News & Updates

Illustration by Keith Negley, Courtesy of Tricycle Magazine

Changing Activities

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

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; 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:
  • Long Sit Meditation (2nd Sundays)
  • 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
Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Loppon Jamyang Leads Regular Thursday Evenings

Practice and Discussion

Join on Zoom (7 pm for practice, 7:45 pm for discussion only)
Meeting ID: 459433559
Password: nalanda

Sep 16 - Dec 2, 7:45 - 8:30 PM:
Geshe-la explains the Mental Factors according to Buddhist Psychology

Join at 7:00 PM for the practice -- chanting, meditation -- or at 7:45 PM for the discussions and teachings.

Start the new school year off right by re-invigorating your practice under the guidance of a highly-trained Tibetan teacher! Enjoy the benefits of practicing in company with others, even if it's still on-line.

Many of the struggles in daily life are the consequences of untamed mind in ourselves and others.  It can be helpful to have a broader context for understanding the roots and functions of our thoughts, emotions, and actions.  Classical Buddhist psychology provides such a context.  

Over several months this fall, Geshe Jamyang plans an in-depth survey of the 51 Mental Factors listed by Asangha in his "Compendium of Knowledge".  Rather than the original text, our reference will be "The Mind" (Wisdom Publications, "Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics: Volume 2, The Mind" (2020), edited by Thupten Jinpa).   See below for discount ordering information.

Here is the preliminary schedule, subject to revision:

  • 9/9: no assigned reading, just Zoom into tonight's session!
  • 9/16: Ch 6, "Omnipresent Mental Factors"
  • 9/23: Ch 7, "Mental Factors with a Determinate Object"
  • 9/30 & 10/7: Ch 8, "Virtuous Mental Factors"
  • 10/14: Ch 9, "Love and Compassion"
  • 10/21 & 10/28, Ch 10, "Mental Afflictions"
  • 11/4: Ch 11, "Variable Mental Factors"
  • 11/11: Ch 12, "Mental Factors in Other Works"
  • 11/18: Ch 13, "Substantial and Imputed Mental Factors"
  • 11/25: Thanksgiving Holiday
  • 12/2: Ch 14, "Alternate Presentations of Mental Factors"

Discount purchases of "The Mind" textbook, and free outline notes

For those interested in owning their own copy of the book that Geshe-la will be referencing in his fall series on Mental Factors, it is available from Wisdom Publications for $29.95 (hardcover) and $17.99 (ebook).  Nalanda is a supporter of Wisdom, and can get a 20% discount on group orders.  That's probably about as good as you can do on Amazon.  Contact Jan Vleck if you would like to join a group order.

Also, I will try to post some outline notes of the chapters on the Nalanda website as a quick reference aid to follow Geshe-La's teachings.


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

brown wheel

Introduction to Buddhism

with Bob Saunders

On Tuesday, Oct 5, Bob Saunders will start a new session of Introduction to Buddhism on zoom.  It runs 5 weeks on Tuesdays and is free.  It will either be at 7 to 8:30 PM or 3 to 4:30 PM depending on availability of participants.  If all interested students can do a daytime class, it will be 3 PM; if not it will be 7 PM.  To register or ask questions, contact Bob Saunders or 360 402-6815

This course is designed for people new to Buddhism but 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 how these elements fit together and 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


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.

Book Group

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


If you are available and interested, now is a good time to consider joining this ongoing Nalanda bookgroup (Thurdsays, 1:30 - 3 pm by Zoom].  Check it out to see if you want to join, because we are starting a new book.  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 new selection is The Two Truths Debate by Sonam Thackchoe [Wisdom Publications, $22.95 paperback or we can order through our Dharma Center Discount for around $14]

This group often chooses classical texts but this book is a contemporary explanation of two main contrasting views of the Madhyamaka view of ultimate truth and conventional truth, according to Tsongkhapa and Gorampa.

Ritual Chanting

Every Saturday
10 - 11:30 am
Note: Practices with "Zoom"
Go to Zoom Meeting # 817 534 3467

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.  (This Green Tara practice is not the same as the Tara Circle that meets on 2nd Sundays.)

The Nalanda Study Group

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

You're Invited!

We are meeting again, but now using ZOOM to meet in virtual space.  Please contact Grace via email to learn how to acces the meetings.

Come and try out this friendly ongoing book group, guided by Sonam Dorje.  Typically the group reads aloud, then discusses, so it's low pressure.  Books are not available through Nalanda.

The Saturday study started a new book .  Newcomers are welcome.  We will do a thorough analysis of the book by reading it out loud with pauses for discussion.  The book is: Becoming Bodhisattvas: A Guidebook for Compassionate Action by Pema Chodron.  This book was previously published under the title of: No Time to Lose.  It is a commentary on The Way Of The Bodhisattva by Shantideva, an 8th century Buddhist Teacher.

Green Tara Group to Resume


Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

Kim Abbey plans to resume the Tara Circle practice in-person (!).  Ideally, participants will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and a mask policy is in the works.  For information contact Kim at 206.387.6134

This practice uses music and movement.  Probably starting on Tuesday, July 20, she will carefully teach the mantras and mudras, the simple steps to the 21 Qualities of Tara as taught by Prema Dasara, founder of Tara Dhatu (  This teaching will be over Zoom on 5 Tuesday mornings, 10 to 11 AM (tentative dates July 20th - August 17th?).  Contact Kim for Zoom information.

Tara Circle will meet on second Sundays each month (Aug 8, Sep 12, Oct 10, Nov 14, and Dec 12), and it is very likely that we will need to be inside some of those days at the end of the year.

Independent Reading

books stack

From the text: The Mind

Geshe Jamyang's autumn First Thursday Dharma Teachings will refer to material covered in The Mind text (Wisdom Publications, Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics: Volume 2, The Mind, edited by Thupten Jinpa).  He has recommended that we independently read Chapters 5-11 to become familiar with important mental factors.  A grasp of these topics will increase your benefit from Geshe-La's teachings this fall.

  • Chapter 5, "Distinguishing Mind and Mental Factors"
  • Chapter 6, "Omnipresent Mental Factors"
  • JChapter 7, "Mental Factors with a Determinate Object"
  • Chapter 8, "Virtuous Mental Factors"
  • Chapter 9, "Love and Compassion"
  • Chapter 10, "Mental Afflictions"
  • Chapter 11, "Variable Mental Factors"



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.


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


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


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


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".

Extended Sitting

Note: Meetings Temporarily Suspended.
Buddha-in-Tree-Roots_200dpi; 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.