Author Archives: aryadrishti

Winter Break at the PBC

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Hello Portland!

The PBC Council met last week and agreed to take a bit of a break this winter. That means that we will not be hosting Sangha Nights for a few weeks.

Please check back or follow our Facebook Page to stay in to loop on when we start things up again.

We hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Stay warm and safe!

Image may contain: snow and outdoor

In this turbulent time, it is more important than ever to build and strengthen community.  So how can the teachings of the Dharma help us do so?

Please join Portland Buddhist Center on Tuesday, November 22nd to discuss the Four Sangraha Vastus, or the essentials of partnership.

For those interested in learning about this topic prior to Tuesday, please click here for a Dharma Talk from Ratnaprabha.


6:45 pm – Doors Open

7:00 pm – Meditation (Metta Bhavana / Cultivation of Loving Kindness)

7:30 pm – Tea and Cookie Break

7:45pm – 8:30pm – Discussion


This meeting takes place in the upstairs classroom of the Naga Center (School of Traditional Thai Medicine and Massage), located at 4423 NE Tillamook St, Portland, OR 97213. Doors will lock at 7:00 pm when the mediation begins, so if you are running late, please give us a call to let us know.

This event is open to all.

Election Night Padmasambhava Puja

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Has this election season challenged your serenity? Feeling like you need an energetic reboot?

Join us on November 8th at 7pm for Meditation and a cleansing devotional practice dedicated to Padmasambhava.

This has been a tense election year for our country. Let’s do something positive and unexpected instead of pacing in front of our TV’s! A Puja is a devotional practice which stems back to the ancient times of the Buddha when wandering forest monks would gather under the full moon to practice together.

During this particular Puja, we will focus on Padmasambhava, the great Sage who brought Buddhism to Tibet from India. He is revered as the founder of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism and is thought to be a powerful conduit for Transformation.

 Note the clarity of Padmasambhava’s piercing gaze! Sitting in a posture of royal ease and wearing a wrathful grin, he subdues our demons with his right hand and holds a skull cup of amrit nectar in his left. His staff, or khatvanga, reminds us of the power of transformation, and the vulture feather in his cap symbolizes the bird who flies the highest.

Doors open and 6:45pm and will be locked at 7:00pm. We will begin with a short meditation, then break for a brief tea and chat session after which we will begin the Sevenfold Puja. Join the Meetup Event by clicking here!



My father is wisdom and my mother is voidness.

My country is the country of Dharma.

I am of no caste and no creed.

I am sustained by perplexity; and I am here to destroy lust, anger and sloth.

-Guru Padmasambhava

Introduction to Meditation (6-week course)

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This course offers a practical introduction to the main forms of meditation practiced within the Triratna Buddhist Community and explains some of the concepts from Buddhism that underlie the practice.

Sessions will include a guided mediation followed by a discussion based on readings from the book Change Your Mind by Paramananda.

The cost of this series is $90. Books can be purchased in advance or at the first session for $10.

To sign up for this class, please complete this form.

To request a partial or full scholarship for this course, please complete this google form.

Sun Lakes Retreat 2016

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Sun Lakes 2016

For more details, please click here.

Dharma Life Skills: Episode 2

Building a Dharma Roadmap with Personal Mandalas

Written by Mitra Kim

The Dharma is a path that leads toward Enlightenment, but like all good road trips there are several points along the way. This week in our Dharma Life Skills Discussion we will pause to consider where we are now and where the next leg of the journey will take us!

With reference to Vessantara’s talk “Entering the Mandala,” we will undertake the art project he describes around 30 minutes into his talk, by drawing our lives as Personal Mandalas. What is at the center of our lives? What is important to us? What do we spend a lot of time doing and thinking about currently?

After drawing out our own Personal Mandalas we will discuss them in terms of the Dharma by asking questions like:

  • How integrated are our lives? Are there areas that are disconnected from each other?
  • How does the central point of our Personal Mandalas hinder or support our practice?
  • Does looking at our lives in these terms help us see something that we haven’t noticed before?

After that we will think about whether there are any small changes we can make the journey toward Enlightenment a little more direct. Hopefully we will leave with a new perspective on our path and one helpful change to try out in the coming week.

We hope to see you there on Tuesday, June 6th at 6:15 pm!

If you haven’t heard Vessantara’s talk, you can find it on here on Free Buddhist Audio.

If you want to learn more about the Mandala of the Five Buddhas referenced in his talk, there are several other Podcasts you can find by searching for you can find more resources by clicking here.


Dharma Life Skills: Episode 1

Right Livelihood: Working to Create an Enlightened Society

Written by Mitra Kim

Right Livelihood, as a step on the Eightfold Path, is one of the core elements of Buddhism. It is one way we can live our faith. According to Sangharakshita in his book Vision and Transformation, the main criteria for participating in Right Livelihood, is that your work is not violent, not exploitative and is in line with Buddhist ethics (for example, as expressed in the precepts).

Buddhist Ethics, while outlined in several lists throughout many sutras, I believe can be boiled down to one main idea: does something contribute to or derail the journey toward Wisdom and Enlightenment? If something helps a person (and by extension a community) build Wisdom and open their minds to Enlightened perspectives (those that promote love, respect and peace), then it is in alignment with Buddhist Ethics.

