|Midwestern Dhamma Refuge
grounded in contemplative practice
for a peaceful, just, & sustainable society
The election is over, more or less. The acrimony, however, is likely to continue, or even worsen. Allow me one comment: I am bewildered by the talk of "moral values" that seemingly ignores blatant dishonesty, willful disenfranchising of minority voters, illegal foreign wars, disregard for the environment, gross wealthfare, the enthronement of private property at the left hand of God, and more. Serious debate about moral values is called for. Historically and presently, America is a moralistic society. Until liberals get this, the country will continue to drift into fundamentalism. So it's high time for Buddhists to fully engage in the moral debate, advocating values in harmony with wisdom, compassion, and liberation rather than greed, hatred, and delusion.
Liberation Park, as many of you know, in mid-March moved into a rental house at 532 N Ridgeland Ave in Oak Park, IL. This is an excellent location in an historical town -- Frank Lloyd Wright territory -- next door to Chicago. We are accessible by public transportation (CTA) and to Midway & O'Hare airports. Oak Park is racially diverse, though somewhat upscale economically. With lots of trees, it's a joy to bike here & there on various errands, especially under Fall colors.
Half a year later, regular classes and study groups are in progress, we open our door for daily meditations, our library shares books, and new friends visit for advice on Dhamma practice. Establishing these activities has been our priority. Santikaro has also lead retreats in Oak Park, Oklahoma, Vermont, Washington, and Missouri, and Nevada.
There's been a lot of housekeeping and gardening, too. Santikaro has turned into a pretty good cook, along with developing the website and posting Dhamma MP3s (see below). With the help of David Skarjune, the website will soon have a new look. Jo Marie has set up our books and other administrative processes. Her friend Ed Byrne planted a flower garden in front. Finally, we are ready to send out this Newsletter.
Further, we are delighted to have helped restart the Chicago chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. (Click for our first "action.")
More detailed news will follow in subsequent Newsletters (approximately monthly). For now, in order to launch this initial Newsletter, here is some information we would like you to know about:
We have a couple email lists, with others to come. This "News" email list is primarily for our Newsletters (every month or so) sent to friends around the world who are interested in developments at Liberation Park. We will also list upcoming retreats in North America.
You may choose to use a password with this or other lists (below) but it isn't necessary to do so. Click here to subscribe, make changes, or unsubscribe.
Our "Events" list (every week or two) will focus on our activities in the Chicago area. We will also mention weekend events in other parts of the Midwest. Click here to sign up for notification & reminders of these teachings, workshops, etc.
Later, we will add specialty lists concerning Enneagram activities, our 12 Step dialogues, and the Women's group.
To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your subscription for any of our lists, follow the above link.
In June, we studied Dependent Co-Origination.
In October, we focused on Anatta in the Pali Suttas.
Various talks on Anapanasati can be accessed here.
For details on upcoming retreats.
Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.