News & Updates

Regular In-Person Activities at Nalanda

Attending Activities on ZOOM

Some activities can be accessed using ZOOM, as well as attending in-person.

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

Thursday Evenings

7 - 8:30 pm
Join in person or on Zoom
prayer-wheel-200x200
Courtesy of Jamyang Tsultrim

Chanting, Meditation & Discussion

with Loppon Jamyang Tsultrim

2024 Teaching Focus

The planned teaching focus for 2024 will be on the "original" Tibetan Buddhist conception of how to meditate, as organized and articulated by Kamalashila in his classic "Stages of Meditation" book.  This will be a great foundation for new meditators, while offering ways for more experienced meditators to expand their practice, and for advanced meditators to refine their skills.

Kamalashila's writings are well respected and have proven their appeal over centuries.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama often teaches on this topic.  Typically most attention goes to the middle of three volumes on the stages of meditation - for example we studied the 'middle stages of meditation' text at Nalanda nearly 20 years ago.  Loppon Jamyang plans to include also insights and methods from the first and third volumes, which are not generally accessible in English.

The First Thursday Dharma Teaching on January 4, 2024 will introduce the scope of this year-long foundation for effective, complete meditation.

All are welcome at the Dharma Center
or To join online, 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.

Peer Support Group for Contemplative Practice

First and Third Tuesdays of the Month,
6:30 - 7:30 pm

Kalyanamitra // Spiritual Friend:
A Peer Support Group for Contemplative Practice

Join Jenna Mallon and Nick Cowden for this twice monthly informal support group at Nalanda.  Nick & Jenna have studied under Loppon Jamyang and elsewhere at the university level, and share his conviction that training the mind can be very beneficial to our daily lives.  Total beginners are welcome, as introductory meditation instruction can be provided on the spot.  Advanced practitioners also welcome, as everyone needs support on the path.

When Buddhist monks take their vows, they do so in groups of three or more, as the support of others is viewed as necessary for a sustainable practice.  In that spirit, we will practice meditation together and then hold a discussion on practice itself.  This is a place to ask questions, address obstacles, gain inspiration, normalize your experience, discuss teachings and concepts, and reflect on meditation’s impact on your life.  It is normal to find these practices difficult, to struggle with consistency, and to question what you’re doing – community can help.

Planning for a New Opportunity presented by Lisa O'Block

Wellness Program coming from Nalanda

Sangha member (and Board Secretary) Lisa O'Block is developing a comprehensive wellness program for later this year.  It will probably meet once monthly, perhaps on a Sunday morning starting in April or May -- stay tuned.  This is an area of her particular interest in her professional work, and will address skills and behaviors in an evidence-based manner.  Although our brain health is influenced by our genetics, lifestyle choices along the way have a huge impact on how injuries and genetics play out.  Monthly topics could include nutrition, wellness-related creative and "purposeful" physical activities (as distinguished from gym-oriented), social well being measures, etc.

Lisa's program will be a wonderful reinforcement for Loppon Jamyang's teachings on meditation practices, but of course will benefit non-meditators as well.  Make it a family thing?

Annual Retreat
Lewis & Clark State Park
(near Toledo, Lewis Co)

Friday Evening, May 31
Saturday & Sunday, June 1 & 2
retreat logo transparent bg 200

Nalanda Annual Retreat

This State Park ELC about 40 miles from Olympia provides facilities for a residential (sleep away) retreat, yet it's close enough for "commuters" as well.  We have a co-ed dorm for sleeping, showers, etc.  Limited tenting is possible, and some may choose to commute.  Leashed pets are allowed but not inside the buildings.

See an information and registration sheet.  Please register as early as possible to assist with food planning.  We will need volunteers for set-up and clean up, and during the retreat.  Can you help ferry gear (like cushions, shrine room decorations, dharma items, etc) from the Dharma Center on Friday afternoon, and back on Sunday?  This job takes HOURS when one person does it, so many hands will help.  Please call Jan Vleck 584-5972 to volunteer for this.

The Retreat begins informally on Friday evening 4 PM, with set-up before dinner.  Teaching & practice sessions are morning & afternoon on Sat June 1, and morning on Sun June 2.  More details (like time schedule) will be added to the info sheet as they are settled.  Lama Lungrik will prepare vegetarian meals.  The requested donation is $100 per person + teacher dana.

