BHAVANA SOCIETY NEWSLETTER (excerpts) Vol. 9, No. 3 July-September, 1993 Copyright 1993 Bh

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BHAVANA SOCIETY NEWSLETTER (excerpts) Vol. 9, No. 3 July-September, 1993 Copyright 1993 Bhavana Society Bhavana Society Rt. 1 Box 218-3 High View, WV 26808 Tel: (304) 856-3241 Fax: (304) 856-2111 This electronic edition is offered for free distribution via DharmaNet by arrangement with the Bhavana Society. DharmaNet International P.O. Box 4951, Berkeley CA 94704-4951 * * * * * * * * CONTENTS "The Declaration of a Global Ethic" - 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions "The Four Divine Abodes, Death, And Me" by Patrick Hamilton "A Ponderable Point" by Petr-Karel Ontl Notes and News * * * * * * * * THE DECLARATION OF A GLOBAL ETHIC 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions August 28 - September 5, 1993 Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. [We are pleased to enclose in this newsletter the following Global Ethic declaration signed by most of us.] We affirm that this truth is already known, but yet to be lived in heart and action. We affirm that there is an irrevocable, unconditional norm for all areas of life, for families and communities, for races, nations, and religions. There already exist ancient guidelines for human behavior which are found in the teachings of the religions of the world and which are the condition for a sustainable world order. The world is in agony. The agony is so pervasive and urgent that we are compelled to name its manifestations so that the depth of this pain may be made clear. Peace eludes us ... the planet is being destroyed ... neighbors live in fear... women and men are estranged from each other... children die! This is abhorrent! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We condemn the abuses of Earth's ecosystems. We condemn the poverty that stifles life's potential; the hunger that weakens the human body; the economic disparities that threaten so many families with ruin. We condemn the social disarray of the nations; the disregard for justice which pushes citizens to the margin; the anarchy overtaking our communities; and the insane death of children from violence. In particular we condemn aggression and hatred in the name of religion. But this agony need not be. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It need not be because the basis for an ethic already exists. This ethic offers the possibility of a better individual and global order, and leads individuals away from despair and societies away from chaos. We are women and men who have embraced the precepts and practices of the world's religions. We affirm that a common set of core values is found in the teachings of the religions, and that these form the basis of a global ethic. We affirm that this truth is already known, but yet to be lived in heart and action. We affirm that there is an irrevocably, unconditional norm for all areas of life, for families and communities, for races, nations, and religions. There already exist ancient guidelines for human behavior which are found in the teachings of the religions of the world and which are the condition for a sustainable world order. We Declare: ~~~~~~~~~~~ We are interdependent. Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, and so we have respect for the community of living beings, for people, animals, and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil. We take individual responsibility for all we do. All our decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences. We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. We make a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that every person is treated humanely, without exception. We must have patience and acceptance. We must be able to forgive, learning from the past but never allowing ourselves to be enslaved by memories of hate. Opening our hearts to one another, we must sink our narrow differences for the cause of the world community, practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness. We consider humankind our family. We must strive to be kind and generous. We must not live for ourselves alone, but should also serve others, never forgetting the children, the aged, the poor, the suffering, the disabled, the refugees, and the lonely. No person should ever be considered or treated as a second-class citizen, or be exploited in any way whatsoever. There should be equal partnership between men and women. We must not commit any kind of sexual immorality. We must put behind us all forms of domination or abuse. We commit ourselves to a culture of nonviolence, respect, justice, and peace. We shall not oppress, injure, torture, or kill other human beings, forsaking violence as a means of settling differences. We must strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. We must speak and act truthfully and with compassion, dealing fairly with all, and avoiding prejudice and hatred. We must not steal. We must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money, and consumption to make a just and peaceful world. Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. We pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, by meditation, by prayer, or by positive thinking. Without risk and a readiness to sacrifice there can be no fundamental change in our situation. Therefore we commit ourselves to this global ethic, to understanding one another, and to socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life. We invite all people, whether religious or not, to do the same. * * * * * * * * THE FOUR DIVINE ABODES, DEATH, AND ME by Patrick Hamilton "When your fear touches someone's pain, it becomes pity. When your love touches someone's pain, it becomes compassion." Stephen Levine In several suttas of the Pali Tipitaka the Lord Buddha refers to the Four Divine Abodes (Catur Brahma Vihara). He repeatedly encourages his listeners to practice rousing and maintaining these positive mental states--Loving Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, Equanimity, and Compassion. Now, 2500 years after these instructions were first laid down, we American householders can still benefit greatly from learning the practice of controlling our everyday monkey mind with the discipline of the Four Divine Abodes. In our complicated and difficult lives we will come to see that developing this practice can become a powerful adjunct to our often irregular practice of more disciplined techniques, such as formal sitting Vipassana sessions. Modern Life Versus the Four Divine Abodes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We live in a complex and conflicted time. Setting aside time for formal Dhamma practice is difficult in a life crowded with family, work, and social duties. Even making time for the relatively simple practice of mentally recalling the Four Divine Abodes and trying to teach the mind to dwell in these special states of peace and joy is a challenge. Moreover, contemporary American society as most of us experience it has little in common with Lord Buddha's India of two and one half millennia ago. Our awareness of the differences in the two societies sometimes sows a seed of doubt in our minds that the ancient teachings of the Buddha-sasana can still contain useful, applicable meanings for us today. We often doubt that as lay people we can properly disentangle the transcendent meaning of the Buddha's message, conveyed in such seemingly simple parables and stories, from the dense cultural context it is imbedded in. When we read modern English translations of the Pali Tipitaka and seek to apply the lessons of the ancient suttas to our lives we need to take time and perform a mental cultural translation as well. This socio-cultural interpretation is necessary to set the Buddha's words clearly against the social context of his audience and to adjust his message, to the realities and idioms of our lives. The Buddha's teachings are timeless, believe, and their value extends beyond linguistic and cultural boundaries. However, we need to remember that his audience was composed largely of farmers, petty merchants, and the few urban elites--artisans, masons, minor government officials--that composed the relatively simple social structures of his day. A Master Teacher, Lord Buddha cast his message in terms his audience would readily understand and find easy to apply. Today, we need to be sure we are aware of the cultural context assumed by the compilers of the Pali Tipitaka as the background of the Buddha's message. Our first step in applying the teachings of the Buddha-Dhamma, therefore, is to fully grasp the essence of a lesson--such as the teachings on the Four Divine Abidings--and clearly recognize the timeless content from the cultural context of the lesson. Finding the Four Divine Abodes in Daily Life ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As lay people studying the Buddha-sasana, I believe we must each make a conscious daily effort to discover the timely message of Dhamma practice in our own lives. Techniques like the teachings on the Four Divine Abodes, provide a valuable, practical, and immediately applicable opportunity to experience the deeper insights of the Buddha's teachings. For us, modern householders seeking to uncover and demonstrate the validity of the Buddha-sasana in the daily reality of 20th century America, it can be a life's work to realize the truths of Metta, Mudita, Upekkha, and Karuna (Loving Kindness, Sympathetic Joy, Equanimity, and Compassion). In my life, I search for opportunities to experience each of the Four Divine Abodes in my mind as I move through my day. It is a natural and unfettered process. The truth of the practice is self-evident and I can readily recognize the mental shift from anger to love in a business telephone call when I take a moment to become aware of the pain I cause myself and my listener by holding to a selfish view. I can easily see the relief l provide even in something as simple as paying for my lunch in the cafeteria line when I give the check-out woman a split second of equanimity and relaxation by taking the time to say "thank-you" in a heart-felt manner. When I take an extra moment to congratulate a co-worker on his recent promotion and he senses the sincerity and lack of guile in my voice I can see that he is moved and happy. Similarly, when I break my work long enough to share my secretary's grief after hearing that her daughter's medical condition has worsened, she gains a bit of comfort from hearing the depth of my very real concern, unmasked by the bureaucratic formulae that characterize so many personal interactions in a government office. Making a Social Solace for the Practice ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Although we can see the value of developing the Four Divine Abodes by watching our daily interactions with an open and accepting mind, we can make them more real by finding a place in our lives where we can practice