|Midwestern Dhamma Refuge
grounded in contemplative practice
for a peaceful, just, & sustainable society
It’s been a long, cold winter in many locales. We hope you and loved ones have come through the cold months in good spirits and are enjoying the emerging spring which burst out here in much glory. Now, the thunderstorms.
Here at Liberation Park in Norwalk we’re beginning our second work season after a nearly six month hiatus from building! Temperatures are on the increase, wild flowers are blooming, and the area is greening beautifully. The structures in progress weathered the winter nicely and we look forward to resuming work soon.
Please visit http://www.liberationpark.org/events/workends.htm for work weekend dates. We hope you’ll pick a date or two, or more, and join us for work, fun, meditation, and Dhamma discussion.
The first cabin foundation - a large multi-use cabin towards the front of the property - awaits caulking, insulating, and flooring. Then we can erect the walls and put on a roof. This will be the major project of the year, with work ongoing throughout the season.
Fellow Driftless region denizen Susan Cushing has loaned her beautiful tipi to be sited at Liberation Park. The tipi is a large, 18 foot diameter structure which will be placed on a wooden platform and be available for retreat housing. We need help trimming the poles.
The garden fence is almost done and we've begun to plant. New beds will be dug and planted throughout June. Our goals are modest this first season, yet we hope for some delicious fresh veggies and some for winter storage.
The old, sagging, and somewhat hazardous barbed wire fencing will gradually be replaced with a safer and more attractive white poly-steel fencing. We’ll begin with the south border of the property this summer.
The barn requires some finishing: battens on the siding, window framing, and doors. We hope to finish most of this in June.
We hope to create a semi-permanent leveled and graveled parking area inside the property gates.
Honey suckle, prickly ash, Canada thistle, and other invasive species clean up will continue.
The temporary pressure tank and well spigot survived the winter pretty much intact, but with many episodes of freezing. Before next winter we’ll house this area to better protect it.
As we look forward to the pending projects that will make Liberation Park grounds more accessible for those wishing to spend time here, the largest and most important piece is clearly the construction of bathing and cooking facilities. This aspect of development will require a septic system, and the hiring out of some of the major areas of construction: foundation, electric, and plumbing. This will be one of the most significant steps we take, both financially, and in terms of increased use-ability of LP. We do not currently have the funds for this large project. Planning and strategizing will begin in 2009.
For those many of you who treasure the outdoors and find solace, faith, and wisdom in meditating close to nature, please feel very welcome to make arrangements for a camping retreat. You may bring your own equipment and stake out a green corner for yourself, or you may use one of the two comfortable wall tents. Those coming for study and practice will not be expected to participate in the building projects.
We look forward to seeing you all sometime this year!