Discovering and manifesting true peace is at the heart of all Buddhist traditions. As the Buddha taught in the Dhammapada:
The Northwest Dharma Association's tri-fold mission of providing Buddhist resources, sharing Regional News, and cultivating Collaboration Across Traditions is in harmony with this fundamental teaching.
In the past year NWDA has co-sponsored Family and Prison Dharma Conferences, hosted our annual Teachers Meeting, has been developing effective and fun board cohesion, and was honored to receive a generous grant from the Tides Foundation for our on-going efforts promoting inter-tradition dialogue and cooperation. This recognition is both humbling and inspiring for our efforts to bring together the many streams of Buddhism here in the Pacific Northwest, to celebrate our diversity and work together in bringing such fundamental aspects of our traditions as peace into our world.
With another year comes another turn of the wheel, the joy of impermanence, as one cycle leads to another and some board members step down, while others are invited to engage. We are now entering the season of board elections for new members, and I encourage you to participate in the nomination process. We greatly look forward to welcoming new members to our board sangha!
If you appreciate the benefits that NWDA provides our region, please consider joining us, or nominating someone you think would be a good addition. In the end we are all connected, and our unique organization not only exists to serve you, but is also composed of you!
I would like to recognize the vast behind-the-scenes efforts of our wonderful all-volunteer staff: David Forsythe, Timothy O'Brien, and Julie Welch. Without their dedication and exertion, NWDA would not be here.
Though I wasn’t able to attend the Annual Gathering held recently in Portland, I offer heartfelt thanks to the 2011 Planning Committee, to the Portland Insight Meditation Center, and especially to all of the presenters for creating an auspicious event. We are grateful for the sharing of your wisdom and hard-won experience.
Gatherings such as these help open our hearts and minds to new possibilities for understanding and peace, qualities that are desperately needed in our world. We hope to continue meeting together and bring benefit to all.
To conclude, here is a verse by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche:
—Nick Vail, NWDA President