News & Updates

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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.

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:
  • Noon Mindfulness Meditation (daily)
  • Long Sit Meditation (2nd Sundays)
  • Green Tara Group (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
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Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Chanting, Meditation, and Discussion

Loppon Jamyang leads Thursday evening practices through rest of this spring.  The first part, 7:00 to about 7:45, will be chanting and meditation.  About 7:45 we will begin our discussion of the new book from Wisdom Publications The Mind: Volume 2 of Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics.  It's OK to participate in just one portion -- log in at 7 to join the practice, or at 7:45 PM for just the study and discussion.

There will be reading from the text each week, so bring your questions and discussion topics -- this will not be lectures, but learner-directed conversation. He will assign about one chapter per week, not necessarily in the order they appear in the book.  We will focus on:

  1. the mind, and consciousness;
  2. wholesome mental factors [positive thoughts and emotions we all have, and how they relate to our Dharma practice and daily life]; and
  3. unwholesome mental factors [including his own perspective on depression, comparing the Western and Tibetan Buddhist models of this common mental health issue].

This is a great opportunity for us, because for some years Geshe-la has been working on translation of a Tibetan text that covers these topics.

Join on Zoom
Meeting ID: 459433559
Password: nalanda

We suggest you buy the text, for study and reference.  Be certain you get Volume 2 instead of Volume 1.  Wisdom sells the e-book at $18 and hardcover at $30.  I see ads from on-line sources at about $18-20.  I did a group order using our Dharma Center discount and hardcovers came in at $22...  and have two copies available.  Contact me through email.

Wisdom has an 88-minute video of the book launch featuring HH the Dalai Lama .  This video will give you helpful context for approaching the book, as well as allow you to experience the inspiration of listening along with His Holiness.

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.

Some Seasonal Updates

Bayshore Library
Courtesy of Mimi Williams~Printmaker

Summer Schedule

Geshe-la takes his summer break in July and August, but most Nalanda activities will continue - and we may begin to re-start programs at the Dharma Center [1620 Fourth Avenue, a few blocks west of Ralph's Thriftway].  Check our website for the Thursday and Saturday practices, and see the note below about the Tara Circle.  First Thursday Dharma teachings will not occur in July and August, but resume on September 2, continuing on Oct 7, Nov 4, and Dec 2, 2021.

Also, Geshe-la suggested some videos by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen that you could watch on your own schedule.  Specifically recommended are:

Important Sevice to the Sanga

Join the Nalanda Board

We need your volunteer energy!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, several members of the Nalanda Board agreed to extend their intended service terms.  As the pandemic wanes, we'd like to infuse new insight and energy into the Board.  New members are sought.  We have two strong applications so far, and the need continues.  Please consider adding your strengths to the Board.

What would I do if I'm interested?

We have a brief written application, available here, or request an application by email to info@nalandaolywa.org.  The application has more information, and Board members are also willing to discuss their experience and what they foresee for Nalanda.  If you'd like to have such a conversation, send an email or call our President, Alex Edwards at 510.227.7589 to arrange a time.

How much time does it take?

At-Large Board members are asked to commit to a term of one year, and generally give 2-3 hours per month to conduct Board business, and to organize and support Nalanda activities.  Officers serve 2-year terms and generally give 6-8 hours per month.

Currently, Board meetings are routinely on the 3rd Mondays, but may be canceled if there is nothing urgent.  [The day could change depending on the members' schedules.]  The Board sometimes holds brief "retreats" for several hours when we need to consider a big project or question.

Who can be on the Board?

Candidates must be supporting members of Nalanda - someone who has regularly attended a Nalanda program(s) for at least four months and has made regular financial contributions.  [It's never too late to start a regular pledge donation!]

We are especially looking for new Board members who have applicable professional skills (accounting, legal, management and administration, public relations, computer and web applications, teaching and mentoring, program development, community welfare and social services, etc.).  Prior experience either as a non-profit Board member or staff member would be most helpful.

Note that you don't have to be an ace meditator or Buddhist scholar to be on the Board.

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.

Offerings from Sakya Monastery

Sakya Temple 250

Amazing Learning Opportunities

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.  A few are individually featured below, but be sure to check out Sakya's Spring 2021 VEI catalogue [Virupa Educational Institute].


on Zoom

The Significance of Taking Refuge

Instructor: Ron Hogan

Recommended reading: Taking Refuge: A Teaching on Entering the Buddhist Path by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

Join on ZOOM
Meeting ID: 966 2977 0908
Passcode: 600556

"When you decide that Tibetan Buddhism is your spiritual path, it is time to take Refuge.  We strongly recommend that you take this class before taking the Refuge ceremony.  In this class, you will learn the true meaning of Refuge and the Three Jewels.  The Refuge Ceremony will be explained so you can understand the meaning and relevance of the ceremony to you."

H.E. Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche will bestow refuge via Zoom on .  Please contact the office at monastery@sakya.org if you would like to participate.

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, 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
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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.  (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
Lotus-Grace

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.

Planning Ahead

Lotus-Grace

2021 Nalanda Virtual Retreat

Meditation Skills

Loppon Jamyang will lead this Buddhist meditation skills retreat, providing instruction suitable for all levels of experience.  Beginners will learn through hearing and direct experience, and experienced meditators will be able to refresh or sharpen their practice.  All meditations practitioners, from beginner to advanced, are encouraged to attend.  You will learn to recognize how your meditation is working, to identify obstacles and develop interventions, and to prepare for the next levels along your practice path.

Foundational meditation practices will be taught, such as The Four (Wholesome) Immeasureable practices, and the four applications of mindfulness .  We will also cover Calm Abiding (Shamatha), Insight meditation (Vipassana) and dedication aspiration.  The format includes theory or rationality, actual practices of the techniques (with and without oral guidance), and application or integrating calming and flexible qualities into daily life.  You will have time for questions to address any obstacles or difficulties you encounter.

See Retreat details and Registration Information

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.)

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.

Local Author

Avikrita Vajra Sakya

New eBook from HE Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche

HE AvikritaVajra Rinpoche is Head Lama at Sakya Monastery in Seattle.  As a grandson of the late HH Dagchen Rinpoche (1929-2016), he is a future head of the Sakya order (Sakya Trizin).  His new book, The Way of Invincible Love, will launch on July 24.  Details on how to get the free download will be release then, and we'll send them out or can check with www.sakya.org.  Donations are encouraged in support of the Sakya Monastery's social outreach beneficence (the Marici Fellowship).  This seems fitting because the focus of the book seems to be enlightened activity.  which ties in with our theme next year.

Green Tara Group

Note: Meetings Temporarily Suspended.
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Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

Kim Abbey is making plans to resume the Tara Circle practice in the courtyard at the Dharma Center, when pandemic precautions allow.  This practice uses music and movement.  Due to the long interlude, she will probably offer a weekly, four-part refresher course.  The schedule is to be determined.  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.

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

Extended Sitting

Note: Meetings Temporarily Suspended.
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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.