New Class – Insight Into Emptiness. January 28, 2018

This class, led by senior students of DFF, will explore the profound Buddhist teachings on emptiness, using the textbook, “Insight Into Emptiness”, by Khensur Jampa Tegchok as our guide. This book, written in clear English (edited by Venerable Thubten Chodron) is available by Wisdom Publications here. or on Amazon.

Our first class will meet to discuss the first two chapters (through page 32) on Sunday, January 28 from 10am to 1130am at 2109 31st Ave. S., Seattle, WA. We plan to meet monthly. Full schedule to be posted soon.

Some prior understanding of basic Buddhist concepts such as karma, the four noble truths, the altruistic intention (bodhicitta) will be helpful as a foundation, but not a prerequisite.

Classes will include traditional Buddhist prayer recitation, silent breathing meditation with guided instructions, a review of key concepts from the readings by students, opportunities for discussion and questions, and the opportunity to connect with spiritual community.

Yangsi Rinpoche – Buddhist Teachings on Wisdom

February 4, 2018, 11am to 3pm. Vegetarian Potluck Lunch at noon. 2109 31st Ave. South, Seattle. No Prior Understanding of Buddhism

Required; Open to All. Teachings are offered free of charge. There is an opportunity to offer dana for those who wish.

Yangsi Rinpoche was recognized at the age of six as the reincarnation of Geshe Ngawang Gendun, a renowned scholar and practitioner from Western Tibet. Rinpoche trained in the traditional monastic system for over twenty-five years, graduating in 1995 with the

highest degree of Geshe Lharampa from Sera Je Monastery in South India. Rinpoche then went on to complete his studies at Gyume Tantric College. Rinpoche came to the West in 1998 with the particular wish to benefit Western students of the Buddhadharma and has travelled and taught extensively throughout America and Europe. Rinpoche was a resident teacher at Deer Park Buddhist Center in Madison, Wisconsin for five years.

In 2005, Yangsi Rinpoche founded Maitripa College, a Buddhist university located in Portland, Oregon. Rinpoche currently serves as President and Professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa. Rinpoche is also the Spiritual Director of Ganden Shedrup Ling Buddhist Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico as well as Dharma Friendship Foundation located in Seattle, Washington. Rinpoche is the author of Practicing the Path: A Commentary on the Lamrim Chenmo, published by Wisdom Publications in 2003. Rinpoche teaches in English and is admired for his deep understanding of the Dharma and its unique presentation that continues to make the ancient wisdom of the Buddha relevant to modern times. Rinpoche is an inspiration to many for embodying the wisdom, kindness, and compassion of the Buddhist path.

Venerable Robina Courtin,

Responding to Life with Wisdom, Buddhist Reflections For Difficult Times

Thursday, February 15, 2018; 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Seattle Public Library (Central Branch);  Howard S. Wright Family & Janet W. Ketcham Meeting Room, Level 4, Room 2.

Now more than in any recent time in history, we face an extraordinary amount of disturbing news in our daily lives. Buddhist teachings offer a profound array of mental-emotional tools that can help us to not only survive, but to thrive amidst increasing social-ecological pressures. Venerable Robina Courtin, a Buddhist nun, and beloved teacher to students around the world for over 40 years returns to Seattle, offering us insights on how to navigate our current situation with joy, compassion, and wisdom.

Venerable Robina Courtin is a Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and lineage of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. In 1996 she founded the Liberation Prison Project. Her full biography can be found at


 Venerable Thubten Chodron in Seattle; October 19-21, 2018

Friday, October 19, 2018. 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Public Talk at East West Bookstore.  Venerable Chodron will speak on her latest two books co-authored with His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Approaching the Buddhist Path and The Foundation of Buddhist Practice.   Free to the Public; an opportunity to offer dana will be available for those who wish.  East-West Books is located at 6407 12th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

Saturday, October 20, 2018. 10:00 a.m. to noon; 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Practical Ethics and Profound Emptiness: A Commentary on Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland. Location: Centilia Cultural Center at El Centro De la Raza, 1660 S. Roberto Maestas Festival Street, Seattle 98144

Sunday morning event to be determined. Pre-registration coming soon.

Mark your calendars!

Venerable Thubten Chodron is an author, teacher, and the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist training monastery for Western nuns and monks in the US. She graduated from UCLA, and did graduate work in education at USC. Ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun in 1977, she has studied extensively with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tsenzhap Serkong Rinpoche, and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche. She received full ordination as a bhikshuni in 1986.

