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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.

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…

Zazenkai, November 9, Engaging Lay Practice

November 4, 2014

This Sunday, at Dharma Gate, please join Three Treasures Sangha for a zazenkai, day of sitting & a dharma talk.

The schedule will be:

9:00 Opening, Five Remembrances, Zazen

9:35 Zazen: Offering of selected lines of a reading from Dogen

10:30 Introductory words by Lee and/or Madelon, and discussion,  Kinhin

11:30 Zazen

12:30 Informal lunch (Soup, bread & cheese provided. Please bring sandwich fixings or other food to share.)

1:30 Sutras

2:00 Zazen, Interviews

2:50 Closing, Great Vows

Buddha Twirls a Flower: Or, Buddha Albert Einstein, and George Carlin walk into a bar

November 4, 2014

By Lee Shields

The Gateless Barrier, Case 6:

Once, in ancient times, when the World-Honored One was at Mount Grdbrakuta, s/he twirled a flower before her assembled disciples. All were silent. Only Mahakasyapa broke into a smile.

The World-Honored One said, “I have the eye treasury of right Dharma, the subtle mind of nirvana, the true form of no-form, and the flawless gate of the teaching. It is not established upon words and phrases. It is special transmission outside tradition. I now entrust this to Mahakasyapa.

This is an utterly simple story; in another context we could weave many explanations around it, but as a Zen koan, we know it directly points to essential nature. Read more…

This Sunday: Commemorative stone dedication, October 26

October 20, 2014

Please join us this Sunday, October 26, for a special ceremony to initiate an area on the grounds that honors our root teachers, Robert Aiken and Thich Nhat Hanh, and members of our sanghas who have passed on. We will start with a half hour of sitting from 10:00 to 10:30 A.M. and then walk outside to the commemorative area, where stones will be placed for late members of MCPS and TTS. Members of their families have been invited to join us for this ceremony. Friends and families will be welcome to say a few words about our loved ones who have passed away. The regular Day of Mindfulness activities will continue after the ceremony. Please bring your own zafu for the sitting period as there may be quite a few folks in attendance.


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