Friday, March 1, 2024

Trip to Brazil 2024

                                              Landing in the Megalopolis of Sao Paulo

On February 7th I flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil to start a 17 day teaching trip. I was invited by the Casa de Dharma Buddhist Center to lead a five day meditation retreat on the theme of, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. The Casa de Dharma meditation Center had been hosting Bhante H. Gunaratana, myself and Ven.Uganda Buddharakkhita since 2004 to lead their annual Carnival retreats. They have all three of our photos on the wall in the library of the center located in the heart of Sao Paulo surrounded by tall skyscrapers.
 The retreat was held in a Catholic nuns retreat center an hour and a half drive outside of the very large city; there were 54 participants. After the retreat I gave a post retreat Dhamma talk to some of the retreatants at the Casa de Dharma city center. I was then invited for a two day R&R period at a nice house on the coast south of Sao Paulo. 
I then made a five hour car journey with two members of the Casa De Dharma to the small city of San Lorenco to visit the Suddhavari Forest monastery. It is a branch monastery of the Ajahn Chan Forest  Sangha tradition. The abbot is a Brazilian monk named, Ajahn Mudito,who I had met when I had visited Thailand in 2006. The Suddhavari monastery is spread out over some low hills verdant green hills about five outside of San Lorenco. I spent a relaxing time at the monastery and gave a Dhamma talk one night that was translated into Portuguese by Ajahn Mudito.
After returning to Sao Paulo I gave a final Dhamma talk at the Casa De Dharma and the next day flew back to Washington and Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center.
The following photos sum it up.

                                                     My breakfast view in the library room

From left: Bhante U. Buddharakkhita, Bhante H. Gunaratana, Bhante Y. Rahula

                                                        Meditation Hall at the retreat center: note the figure at left watching over us

Dining hall

Group photo from retreat

House where I stayed two days: my bedroom was on the third floor at left

Nice sunrise from bedroom balcony


...and coconuts

Panorama of the Suddhavari Monastery; new temple on the left

recently completed temple

Temple roof under the cloudy full moon

Main shrine inside the temple

                                     The kuti where I stayed, lower center with pillars on porch

Nice meditation seat on my kuti porch with morning fog

                                                  yellow parakeet in tree in front of my kuti

                                                                           wild turkeys

                                                          My breakfast table with a view

Ajahn Mudito and two resident monks having breakfast

                             Returning from lunch at a restaurant in the town of San Lorenco

                                            with Dhamma friends on a walk in the water park

                                   Return flight approaching Dulles airport in the early morning


Monday, December 25, 2023

 Bhante Rahula and all the residents at the Lion of Wisdom Meditation Center wish you a Mindful and prosperous New Year in 2024.

Portions of our Year End Retreat will be available for participation live over Zoom. Here is the schedule for the Zoom broadcasts.
Thursday, Dec. 28th through Sunday Dec. 31st; each day 2-4.30 pm, Dhamma talk and meditation.
Sat. Dec. 30th through Monday Jan. 1st, each day  9-11 am; instructions and meditation.
Sunday Dec. 31st, 8.0 pm-Midnight, Q and A, special evening chanting, meditation, yoga to greet the New Year 2024.
Join these programs 
Here is a link to the lyrics and song, Buddhamas Carol, or Ode to the Vipassana Yogi. This song was composed by Bhante Yogavacara Rahula for you Mindful meditations over the holidays:

Please view the My Books page to see the new updated versions of Bhante y. Rahula's books, One Night's Shelter and the Masterful Teachings of Gotama Buddha.


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