda also made an emergency donation to support food security in our local community during this pandemic.    Please, if you can, include Nalanda in your charitable giving.

Nalanda's programs are supported in large part by those who have pledged regular financial contributions.  Thank you so much!  Your generosity is an inspiration, and the benefits have far reaching effects.  To learn more about making a one-time on-line contribution, please click on Dana or the "Dana" link at the top of this page.  To set up on-going on-line contributions, please contact us at info@nalandaolywa or use your bank's electronic payment options.    ("Dana" means giving or generosity, and is one of the Six Perfections of Buddhism.)

Celebratory Video

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Re-living the Dalai Lama's 86th Birthday Party

Evolution of the Heart, 36-minute film from The Mind & Life Institute, powerfully conveys the inter-relatedness of beings, through conversations between the Dalai Lama, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, and social scientist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela.  It features very concrete examples including stories about chickens and the wolves of selfishness, and from the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Watch the Dalai Lama leading the opening prayer for the US Senate in 2014 (3.5 minutes).

HH Dalia Lama Live & Recorded

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His Holiness The Dalai Lama Continues to Teach

We are fortunate that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is still teaching so actively at age 85.  Take advantage of this precious resource by watching either live or taped versions of his talks.  Many of them are convenient 1-hour presentations.  For details on his upcoming teachings, go to Schedule.  A library of taped videos is at Video Library.

His Holiness's videos offer such a variety you are sure to find something of interest.  Some are informal Dharma presentations (like the book launch), some are formal Dharma teachings (like an upcoming three-day teaching on Nagarjuna's Commentary on Bodhicitta), and some are conversations with scientists (three events in Nov and Dec).

When seeking a live event be careful to adjust for the time difference between Dharamsala and Olympia - the announcements typically cite a time for Los Angeles, and provide a link to a time zone calculator.  (PS: don't forget daylight savings time ends on Nov 1!)

Debut Album

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Audio album from His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Inner World is the debut album by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and is recommended by Geshe Jamyang.  It is a combination of especially recorded mantras and messages by His Holiness, set to a backdrop of beautiful music.  The mantras were all chosen specifically to support us in our everyday lives.  To act like medicine, and change our energy according to what we need, for example, finding courage, healing, wisdom, and protection to name a few.

Here are some links to the work:

My understanding is that if you purchase the CD it comes with an explanatory book.  Net proceeds from sales of Inner World will go to His Holiness's chosen programs:

  • Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), an international education program and part of an academic collaboration between Emory University and His Holiness;
  • and the Mind & Life Institute, which brings science & contemplative wisdom together to better understand the mind & create positive change in the world.

Recommended Videos

Evolution of the Heart (36 min) powerfully conveys the inter-relatedness of beings, through conversations between the Dalai Lama, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, and social scientist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (who served on the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission).

Watch the Dalai Lama leading the opening prayer for the US Senate in 2014 (3.5 min).

A Buddhist monk's advice for you during this pandemic (11 min) Heartfelt advice from Dezhung Tulku Rinpoche.

Geshe-la has also recently suggested some videos by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen.  Specifically recommended are:
"Living a Virtuous Worldly Life According to the Dharma"
“How to Face Difficult Circumstances from a Buddhist Perspective”
"Ten Questions for His Holiness" [on American life in 15 minutes!]

Buddha's Biography (28 min) From Nalanda's own Bob Harris.  Also, connect through the Nalanda web page by selecting TALKS at the top of the screen and then "Bob Harris".