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Liberation Park Newsletter - September 2005


"There is no need to separate Dhamma from everyday life. Just have this mindfulness and ready wisdom of doer-less doing. Not only will the work be successful and free from error, but at the same time the Dhamma will develop and grow exceedingly. Doer-less doing is to live naturally and ordinarily in not-having and not-gaining."

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu


Settled In

We're more than settled in to our new home, also the home of community member and friend Jennifer Malin, since last spring. Many thanks to all those who helped pack and move boxes and furniture. Eric Lindo and George Clapp lent their carpentry skills in installing a door to separate the upper floor from the lower for noise and feline control.  Revati Locke, with the help of several donors graced the front of the building with a beautiful new flag of her own design, which can be seen at the top of this newsletter.

We're enjoying the beautiful, quiet space and are able to welcome friends and visitors from around the country, as well as England , Japan , Thailand, and Canada for practice, refuge, classes, and conversation. The community of practitioners in Oak Park is slowly but surely growing, and acquiring some momentum for regular morning and evening practice times, as well as monthly one day retreats. Sutta Study on Friday evenings is keeping us on our toes as we learn to flex our critical minds a bit as we dig into the texts with Santikaro 's assistance.

Several community members, including Santikaro , enjoyed Leigh Brasington's weeklong Jhana retreat in Indiana at the beginning of August, and Leigh was able to spend two nights with us and speak with the wider community - a much appreciated event.

Josephine Seccombe visited us from England and we all enjoyed her delightful brand of Enneagram teaching, in an evening event for Liberation Park , to discuss communication styles amongst the various types.


Comings and Goings

We've bid a sad farewell to two much-loved and missed friends, Mary & Bob Woodbury, who relocated to Cambridge this summer. Impermanence strikes again. We wish them well in their new locale and new endeavors. Happily, we get to welcome back Spirit Scott, and Jim Wilbrot, who were each away for some time but are back again and able to join us in study, practice and activism. Kay Krasin recently relocated from Chicago to just a couple blocks away so may join us more regularly. We also welcome our friend-from-afar, Behty Harrison, who is scheduled to become a neighbor and Oak Park resident this fall.

Santikaro bids farewell to a friend and fellow monk, who was murdered under suspicious circumstances while working to protect forest land from rapacious development in Thailand . Please see the website for more detailed information http://www.liberationpark.org/supoj.htm . The Buddhist Peace Fellowship, as well as activist groups in Thailand , are working to ensure an investigation is adequately pursued. 


Practice, Study & Service

Santikaro , Spirit and Bret Lortie are contributing their organizational energy to the local chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship which is beginning to take shape as they formulate action plans around several peace and justice issues, particularly the increasing militarization of our society: http://www.bpf.org/chicago/ .

The New Year's Retreat is scheduled again for the weekend of New Year's Day, this time at Cabrini Center in Des Plaines , IL . Please see the website for details if you would like to join us http://www.liberationpark.org/events/chi-rets1.htm . Several area short retreats are in organizational process for 2006. Please watch for details

We are looking forward to a certain momentum of Dhamma study and practice here in Chicagoland, in the unique style of Ajahn Buddhadasa, and will be shortly expanding the board with one or two new permanent positions, and several advisory positions. A practice committee will be assembled as well to assist in formulating our practice direction as more people are able to assist and support the practice and study schedule as a community. The pull of a more rural environment is making itself felt, too, so possibilities for a rural move in the next several years are being explored. More details to come.

Jo Marie is leaving her extra-curricular work as a nurse and joining Liberation Park in a full time capacity at the end of this month. This will allow some much needed space for the pursuit of her own practice as well as the time to adequately keep up with various organizational tasks and much anticipated projects, including helping Santikaro with translation and editing projects. This will also allow a more consistent resident presence at Liberation Park as Santikaro spends more time away teaching, both in Chicagoland and farther afield.


Travels

Santikaro will be at Cloud Mountain in Washington State in early October, traveling to Korea in November to speak at the opening of a new meditation center in Seoul , and teaching in Thailand for the month of December. Please see the website for teaching and travel details: http://www.liberationpark.org/events/retreats1.htm .

During December, regularly scheduled classes at Liberation Park will be suspended while Santikaro is away and Jo Marie is in silent retreat. All are welcome to join in the usual morning and evening practice schedule, in silence both before and after.


Thank You

Again, thank you for your practice and support of these Dhamma endeavors. If you wish to continue your kind support - materially, spiritually and in friendship - all forms are appreciated deeply. May you be well and may your practices flourish.


In Metta,

Santikaro , Jo Marie , and the Liberation Park Community


Previous Newsletter (February 2005)


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