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.
  • Chenrezig or Green Tara Practice, Saturdays 10 - 11:30 AM.   Led by Lama Lungrik and Zach Zinn.

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 is considering when we might re-open the Dharma Center for more in-person activities, balancing the safety of our participants with the benefits of social contact, and maintaining flexibility to respond to future changes in the pandemic situation.   We have installed two HEPA-filtered air purifiers at the Dharma Center - more than twice the capacity needed based on our square footage.   We hope to offer ongoing virtual access to future in-person programs.

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

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.

Either download the Zoom app to your smart phone and set up an account, or you may connect to a Nalanda activity from a desktop or laptop computer directly through the Zoom website without an account.

We provide regular updates through email about on-line access to Nalanda activities.  If you are not receiving emails from Nalanda, please message info@nalandaolywa.org.

You may also keep in touch through 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
Zoom
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Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Chanting, Meditation & Discussion

Loppon Jamyang will lead Thursday evening practices again.  The first 45 minutes will be chanting and meditation practices.  During the second part of the evenings, he will teach in more detail about the Bodhisattva ideal and practices.  His text is "The Thirty-Seven Verses [of Bodhisattvas]", a classic text that he was taught in his monastic training.  This will probably continue through June 2023, because he plans to include personal commentary on "The Thirty-Seven Verses".

All welcome and encouraged to join on Zoom. Click on Zoom, or go to Zoom meeting # 459433559 and use the password Nalanda.

ZOOM MEETING INSTRUCTIONS

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.

50th Anniversary of Sakya College

Loppon Jamyang Invited to Speak
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Please Donate to Sakya College 50th Anniversary

Jamyang Wishes to Bring a Gift

Loppon Jamyang attended Sakya College in India for most of his advanced monastic training. We have all benefited from this training, through his decades of teaching in Olympia.

As an invited speaker at the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Sakya College, he will travel to India this fall.  It is his wish to be able to make a substantial financial contribution to Sakya College on this occasion, and we ask you to make a special donation to Nalanda to assist his goal.  We have already raised over $2000 in donations, toward a goal of $5000.

PLEASE MAKE YOU OWN DONATION to honor Loppon Jamyang and support future monks.

You can mail in a donation, and please make it clear it is for the Sakya College fund.  Or to donate on-line, go to Nalanda Home page, then click on the "Dana" tab (on the far right, below the Nalanda logo).  Clicking the "DONATE" button will take you to a PayPal page; again, be sure to indicate "Sakya College" in the memo line.

For your information, Loppon Jamyang has taught at Sakya College himself, while on sabbatical from Evergreen.  His academic focus there was Buddhist philosophy and epistemology.  He achieved the status of "Loppon" (sometimes spelled with one p), which is the preferred Sakya term for his advanced level of training, although less formally you may hear us refer to him using the equivalent Gelug term "Geshe".

Class for People New to Buddhism

Tuesdays
7 to 8:30 pm
through
Course at Nalanda and on Zoom
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Introduction to Buddhism

with Bob Saunders

On Sep 20, 2022, 7-8:30 PM, Bob Saunders will start a new session of "Introduction to Buddhism".  It runs 5 weeks, and it’s free.  To register or ask questions, contact Bob Saunders: robertssaunders@comcast.net or 360 402-6815.

This class will introduce participants to the main concepts of Buddhist thought and understanding.  The Dalai Lama has famously said: “My true religion is the practice of kindness”.  In this class, you learn the more complete principles behind this simple core ideal.  The course also briefly covers basic meditation technique.  The course is designed for people new to Buddhism.  However, more experienced students have also found it helpful for consolidating their understanding of the Buddhist view.  There is some basic meditation instruction.  There are hand-outs that summarize each class.  No text is necessary, but suggested ones are "The Best Way to Catch a Snake" by Karma Yeshe Rabgye and "Peace is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh.

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.

Postponed "Well Being" curriculum

Mental Well Being Course

Due to some incompatible travel plans, Jan Vleck has delayed starting the Mental Well-Being course, but may be able to start in November.  Our text will be "The Practicing Happiness Workbook" by Ruth Baer.  This version of the course will be open to anyone regardless of Nalanda affiliation because it will lean "non-sectarian".  Encourage your friends and family members to sign up.

Registration information will be available soon, and there will be a small fee for the course.  The start date will be announced (around 8-10 Wednesday evenings).  Stay tuned!

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
in person
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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.

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.

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.

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.

Book Review: Blaine has written a scholarly review of Evan Thompson's book, Why I Am Not a Buddhist.
"There's quite a bit of Buddhist content in it, both Buddhist modernism, Buddhism and science, as well as Buddhist teachings.   As you'll see, I'm critical of the book even though I adore Thompson's other books."
- Blaine Snow

Read Blaine's review HERE

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

Events & Resources from other nearby centers

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Sakya Monastery (Seattle) Calendar of Events

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 Event Calendar.
Or check Sakya's News page



Sakya Kachod Choling

Sakya Kachod Choling

A retreat center near Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, has reopened for individual retreats.  They also offer other programs.

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

Geshe Jamyang shares two videos of Tibetan life and culture.   (The Jamyang hosting the video is a tour guide in Tibet--different person.)  The first video is a look at how Tibetans in Lhasa celebrate Enlightenment Day (Saka Dawa), and the second shows the process of a master artist painting a thangka.

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".