|Midwestern Dhamma Refuge
grounded in contemplative practice
for a peaceful, just, & sustainable society
In January, we found a suitable house to rent in Oak Park, a historic community known for the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. We were fortunate to find a pleasant house large enough for our needs without costing a fortune.
In mid-March, after Santikaro returned from 6 weeks teaching in Washington and Thailand, we moved into the Oak Park house. It's on Ridgeland Avenue, just up the street from our friends at Oak Park Yoga. It will take some time to get everything organized.
In April, we will being to open up to the public with daily sittings and various classes. Friends are welcome to drop by to visit or lend a hand.
The joys of Winter are upon us, though snow has been scarce. Talks in Oak Park continue at Oak Park Yoga and a meditation class will start in January. We will also host talks at Gale House, connected with Unity Temple in Oak Park.
The meditation class in Evanston has developed into a weekly sitting group -- Wednesday nights at 7:30. Ven Santikaro joins when possible.
Plans for moving to Oak Park are increasingly solid. We will begin by renting a house and grow from there. Local volunteers are helping out and the possibilities are many.
Please let us know how Liberation Park can support you in your study and practice ... firstname.lastname@example.org.
October & November saw our first classes in Oak Park, hosted by Oak Park Yoga. The experience has been pleasant: meeting new friends and receiving offers of help. A support group in Oak Park has begun to form. There will be more talks in December
Our plans are that Tan Santikaro will move to Oak Park by April. This will allow more consistent & frequent teaching in the area, as well as regular morning & evening sittings.
Tan Santikaro will be joined by a couple friends & students as soon as conditions allow.
Active Search for LP's Home (Oct-Nov)
A search committee formed in September. After clarifying the needs and likely resources of Liberation Park, they have begun to contact realtors and look for suitable properties in the western suburbs of Chicago (Oak Park westward).
We are looking for an old church or commercial property that will allow easy access for daily meditations, classes, and other activities, as well as house a small resident community.
Our activities will increase with month long meditation classes at BMC (Willowbrook) and in Evanston. We will also have a 9-day retreat hosted by the BMC.
A group has begun planning & searching for our own location in the Western suburbs. We plan to move early in 2004 and will hold regular meditation sessions, classes, talks, and other Dhamma activities there.
Exploring ordination possibilities for nuns & monks.
Ven. Santikaro returned from Siam & the West coast a week before the start of the "Rains Retreat," which begins July 14th this year.
Regular Sutta classes have been happening Friday nights, along with various talks and retreats.
Ven. Santikaro has enjoyed participating with various meditation groups in the Loop and suburbs. Talks and discussions at the BMC have also gone well. Consultations are taking place to expand these activities and the people they reach.
Ven. Santikaro has also met with some of Helen Palmer's Enneagram students in the area and discussed possible joint activities. (This site will have some Enneagram links in the near future.)
From May 17 through June 11, he will be visiting Thailand, including at Suan Mokkh for Ajahn Buddhadasa's 97th "Age Teasing Day."
Santikaro Bhikkhu has been able to spend most of January and the beginnings of February, March, & April in Chicagoland. He has given numerous talks and lead meditation sessions in a variety of locations. This has gone well, even though he has been away from Chicago a fair amount due to previous commitments.
The prognosis for summer is more consistent classes and specific Dhamma topics, and perhaps some retreats.
I spent three delightful weeks at Arrow River Forest Hermitage.
Visits to Chicago awakened the possibility of Liberation Park happening in Chicagoland. Positive responses from "old students" led to the intention of moving up to Chicago for as much of 2003 as possible and spend this year exploring possibilities for Liberation Park in the area. So far, responses have been helpful and positive.