them in greater depth in a more structured manner. The Pali Tipitaka recommends a number of formalized practices designed to rouse the mind's experience of Metta, Mudita, Upekkha, and Karuna. These techniques are valuable and treasured practices for lay-people and monks alike. I am recommending, however, that each student of the Dhamma enhance his understanding of the traditional teachings by adapting these practices to his own life. In my life I have found that my work as a Hospice volunteer once a week provides me with a valuable structured environment to practice the Four Divine Abodes. For four hours a week my life is not my own. I give it to the terminally ill patients who spend their last days at the Hospice where I volunteer as a patient-care assistant. While I am with the patients, I have no time to indulge the petty mental practices that otherwise consume much of my waking hours. The patients do not need a volunteer who is full of his own concerns. There is not room in that environment for conflicting opinions and emotions. I have to actively suppress the negative mental states that I too often allow myself during regular times. My need to focus on the very immediate concerns of patient care means I have to retrain my mind to avoid lazy and pointless mental traps. Because the work is difficult and calls on uncommon skills, I have to pay strong, bare-bones attention to each detail. Working with the dying provides me an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the Buddha-sasana and to apply the insights gained from the practice of the Four Divine Abodes. My volunteer evening is often the one occasion during the week when my every action could' potentially--have life-or-death outcomes for someone else. The work is very immediate as patients move rapidly through the last stages of the death process. As a volunteer, I have no authority for a dying person's care, yet I may find myself the last person to speak to a patient before the final moment of death. I feel a great responsibility to be there with each patient, to reflect their mental state accurately, to help them maintain their calm understanding of what is happening to them, yet never to interfere with these last moments. It is a marvelous burden. I am honored to be so close to people as they make their final transition. Death and the Four Divine Abodes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For me, sharing the death experience with so many people, their families and friends, and the professional staff of the Hospice has been a weekly experience of the core teachings of the Buddha-sasana. Beyond the demonstration of the reality of suffering, the fact of impermanence, and the truth of no-self, it has given me the unequaled opportunity to practice the Four Divine Abodes. Hospice work for me has meant developing the four positive mental states in a setting of real and immediate need. When I seek to rouse Karuna in this environment, it must be real, applicable compassion. There is no place or time here for an intellectual, academic sense of compassion. I need to demonstrate a compassion based on the patient's often unstated demand for clear and present relief of his suffering. I do not have the leisure to ponder the metaphysical and personally redemptive value of a disembodied Karuna. I have no time to consider the meditative nature of Karuna devoid of subject. Hospice compassion must be focused and responsive to patient concerns, not mine. Similarly, I need to place my mind in equanimity when I leave the patient's bedside to work with the family. Spouses, parents, and children facing the immediate separation from a loved one need the support of a calm, accepting, and warm volunteer. I have no time to reflect how this flow of emotional energy is affecting my mental state--my Upekkha must be unquestioned to provide them the strength and support they need as they face life's greatest challenge. Metta (love without clinging or desire) is a staple in Hospice work. I was surprised to find that by cultivating Metta in dealing with patients and their families I was better able to reduce their anxiety as they faced the unknown in a strange place. Both the patient and his family are often unsure of what to expect when they come to Hospice. "Doesn't everyone just come here to die?" is a common question. "People come here to live with comfort and dignity for as long as their life span will last," I answer. "Many go home to enjoy a period of quiet and sharing with their families that would have been unthinkable in a hospital situation." But beyond the words--which they had probably already read in the Hospice pamphlet anyway, I believe my positive energy, my expression of Metta as love and acceptance, can be the start of the process that heals their anxiety and prepares them for whatever changes they are going to face. Surprisingly, I have found occasions when Mudita (Sympathetic Joy) was the proper mental state called for as a patient and his family prepared for those last hours together. Some people have lived their lives so fully and in such expectation of a warm and welcoming reward that they project a special joy as they prepare to make the transition to what they feel assured will be a blissful state. Rejoicing with them as I keep them physically comfortable is the only appropriate response and has revealed whole layers of new meaning of the word Mudita to me. Back in the Marketplace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the famous allegorical