Dharma Rain collaborates with a number of partners to foster community connections and share our space as a resource for the community. We have substantive, synergistic partnerships with religious, educational, environmental, and civic/social justice organizations, as well as government entities. We also offer faith-based services to inmates at seven state and county prison facilities in Oregon through our Prison Sangha program.

Religious Partners

  • Multnomah Biblical Seminary
  • Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
  • Community of Welcoming Congregations
  • Muslim Educational Trust
  • Soto Zen Buddhist Association; American Zen Teacher’s Association; Lay Zen Teacher’s Association
  • Great Vow Zen Monastery and Maitripa College 
  • Affiliated and related groups ranging from small sitting groups led by sangha members to independent Zen Centers led by transmitted teachers located around the region, all with a deep connection to our common Dharma Cloud lineage.

Our Partnership with Multnomah Biblical Seminary

Dharma Rain’s partnership with Multnomah Biblical Seminary began during a period when our nation was becoming increasingly polarized in response to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and around social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. Our Abbot Kyogen Carlson reached out to Dr. Paul Metzger, a professor of theology at the Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and invited him to meet with a group of senior students at Dharma Rain to begin a dialog across what was perceived by some to be an unbridgeable chasm.  

This first meeting has evolved into regular monthly potlucks attended by a self-selected group of our Dharma Rain members and a similar group from the Multnomah Biblical Seminary community. We sit down together over a meal and engage one another eye to eye and heart to heart to get to know each other and discuss our traditions, including exploring key points of tension.   

Evangelicals and Buddhists Share and Probe: A Unique and Fruitful Dialogue in Portland by Kyogen Carlson and Paul Louis Metzger

Interfaith Table Fellowship: A Messy Business by Paul Louis Metzger

Beloved Community by Sallie Jiko Tisdale

Educational Partners

  • Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors (ECO)
  • Peace in Schools
  • Madison High School
  • Roseway Heights Middle School
  • Portland Community College
  • Portland State University

Our Partnership with Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors

Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors (ECO) works with schools to bring ecology curriculum to classrooms and to take kids out into the field.  ECO has been bringing students from neighboring elementary schools, including Vestal, Roseway Heights, and Jason Lee, to the Dharma Rain campus for the last several years for hands-on, place-based learning and stewardship.  

Our Partnership with Madison High School and Peace in Schools

Students at nearby Madison High School who are involved an Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) course or their environmental science club use the site for student-led field work and projects each spring and for volunteer restoration work in the fall and winter.  

Madison High School offers a Career and Technical Education program preparing students for jobs in agriculture, focusing on the urban environment.  Students plan and maintain twelve garden beds and a flock of chickens next to the barn on the Dharma Rain campus. They market and sell the produce at local farmer’s markets under the guidance of Madison staff. 

Portland Community College and Portland State University students volunteer at Dharma Rain to complete Community-Service Learning projects. Several instructors at these schools also bring classes to Dharma Rain for field work in ecology or geology courses.

Peace in Schools offers a semester-long, for-credit class in mindfulness in ten high schools in Portland.  An element of this class is a four-hour silent retreat.  For several years now, the Madison Mindfulness Studies class has been holding their retreat at Dharma Rain. Many students have never before experienced four waking hours without distractions or interruptions and find the retreat to be a significant experience.

Environmental Partners

  • Friends of Trees
  • Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns

Our Partnership with Portland Friends of Trees

Our environmental partner Friends of Trees has led several tree-planting projects at Dharma Rain as part of our effort to restore a third of our 14-acre site to native habitat.  Since 2014, well over 2,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted by Friends of Trees and friends on our land.

Civic/Social Justice Partners

  • Blueprint Foundation
  • Oregon Food Bank and the Ethiopian and Eritrean Cultural Resource Center
  • NE Food Pantry
  • Madison South Neighborhood Association

Our Partnership with the Blueprint Foundation

Among our community partners is The Blueprint Foundation, which helps prepare Black youth for careers in environmental science and green building through project-based mentorship and environmental stewardship.  Projects on our site provide opportunities for these youth to learn job and leadership skills while contributing to the community. These experiences introduce them to and prepare them for careers in disciplines where black-identified individuals are currently underrepresented, enabling them to develop learning skills they will need to succeed in college, career, and civic life.

Our Partnership with the Oregon Food Bank

Our partnership with the Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper program and the Ethiopian and Eritrean Cultural Resource Center brings a joyful group of immigrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea to work every Saturday morning in the community gardens next to the barn on our campus. The garden has also received some financial support from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) and the East Portland Neighborhood Office. The program is designed to empower immigrant and refugee community leaders with the tools, resources, and skills needed to teach their respective communities how to garden on a budget and to create thriving community gardens.

Government Entities and Private Foundations

  • City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services
  • City of Portland, Portland Parks and Recreation
  • Metro Regional Government
  • East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Spirit Mountain Community Fund
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Oregon Community Foundation.

Our Partnership with Government Entities and Foundations

Our environmental clean-up and habitat restoration work has been generously supported by grants from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, City of Portland, Metro, the Environmental Protection Agency, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Oregon Community Foundation.

Dharma Rain Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter that keeps you informed on what's going on at Dharma Rain Zen Center.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Dharma Rain Zen Center, 8500 NE Siskiyou St, Portland, OR, 97220-5287, http://www.dharma-rain.org. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact