Reports, Retreats, Reasons to go on

Tonight we have invited Steven Smith – one of the very long term practitioners who brought Vipassana to the West, and who has been teaching meditation retreats for something like 30 years already. This will be our last event for a while – although there will be some of the regular small gatherings and events by other groups going on – next planned gathering is the end of April when we’ll do a lunch/movie day at the Tai Pan on the controversial but always interesting Indian guru Osho.

There are a number of retreats on the RETREATS page – including a weekend in the chilly Chiang Rai with the New Life Foundation, taught by Pandit Bhikkhu and Marisa Cranfil Baratelli. Focus is on body awareness, using vipassana, yoga, qi gong, and some free time for walking or steam bath. The facility is supposed to be very nice, with individual rooms for yogis. Several other special retreats are listed there – for general retreats around Thailand use the PDF document on the retreats page. It is too much for one blogger to try and list everything around Thailand, so we focus on Bangkok only.

A report on Ringu Tulku’s February visit was in the works, but Dr Andy beat us to it, and wrote a nice photo blog on the time his teacher spent in Thailand: Click here for the report

A report on our trip to Pak Chong to see AJahn Jayasaro was also in the works …..Notes From A Dhamma Talk By Ajahn Jayasaro on March 20 2011(probably most useful for those who were there) . About 40+ people we know were there, plus about 30 of the crowd who regularly go to see him there on the first and third Sunday’s of the month. No one mentioned that the Chok Chai farm, which we pass on the way there, has freshly made ice-cream. Debating if we should call in there next time on the way there, or the way back we decided to do both. That trip to Pak Chong will be just before the Vassa (Rains) period – probably the first Sunday of July.

For the many who missed it, Tuesday evening we had a very nice Audience with Bhikkhuni Suvijjana. Though only just ordained, she was very pleasant to listen to, and handled questions deftly, and with joy.

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, on his second trip to Thailand in 6 months (he never returns to places that quickly, so it’s a good sign his group will be more present here) is teaching in Mahacula University. Disorganisation on the part of the Uni, is to be expected! But the facilities are spacious. 6 of us took the trip up there yesterday. The dhamma talk had not been scheduled, but there were questions and answers with the man himself. The diabolical sound management meant hardly anyone could hear anything for the first hour. But it was nice to be in his presence, and that of the 100 monks/nuns travelling with him.

He will be at the BIA on Satruday 2nd. Details on the event are scant – check the BIA website for yourself! If you read Thai you might glean a few extra details. Apparently his monks/nuns will be there monthly from now on. Hope the information is better than it has been so far.

May will be quiet, as I depart for a month long trip to Singapore. In June we have some of the international Bhikkhunis here and we’re trying to set up some events with them. We’ll also start a weekly meditation somewhere on Monday evenings, up until the Rains Talks series begins in late July. The talks will be Monday evenings, on the theme of emptiness, and run for 10 weeks. Beyond that who knows …? We’re gunning for a retreat on a mountain in Chiang Mai, high up, darn chilly, beautiful vistas – and not the Windows kind. The centre is immaculate and the most perfect place imaginable for a retreat. MC Brigitte, Steven Smith, and Marisa have all offered to help with the teachign if they are available when the dates are set. 1-0 December is the aim.

One reply on “Reports, Retreats, Reasons to go on”

  1. I forgot to mention that we had 22 people in the mini-vans +1 monk. The vans cost 2500 baht each. With some of the excess money we bought ice-cream for everyone (who doesn’t like ice-cream right?) but it was 40 baht/tub x 23 people 🙁
    In the end we had 1000 baht left over which Dr Holly put into group funds.
    Sometimes the numbers in the vans work out, and we have an excess, and sometimes it pans out poorly and we have to dip into group funds to help pay.

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