September 29th, 2016:

Taking the Teachings Home: Engaged Buddhist Teachings by SANTIKARO on The Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree

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Even though we have started, you are welcome to attend. Contact me for the notes from the first teaching, and with any questions you may have.  


Taking the Heartwood of the Teachings Home: Freedom-Emptiness Here & Now

Core Buddhist Teachings with SANTIKARO 
based on Ajahn Buddhadasa's The Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree

A 4-part series of evening classes with one full day of meditation practice.  In each evening’s class Santikaro will offer teachings working with The Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree and facilitate a “practice circle” where we dialogue and share how we are taking the teachings home in our own lives. How do we recognize "me" and "mine"? What are their many disguises? How do we keep them from running amok? What is voidness and what is it not? How might we embody the core insight's of Buddha-Dhamma each day? 

Ajahn Buddhadasa is one of the most significant Thai Buddhist teachers of the 20th century, and perhaps the most controversial for questioning conventional orthodoxies. Santikaro studied with him for the last nine years of his life and continues to translate his work. Santikaro currently lives at Liberation Park outside Norwalk, WI and actively teaches throughout Wisconsin and further abroad. 

Commitment to all four classes is expected. The full day of meditation is optional yet recommended.  Financial commitment: $120 (entire fee goes to Santikaro and Liberation Park). Please contact me: Julie Tallard Johnson at  No one will be turned away, so please let me know if finances are a challenge. 


Dates and Times:

Thursday evenings Sept 8 & 29; October  20th; November 10th

With Sunday October 23rd being day of meditation. 9:30 am till 4:30.

Evening times for classes:  6 till 8:30  Room will be open and ready for us by 5:30. Nice food available across the street at the Blue Spoon Café.

Location:  Both the classes/circle and retreat day will be held at Healing Services on the River, 595 Water Street, Prairie du Sac Wisconsin. Upstairs.  Easy 25-minute drive from Madison on hwy 12.  Across from Blue Spoon in Prairie du Sac. Parking in lot next to library or on street.          

Order book here:  Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree

Contact Julie to register:  

“Senior monks discouraged Ajahn Buddhadasa from teaching anatta (not-self) and paticcasamuppada (dependent co- origination) to lay people on grounds that it would “confuse them.” But in good conscience Ajahn Buddhadhasa could not stop. He argued that these dhammas are core to Buddhism, and all people who want to end suffering have a right to learn them. For him, ending suffering is not a monastic issue, or even a Buddhist issue, but a human issue. He took on the work of making the Dhamma available to anyone who might be interested, whether they were lay or ordained, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Sikh (and he had students from all of these traditions). “  Ajahn Buddhadasa also challenged the meditation versus daily-life practice dichotomy. The term ‘Dhamma practice’ is often used as a euphemism for meditation both in the West and in Asia. When people say ‘practice’ they are referring to the practice of sitting on a cushion or doing walking meditation, and sometimes specifically on retreat or in a formal setting. This has raised questions and created confusion about how to practice in daily-life, and how to respond to the demands, complexities, and needs of the world we live in.

Central to Ajahn Buddhadasa’s approach is the idea that “Dhamma is duty; duty is Dhamma.” Dhamma practice comes down to doing our duty, which inspires a further investigation into the nature of that duty. For some of us our duty is something dictated to us by our family. The government tells us about our patriotic duty. Capitalism tells us about our duty to consume to keep the economy strong. Ajahn Buddhadasa believed that duty must be discovered by and for ourselves. We should be mindful of messages from our family, government, culture, and economic system, but in the end it is our own responsibility to identify. Sometimes it’s about taking care of the body, sometimes it’s about one’s profession, and sometimes it’s about social action. Ultimately the core duty is to let go of self and to be free of suffering.” –Santikaro


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