Northwest Dharma Association's Efforts to Organize Buddhist Communities

March 1, 2003

Source: The Seattle Times

On March 1, 2003 The Seattle Times reported that "the Northwest Dharma Association [in Washington] is working to transform itself, to create a tighter, better-connected society of Buddhists in the Northwest... For the past decade, the association has been little more than a few volunteers organizing meditation retreats and producing a newsletter and Web site with information for the Northwest's Buddhists... But this winter, the association is structuring itself to become a more formal, partly elected board and volunteer council of 31 participating Buddhist sanghas, or communities, in the Northwest... According to the American Religious Identity Survey, there were an estimated 1,082,000 Buddhists in the United States in 2001, up 170 percent from 401,000 in 1990. Other estimates place the most-current figure as high as 2.4 million Buddhists in America. The Northwest, California and the Northeast are the largest Buddhist areas, with a division between American-born practitioners and the Asian-temple community — largely Asian immigrants."