Departing Elders

Honored elders play a large role in life, especially in Asia, and I have been blessed by many. In recent weeks, three have passed: Bishop Julio X Labayen, ocd (Philippines); Ajahn Runjuan Indarakamhaeng (Siam); and now Br. Jarlath d’Souza, csc (Bangladesh). I want to write proper memorials for each of them but their deaths have come in quick succession and the cumulative loss — midst fond memories and great gratitude — is more than I would have thought. Ah, the heart doesn’t ‘think’ that way. Time is needed.

For now, I’ll share this link sent by an old friend from Bangladesh:

http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/interviews/a-discussion-with-jarlath-d-souza-secretary-of-bangladesh-inter-religious-center-for-peace-and-justice

Br. Jarlath is the finest exemplar of inter-religious work I have met. He selflessly supported our Buddhist friends from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and other religious minorities. Through BICPAJ, he hosted and facilitated my visits to Bangla and the CHTs. He showed and explained realities of his diverse country. He translated during meditation retreats on which I mainly taught Buddha-Dhamma, tho he and others were not ‘Buddhist’ with a big “B.” Yet he was very much awake, knowing, and open like a lotus, the prime attributes of Buddho.

His example of dedication, humility, kindness, and intelligence still inspires me.

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Chicagoland retreat April 29 – May 1st

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.

Caring, Insight & Freedom: Contemplation of Breath, Body, & Mind

April 28 – May 1 at Portiuncula Center for Prayer, Frankfort,. IL

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.

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We have a contractor ready to go

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.

For updated details on the design and drawings

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.

 

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Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree – Reflections 4

The La Crosse Wednesday evening meditation group is reading Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree over the Winter months of 2016 and now into early Spring. The fourth session was Wednesday March 16th. My talk and the conversation that followed are posted here. Play below or download (down arrow) as you like.

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Previous session.

These talks are an introduction to the most important teachings and concerns of Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree rather than a summary of the book. Tan Ajahn’s teaching in Heartwood is so clear and down-to-earth that I would be a fool to summarize. Rather, I offer my own reflections to encourage listeners to read the book for themselves (Wisdom Publications).

The concluding session will be April 6th (the day after Wisconsin’s primary).

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Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree – Reflections 3

The La Crosse Wednesday evening meditation group is reading Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree over the Winter months of 2016. I was asked to reprise talks I gave last Fall in Rochester, MN introducing the main sections of Ajahn Buddhadasa’s exposition of the core of Buddhist teaching. The third session of the series was Wednesday February 17th. My talk and the conversation that followed are posted here. Play below or download as you like.

These talks are an introduction to the most important teachings and concerns of Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree rather than a summary of the book. Tan Ajahn’s teaching in Heartwood is so clear and down-to-earth that I would be a fool to summarize. Rather, I offer my own reflections to encourage listeners to read the book for themselves (Wisdom Publications).

Thanks to all who participated  and are listening here.

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Previous session.

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