Greg Satir

A New Library — The Result of Patience, Generosity and Friendship

Photo: From left to right, Alistair (designed & built the library), checks in with Patty (the force behind this wonderful addition), and Nathan (sponsor), holding a picture of his wife Sophary, who recently passed away and who this library is dedicated to. 

There is a new library at the Center, with build-in shelves and an area for backstock. It was funded in memory of a community member Sophary Varns by her husband Nathan and grew from the vision and effort of many in the community. Here’s the story:

Patty Pandzik, PFOD librarian, had a problem. Boxes of books were randomly stashed throughout the building. “Books were above the meditation hall, in the furnace area, and behind various curtains. No one knew how to find what you wanted,” Patty said. Plus, “there were big gaps on the shelves and no organizing system.” 

She brought her concerns to Alistair Williamson, chair of the Building Committee. “We had 110 boxes of books,” said Alistair. “I had been feeling that stacking books all over the Center was just not treating them well. It was not respectful.” So after talking with many community members, “Alistair came up with a beautiful plan for a new library area,” Patty said. “And he could build it himself if we could find the money.” They brought the plan to the Board, unsure of the response since money was tight.

Meanwhile, Patty had invited Nathan to help her sort and inventory the exploding stock of books. As they organized, she showed him the design for a new library area, mentioning that she and Alistair had offered seed money for the project. Thinking of his wife Sophary, who had recently passed away, Nathan inquired into how much more funding was needed. When he got the answer, he said, “I can do that,” — and he did.

“Sophary would be pleased to leave something like that for our members as a tool for helping and to benefit their practice,” Nathan said. Adding, “I feel so much gratitude toward this Dhamma Center and the monks and so much appreciation for having the Center here.”

With funds secured, Alistair started building. “He did 99% of the labor,” Nathan said, including “finding a nice door and getting everything leveled and plumbed.”  

At the same time, Patty and Nathan completed the book inventorya huge taskand concluded they had many more books than the area would ever hold. And so 23 boxes were driven to Wat Atammayatarama, a Thai monastery outside of Seattle (Ajahn Ritthi, abbot of the monastery, was delighted to have them). Other boxes went to Wat Dhammarangsey, a Cambodian monastery in West Linn, which needed books in English for their younger generation (this was especially sweet because Nathan serves on their Board). “That left us with just the books we wanted to keep,” said Patty.

Once construction was complete, Patty and Nathan loaded up the shelves. According to Patty, the library is now organized, “in a way that people can find what they’re looking for.”

With the project done, Alistair reflected on how it gradually came to fruition. “Patty saw a real need at the Center. It took a lot of persistence for her to get people involved and figure out a solution. In doing so, she drew people together.” He added, “it was fitting that Nathan wanted to fund it in memory of Sophary, that we could provide a way for him to do that.” 

Patty reflected on the patience and other Dhamma qualities the project inspired. “If you had told me this would take a year, I might not have done it. My mind would have spun all sorts of stories and I would have just given up. But I was determined to not entertain those stories. I just stayed in the present moment and id the next thing. Plus the collaboration of kalyanamitta – it was beautiful. the Dhamma was always present.” 

Nathan added, “Sophary would be happy to know this was going on with her in mind. I thought this was something I could do to help the Dhamma Center and also to remember Sophary. I’m just pleased I had the resources to help out.”

If you are interested in participating in a project at the Center, please contact us. If you would like to learn how to remember PFOD in your will or living trust visit our planned giving page.

Open Phones / Open House

Your Development Committee wants to answer any questions you have about donating to PFOD. So we are hosting a virtual open house called Open Phones/Open House on Monday, Sept 9th at 6:00PM – 8:00PM. Anyone can stop by or call in with questions on giving.

  • How do I give through my will? My IRA? 
  • What about giving stock?
  • Can you help me with automated giving?
  • Etc., Etc.

To talk to us about any of these things, come down or call:

Open Phones / Open House
When: Monday, Sept 9th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Downstairs at Portland Friends of the Dhamma
Or Phone in: 503-233-6498

On behalf of the Development Committee,
We look forward to talking with you,

Jocelyn White and Greg Satir

Bhikkhunis’ Visit Enriching – Thanks to You

Thank you to our community members who volunteered and gave dana in June so that we could welcome Ayya Santacitta from Aloka Vihara and Ayyas Santussika and Cittananda from Karuna Buddhist Vihara. A day-long retreat and next day teaching and meal offering were well attended.