Oxherding Pictures, the Chinese Zen artist closes his series of stages of mental development with the realization of Nirvana as Picture number 8. Later artists often added Pictures 9 and 10 to bring the herdsman back to the busy marketplace and to place the parable of religious growth strongly into focus against the background of human experience. The trained meditator who has realized the insights of the Buddha-sasana returns to the workaday world of a crowded market to share his enlightenment with the people he meets there. I feel I understand what the artist is pointing to with his visual parable. In my limited experience of the truths of the Buddha-sasana it has been only when I could take the personal insights gained through my meditation practice "back into the marketplace" and see them reflected against the reality of my daily life that I could grasp their deeper meaning. I know I have misinterpreted or failed to grasp an insight when I try to see it in the harsh light of my everyday life and it wiggles, blanches, or slips out of my grasp. I recommend that American students of the Buddha-sasana find occasions to test the strength of their realization in their everyday lives. Especially those of us who practice Vipassana here in the West need to test our insights against the realities of American culture to insure that our new learnings are rooted in our cultural and social environment. After all, the Buddha himself was firm on this point: "Do not believe something because I have told it to you. Believe it only after you have tested it in the crucible of your own experience and found it to be true." We can ask for no better guidance. "The water of Compassion courses Through the canal of Loving-Kindness." Bodhisattva Maitreya to Asanga Mahayana Sutras * * * * * * * * A PONDERABLE POINT by Petr-Karel Ontl SEVERAL YEARS AGO my mother and I were living in rural northern Vermont, in a rambling old farmhouse. A very dear friend, an American Buddhist lady, came to visit and to do a Vipassana retreat. After spending a day with us and catching up on things, she went upstairs, chose a small, Spartan-bare room with but a chair and a bed, and settled in with her tiny satchel of belongings, not to be seen nor heard from for a week. WHEN THE VISIT was over, this devout lady warmly thanked us for the hospitality and the opportunity to do the retreat. Then, just as she was leaving, she turned to bow solemnly three times in the living room... apparently to nothing in particular. I was a little surprised, as my shrine was in another part of the house, and there was nothing overtly Buddhist in sight. SENSING MY PUZZLEMENT, this wise lady taught me a valuable lesson. "I have lived in this house for over a week," she said. "It has kept me warm, safe, and sound throughout my stay. As the Buddha showed gratitude and appreciation to the Bodhi Tree for the shelter it provided Him, so do I thank this house for,, the shelter it has given me. THANKING A HOUSE? The concept is one which would seem thoroughly alien, even ridiculous, to most Westerners, especially today when the prevailing culture glorifies crudeness, arrogance, and insensitivity, and openly mocks those who still abide by manners, politeness, and restraint as wimps, nerds, and weaklings. Can you just see the field day the late night TV' comedians ' , who unfortunately are anything but funny, would have with the idea of showing gratitude to animals, plants, or inanimate objects? SADLY, IT HAS gone out of fashion for people to show common courtesy, consideration, and respect even to each other. Those who ask with a "Please," and acknowledge with a "Thank you," seem fewer by the day. Gone are the times when folks smiled at strangers, nodded, and greeted, "Good morning !" or, "Fine day!" Today we hurry coldly about our business with sour, frowning faces, ignoring whom we can, and all too often rudely snarling at those we can not avoid. Oh, I'm not saying that you and I specifically do it, but the general trend is undeniably there, and growing fast. Just last week a TV reporter observed that in New York City rudeness has "attained the level of a high art." What a comment on our society! IN CONTRAST, AT certain Zen temples, I am given to understand, the retreatants customarily bow to the Buddharupa, to the monk or teacher, and to each other. And then, just before they meditate, they bow yet again to the cushion upon which they are to sit. If we see this as honoring a mere cloth bag stuffed with kapok, yes, it does seem bizarre. But if we see the symbolism of the act, as well as what the cushion symbolizes, the beauty and meaning of the bow become immediately obvious. OF COURSE I am not advocating that we go about bowing publicly to every chair we sit on, every building, car, or bus we enter, and every utensil that we have occasion to use. That would indeed cumbersome and a bit silly-looking, and understandably would raise eyebrows everywhere. We would however do well to relearn to respect ourselves, one another, and the other beings and things with which we share existence, and on special occasions outwardly, and unceasingly inwardly, it would be good to acknowledge, and be mindful of, our indebtedness to all on which we depend in our everyday lives, for where would we be without them? AN ANECDOTE COMES to mind: Some time ago, when the latest wave of feminism began to wash over America, legend has it that a man was about to enter a building, and, noticing that a young woman was right behind him, he swung