Doug and Peter, with some help from me, dug half of the eight post holes needed for the hermitage’s post & beam foundation. Since we may be having a string of 4-5 days without rain (which hasn’t happened here since March in this very wet “Spring”), there’s little chance of the holes collapsing before the posts arrive.
The posts & beams should arrive Tuesday, after which Doug and I will install the first four posts, then dig the remaining four holes.
In the past, we’ve used a friend’s tractor powered augur to dig most of the holes. In this location, that won’t work. On one hand, it’s hard work digging the holes by hand (though not all that sweaty with the weather we’re having just now). On the other hand, the hand dug holes are more precisely where we need them and more plumb. And after all the rain, the digging isn’t all that hard … except where roots intervene.
Working in the back pasture area, with the field full of butterflies and the woods sounding of birds and wildflowers blooming all over (such as cinquefoil and hawkweed, currently), is a joy and blessing.
Hoping a steady stream of Dhamma students and practitioners, will make use of this delightful spot. It should be a nifty place to watch the changing of the seasons and the changing of our mind-bodies.
Our plan is to have the post and beam foundation in before I leave for two weeks at Cloud Mountain. Carlo will arrive the beginning of August, after which we’ll erect walls and roof, then start finishing things off. Volunteer workers from Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago area, and elsewhere have been signing up.
Ajahn Buddhadasa liked to say that “Intimacy with Nature makes it easier to be intimate with Dhamma.” This hermitage is a step in making it easier for our friends to be intimate with Nature-Dhamma all seasons of the year.
Check out info on the website if you are inspired to retreat in this hermitage (may be available in the Fall) or one of the tent cabins.