News & Updates

Bob Harris & Blaine Snow

Six Tuesdays, beginning
BuddhadisintegrateIII (Gold).Gavin McClure Tricycle

Buddhist Essays

Bob Harris and Blaine Snow are hosting a discussion group over consecutive Tuesdays.  You're invited to participate in the reading and discussion of six essays on various aspects of Buddhism. The essays are available for download at the links below for your advance preparation.

  • For week 1, !, please read the Making of Buddhist Modernism essay by David McMahan.  David's work helps us put our Buddhist studies in the larger context of the history of Asian-Western cultural cross-fertilization and influences.  Sure to be a lively discussion.
  • - Week 2's essay will be Jay Garfield's Sounds of Silence: Ineffability and the Limits of Language in Madhyamaka and Yogacara.  This essay explores the meaning of the Buddha's silence and also when silence is and is not appropriate in Mahayana Buddhist teaching.  It draws from examples from the Vimalakirti Sutra.
  • - Week 3's essay will be a chapter from a book by Brook Ziporyn on six Mahayana approaches to emptiness - an excellent summary of the different methods for teaching emptiness.
  • - Week 4's essay will be The Experience of No-Self: a Contemplative Journey by Bernadette Roberts.
  • - Week 5: Read Start with Your Body.  This is a panel discussion with Phillip Moffitt, Cyndi Lee, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and Reggie Ray with an Introduction by Anne Carolyn Klein.

One More essay will be posted in upcoming weeks.

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 (Note corrected phone number) or email to learn more.

Retreat at Friday Harbor with Khenpo Pema

Lama PemaFace Glasses

Lojong Retreat (Mind Training)

The week before Khenpo Pema teaches at Nalanda, he is guiding a Lojong retreat, for transforming the mind by cultivating beneficial mental habits.  No prerequisites; appropriate for beginners or experienced meditators.  Residential retreat; $200 includes 2 daily meals. Details

Khenpo Pema to Give Public Talk


Being of Service
From a Bodhisattva Perspective

Khenpo Pema will address the Buddhist perspective on engaging in generous service to others through volunteering and the like.  Invite your friends and family.

Khenpo Pema Will Offer Dharma Teaching

Lama Pema Standing

Compassionate Action

Khenpo Pema's discussion will include our intentions, attitudes, limitations to be overcome, and burnout prevention.  It is important to compliment our study and meditation with compassionate service.  Volunteering in social service is an opportunity to practice all six paramitas simultaneously, yet it is also important to practice self-care while helping others.  Come and learn more about this intricate balance.

2nd & 4th Mondays of the Month

7 pm

Guru Yoga of Sapan Manjushri

Loppon Jamyang will lead us in the Vajrayana practice of this Guru Yoga sadhana - the first time ever at Nalanda.  Thereafter he plans to lead 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

7 pm
Courtesy of Mimi Williams

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.

Although first Thursdays of each month are typically Dharma teachings by Geshe Jamyang, he takes a summer break so mark your calendar for his next teaching on September 5.  During the summer, Thursday sessions will be led by senior meditators.

Thursday Afternoons

1:30 - 3 pm


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 soon, so if you are interested in joining this group this would be a good time to check it out.  Currently we are reading about Vajrayana (Tantra), which complements Nalanda's new Guru Yoga practice.

On about 10/10 we will begin 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.

Loppon Jamyang - First Thursday Teaching

The Aspiration of Samantabadhra

Actually we don't know the exact title of the talk yet, but this will be the first of the 2020 series of teachings on The Aspiration of Samantabadhra, known as the "King of Prayers".  He will teach from an untranslated commentary written by his own teacher, Khenchen Appey Rinpoche (1927-2010).  This commentary provides enormous insight into the structure and meaning of the prayer, which we have recited on special Nalanda occasions over the years.