the door open, and held it so that she could also pass. The young woman, a militant feminist, commented stridently to the poor fellow: "Y'know, there's nothing wrong with me. I'm perfectly capable of opening doors for myself. You don't have to do that for me just because I'm a lady!" To this he cheerfully replied, "Miss, I am not holding the door because you are a lady. I am doing so because I am a gentleman, and because it is the proper and polite thing to do -for anyone. Good day !"IT IS EASY to be friendly, grateful, and kind to those who are friendly and kind to us. (Not that we always are... ) But the same consideration and goodwill should be extended to the strangers, and the enemies we meet. And to animals as well. IN OUR BEGINNINGLESS wanderings through Samsara, throughout the innumerable lives we have lived, whether here on the human plane, in our evolutions to the heavenly realms or in our devolutions to the animal and hell-realms, we all have met before, and been related one to another, in many different ways, over and over again. Today ' s stranger or enemy was someone dear to you in some past life. One traditional Tibetan story has it that every being, at some point in the endless past, was our mother, giving us life, nurture, protection, and love, and thus is even now deserving of our gratitude. BUT WHAT OF those who hurt us in the distant past, or here and now, often badly and willfully so? Well, have we ALWAYS been perfectly kind and fair to others? If so, what are we still doing here in Samsara? Let us recall the Buddha's word in the Dhammapada, "Not by hatred does hatred cease in this world, but by love alone. This is the law eternal." BE THEY REMEMBERED or forgotten, for past and present kindnesses let us always be grateful, and for past and present hurts, let us always be forgiving. We do not know the harm and pain we ourselves may have done to others in past lives. It is conceivable, even probable, that in our beginningless sojourn in Samsara, each and every one of us more than once has risen to levels kindness, generosity, and wisdom, and just as surely, every one of us must also have fallen to the level of the Pol Pots, the Saddam Husseins, and the Idi Amins. IT IS GOOD to admire and respect the great benefactors among us, but the villains are the ones who need our forgiveness, and our metta the most. Let us not forget the compassion, forgiveness, and love the Buddha extended to His enemies and detractors, among them Devadatta and Angulimala! EVEN TO THOSE WHO hate us and seek to do us harm let us show gratitude, because they too are teaching us valuable lessons, lessons on HOW NOT TO BE. Moreover, they deserve our pity too, for they hurt themselves far more than they can ever hope to hurt us. WE IN THE WEST neglect the non-human world completely. We laugh at the Hindu, who venerates the cow. We dismiss narrow-mindedly "the primitive savage" and his "animistic superstition" of regarding all things in nature as sacred. But the Hindu holds the cow as 'sacred' because it is in fact the foster mother of India. It has for millennia provided milk and butter for sustenance, it has been a willing bearer of burdens, and pulled the plough of the farmer as well. It has turned the grinding stone, and the water wheel. It has fertilized the soil, and its fresh dung, mixed with straw and mud has supplied the poor with excellent building material, while its dried dung provides, even today, fuel for their warmth and cooking. Hindus, out of gratitude for these and other services, hold the gentle cow in high esteem. And most Hindus, respecting life in general, are vegetarians THE AFRICAN, ASIAN, and Native American forest dwellers know well that the forest is a fragile place, and are careful in selecting what they take to fill their needs. The ceremonial seeking of permission to disrupt the forest even minimally, proceeds from a deep awareness of, and respect for, the interconnectedness of all things. THE NATIVE FARMER, too, is instinctively aware that the earth will sustain him so long as he does not abuse, damage, and waste its generous gifts. The native peoples understood far better than we, the complex interplay, or as the Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh now puts it, the INTERBEING of all phenomena. WE IN OUR modern sophistication laugh at the myths, the religious symbolism of the so-called "primitive peoples," not bothering to seek the deep wisdom and meaning within. And it is we who, in less than two centuries, have so widely and brutally savaged the life-giving purity, and the aesthetic beauty of this wondrous planet that has sustained life for four billions of years. Who is the fool? Who is the wise? IN OUR SELFISHNESS, in our self-centeredness, in our greed and ignorance, we forget what binds us all together -man, woman, and child, beast and bug, plant and stone. We bring unnecessary suffering to ourselves and to each other. WE TAKE SO much for granted. Everything really. We need to realize how much we all owe to each other, how indispensable we all are to each other quite apart from our encounters for better or worse in past existences. SOMEONE MAY SAY, "I am a self-made man," or "I earned my fortune all by myself, no one helped me, I owe nothing to anyone!" Another will say, "Just give me enough money, and I ' 11 show you I need nothing and nobody." Not so, Mr. Big-Businessman. Were it not for your parents, you ' d never have been born when and where you were. Your past kamma-vipaka certainly has