Taking refuge, gratefully

Recent years have been emotionally challenging for myself and most of the people I know. Climate destruction, sexism, political nastiness, white supremacy, absence of ethical leadership, aging friends, death, my own physical vulnerability … the long list goes on. Yet, I am recovering from reciting the old lists and critiques, even those that are still valid and important. Rather, I must re-affirm Refuge in Buddha (Awakening within), Dhamma (Natural Reality-Truth we can discern personally), and Sangha (Community of ethical-spiritual practice, as our illusions of individuality are ‘all in this mess together’). Further, I take refuge in compassion, that is, opening myself as deeply as I can manage to the pain and suffering of people, wetlands, communities, insects, birds, frogs, icecaps … again too long a list. Opening and also committing to doing things I am capable of doing to address this massive suffering. And not judging myself for what I am not actually able to do or cannot do faultlessly. Plus, finding joy where I can, grounded in vulnerability and compassion. Lastly, bowing with profound gratitude for the Pali suttas, for Ajahn Buddhadasa’s guidance, to contemplative colleagues, to my beloved partner, and to our families both 2- and 4-legged. (Actually, never “lastly” as this is also a long list ­čśë

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Weather Wot-me-Worries

Somehow the polar vortex was national news, though it kills far fewer than gun violence. We have survived both, so far.

From very cold to rather warm to colder with freezing rain. I guess the weather is being designed in Vegas. Anyway, just so you hear from us, here are a few images. Including solar panels producing in sub-optimal conditions.

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2019 Super Blood Wolf Moon (Lunar Eclipse)

Santikaro drove home from a weekend with CommonGround in Minneapolis in time for aweing the lunar eclipse in sub-zero splendor. We and friends were all bundled up and warmed by sacred cacao and fresh cookies. We gazed up through the clear winter sky for more than 20 minutes as the totality grew and took hold. Poems were read around the blazing wood stove as we each revisited the earth shadow’s journey across the moon’s face when inspired. A beautiful few hours with Nature-Dhamma and good comrades. I figure that enough of us awed by such messages from the universe just might empower us to muddle through our current challenges.

We didn’t take pictures, so here are some from around the world (c/o The Guradian).

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Pavers for the Guest House

This gallery contains 39 photos.

Though most of the work on the Guest House has been long accomplished, a few touches remain to be added. At the start of November, Brian and Eric from La Grange Park, IL, Peter from Madison, and Jim from La … Continue reading

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Heartwood Refuge

Back in September I had the pleasure of a visit to Heartwood Refuge in Hendersonville, NC, to lead a retreat exploring dependent co-arising as portrayed in Under the Bodhi Tree. Venerables Pa├▒├▒avati and Pa├▒├▒adipa are inspired by Ajahn Buddhadasa’s teachings as well as other sources of wisdom.

Following the retreat, I gave a talk for the local sangha: Breathing Emptiness Into the World (9-2-18). The link takes you to YouTube.


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