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.

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:
  • 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
Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Chanting, Meditation, and Discussion

Loppon Jamyang leads Nalanda's Thursday evening practices, starting at 7 and lasting about 45 minutes.   About 7:45 he transitions to a short teaching.   You can participate in either portion -- log in at 7 to join the practice, or at 7:45 PM if you want to hear just the teaching part.

Starting in March, his weekly short teachings will be based on a new text from Wisdom Publications The Mind: Volume 2 of Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics.   He expects to focus on three topics:

  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].

The point of announcing this in advance is to give people time to buy the text if they choose to.   Wisdom Publications sells e-book at $18 and hardcover at $30.   I see ads from on-line sources at about $18-20, but make certain you get Volume 2 instead of Volume 1.   I can also bulk order from Wisdom using our Dharma Center discount (works out to about $18 for hardcover), so get in touch [email Jan Vleck] by the end of January if you want to join in.   It would probably mean picking up your copy from my house or arranging another handoff.   I'll probably place the order around the beginning of February.

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.


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.

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.

The next meeting is Monday March 1st.   For more information contact Blaine Snow.

Tibetan New Year


Losar Opportunities

February 12 marks the beginning of Losar, the Tibetan New Year.   For fifteen days we commemorate the special moment when Shakyamuni Buddha, to inspire faith among his followers, displayed miraculous powers.   This event culminated on the full moon, the fifteenth day of the lunar month.   It is thus called Chotrul Duchen, or Day of Miracles, and the entire month is known as Miracle Month.   The merits of virtuous actions performed during this period are multiplied by millions.

Every Saturday throughout the Chotrul month, Khenpo Pema will give teachings on merit and lead us in sutra recitation.   Observation of the Sojong precepts during Miracle Month is especially encouraged, and Khenpo will offer instruction on the vows two days before the lunar month begins.   You may observe the vows for as many days as you wish or for just one day, on Chotrul Duchen, February 27th.

Register to attend Kh.  Pempa's teachings

Friday, Feb 12: Losar | 12 Noon - 2 PM PST

  • Losar Greetings
  • Recitation of Sixteen Arhats Puja

Sat, Feb 20 | 12 Noon - 2 PM PST

  • Teaching on Merit
  • Recitation of Sutra on the Recollection of the Three Jewels

Sat, Feb 27: Chotrul Duchen | 5 – 6 AM PST | 12 Noon – 2 PM PST
His Holiness the Sakya Trichen will give transmission in the morning; Khenpo Pema will teach in the afternoon.

  • Transmission of Samantabhadra Prayer by His Holiness the Sakya Trichen
  • Teaching on Merit
  • Recitation of Samantabhadra Prayer

Sat, Mar 6 | 12 Noon – 2 PM PST

  • Teaching on Merit
  • Recitation of Amitayu Buddha Sutra

Sat, Mar 13 | 12 Noon – 2 PM PST

  • Teaching on Merit
  • Dedication Prayer from Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Basic Teachings in Pictures


The Wheel of Life: A Guided Tour"

on Zoom courtesy of Sakya Monastery

The Wheel of Life is a pictorial representation of the Buddha’s basic teachings.  We will take a close look at pictures of the Monastery’s Wheel of Life in this class.  We will review the Four Noble Truths: Suffering, Cause, Cessation, and Path as well as the twelve components of dependent arising.  We will also discuss the Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind to the Dharma: precious human life, death and impermanence, karma, cause and result, and the faults of Samsara.  This class is open to all.

Facilitator: Jeff Schoening

Join on Zoom
Meeting ID: 986 6132 0391
Password: 434627

If you would like to support these online teachings, you may donate to The Sakya Monastery

Book Group

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


This read-and-discuss group meets via Zoom on Thursdays, 1:30-3 pm.   We have just started Longchenpa's Finding Rest in Illusion: The Trilogy of Rest, Volume 3.   We are just a few pages into the Translators' Introduction, so it's timely to join if you are interested.   Buy your own copy of the text (Shambhala Publications).  For a description, see.    Talk to Grace O, Bob H, Bob S, or Jan V to learn more, or send a query to our email

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.



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.)

Courtesy of

The Sakya Jetsunmas:
The Hidden World of Tibetan Female Lamas

A book by Elisabeth Benard

Read on to see how to receive a free copy of this important new book.   Prof.  Benard spoke on this topic at Nalanda in October 2012, when she was on the faculty of the University of Puget Sound.   She is a long-time student of His Holiness the Sakya Trichen, and H.E.  Dagyum Kusho

"The Sakya Jetsunmas is the first in-depth study of the great female Buddhist practitioners born into the Khon family of Tibet.   These Jetsunmas (“venerable women”) received the same training as their brothers, taught some of the most famous male lamas of their times, and—in rare documented examples of transmission from one female adept to another—sometimes taught a great niece who also became a renowned teacher.   Distilling historical textual sources, oral tradition, and contemporary interviews, this book profiles Jetsunma Chime Tenpai Nyima (1756–ca.  1855), Jetsunma Tamdrin Wangmo (1836–96), Kyabgon Pema Trinlei (1874–ca.  1950), and Jetsun Kushok Chimey Luding (b.  1938), and introduces Jetsunma Kunga Trinley (b.  2007)."
"This book helps to fill a significant gap in the underreported biographies of women in Buddhism....   [The] voices of these nearly forgotten women, so significant as female lamas, are now recorded in this well-researched and well-timed collection.   We recommend that the book be strongly promoted in the current Dharmic and cultural climate."
--from Tsechen Namdrol Ling announcement.

This book is available for free distribution, due to the generosity of friends and organizations that sponsored the printing of this book, and the author.   A shipping donation of $10 is requested to send you a copy anywhere in the continental US.   International shipping is also available.   To obtain your copy of the book, please write to

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.

Live Stream from Seattle

Sakya Temple 250

Sakya Monastery Teachings & Ceremonies

Sakya Monastery in Seattle lists programs of interest on their calendar of events.   For example, coming up still this month (January) are Chenrezig and Green Tara practices, part 2 of a talk on Bodhicitta by Khenpo Jampa, and an overview and orientation to Sakya Monastery.

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   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.

Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

The Tara Circle meets monthly on the second Sunday.   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).

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.