much to do with your inborn talents, but innumerable teachers and individuals taught you to walk and talk, to read and write, to count and to manage your money, to invest it. Others helped you over the hard spots giving you a place to sleep, lending you a twenty when you were broke, steering you to a part-time job, or a 'dynamite' interview, and they gave you your 'lucky breaks'. You may have worked like a horse, but still, you did not do it all alone. NOT SO, MISS Meager-Star Entertainer, you of the great singing voice. Where would you be if Edison hadn't invented the phonograph? If hundreds of strangers since hadn't perfected his invention into today's tape and CD players? If other hundreds of people hadn't evolved Radio, Television, and the whole music-video industry, which today brings you to the attention of a vast international public that, one person at a time, spends a few dollars each to buy your recordings, and so make you a multimillionaire? Realize that without them all you might well be serenading a herd of goats fifty miles north of nowhere. WHAT GOOD WOULD it do us if we had millions or even billions of dollars at our disposal? We would be paupers still, or even worse, were it not for others who through their labors provide all the things and services we need and want. And each of them in turn is supported by ever-branching networks of people and things and conditions complex beyond imagining. FLICK A SWITCH, and a light comes on. Now, think -really think in depth- of all that is involved to make this possible. Now look at your dinner plate. Take just one item. That tomato, or this lettuce leaf. Some one had to plant it and tend it. Someone had to pick it, sort it, pack it, transport it, and get it to the market shelf for you to purchase. All of the people involved, all of the machines, tools, boxes, pencils, scraps of paper involved have their own histories of who and what created, supported, and maintained them. THE HEART MEDICINE that your mother takes may come from a non-descript plant. The cancer drug that saved Uncle Lee came from the bark of a jungle tree. No bees -no honey. And while we are at it, no bees -no pollination, no pollination -no crops, no crops: famine ! The rain forests are the lungs of the planet, providing us with fresh air, the plant world provides fruits and vegetables, lumber and paper, and sadly the flesh of animals is still eaten, too. The list is endless. EVERY LIVING AND inanimate thing has its place in the economy and ecology of life on the planet. Be grateful even to the fly and the maggot, for without them the earth would have vanished under a blanket of corpses. The rocks and the winds and the tides and shifting sands perform their part in sustaining life in general, yours in particular. LET US LIBERALLY show gratitude and appreciation to others. We know how to communicate these to people. Show them to animals through kindness and gentleness, harmlessness and non-killing. And to inanimate objects by wise use, gentle handling, proper care, and appropriate disposal when at last they wear out, or break. Waste nothing ! And every so often you might bow mindfully, humbly to 'nothing in particular.' * * * * * * * * NOTES AND NEWS Bhante Gunaratana's Travels Bhante Gunaratana left on the European trip on the 28th of April, 1993. He visited Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slavakai Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Norway [North Cape where sun does not set from mid-April to mid-August], Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium and England. During this trip he conducted several retreats and gave many Dhamma talks and returned on the 11th of August. Soon after that he went to Cambridge Insight Meditation Center to teach a weekend meditation course. Returning from there he conducted a part of the ten day meditation retreat at the Bhavana Center, started on the 20th of August, and left on the 27th of August to attend the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions held in Chicago between August 28 and September 4. Then he conducted a post parliament meditation retreat for some of the people who attended that historic gathering which was attended by more than 6000 people including His Holiness Dalai Lama. Bhante Rahula' retreat: Bhante Rahula will lead a retreat at the Southern Dhamma Retreat Center in North Carolina from November 4th-7th Bhante Rahula' would like to than all those persons who generously offered their time and skill to type parts of One Night's Shelter. Memo: To All Who Attended Youth Retreat 1993 Everyone at The Bhavana Society in High View, West Virginia would like to thank all of you who came here to participate in our Youth Retreat 1993. We hope that you received enough information and teaching of meditation and Buddhism to continue practicing on your own. You may find that this practice can help you find peace and tranquillity in your every day struggle to carry on. You will start receiving our quarterly newsletter if you are currently not getting it. You may find many articles answering some questions you may have thought of after you left the retreat. The receipt for donation to Bhavana Society will be mailed out at tax time next year. Please inform us of any change of address. Once again, thank you for helping our retreat be as successful as we had hoped. We hope to see many of you next year. With Metta; The Bhavana Society Meditation Center * * * * * * * *

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