Liberation Park’s first Open House was a beautiful “success.” Despite threats of nasty weather, 40 people gathered from as far away as the Twin Cities, Chicago, Kansas City, and Lawrence, KS, not to mention Wisconsin’s own Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Osseo, La Crosse, Viroqua, and La Farge. Varied, tasty, and bountiful food was shared, folks from various Sanghas met & mingled, the valley was toured, LP’s vision & mission were explained, and Dhamma was explored with special reference to Ajahn Buddhadasa.
Though rain poured heavily before dawn, and threatened all day, showers were brief & light. The overcast and mist enhanced the beauty of the Fall colors that are just coming into their own. In the end, despite organizers practicing with uncertainty in order to allay anxieties, the weather was never a problem. Just part of the mix. (That Tender Shoot of Joy provided a perfectly sized tent to eat under while the sky dripped did not hurt.)
The cider press was working and many had fun picking apples and participating in the squeezing. One young man from the Twin Cities provided much needed power. (The next day a friend made up a big batch of apple sauce for us.)
How do we measure “success,” something so important in America, in Dhamma terms? Here are some of ways:
- people came together with good-will
- a diversity or ages & cultures were present
- new friendships were formed
- a spirit of intrepidity allowed everyone to flow with conditions
- Dhamma was contemplated
- Sangha was strengthened
- many hearts and hands made it all possible
- there were many smiles
Also, our new Guest House project was gently launched and the day’s donations went to its building fund. More information will be forthcoming about this big step in LP’s evolution and ability to serve Dhamma students & practitioners.
Perhaps this will become an annual event, maybe in the Spring next year.
More images will be posted as guests send them.