Ven. Chodron teaches worldwide and is known for her practical (and humorous!) explanations of how to apply Buddhist teachings in daily life. She is also involved in prison outreach and interfaith dialogue. She has published many books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and is currently co-authoring with His Holiness the Dalai Lama a multi-volume series of teachings on the Buddhist path, The Library of Wisdom and Compassion. The first volume, Approaching the Buddhist Path, was released August 2017. Visit for a media library of her teachings, and to learn more about Sravasti Abbey.

Recent Events

On December 5, 2017, Yangsi Rinpoche gave a teaching on how to respond skillfully to the current negativity in the U.S. political climate, as well as adverse events in general. One of his students wrote this blog summarizing his comments and the thoughts of community members. Click here to read.

Green Tara retreat with Yangsi Rinpoche. March 18-19, 2017. DFFers gathered at the home of Steve and Pam on the eastside and completed two days of auspicious Dharma retreat practice with Rinpoche. May the merits from this blessed practice radiate out in all directions and immediately remove obstacles to enlightenment for infinite sentient beings! Check out the photos below: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha.

Rinpoche with student

Explaining the Dharma

Rinpoche Arrival

Dharma Teaching

Wisdom Nectar Potluck

Green Tara Offering Blessed Water Practice

Lighting the Incense


Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

Offering Blessed Water

With Dharma Friends

With Dharma Friends

Thank you Jan Willis, and to everyone who came to Kane Hall on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, for her inspiring talk on “Dharma and Activism”. Watch the video on YouTube.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWisdom in Action. Buddhism and Social Engagement, with Venerable Robina Courtin

For those who missed this event (October 15, 2015 at Seattle Public Library) here are the videos: Note that it may take some time for your computer to download the file before it will play without interruption.

Dharma Talk

Question and Answer



Venerable Thubten Chodron

December 4, 2015. Scientists and spiritual leaders both agree that our world is profoundly interconnected. The well-being of every individual, and the environment as a whole are all interdependent. How do we create and sustain spiritual community? Venerable Thubten Chodron, Abbess, author, and Buddhist nun for nearly 40 years, will share stories and insights on this topic in an evening talk you won’t want to miss.   This program is offered free of charge. There will be a donation basket for those who wish to support these teachings. View/listen to this teaching on YouTube.


DFF and Jinpa 2015

Geshe Thupten Jinpa

at Kane Hall
University of Washington
May 13, 2015

View/Listen to Geshe Jinpa’s talk at UW based on his new book: A Fearless Heart, How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives: You Tube

Speaking generally, Buddha taught two wings of awakening – wisdom and compassion. While the wisdom aspect, embodied by the practice of mindfulness, has been enthusiastically adopted in the west by the clinical health professions, and corporate leadership training programs alike, compassion has been relegated to a lesser role, perceived as too religious, too emotional, and possibly a sign of weakness in our hyper competitive culture.

Geshe Thupten Jinpa, through engaging stories, humor, scientific data, and offering personal reflections, inspired a capacity crowd of 400 at Kane Hall to confront our cultural biases towards compassion, and to consider that the first person to benefit through the practice of compassion is oneself.

Thank you to our precious teacher, Yangsi Rinpoche, for inviting Geshe Jinpa and physically bringing him to Seattle, caring for every detail of his itinerary and bringing the exquisitely beautiful Chenresig thangka. Thank you to Lauren Updyke and Margaret Murray of Whole U for answering and sending hundreds of emails and texts as we worked out the many interdependent aspects of the venue setup, and schedule. Thank you to Pam Cowan for loaning the beautiful furniture for the stage.

Thank you to Dr. Liliana Lengua and Dr. Bonnie Duran of UW for organizing the reception for faculty and local Dharma practitioners. And thank you to everyone who helped in countless other ways, and who came and listened and are now working on attaining realizations. May our practice of compassion alleviate the sufferings of infinite beings who transmigrate endlessly through the realms of samsara. May all these beings quickly awaken and be freed. Look for the video link to Geshe Jinpa’s teaching in our next e-blast.

If you didn’t get a chance to purchase Geshe Jinpa’s book, you can do so here. There were still a few autographed copies at UW Bookstore earlier today, but likely going fast. Hope to see you at the 5 week study group on Compassion beginning next Tuesday evening (see below)