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Curiosity & Commitment: Groundedness & Clarity Midst Uncertainty

  • Portiuncula Center for Prayer 9263 West Saint Francis Road Frankfort, IL, 60423 United States (map)

Spring Retreat with Santikaro

"Tranquility" and "Insight" are well-known categories of Buddhist meditation. This retreat will explore them with fresh perspectives. In the original Buddhist teachings, they are complementary and cooperating aspects of an integrated practice within all phases of life. They encompass qualities such as alertness, curiosity, stability, quiet, and “ah-ha.” How might we draw on these twin aspects of practice in our lives today, including on our cushions?

We struggle to find security midst changing personal relationships, confusing social worlds, and stressful economics, along with natural challenges such as illness, aging, and death. Change is remorseless and events regularly challenge our comfort zone. We might hunker down in the familiar, seeking to maintain comfort and security. Or we might be swept away by the bewildering chaos of new events that aren’t yet understood. Does insight provide us with certainty or does it free us to live well midst the radical uncertainty? What is the place of grounded serenity? How does mindfulness fit in the mix?

This retreat will take place in noble silence and simplicity. Specific meditation practices for cultivating curiosity, commitment, clarity, and calm will be taught. There will be ample opportunity for sitting meditation, walking midst the Port's pleasant and forested grounds, personal reflection, and journaling. Talks will explore the themes of the retreat and small groups will meet with Santikaro concerning practice questions.

This retreat provides a quiet, safe space for focused meditation and contemplative practice. A sangha of similarly intentioned friends accompanies and supports each of us. Wholesome vegetarian food is served.

Retreat guided by Santikaro: Santikaro has been a devoted student of Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, a Thai Theravada master with whom he lived and trained, and translated for, at Suan Mokkh in Southern Thailand. Santikaro's training continues here in the Midwest, where he and his wife Jo Marie Thompson are co-founders of Kevala Retreat, a modern expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility, located in rural southwestern Wisconsin. He has been teaching in the Chicago area since his return "home" in 2000 and is active teaching around the Midwest and further afield. Life's vicissitudes have given him some acquaintance with cancer, trauma, addictions, deforestation, joy, and other challenges that he explores regularly.

Meals: There will be three vegetarian meals a day with the exception of the first and last days, when there will be 2 meals.

First and Last Day Schedule: Please arrive between 9:00-9:30 am Thursday. We will begin at 10:00 am. On Sunday, we will end silence and optionally have lunch together at 12:00 before leaving for home anytime between then and 2:00.

Ride-sharing: You will have an opportunity to request or offer a ride-share on the registration form.

Cost: Costs include room (unless commuting) and meals (lunch and dinner on Thursday, 3 meals per day on Friday-Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday). The cost per person for the retreat is as follows:
Single: $ 395
Double: $ 360
Non-Residential / Commuter: $ 295

We keep our prices as low as possible. If you would like to make an additional donation on the registration form, your generosity will be used to assist those who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Other fee structures or scholarships may be available; please contact the registrar for details.

Teacher Dana: The teachings are offered freely by Santikaro. The cost of the retreat covers our food and lodging. Donations (dana) to support Santikaro and his work at Kevala Retreat will be gratefully accepted. There will be an opportunity to offer dana at the end of the retreat.

Cancellation and Refund Policy Attendees may request refunds up to 30 days before the retreat's start date.

Questions? Please contact the retreat registrar.