THREE TREASURES SANGHA of the Pacific Northwest (TTS) is a lay Zen group located in Seattle, Washington. TTS is affiliated with the Diamond Sangha, an independent lineage founded by Robert Aitken Rōshi, dharma heir in the Sanbō Kyōdan (Harada-Yasutani-Yamada) lineage.
Our form is derived from Japanese Zen tradition, favoring simplicity. While we focus on individual sitting meditation (zazen), we also recite texts (sutras) together. Talks by teachers and private interviews with them provide a chance to ask questions and to refine our understanding. Our practice emphasizes paying attention in order to foster concentration and clarity of mind.
All aspects of Zen practice encourage us to experience the boundless totality available to us all — it is both personal and engaged with community and the world in which we live. We warmly invite you to join us.
Getting Started with Three Treasures Sangha
You do not need to be a member of Three Treasures Sangha to sit zazen with us. If you’re a beginner, though, we do ask that you attend an orientation with us about how to sit zazen.
You can learn more about opportunities to practice with us on the Our Practice page.
If you’d like to become a member please visit our Join Us page.
JACK DUFFY RŌSHI was given permission to teach by Robert Aitken Rōshi in January 1992, followed by independent teaching status and the title of Rōshi in a formal Transmission Ceremony five years later. Jack became a student of Aitken Rōshi in 1981 and has also studied with Joan Rieck and Thich Nhat Hanh. He brings his roles of spouse, father, and psychotherapist, as well as years of endangered species work and wilderness wanderings to his teaching.
MADELON YAMANE BOLLING was appointed Zen teacher in 2012, and is an apprentice to Jack Duffy Rōshi. In long search for a spiritual home she entered monastic life in another tradition in 1968, returning to lay life as a professional musician in 1974. In 1983 she began practicing Zen with another group, eventually serving as dharma teacher there until 1993 when she began sitting with Three Treasures. A clinical psychologist in private practice since 2003, she also bears the sensibilities of past work as a landscape gardener, master composter and permaculture designer.
LEE SHIELDS began practicing in a monastic setting during the early 1970s, sitting with several Zen teachers. In 1988, he joined Three Treasures Sangha and began studying with Joan Rieck. Jack Duffy Rōshi became his teacher in 1992, and appointed him apprentice teacher in 2012. As a lay practitioner, Lee balances marriage, family, and work as an engineering consultant and now as a psychotherapist. Of importance to him is the interface of traditional Zen training with the daily, mundane, and extraordinary experiences of life.
ROBERT BAKER AITKEN RŌSHI (June 19, 1917—August 5, 2010) was co-founder of the Honolulu Diamond Sangha with his late wife, Anne. He was an esteemed Zen teacher within the American Zen community many of whom turned to him for his wisdom and counsel, often during times of crisis or turmoil.
A lifetime resident of Hawai’i, he was a graduate of the University of Hawai’i with a BA in English literature and an MA in Japanese studies. In 1941 he was captured on Guam by invading Japanese forces, and interned in Japan for the duration of World War II. In the camp he met the British scholar R.H. Blyth who introduced him to Zen. After the war he practiced Zen with Senzaki Nyogen in Los Angeles and traveled frequently to Japan to practice in monasteries and lay centers with Nakagawa Soen Rōshi, Yasutani Haku’un Rōshi and Yamada Koun Rōshi. In 1974 he was given approval to teach by Yamada Rōshi of the Sanbo Kyodan in Kamakura, who gave him transmission as an independent master in 1985. He also co-founded the Buddhist Peace Fellowship in 1978 with his wife Anne and Nelson Foster (who he later authorized as a Diamond Sangha teacher). Aitken’s students have opened centers in Germany, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Aitken Rōshi retired in 1996. After some years living on the Big Island of Hawai’i, he returned to live at Palolo, where his students could care for him in his declining years. He died on August 5th, 2010 at the age of 93
DHARMA GATE in Seattle is our primary zendo. This renovated house includes zendo, dokusan (interview) room, library, kitchen, and kinhin (walking meditation) garden. Our weekly and monthly sittings and garden retreats are held here.
Dharma Gate is located at 1910 – 24th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98144
MOUNTAIN LAMP is a rural retreat center located in Deming, Washington associated with Three Treasures Sangha. We hold two sesshins there each year, and Jack Duffy Rōshi also offers other practice opportunities in the Robert Aitken, Diamond Sangha tradition.
Mountain Lamp’s mission is to be a place of refuge for those wishing to live in mindfulness and peace. It also offers practice in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and hosts a three-week practice session in June for those wanting a residential practice.