The teaching on the seven factors of enlightenment was enriching. The bhikkhunis explained how each factor builds on the previous one and how they play out in our daily lives. Several attendees commented on the clear, relevant quality of the teaching. “The easy, sympathetic manner among the Ayyas created a rich field for me to meditate in,” said Holly Griswold, who traveled from Mosier, Oregon, to hear the nuns. “Each question was answered by both senior nuns, broadening and deepening the teaching. The dhamma, which was stated firmly yet given with a feather-light touch, entered me and ran deep. I feel so grateful! ” As a result of the enthusiasm of the attendees, there is hope for another visit from the nuns in the near future.

Ajahn Sudanto Visit: Friday, July 19

Ajahn Sudanto reading bookFriday, July 19, 2013
Informal Tea: 5:30 – 6:30 PM
Meditation &

Dhamma Talk: 7:00 – 9:00 PM

This Friday evening the Pacific Hermitage monks will be at Friends of the Dhamma to receive tea and offer teachings. The monks will be fresh off their tudong—three weeks of hiking and practicing along the Pacific Coast Trail—and will likely have some inspiring stories and reflections to share about that.

At teatime (5:30 – 6:30 PM) there will be informal conversation with the monks—a great opportunity to discuss Dhamma with them and inquire about your practice. This will happen downstairs. Then at 7:00 PM there will be formal meditation and a Dhamma talk. This will take place upstairs in the main hall.

We need a few folks to help with the tea offering. If you can pitch in, please contact us—and thanks!

Hope to see you Friday for some awesome Dhamma.

Note: Please don’t park in the shaded areas shown on this map.

Ajahn Jayasaro

Ajahn Jayasaro 2009Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Save the date! Ajahn Jayasaro will be visiting Portland on Tuesday, October 22nd. There will be an event in the evening. Check back as it gets closer for details.

Ajahn Nyaniko and Tan Thitabho

Our good fortune continues with the unexpected and very welcome visit of Ajahn Nyaniko and Tan Thitabho on Friday, July 5th for the Friday Night Dhamma gathering. We will begin with a casual tea at 5:30. Hope you can come.

Friday, July 5
5:30 PM:  Casual tea with Ajahn Nyaniko and Tan Thitabho  (downstairs)
7:00 PM:  Meditation/Dhamma talk/Q n’A (upstairs)
Theme: Tales of Tudong

To view some brief summaries from Ajahn’s log please visit:

I look forward to seeing you once again, in this beautiful space with monks all around 🙂

Closing down the Old – Opening to the New

On May 31st PFOD Makes a Move and Hopes you Follow

Ajahn Sucitto at Dharma RainAjahn Sucitto just before offering a Blessing Chant
at Dharma Rain – It’s all juiced up for us now 😉

As Portland Friends of the Dhamma continues to investigate options (rent, lease, purchase) of a permanent home for our community, we begin by renting space from Dharma Zen Rain Center as of May 31st.

Final Days at the Sellwood Methodist Church:

First Evening at Dharma Rain Zen Center:

Packing Up the Center to Move

Saturday, May 11 & Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 12:30 PM

As Portland Friends of the Dhamma continues to investigate options (rent, lease, purchase) of a permanent home for our community, we begin by renting space from Dharma Zen Rain Center as of June 1st.

Dharma Rain Zendo
Dharma Rain Zen Center, 2514 SE Madison

Save the dates! We are packing up!
Saturday, May 11, 12:30 – 6:00 PM After the Aloka Vihara nuns meal offering
Sunday, May 19, 12:30 – 5:15 PM Before the Ajahn Sucitto tea

Calling all library and kitchen packers, and people of ability who can move furniture. If you come every week, if you only came once, or haven’t been able to make it in a while—you all are encouraged to join the packing party. Sign up in the kitchen or contact Charla to let her know you are coming.

We will be focusing our packing and moving activities on May 11 and 19 to work in harmony with the monastic visits and the momentum already at the center. We will have a “pod” delivered to the parking lot for ease of packing, and for storage.

The final two weeks at the Sellwood center there will still be the regular weekly program offerings where more can be incrementally added to the pod, and the final Friday night in Sellwood on May 31st.

We all have a chance to share this experience of anicca, dukkha, anatta together while practicing the Dhamma at all times. We welcome all the time and energy you can offer toward the move.

Portland Friends of the Dhamma is Moving

Get ready! We are moving. We are renting space from the Dharma Rain Community starting June 1.

Dharma Rain Zendo
Dharma Rain Zen Center, 2514 SE Madison

Please check back for updates and details as they are available. The future is full of possibilities! Please join us! We look forward to sharing Dhamma in our new space!