Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mindful and Peaceful New Year

Dear friends in the Dhamma,


 Photos taken on December 29th at my winter Meditation retreat in  Sunny Southern California located 10 miles north of Escondido


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Can Yoga and Buddhist Meditation Mix

Hi Friends,
Here is  new Dhamma talk recorded at a retreat I conducted in Maharashtra, India in October. It is about the suitability of mixing or integrating the practice of Yoga exercises and deep breathing into the practice of vipassana meditation. Enjoy!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Overdue Update

The new improved Sambodhi Meditation Center in Ladakh

Hi Friends,
 Sorry for the delay between posts. I was Ladakh, India from July 19-September 20th and the internet access was such that I could not create new posts. Now I am in Mumbai for two days with good connections and time for getting in a quick update.
 My travel and teaching schedule took me to Germany, Ladakh and now in Maharashtra State, in central India. All of the retreats and teachings went on well with good participation in all these locations. You can consult the Travel/Teaching page to see the details of those retreats.

After leaving Germany I arrived in Leh, Ladakh, India on July 19thst. I stayed at the the Mahabodhi Sambodhi Retreat Center for two months conducting a series of 8 retreats. It was three years since I was there last and a lot of good, attractive improvements have been made. It is a very wonderful place to hold retreats, but only in the summer months.
In between retreats I was able to get in some trekking to some places I had not been to before.

It begins to get cold in Ladakh, at an elevation over 11,000ft. in the middle of September and the number of tourists begin to dwindle.
So the Sambodhi retreats closes up shop about then, as 90 percent of the retreat participants are from outside India. So I also headed south to Middle India. Now I am currently in Maharashtra where the temperature is above 30 C.
Here are some photos.

Chainsawed Buddha out of tree truck at the Metta Vihara, Allagau,Germany

With old friend Hans Bloching on a day hike in the Alps

Taking a refreshing swim after the hike.

Colorful garden in Sheneverdingen, Germany

View of Himalayas from plane on the way from Delhi to Ladakh

Viewpoint at Mahabodhi with Stok Kangri 20,00ft.

View of the entire Mahabodhi Devachan campus with the Sambodhi meditation center in the foreground; note viewpoint at left 
The Milarepa rock cave outdoor meditation site

Notice the second viewpoint at top of mountain

Young samaneras circumambulating the stupa

 It is a long climb up

But well worth it!

Sunrise meditation on top viewpoint 

Scenes from my treks
The trekking monk

Overnight camp on the way to the Stok La

Rugged, beautiful mountains

Steep climb up to the Stok La; 4,900 meters elevation

Interesting, unusual sight in the Nubra valley

Usual chores in the remote villages

The Monastery in Tangyar village

View of the Shyog River valley in the Nubra Valley

Green oasis is a pleasant respite from the unrelenting sunshine on the high barren mountains

The last sunrise on the week long trek through the Nubra Valley

Selfie at the end of 100 kilometer solo trek through Nubra Valley

May all Beings be Well, Peaceful and Wise

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center

The new Meditation Center on the hill

Hi Friends,
Since leaving Brasil I have been staying at the new, Pannasiha, 'Lion of Wisdom' Meditation Center, a forty five minute drive from Washington DC. It is a large seven bedroom house on three acres of land amidst the rolling hills and farmland near Damascus, Maryland. It was purchased by Bhante M. Dhammasiri and the Washington Buddhist Vihara. I was asked to be the director and the principal meditation teacher there. The combined Vesak and opening ceremony of the new center was held on May 21st. However, the house still needs some repair and renovations before it is suitable for holding short retreats and accomodating overnight guests. Starting next April hopefully I will begin conducting A Day of Mindfulness, as well as short weekend retreats. We hope to be able to accomodate persons for personal retreat periods also. It is still a work in progress. There is a new website for the You can keep checking it from time to time for updates. At some point in the future there may be a facebook page.
Below are some photos of the center and the Vesak/opening ceremony.

View of house and deck from the back

Panorama of the house with dilapidated horse stable and woods

  Secluded woods in the far corner of the property

Small meditation tent in the woods

The mason monk at work

The statue and sign were covered to have the official unveiling at the opening ceremony

Awaiting the procession of vehicles from Washington D.C.

Sri Lankan boys awaiting their performance

Vehicles escorting the sitting Buddha statue 

Pick up carrying the Buddha 

Devotees greeting the arriving Buddha 

Awaiting arrival of the Buddha

Carrying the Buddha to the house

Bhante Dhammasiri and the Hon. Ambassador of Sri Lanka to cut the ribbon

The Buddha with the 'teaching mudra' installed in the meditation hall

Preparing to unveil the standing Buddha 

 Explaining about the mudra of Fearlessness

Invited government reps unveil the sign

Monks having the noon dana

 The afternoon Vesak Ceremony

Giving the Vesak address with government representatives behind

There is no meditation without Wisdom,
No wisdom without meditation,
One who both meditates and is wise,
Is close to peace and freedom (Nibbana)
                                                                                                                     Dhammapada 372

Meanwhile, I am off on a four month teaching tour to Germany and India. 
May all beings have the opportunity to hear the Dhamma and practise meditation to help free their minds from confusion and suffering.