SantikaroLiberation Park is organizing a 12 session dhamma study program lead by Wisconsin teacher Santikaro, which combines meditation practice with an in-depth exploration of early Buddhist texts. Classes will be held Sundays every six to eight weeks in the Chicago area, alternating between Oak Park and Albany Park/Ravenswood.

This program is aimed at meditators and students of Buddhism who wish to seriously engage the core Buddhist teachings as found in their earliest forms (the suttas, discourses, of the Pāli Nikāyas and the Chinese Āgamas). Compiled and recorded during the first few centuries of Buddhism, the suttas are the closest we can come to what the historical Buddha actually taught. While vast and varied, they offer jewels of profound insights and practical guidance for those that regularly explore them.

There a limited number of spaces available. To register, please download and review the program guide below, then email Santikaro with your interest.

AjahnViradhammo_fThe Theosophical Society of Wheaton, IL is hosting a residential retreat by Ajahn Viradammo from September 26 to September 28.

Ajahn Viradhammo was born in Germany in 1947, the son of Latvian refugee parents. When he was four years old, the family moved to Toronto where he grew up and received his education. Around 1969, while living in India, he encountered Buddhism and eventually traveled to Thailand, becoming a Buddhist monk and a disciple of the late Venerable Ajahn Chah. After spending four years in Thailand, he was asked to join Ajahn Sumedho in England to help establish a number of monasteries. Moving to Wellington, New Zealand in 1985, he successfully established the Buddhist forest monastery Bodhinynrma. He is currently the abbot of Tisarana Buddhist monastery located in Ottawa, Canada.

Registration details can be found on the Theosophical Society web site below:


Greg-Kramer-color-photo-smallThe Northwestern Family Institute is organizing an retreat by long time meditation teacher Gregory Kramer. The retreat, titled “Cultivating Wisdom in Relationship”, will be held June 17-22 at the Fullerton Cenacle in Chicago. Here is the information and registration link: http://www.family-institute.org/academics-alumni/continuing-education/cultivating-wisdom-in-relationship
This 5 day retreat is open to all. This is a unique opportunity to experience the meditative, relational practice of Insight Dialogue, and it’s going to be a rich time for those with experience to deepen their practice in our own backyard!

On April 30, Santikaro, the teacher who will be leading our May retreat, will visit the Northside Sangha and lead the group for the evening.  All are welcome to join us.  Our address is 5115 N. Ravenswood, upstairs and to the left. We will begin promptly at 6:30 pm and meet until 8:20 pm.

Please RSVP or address any questions to northside@insightchicago.org so that we have a good idea of how many will be attending and can organize the space.

While there is no fee, there will be an opportunity to offer donations/dana to support the teacher.

SantikaroSantikaro went to Thailand with the Peace Corps in 1980, was ordained as a Theravada monk in 1985, and subsequently trained at Suan Mokkh with Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, a leading Thai teacher, scholar, and reformer of Theravada Buddhism. He became Ajahn Buddhadasa’s primary English translator and was abbot of nearby Suan Atammayatarama. In 2004 he retired from formal monastic life. He continues to teach in the Buddhist tradition with an emphasis on the early Pali sources. He is the founder of Liberation Park, a modern American expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility. There he continues to teach, study, practice, translate the work of his teacher, engage in social activism, and imagine the future of Buddha-Dhamma in the West.

ICMC is pleased to announce that Lakeside Vipassana resumes scheduled sitting on May 5th after a hiatus. Lakeside will meet Mondays, 6:30pm (not the previous Tuesdays) at the Church of the Ascension, 1133 N. LaSalle. Practice includes a period of sitting meditation, a recorded dharma talk, and discussion. Please contact lakeside@insightchicago.org for more information.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.12.35 AMInsight Chicago Meditation Community invites meditation practitioners to a community-led day of mindfulness on Saturday, June 14th in Techny, IL. Practice will including alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation with recorded dhamma talks. Lunch will be provided. Cost is $25 and scholarships are available.

To register, go http://icmc2014junedom.eventbrite.com. Questions? Please email inquiry@insightchicago.org.

Wisconsin teacher Santikaro will be speaking at Northern Illinois University, this Friday, February 7th.

SantikaroLecture title: Buddhadasa on His Own Terms: a Response to Academic Appropriation

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu exemplified the Buddhist scholar-practitioner who lived life on his own terms and was very much his own person. Yet he did so well grounded in Southern Thai culture and Theravada Buddhism. He creatively critiqued and adapted monastic habits and traditions, sifted through Thai Buddhism for what was true to the Buddha’s mission, and innovated in numerous ways. At the same time, he worked to understand the Buddha on his own terms. Yet in the writings of some academic scholars, this life is fit into the categories and theoretical interests of the scholar, with some conclusions based more on speculation and academic trendiness than the actual life and evidence supports. This presentation will highlight certain examples of such appropriation in Peter Jackson’s Buddhadasa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand and will give alternate perspectives.

Click the link below for more details:



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