Cultivating Compassionate Action
Patacara Community Services is a faith based nonprofit offering compassionate and respectful care to those who are suffering. We provide services inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism. We are a nonsectarian, all-volunteer, grassroots community that takes refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and values service, generosity, compassion, interdependence, ethical conduct, equanimity, and kindness. Our focus areas are food justice, homelessness, reentry support for prisoners, and youth leadership development.
Patacara (pronounced Pah-tah-char-ah) Community Services is named after Patacara, who was one of the first Buddhist nuns. As a young woman, Patacara lost everything. Her husband, children, and parents all died in a series of unexpected and tragic events. Crazed with grief, she wandered naked and destitute, without family or a home, until the townspeople took pity on her and guided her to where the Buddha was teaching. He looked at her kindly and said, “Sister, recover your presence of mind.” Her lucid mind returned and with the Buddha’s help, she began her journey back to wholeness. She eventually became enlightened and one of the most respected and beloved teachers of her generation, with a special gift for being able to help people overwhelmed by grief and despair, as she once had been. Patacara Community Services will operate programs designed to help us “recover our presence of mind” together.
Programs: Currently, we share a space with other small and progressive nonprofits at the Hillman City Collaboratory. We are the fiscal sponsor of Camp Dearborn, a self governing homeless encampment in Seattle. We provide nutritious, healthy meals for neighbors who are homeless. We are partnering with Dharma organizations across Seattle to build a nonsectarian movement for compassionate action. We sponsor grassroots projects that share our values. We meet together for service projects and meditation. Please contact us to learn more, and join our mailing list. We hope to eventually open a pay-what-you-can community cafe and Dharma center in Western Washington. The mission of the community center will be to offer compassionate and respectful care to those who are suffering in our community – not as professional service providers, but as neighbors and fellow human beings. We are committed to creating a respectful and heart-centered commons that welcomes people from all walks of life, including immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer) people.
- Because Buddha taught in different ways to different people, we celebrate all of the world’s spiritual and ethical traditions, and strive to work together with cooperation, harmony, patience, and humility.
- Because of our shared refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, we strive to overcome anger, greed, and ignorance. We work to manifest joy, compassion, kindness, and equanimity.
- Because all beings have the capacity for basic goodness, we work together to create environments that bring out the best in people, by treating every person with respect and compassion.
- Because systems of oppression are rooted in greed and delusion and cause suffering, we strive to end racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia.
- Because all living beings are part of an interdependent web of life, we strive to give generously. On a physical level, we can give food and shelter. On an intellectual level, we can give education, knowledge, and art. On an emotional level, we can give love, kindness, time, attention, and energy. On a spiritual level, we can give Dharma teachings.