Kevala Retreat is located in a natural wooded setting in Southwest Wisconsin. It provides facilities and support for individuals and small groups to pursue contemplative retreat and study for the purpose of deepening wisdom and cultivating peace. Life at Kevala Retreat is grounded in Buddhist practice and the early teachings, particularly as taught by Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu of the Thai forest tradition. The retreat facilities are available to people of all contemplative persuasions regardless of religious affiliation. All are welcome. Kevala Retreat was founded by Santikaro and Jo Marie Thompson. Santikaro is a long time student and translator of Ajahn Buddhadasa.
Santikaro lived as a monk at Suan Mokkh, a monastery in Southern Thailand for 14 years, where he was a student and primary translator of Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu - an esteemed teacher, progressive social commentator and scholar of the Pali Suttas. Santikaro has been teaching in the Chicago area since 1989 and returned to live full time in the Midwest United States in 2000. In 2004 he returned to life as a lay person. His work continues as a Buddhist teacher, translator, and co-founder, with his wife, of Kevala Retreat in Southwest Wisconsin. He teaches Buddha-Dhamma from the early Pali sources in a variety of locations around the country, as well as in Thailand, Brazil and Europe. Santikaro's personal life experiences, and the experiences of his students, have brought subjects such as physical and mental health, social justice, and environmental and societal issues into focus. These challenges are often explored from a Buddha-Dhamma perspective in his talks and teachings.
Santikaro has been a cherished teacher and respected mentor to ICMC for many years, where his involvement has included leading workshops, retreats, and a long running sutta study group. We are deeply grateful for his ongoing generosity in sharing his deep knowledge of Buddhist teaching and for his presence in our community.