Diverse Buddhist Communities Make a Home in Washington

December 4, 2003

Source: The Daily


On December 4, 2003 The Daily reported on the diversity of Buddhist practices in Seattle. "In 1960, drawn by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, and by the help of the UW Tibetan studies program, the only program of its type in the United States, Deshung Rinpoche, or 'Precious One' to his followers, moved his family to Seattle. Rinpoche worked with the Tibetan studies program for three years... Rinpoche’s congregation gradually outgrew a number of locations, from Ravenna to Capitol Hill to the U-District. Eventually, the large step was taken to buy the old Presbyterian church in Greenwood and convert it. Now fully completed, the Sakya Monastery is the North American home to the teachings of Sakya Buddhism... Closer to the University of Washington — in the boiler-amplified humidity of the HUB basement — another group of Buddhists makes the religion accessible to students. UW Tzu Chi, a club that founds its beliefs on Taiwanese Buddhism, emphasizes the charitable side of the religion." The group, which encourages participation from non-Buddhists, will volunteer at homeless shelters and homes for the elderly this Christmas.