That is why one’s livelihood is such an important piece of the journey toward Enlightenment. In order to survive, all of us must engage in activities, on more or less a daily basis, that provide the means to secure the basic necessities of life (food, water, shelter, helathcare, etc). Whether this is through paid labor in the workforce, unpaid labor in support of a household, or other kinds of activities, we can’t survive without finding a means to access these items. Since this type of activity often takes up the bulk of a person’s waking hours, it is difficult to maintain momentum toward Enlightenment without being in a supportive environment during these times.

Despite how integral it is to survival and Buddhist practice, “Right Livelihood” as a concept can be difficult to conceptualize. As a label, it can feel a little nebulous and uncomfortably prescriptive. That is why I like to think of this concept in slightly different terms and interpret it as the following actionable statement instead: “work to create an Enlightened society.” (In this statement “work” can be interpreted both as a verb, meaning to put forth effort, or a noun, meaning one’s job or position.) If we think of this portion of the Eight Fold Path in these terms, it becomes easier to work out how we can put it into practice in our own lives and why it is so important to do so.

When it comes to working to create an Enlightened society, there are three main aspects that I think need to be balanced: the content of the work, the process of the work and the impact of the work. Regarding the first of these— the content – the questions to ask include the following. What is the job’s purpose? What are the main activities one needs to undertake while performing it? Are these tasks inherently violent or exploitative? Do they, by their nature, contradict the ideas of peace and respect for life? For the second aspect – the process – we can think about how one performs the necessary tasks of their work. If the tasks are not inherently counter to Buddhist ethics, are they being performed in a way that is? If they are, can they be done in a way that is more aligned? Regarding third point – the impact – there are two related but unique pieces to consider: the impact on the individual worker and the impact on the wider community (or even the world). When considering the impact on the individual, we can ask the following questions. What kind of person does it turn one into? Does a person steep in behavioral expectations in a workplace that undo the efforts one puts forth during meditation, personal study or Sangha gatherings? Additionally, does the livelihood a person is engaged in allow space for reflection and mediation? Or conversely, does work require too much time or energy and thereby prevent personal development outside of work hours? When considering the impact on the community or world, we can ask other questions. These include the following. How does the work impact the environment? Does it help perpetuate or dismantle unhealthy power dynamics, such as those related to wealth inequality and other systemic oppressions (racism, sexism, etc.)? Basically, does the work encourage people to behave in a way that demonstrates love, respect and peace or does it have the opposite impact?

Asking these questions can be tremendously difficult, as we are often highly invested in ignoring the ways that our livelihoods are not aligned with Buddhist ethics. However, it is also tremendously important to do so, because then we can take steps to bring our livelihoods into alignment with our practice. If we start to think of work as a way to create an Enlightened society, it becomes one of the ways we practice, rather than a means to survival so that we can practice.

Making that shift can seem very daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If the content of a person’s work is not inherently unsupportive, then the question becomes: how can I change the process or impact of my work? These can be very simple changes, such as deciding to interact with co-workers or the work environment in a different way. It could be deciding to ask different questions in meetings that lead to slightly different project goals. It could be deciding to share knowledge in the form of an article, TED Talk or book that helps shift someone’s perspective in a supportive way. It could even be as simple as asking why things are done in a particular way, that then leads to a better, more supportive way of doing things. In essence, Right Livelihood, framed in this way, becomes a practice of having the time and perspective to transforming one’s own mind and then making a series of small decisions on a daily basis that transforms one’s sphere of influence.

So how does your livelihood help create an Enlightened society? Is there one thing you can do differently to change how you work to be more supportive of our collective journey toward Wisdom and Enlightenment?

Let us know if the comments and if you are in Portland, come talk with us about this topic on Tuesday, May 24th!

Doors open at 6:15 pm and are locked at 6:30 pm, when we begin meditation.  Following meditation we will have a tea & cookie break followed by our first Dharma Life Skills discussion. If you want to come to the discussion portion only, please arrive by 7:15 pm.

Spring Retreat 2015

Awakening the Bodhi Heart Series

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This is a five week series of discussions to explore the Bodhisattva Ideal and how to apply it in our daily lives. The Bodhisattva Ideal is an exemplification of the altruistic dimension of spiritual practice. It involves a deep regard for the well being of others based on the understanding that there is no difference between “self” and “other”.  The series begins with understanding the Bodhichitta otherwise known as the “awakened heart” or “will to enlightenment”. This will be followed by a Puja which is a devotional ceremony designed to awaken the heart. This will be followed by discussions of the six paramitas, the six perfections which are practices for developing the awakened heart. These practices are generosity, ethics, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom. Classes begin with meditation at 6:15pm every Tuesday evening at the Naga Center 4423 NE Tillamook St.

February 24th: Understanding the Boddhichitta.

March 5th: seven fold Puja

March 10th: Generosity & Ethics

March 17th: Patience & Energy

March 24th: Meditation & Wisdom LBC

Living Joyfully, Dying Peacefully

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Coming Up at the Seattle Buddhist Center

Two-Day Non-Residential Retreat: “Living Joyfully, Dying Peacefully – Death and Dying from a Buddhist Perspective”, led by Karunasara
Saturday and Sunday, 11/1 & 11/2
10-4:30pm each day
While encouraged to attend both days, each day will also stand on its own.
Vegetarian lunch (with vegan option) is included or feel free to bring your own food
Suggested donation is $30/day. Everyone is welcome, regardless of the ability to pay.