Please mark your calendars:
The 2009 NWDA Annual Meeting is scheduled for Valentine’s Day, February 14 in Portland, Oregon. We’re planning a special focus on the topic of “Green Dharma”—Buddhism and environmental awareness.
We will send you an update soon with specific venue and schedule information. You may also look for details as they appear on the NWDA website, www.northwestdharma.org.
NWDA Annual Meetings are always a good opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make connections with new ones, to share ideas, and to let us know what we can do to serve you and the Mahasangha. Please join us!
The NWDA board recently established a new category of membership in the Association, that of “Teacher Member.” Annual membership dues for Teacher Members are the same as those for any other individual ($25/year). NWDA Teacher Members receive the same benefits as Individual Members plus access to the online TeacherSpace at no additional charge.
In establishing this new category of membership the board adopted specific criteria for joining as a Teacher Member. To see these and to join as a Teacher Member, click here.
NWDA’s TeacherSpace, accessed through our website at www.northwestdharma.org, is an adaptation of a “.Ning” social networking site. All Teacher Members are now able to join subject to approval based on simple criteria (see above). Use of the site is limited to teachers only. The site allows for posting personal profile information and signing on to any number of discussion groups.
One way NWDA has historically fulfilled its mission is by providing teachers throughout the region the opportunity to talk with one another about issues and concerns of particular importance to them. We have done this primarily through the annual Teachers Meeting on the first Saturday of October and by including teachers on the NWDA board. These methods, however, are limited by constraints of time and space. Many teachers cannot attend the Teachers Meeting due to scheduling conflicts or travel costs and time. Few can serve on the board each year.
The TeacherSpace is now ready to serve as a much broader resource for teachers to keep in touch with one another, discuss ideas and concerns, share resources, and ask and answer questions. This online forum is accessible via the NWDA website www.northwestdharma.org.
We invite you to get involved in “populating” the site. Current discussion topics include resources for teachers, psychology and Dharma, speakers bureau planning, and much more…
Please pass the word along to your teacher or teachers you may know.
For those who have always preferred to read their Northwest Dharma News while slumped in an armchair with a cup of tea, or on a towel at the beach, it has now become much easier to print a copy from online.
The News is now available in .pdf format. You may select this option by clicking on “For .pdf version…” on the newsletter announcement page.
Back issues of the Northwest Dharma News will be available in .pdf format in the near future.
If you have internet-averse friends or acquaintances who would like to read the News, we encourage you to share!
The Northwest Dharma Association board of directors held its annual strategic planning meeting October 26. We offer our thanks once again to the ever-helpful and welcoming staff and volunteers at Bodhi House in Olympia for providing a venue for this all-day event.
Before addressing the months ahead, we first congratulated ourselves on accomplishing so many of our goals for the previous year. Highlights among these were:
• Refining and improving our website services by streamlining Calendar and Group Directory functions and adding the Business and Service Directory.
• Honing the NW Dharma News as a tool for serving our mission and adding an easy to print .pdf version of the News. (See article above.)
• Co-sponsoring important Mahasangha events.
• Designing and implementing an online forum for Northwest teachers, the TeacherSpace.
With our first round of program and service objectives in place, our primary goals for 2009 are outreach and sustainability. Particular emphasis will go toward:
• Creating new member benefits—including a subscription to an annual print compendium of NW Dharma News, optional direct email event notification, and member discounts at NWDA sponsored-cosponsored events.
• Sponsoring/cosponsoring more Mahasangha events—an Environmental Buddhism focus for the Annual Meeting, a Youth & Family Dharma Conference, and a follow-up Prison Dharma conference are high on the list.
• Expanding our volunteers network.
• Recruiting new Individual, Teacher, and Group Members.
As always, the support of this region’s Mahasangha—the Northwest Buddhist community—is the key necessity which allows the Northwest Dharma Association to survive and, beyond that, to flourish.