Loppon Jamyang will teach an organized approach to what is classically considered a "complete Buddhist practice".  This includes the foundation practice, the actual practice, and the closing practices of dedication and aspiration.  He will also address the post-meditative stage, when we are living our lives in the conventional world.  In response to recent (and perennial) interest in end-of-life practices, he will also discuss "thuk dham" [literally, mental pledge], the meditative state that can take place during or AFTER one's death process.

We have decided to schedule future retreats predictably on the first full weekend of June each year. So in 2025 that's June 7-8.

Preparation for Death

Support End of Life Practices at Nalanda:
the Kunrig Fund

Bob Saunders
Bob Saunders
1943-2023

Bob Saunders made his own preparations for the end of his lifetime, and communicated his wishes to family and to Geshe-La.  As Buddhists, we may focus some of our regular practices on our personal preparation for death, and we are aware that our Dharma friends can also offer us beneficial support during our transition.  An important part of how we supported Bob was through arranging a "Kunrig" practice ritual at Mundgod Monastery, which was made possible through a family donation.  We would like to be able to have Nalanda offer this kind of support to our own Dharma community in years to come.

SUPPORT REQUESTED

Inspired by Bob's example, Loppon Jamyang suggested establishing a dedicated Kunrig fund [Kunrig Choga] at Nalanda.  Indeed, we received donations in from Bob's friends and supporters in response to our request, and respectfully renew our request for special financial donations to this new fund.

Please specify "Kunrig" or "End of Life" on your donations.  You can mail a check to Nalanda Institute (PO Box 11361, Olympia, WA 98501-1361).  You may also donate on line through our website's PayPal link: touch the "Donate" button found among the main links at the top of this web page and enter "Kunrig Choga" or "memorial fund" in the description line so our treasurer will classify the donation properly.

Book Group

Thursday Afternoons
1:30 - 3 pm
We meet on Zoom

Or sign in to zoom on your device and go to meeting # 459 433 559
password: Nalanda

Remembering
Courtesy of Mimi Williams

Dharma Book Group

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

This group is starting a new book so it's a good time to check it out if you are free on Thursday afternoons.  We tend to read classical texts, but it varies.  We will be starting "The Lankavatara Sutra" (2012, Counterpoint Press).  It may be a challenging text, but this group hasn't shied away from heavy lifting in the past, and we have the help of Sonam.  If you'd like to learn more or observe a meeting (on Zoom), contact either Grace Owen [gracemieleowen@gmail.com] or Jan Vleck [vleckjan@gmail.com].  We read aloud and then discuss -- it often takes us a year to finish a book!

Currently we are still meeting on Zoom.  Anyone is welcome to sign in and check it out -- you don't have to have the book to get a feel for the group.

Ritual Chanting

Every Saturday
10 - 11:30 am
in person
LamaLungrik_at_Chenrezig200

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 # 892 6668 2112
password: Nalanda
Lotus-Grace

You're Invited!

The Saturday Study Group meets on zoom from 1 - 3 PM on the first and third Saturdays of each month.   The book is "Enlightened Courage" by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.   The topic is Lojong mind training using 59 slogans.   We will read a slogan and Rinpoche's commentary on the slogan out loud.   Then participants who own other books on Lojong can volunteer to read commentaries from those books to the group.   The group takes ample time to discuss the slogans.

For more information see Saturday Study Group

Extended Sitting

2nd & 4th Sundays of the Month
10 am - Noon
at the Dharma Center
Buddha-in-Tree-Roots_200dpi
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.

Ideas: Traditional & Modern

buddha-disintegrate

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 Circle

3rd Sundays
10 to 11:30 am Monthly
Green-Tara200

Meditation, Music, Mantras, and Movement

Kim Abbey's Tara Circle is starting activities once again.  Contact her for information and updates.   206.387.6134

Events & Resources from other nearby centers

Sakya Temple 250

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

Recordings

microphone

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.

SittingHeart

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

Dalia-Lama200

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

Dalia-Lama-active

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

Dalia-Lama-album200

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".