I was asked for permission to repost this piece from Inquiring Mind. Here’s its new location: Freedom in the USA.
Note: This is not a comment on what happened in Orlando.
Spring is always a busy time here, first of all with nature systems erupting in green, blossoming, and births. Came early this year and so we are further behind than usual. Practicing equanimity with that and our limited capacities. Preparing for Guesthouse construction, too.
Fortunately, friends give us helping hands. Bill (Oak Park) began dismantling the old tipi platform last month. Some of the boards were rotting, so it was becoming dangerous to critters and people. Fortunately, much of the wood is salvageable (e.g. for hermitage firewood storage and compost bins). Doug (Wauwatosa), with some help from me, finished the job, which involved removing old nails and screws.
This weekend, Cindy (also Wauwatosa) applied sealer to the hermitage loft and ladder so that the surfaces will better tolerate traffic. Now it’s even more commodious than before.
Weather note: This Memorial Day weekend was intended as a “work weekend” with friends from Tender Shoot of Joy. The weather forecasts were discouraging and even Saturday morning looked like we wouldn’t get any work done, as our list has mainly outdoor projects. Yet, the day was largely dry from 10 am through evening except for a light rain just before noon and a heavy but quick downpour around 6 pm. We ended up getting a good amount done after all. With time for scything around garden after the downpour.
… coming soon: Visit from Arborist …
While we have plenty of people to do the upcoming Insight Chicago retreat, there is plenty of space for a few more folks who could use a long weekend with breathing, noble silence, and exploration of mind.
For those in the Chicago Area, or not too far away, Insight Chicago’s spring retreat will be held next week at the lovely Portiuncula Center for Prayer in Frankfort, IL (southwest suburb, just south of I-80 near Hwy 45). Arrive Thursday morning so we can start that afternoon.
Santikaro will continue to guide mindfulness with breathing as a foundation and vehicle for exploring lived experience. This retreat will also explore the caring attitude and gentle perseverance important to deeper practice and various approaches to contemplating and coming to terms with the strange world we call “mind.” All of this is in service of direct, clear seeing that liberates us from egoism, engenders confidence in our own lived Dhamma, and contributes to a healthier shared world.
This retreat will take place in noble silence with plenty of time for sitting and walking meditation. Group interviews with Santikaro will be available for everyone. The food is simple and adequate.
We’ve taken another big step with the Guest House project. We signed a contract with Ross Carpenter of Carp Construction, a contractor who is working with sub-contractors we know and trust. We’ve seen his work and appreciate that he’s been able to save us some money, probably helped by our preferred lumberyard.
Because Ross already has a couple projects starting this Spring, our starting date will be in early summer. We will wait till Santi gets back from a teaching visit to Brazil so that he can make sure the excavator doesn’t hit any of the lines we laid 5-6 years ago. The odds are good that excavation will begin the end of July, which will allow moving in by the end of the year.
If you haven’t donated yet, please help us with the remainder of funds needed.
In July we’ll begin sending regular emails reporting progress with images on this blog.