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Three Treasures Sangha

Three Treasures Sangha of the Pacific Northwest (TTS) is a lay Zen group located in Seattle, Washington and affiliated with the Diamond Sangha, an independent lineage founded by Robert Aitken Rōshi, a dharma heir in the Sanbō Kyōdan (Harada-Yasutani-Yamada) lineage. Read more about us here.

April 12th Zen Retreat: Practicing Zen Koans in Relationship

April 9, 2015

lee photos april 2015 four


On April 12, 2015, Three Treasures Sangha is hosting a day-long retreat (zazenkai) with Lee Shields. During the retreat, Lee will focus on practicing Zen koans in relationship.

In his talk, Lee will show how two koans apply to how we can relate to the everyday here and now. You’ll see how every interaction is a koan story, a chance to recognize that there is no separation of self and other, and a chance to offer a genuine response in our encounters.








9:00am Opening, Five Remembrances, Zazen

9:35am Zazen: Offering of selected lines of two koans

10:30am Dhama talk: Zen Koans in Relationship

11:30am Zazen

12:30pm Informal lunch (Please bring food to share.)

1:30pm Sutras

2:00pm Zazen, Interviews

2:50pm Closing, Great Vows

Branching Moon Sesshin March 28 – April 4 with Jack Duffy Rōshi

March 23, 2015
Jack Duffy Roshi

Jack Duffy Roshi

Three Treasures Sangha is hosting a sesshin with Jack Duffy Rōshi at Mountain Lamp, a rural practice center near Bellingham, Washington, from March 28 – April 4.

A sesshin is a week-long, intensive retreat in the Zen Buddhist tradition. Sesshin means to touch, receive, and convey the mind. During sesshin participants focus on their meditation, listen to talks, meet with the teacher, and perform jobs necessary to sustain the retreat.






To touch the mind is to touch that which is not born and does not die; it does not come or go, and is always at rest. It is infinite emptiness – empty infinity – the vast and fathomless Dharma which you have vowed to understand. – Robert Aitken, Encouraging Words


Mountain Lamp Zendo

Mountain Lamp Zendo


The Buddha Project – An Inter-Sangha Event with Anita Feng, May 1 & 2

February 28, 2015

By Madelon Bolling
Zen is not a very popular tradition these days, and many sanghas are dwindling.
Local leaders have begun offering inter-sangha events so that we might carry the Dharma forward through supporting one another.

Here’s a unique opportunity to learn from a wonderful artist and teacher, Anita Feng, the resident teacher of Blue Heron Zen, a Korean Zen tradition. Her Dharma teaching flowers in encouraging creativity in others, something she has done both here and overseas.

If you’ve ever wished to try sculpting and have an affinity for Buddhist images, please accept the invitation to attend this event. The atmosphere is gentle, supportive and warm, and the teaching of Dharma principles subtle and pervasive.

Link to a flyer for The Buddha Project

Zenkai with Jack Duffy Roshi – February 14-15

February 8, 2015

Sit Zen in Seattle Three Treasures Sangha is hosting a two-day retreat with Jack Duffy Roshi at Dharma Gate zendo on February 14-15th.

Jack Duffy will give a talk each day and hold dokusan (practice-related interviews). Everyone is welcome even if you haven’t attended a Three Treasures Sangha retreat. Bring your own lunch on Saturday. Breakfast will be served on Sunday.

If you’re looking for other opportunities to sit Zen with Three Treasures, check out our Calendar. For more information about this or other retreats, contact

Two Day Zenkai Schedule

9:00am — Opening Ceremony/Sutras
9:30am — Zazen (silent meditation)
10:10am — Dokusan (practice-related interviews)
12:00 Noon — Lunch/Samu (bring your own lunch) (Samu = work practice)
1:30pm — Zazen
2:00pm — Teisho
3:00pm — Zazen/Dokusan
4:20pm — Closing
4:30pm — Board of Directors meeting

6:00am — Opening ceremony/Tea
6:45am — Zazen
7:15am — Dokusan
8:30am — Breakfast/Samu (work practice)
10:00am — Sutras
10:30am — Zazen
11:00am — Dokusan
12:45pm — Closing
1:00pm — Sangha meeting

Into the Dark of the Year

January 3, 2015

By Madelon Bolling
This piece was originally given by Madelon as a dharma talk
at the Three Treasures Sangha zazenkai on December 14, 2014.

The days are shorter now. It seems appropriate as we enter the dark of the year that we reflect on the lives of relatively unknown predecessors on the Way. Women and laypersons have always had an interest in seeing into self-nature, and they too influenced the course of Zen study significantly. Yet traditionally only monastics have been remembered and celebrated, and those were predominantly men. Not that women weren’t also monastics: they just weren’t talked about much. Recent scholarship allows even English-speakers to change this one-sided view. Today I’ll talk a little about one of the women we now remember in the sesshin dedication.
Read more…

Autumn appeal

November 19, 2014

“We have to seek God in error and

forgetfulness and foolishness.”

— Meister Eckhart

I remember attending my first sesshin with Aitken Roshi in Hawaii as a younger man. I was drawn to be there because, well, it was Hawaii, but mostly because of Aitken’s encouragement, and my own deep questions about violence, injustice and suffering. However, after a few days I was sure I had made a great error. The rituals and chants were alien to me. The long hours of sitting wracked my body. The daily Dharma talks were incomprehensible. I had to forget everything I thought I knew about religion and prayer. Seeking advice about what to do with my confusion and resistance, Aitken encouraged me to “just hang in there”. Now, after years of muddling through amidst doubts and uncertainties, I can say, using a line from one of William Stafford’s poems, that I am grateful “for mistakes that worked so well.” Read more…

Lay Practice: A Dharma Talk

November 13, 2014

By Lee Shields

We are together involved in a great movement that is very personal to each of us, and is also playing out in countries around the world as we speak. Each of us is experimenting with the adaptation of an ancient monastic tradition to our busy lay lives. Even those of us who live or have lived in retreat settings for periods of time I suspect adapt in the interface with our modern world. Speaking for myself, I have no doubt already that this practice of silent meditation, whether done formally on a cushion here together, at home alone or with family, or in the act of doing my job and while speaking, enriches me. But when Madelon and I met to talk about what to bring as a focus for today’s Zenkai, we also recognized we are doing something difficult, and each of us has our own methods and wisdom that we might share together. Read more…


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