Monday, July 17, 2023

Long overdue Update

Hi Friends,
 I am planning to try and keep this blog more up to date with my living and teaching here at the Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center near Damascus Maryland, and the periodic travel and teaching outside of the Lion of Wisdom. This will begin with uploading more recent photos from LOW here and from my recent return to teaching in Germany. 
I was in Germany for three weeks from June 7th-27th with one week in Berlin and two weeks near Hamburg at the Haus Der Stille Retreat Center. 
During my week in Berlin I stayed with my longtime Sri Lankan friend Gitan and his German wife Susan. Here are a few photos of the beautiful secluded bungalow, on the outskirts Of Berlin where we spent the evenings and mornings, enjoying the natural surroundings.
Danish style bungalow near Spandau

Quaint treehouse in the large yard

Typical German breakfast

view from breakfast table

My favorite German lunch: juicy white asparagus, potatoes, scrambled eggs with tofu and salad served by Susan in their apartment in Charlottenburg.

I conducted a weekend yoga and meditation seminar (as retreats are often called in Germany) in Berlin at a new yoga center named, School for Yoga and Prana. This center was started by the senior student of Asha and Keshav Rekai, for those of you who know of them from many of my previous posts before 2017. Keshav has since passed away and Asha has unfortunately retired from teaching due to onset of dementia. Many of my prior friends/students from Berlin attended this program so it was a reunion of sorts.
While in Berlin I visited the venerable Buddhistisches Haus in Frohnau and met some old friends there for a 'reunion' meditation.

Photos with old friends from a small pre-birthday celebration at a Chinese restaurant outside of Berlin

From Berlin I rode the train with Gitan and Susan to Buchen (40 kilometers outside of Hamburg) to get ready for the annual 10-day vipassana with yoga meditation retreat at Haus Der Stille that I had been conducting there since 1988. The last time I had given the course  was in 2018. Again, many old students/Dhamma friends came to participate and to celebrate my 75th birthday on June 21st.

Main House Entrance

Resident Swans in the adjacent ponds
Participants including Ven. Sukhacitto who translated

Students singing Happy birthday....

in English and German

Here are some newer photos at the Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center

Self-retreat kutis

Bonfire, meditating on the 'fire element'

Mitta in the kitchen

Y'all come for a visit

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

 Finished outbuilding self-retreat block

Hi Dhamma Friends,
It has been a long time since I have posted anything up on this blog. My main postings/dhamma talks have been on the website. I hope most of you would by now have that website  marked for regular checking.

But here I want to describe what I've been doing during much of this Pandemic isolation.
We have finished the renovation of the old dilapidated horse stable into a nice semi-self-retreat six room outbuilding. It has a workshop/storage room, a meditation room, a compost toilet/sink bathroom and three individual retreat rooms.
We have also had a nice proper fire ring built by a local Boy Scout for his eagle Scout project. And a flourishing bog pond as an outdoor meditation area.
Here I am including some of these and other photos of the Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center.

Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center nestled amongst the trees

Main house in Springtime

In Wintertime

Back entrance

Alter in Meditation hall

Hello, my name is Mitta, the friendly LOW cat

Original condition of horse stable

Early stages of the renovation 

Part way through renovation last year

Preparing for concrete floor

View of back yard in early Spring

View in Summer

Bog pond last summer

In September

The small Lilly pond

Meditation room with French door is the first finished room

Wall painting in the small meditation hall
Progress; room with brass plaque is the bathroom....

.....with compost toilet/urinal/sink

Three individual retreat rooms

Inside finished self- retreat cell with skylight

The other room

Current status of bog pond, August 3rd '21

Bog Pond after sunset with rising Full moon

Fire ring for periodic bonfires and roasting marshmallows

Bonfire on the 4th of July '21

See ya

Please come and visit, participate in one of our meditation classes or retreats or longer self-retreat. All of our programs services are provided without monetary charge, however donations are always needed/appreciated for the ongoing upkeep running of the center, to make available the wonderful, mind healing teachings of the BuddhaDhamma to all.