Awake in Seattle: A Celebration of Meditation, Joy and Laughter!

NW10_Audience_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3142Let’s just say we had a marvelous weekend. Awake in Seattle was Nalanda West’s thank-you to the Pacific Northwest community, and especially to Seattle, for 10 years supporting our programs and courses. We listened, contemplated, meditated, ate great food, and enjoyed each other’s company while checking out Nalanda West’s Five Fields of Knowledge.

NW10_Lynne Marvet_attendees_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3156 We celebrated on Saturday beginning with a meditation session, then a welcome by Nalandabodhi’s Executive Director, Diane Gregorio, and a rousing panel featuring esteemed teachers from three different Buddhist traditions: Theravadin (Venerable Pannavati), Mahayana (John Tarrant Roshi), and Vajrayana (Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, founder of Nalandabodhi International, the community that runs Nalanda West).

Venerable Pannavati helped us to connect with our “inner smile.” John Tarrant Roshi guided us in contemplating a Zen koan that involved taking a bath, and experiencing the light of wisdom with the touch of the water. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave us a delicious taste of the “gap” where the mind opens up between the in-breath and the out-breath. Then Angela Russell of KIRO 7 News and Tyler Dewar, Dean of Nalandabodhi’s council of senior teachers (Mitras), co-moderated a session of questions and answers, with lively exchanges and plenty of laughter!

NW10_Teachers Panel_High Five_2_ 20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3116        NW10_Teachers Panel_DPR looks at heavens_Pannavati smile in foreground_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3125

NW10_Nitartha,NW table_Allen Penny_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3215Saturday afternoon, visitors browsed the rooms of Nalanda West, exploring the Five Fields of Knowledge that inspire its varied programs and courses.

There were demonstrations of calligraphy, movement, and song celebrating Creativity and the Arts, as well as informative, interactive experiences of Health & Well-Being, Communication, Knowing & Reasoning, and Inner Science of Mind.

On Sunday the contemplative fun continued with a panel featuring senior teachers of Nalandabodhi International: Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, and the Nalandabodhi’s four Mitras: Tyler Dewar, Karl Brunnholzl, Lee Worley, and Mark Power, along with moderator Sandra Roscoe.

Acharya Lama Tenpa set the tone by suggesting that meditation practitioners keep warm by applying our bums to the cushion! Each of the Mitras addressed an important facet of 21st century Buddhism.

NW10_Audience_laughing_Jack Elias_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3108   NW10_Audience_laughing_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3109
Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar explained that the essential experience of Buddhist practice will always be “analog” rather than merely “digital,” and emphasized the importance of our gathering to study, practice, and engage in person.

Awake-in-Seattle-screen-shot-upper-programMitra Karl Brunnholzl discussed five ways that contemporary Buddhist students can adapt to the dharma (rather than only trying to get Buddhism to adapt to our cultural comfort zone). Mitra Lee Worley, an engaging storyteller, told a timeless and beautiful story of the Buddha claiming the earth as the witness of his enlightenment, and urged us to contemplate our relationship to the earth. Mitra Mark Power helped us think more deeply about mindfulness, as a means to full awakening and freedom, rather than only as a tool to calm our stress or be more effective in our work.

We enjoyed hosting so many new and old friends for this joyful and very memorable weekend! May we continue the celebration by appreciating our opportunities to contemplate the gift of this precious life . . .  and by opening up to the wisdom that is always peeking through our experience.


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Open Webcast! Awake in Seattle: Teachers Panels

Photo-collage-Awake-teachersGreat news! You’re invited to join us for a live webcast of the two panel discussions with revered Buddhist teachers during Nalanda West’s Awake in Seattle! We’re excited about welcoming you to a lively weekend celebrating meditation and contemplative arts from Nov 15-16 at Nalanda West, hosted by Nalandabodhi volunteers.

The two days of programs, free and open to the public, will feature a panel discussion with teachers of three different Buddhist traditions, experiential activities to help you explore The 5 Fields of Knowledge, and a panel with the Mitras, senior teachers of Nalandabodhi International.

Register for the webcast

We’d love to know you’ll be joining us!

Awake in Seattle on Facebook
Tweet #awakeinseattle on Twitter

Check out these videos: Nalandabodhi’s Executive Director, Diane Gregorio, and Nalanda West’s General Manager, Damayonti Sengupta, tell us what’s in store for attendees at Awake in Seattle.

