Retreats & meditation workshops in 2017

Should you be interested in retreats and workshops lead by Santikaro, please check out these pages:

http://www.liberationpark.org/retreat/retreats.htm

http://www.liberationpark.org/medit/chi-shops.htm

**  new workshops will be offered every few months

Please bookmark if you want to check from time to time.

Also, once the new guesthouse is completed and furnished, we will offer small, occasional  events at Liberation Park.

However, Liberation Park is most oriented towards solitary, personal retreats. Stay tuned as the year unfolds.

Lastly, the just added Calendar tab [above] will list local sittings and what not.

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Praise God, Honor Dhamma

Through my years at Suan Mokkh, as well as travels as Buddhist monk and teacher, I’ve been blessed to meet many outstanding examples of our bizarre species. Each in their particular ways bring Dhamma alive for us. Two are Mary and Everett Gendler, who made multiple visits to Suan Mokkh during their trips through Asia in the early 90s. I was also fortunate to visit them in Massachusetts a number of times. Everett just sent me his first book, published at the youthful age of 88, Judaism for Universalists. Among the gems are essays that explore the meaning of Psalm 148. Here’s a translation by Everett:

Praise God, sun and moon;
Praise God, all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens,
And you waters above the heavens! …
Praise the Lord from the earth,
You sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and frost,
Stormy wind fulfilling God’s command!

Mountains and all hills,
Fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
Creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
Princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
Old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord …

I recommend his essay “Sentient Universe” for reflections on these verses. Everett’s writing is beautiful and his thought lucidly provocative, as well as inspiring. He emphasizes that all things are instructed to praise; humans are not unique in this. Yet we so often flounder. So, today, let us praise what is worthy of praise.

I’m reminded of an early Buddhist verse:

Buddhas of the past and future,
As well as the Buddha dispelling the sorrow of our era,
All such Buddhas honor the Dhamma,
Simply because that is the nature of Awakened Ones.

I read, reread, and ponder these words after being bombarded by emails from all the non-profits doing good work and seeking funds. A far less offensive bombardment than what takes place on TV. Without taking away from the good these groups do, I am saddened how many of them draw on fear to get support. We are used to the seedier politicians provoking and feeding upon certain fears in certain parts of the citizenry. What a shame that the good progressives (I mean that sincerely) have somehow gotten trapped in the same cultural myopia, manipulation, and distress. Sure, fear and anger are great for getting the adrenaline pumping. But are they what’s needed? No!

Today, the first of a new year, I will offer instead, Praise & Honor of Dhamma & God (in whatever form you worship her)! Let us praise with  humility, innocence, and love.

As for the egoism that praises only itself:

Don’t let it infect you!

Praise what is bigger & better.

Posted in Animals, Buddhadasa, Dhamma, Garden, Plants, & Ecology, General, Social Observations & Commentary | 2 Comments

Nibbana for Everyone

Here’s an offering for the change of years, although it’s timeless …

Nibbana for Everyone is the latest title e-published by Liberation Park & BiA and has just been made available online. Nibbana for Everyone can be viewed and downloaded from: http://suanmokkh.org/books/84

This teaching is part of a series of 6 Messages from Suan Mokkh of 1988; the other titles are being prepared similarly. This edition is a new lightly edited translation by Santikaro in collaboration with Joanna, a volunteer in the USA, for editing, and Juree for cover and layout.

May each year be new through the abandoning of ‘old garbage.’

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as 2016 draws to a close

hermitage loft

Santikaro is back home, settling in for Winter, after a month with dying father & family in Chicago. My usual Thai trip was postponed. Instead, life practice was with the amazing, frustrating, technically gifted, and in many ways broken healthcare system; and then the more humane and sane end-game of hospice. The latter allowed meaningful time with Dad and for family to support each other. Back home, I continue to digest, reflect, and experience.

So far, Winter has been weird and unpredictable. Sound familiar? Following the shambles of a democratic process otherwise known as “presidential election,” what used to look like a “surprise” appears more like “wow, things have always been pretty messed up, we just weren’t paying much attention because we thought we had it good.” (Note, “we” isn’t everyone, just those privileged enough to avoid the brunt of reality.) Buddha’s first ennobling reality insight hits home more than ever: There is dukkha!

For friends wondering how to live within this bewildering reality, wise words from old friends are good places to turn. Here’s one sample:

https://clearviewblog.org/2016/12/28/in-the-winter-of-our-discontent/

And the walls of guest house are ready for mudding. Which reminds me to keep looking for the balance among taking care of daily life chores, taking care of inner stuff, and taking care of our collective well-being (ecology & society).

May all beings be safe & sane.

Posted in Building, Dhamma, General, Guest House & Cottage, SK's healing, Social Observations & Commentary | Leave a comment
Gallery

GH17: Sheetrock & Gypcrete

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Off & on over the past couple weeks, bits & pieces of the guest house & cottage have been done. The biggest of these is hanging the sheetrock (drywall), installation of tubing for the upper level’s in-floor radiant heating, and … Continue reading

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