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Awake in Seattle! with Damayonti Sengupta

Our busy staff at Nalanda West has been enthusiastically preparing for “Awake in Seattle,” a community-wide celebration of meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative arts. Damayonti Sengupta, General Manager of Nalanda West, talked with us about what visitors can expect at Nalanda West throughout the weekend of November 15-16, 2014.

Saturday Nov 15 will feature a panel discussion with teachers from three Buddhist traditions — Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Ven. Pannavati, and John Tarrant Roshi, will be co-moderated by Angela Russell of KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, together with Nalandabodhi senior teacher Tyler Dewar.

Sunday Nov 16 features a panel of Nalandabodhi’s Mitras – Tyler Dewar, Lee Worley, Karl Brunnholzl, and Mark Power.

All “Awake in Seattle” events are free and open to the public. We hope you’ll join us! If so, it would be great if you could RSVP on our Facebook event page!


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Awake in Seattle! Diane Gregorio describes the celebrations

On the occasion of Nalanda West’s upcoming celebration, “Awake in Seattle,” we sat down with Diane Gregorio, Executive Director of Nalandabodhi, to find out what visitors can expect on Saturday, November 15-16 during Nalanda West’s “Awake in Seattle” festivities. Here’s what Diane told us:

We hope you can join us for all or part of the weekend’s many activities and teachings. All events during “Awake in Seattle” are free and open to the public.

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The Role of Thangka Paintings & Their Symbolism: Master Painter R.D. Salga

Join us November 7 & 8, 2014  for a rare opportunity to learn about thangka painting with master painter R.D. Salga.

Vajradhara thangka Karma Gardri style, Ca. Late 17th to 18th century

Vajradhara Thangka
Karma Gadri style, Ca. Late 17th to 18th century

Have you ever wondered about thangkas (Buddhist scroll paintings) and their symbolism? How are these incredibly colorful and intricate paintings made and for what reason? Find out from master thangka painter R.D. Salga.


On Friday evening, November 7 at 7pm, join Salga as he explains the role of thangka paintings in Tibetan Buddhism, their history, role and symbolism. On Saturday morning November 8, beginning at 10am, watch as he demonstrates each step that goes into making a thangka from start to finish. In the afternoon, participant can join him for open discussion and Q&A, followed by a reception and an exhibit of his works.

About R.D. Salga 

A wealth of knowledge and one of the few remaining keepers of the ancient Karma Gardri style of thangka painting, R.D. Salga continues to create iconographically correct paintings for use by Tibetan Buddhists and collectors throughout the world. Apprenticed and trained rigorously from a young age, he now trains a handful of students in this form of ritual art. His works hang in a number of monasteries and private homes throughout the world, and he has exhibited several times in Europe. 

Suggested donation for each event is $10-$20 per person.
All proceeds go to conserving and exhibiting thangkas in NalandaWest’s collection.
+see the full program schedule

This program is an expressions of the Fields of Knowledge including “Creativity + the Arts,” and “Direct Insight.

Visit NalandaWest to learn more about the Five Fields of Knowledge.

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Meg Wheatley Video: On the Potential of Human Capacity in Challenging Times

Human beings have the capacity to step forward with their generosity, compassion and creativity, especially in times of chaos.

In this Video, Meg Wheatley asks, “Why do we seem to be at our best in the worst circumstances and at our worst in the best circumstances?” Wheatley points out that when we have a clarity of purpose, such as in a natural disaster situation, we really are able to show our potential as creative individuals.

To hear Meg Wheatley in person, join us at Nalanda West for Avoiding the Ambush of Hope :A Weekend for Exhausted and Overworked Leaders and Activists September 26th – 28th.
Register Here.


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Getting Beyond Hope and Fear with Meg Wheatley Sept 26-28

Avoiding the Ambush of Hope

A Weekend for Exhausted and Overworked Leaders and Activists with Meg Wheatley, September 26th–28th

“I have discovered that beyond hope and fear is the place of clear seeing and strengthened commitment to the causes, places and people I champion. Enormous energy becomes available when we replace expectations with clarity.”
-Meg Wheatley


Nalanda West is happy to host a weekend retreat with organizational behavioralist, writer and strategic consultant Meg Wheatly. Her work in the fields of leadership, workplace learning, performance and other organizational behavioral research has earned her awards and honorary doctorates.

The September retreat at Nalanda West will include sitting meditation followed by an inquiry into a variety of practices to help cultivate awareness and clarity in our daily work.

In her research, Meg Wheatley has found that our culture teaches us to believe that hope gives us our motivation, our energy and our perseverance to change in difficult times. In this weekend retreat, Wheatley will share a different perspective — one where we learn instead to give up our attachment to hope and, in turn, give up our attachment to fear.

She stresses that there is no hope without expectation because with hope we work hard to attain a certain outcome. She will present the concept of hopelessness as an antidote to fear, the idea that with hopelessness we can be fearless!

“Hopelessness has surprised me with patience.”
— Meg Wheatley

For more information, schedule and to register for this event, please visit the Events Page.

This program is an expression of the Field of Knowledge called “The Mind.” +more about the Five Fields of Knowledge


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Move Beyond Limited Concepts of Reality With Venerable Dr. Pannavati

A weekend retreat offering guidance on how to relieve suffering and find deeper connection in your daily life. Venerable Dr. Pannavati will be at NalandaWest Aug. 8th – 9th. Register Here.

Venerable Dr. Pannavati is a founding circle director of Sisters of Compassionate Wisdom, a 21st century trans-lineage Buddhist Order and Sisterhood formed by Ani Drubgyuma in 2006. 

Who doesn’t have struggles with personal relationships and connectedness to deeper meaning in our daily life? It’s always helpful to have simple reminders about how to accept personal responsibility for our actions, choices and behaviors. This two-day retreat focuses on meditation training and practice as an antidote for the increasingly stressful challenges of living in our modern world. In finding our practice, we need to understand our individual temperaments, strengths and weaknesses. From there we can find a place to start working with our mind and emotions.

Ordained as a nun in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, Venerable Dr. Pannavati is an African-American social activist and advocate for all regardless of class, gender, race, lifestyle preference, monastic or lay. She has committed herself to work with homeless, sick and disenfranchised, those who are marginalized, abused, neglected and unloved. With her approachability, wit, humor, and clear ideas, she has an outstanding reputation as a teacher and contemplative engaged in compassionate global action.

The Retreat runs Friday, Aug 8 – Saturday, Aug 9. Highlights include:

To Study Buddhism is to Study Oneself  –  Friday, August 8, 7 pm – 9 pm

Stepping into Freedom   –  Saturday, August 9,  9am – 12 Noon

Purifying the Mind  –   Saturday, August 9, 2 pm – 4 pm

+for more information and to Register

This program is an expression of the Field of Knowledge called “Direct Insight.” +more about the Five Fields of Knowledge

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Explore the Power of LovingKindness with Sharon Salzberg in July

The Seattle Insight Meditation Society SIMS will be hosting a retreat at Nalanda West from Friday evening, July 18 to Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer feels so good on our Pacific Northwestern skin. It’s also a great time to peek under the surface with the power of lovingkindness.

SIMS is pleased to host a retreat at the lovely NalandaWest campus to explore the power of lovingkindness in the face of adversity. This retreat will include talk about using self-love when we face our own physical challenges or illnesses, emotional upheavals, and negative thinking. By looking at lovingkindness and compassion as strengths rather than as submissive states, participants will learn about joining them with discerning action, wisdom, and our often untapped capacity for resilience.

Suitable for both new and experienced meditators, the retreat will consist of guided meditations, talks and time for questions and answers.

On Friday evening from 7-9pm noted Buddhist teacher and author Sharon Salzbergwill be giving a dharma talk.

Sharon Salzberg is a New York Times Best selling author and influential teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West. In 1974 she co-founded the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Sharon’s most recent books are Real Happiness and Real Happiness at Work.

Click here for more information about registration.

This program is an expression of the Field of Knowledge called “Direct Insight.” +more about the Five Fields of Knowledge

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Lama Tsultrim Allione teaching here Thurs, March 27 from 7-9 pm

It’s always a beautiful treat to host Lama Tsultrim at NalandaWest!

Hosted by Nalandabodhi Seattle, Lama Tsultrim Allione will give a teaching on The Bardo – Six Moments of Opportunity on Thursday, March 27 from 7-9pm in the Mahabodhi Shrine Room at NalandaWest. You are warmly invited to join us!

Lama Tsultrim is the founder of the beautiful retreat center Tara Mandala, and author of Women of Wisdom and Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict. She is known for having brought fresh attention to the divine feminine principle as it is expressed in Tibetan Buddhism, through her revival of the teachings of the great female Tibetan meditation master, Machig Labdrön.

In this video, Lama Tsultrim speaks about the fierce and profound feminine principle known as the dakini, and about the new book by Michaela Haas, Dakini Power, which features lively profiles of Lama Tsultrim and other revered Western Buddhist teachers.

This program is an expression of the Field of Knowledge called “Direct Insight.” +more about the Five Fields of Knowledge


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