Waking up in the Bush

Weekend bush retreat to enliven understanding and replenish the spirit
at Wat Buddhalavarn, Wedderburn, NSW, Australia
Friday 23 through Sunday 4 September 2005

Theme: Reminding Each Other of Each Other
~ True Protection of Earth and Beings


It's time to leave the false refuge of denial and wake up to of our common humanity. The fragility of human, and all, life is a foundation for true or active compassion. The spectre of Global Climate Change is now stalking each of us adding to the violence, oppression and neglect endured by the 'have nots' and the escalating depression and desperate consumption of the 'haves.'

Is it not time for a compassionate revolution?

William Stafford wrote:

.... I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognise the fact.

.... For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give-yes or no, or maybe-
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

We need to be 'People reminding each other of each other' according to the Waluka Song cycle of the Galpu Clan of Arnhem Land.

The Buddha left a 'tool bag' full of skilful ways to move beyond cruelty inducing denial into compassionate action, at a personal and structral level. Presence with awareness in all of life (satipattana) lays a powerful foundation for all other methods of engaging in the transformation of inner and outer worlds. The strength and application of Sati ~ our sustained dynamic awareness or mindfulness is what it's all about. Presence - with - Awareness (Sati+patthana) is the Buddhas 'direct path to realisation.'

"It's a great joy to practice in the bush," says Ajhan John. "Touching the earth ~ meditating as the sun wakes the Land. Everything coming to life ~ Standing up Alive. Birds sing a song of awakening. Wallaby's feet, a drum beat on the earth and a cockatoo's call, summon other levels of attention. Earth and sky give the gift of life and teaching all day and night.

In Indigenous tradition, focusing awareness through song and ceremony is at the heart of caring for country ~ Singing the Land. Practicing Sati and Metta (loving kindness) in the bush, Country responds, and it's easier to see that we are all related. We, all beings, all 'things' are in this together .

"Take delight in the forest
and empty places, practice there,"

- Buddha

Retreat Style and Requisites
ThisWaking up in the Bush retreat is led by John in companionship with the Venerable Santitthito who has been a monk for 30 years.

Sitting and walking meditation supported by teaching and discussion sessions, integrating arts practice, exploring practical application of Buddhist and Indigenous teachings in contempoary life. John's teaching style is spontaneous and creative. As community and spiritual friendship are major external supports for awakening, good conversation is encouraged around the campfire.

The retreat is in a bush camp, under canvas, under stars and by open fires. Bring the warm clothing, shelter and sleeping gear you need for camping. Bring sitting cushions and camp chairs if needed.

The Retreat starts at 6 pm. Please set up camp before that time and commit to staying the duration.

Food preparation is shared in camp. Also bring some food to share. Supper on Friday. Breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday with a light supper or optional evening fast. Hot drinks are available at all times.

Participants are asked to observe the five Buddhist precepts of kindness, generosity, contentment, truthfulness and clarity.

Ajhan Wititj Vajiromano ~ John Allan, Dharma Teacher
Ajhan John has walked the Buddhist path for over 30 years, learning in many traditions. He runs weekly groups in Byron Bay and Lismore called "Reading the Book of the Heart" as a circle of friendship, teaching and ongoing encouragement for women and men on the spiritual path.

In 2001 John was named Wititj and made the first non-Yolngu custodian of the Rainbow Serpent or Wititj Law, by Elders of the Galpu Clan of Eastern Arnhem Land. This Law is the most ancient continuous teaching on compassion, healing and peace on the planet. He is also Vice President of Buddha Dharma Education Assoc, which runs buddhanet.net , and is Lay co-ordinator of Bodhi Tree Forest monastery and Retreat Centre near Lismore.

About Wat Buddhalavarn
Wat Buddhalavarn is a Buddhist forest monastery supported by the Lao community of Sydney. It backs onto the sandstone bushland of the Georges River Reserve.

We uphold the tradition of Dana or giving. Teachers are supported by voluntary donations. Your registration fee of $40 per person helps with food and set up expenses. Teachings by Dana (donation)

To assist catering, please confirm by 5 pm Thursday 1 September. Ring Graeme on 0407 951 688

Registration and bookings
Registration fee $40 (teachings by Dana)
Telephone bookings and inquiries:Graeme Dunstan 0407 951 688
Email: graemedunstan@peacebus.com

The Venerable Santitthito

Ajahn Wititj Varjamano John Allan, uplifting friend of the accumulating names.

Downloadable Flyer
Feel free to print the information out and put it out to friends who might be interested, friends with whom you would like to build Sangha. Click for a 106 Kb jpeg file www.peacebus.com/WakingUp/050712Flyer2.jpg

Or click here for a 1 Mb pdf www.peacebus.com/WakingUp/050712Flyer.pdf


Click here to see the photos and report of the 2004
Waking Up in the Bush Dhamma retreat.

Click here to see the photos and report of the first
Waking Up in the Bush Dhamma retreat.

Click here to see the photos and report of the first
Sacred Thread
bush Dhamma retreat.

Click here to see pre-publicity for Waking Up in the Bush 2003

Click here for past productions of Peacebus.com

Click here to go to the Home page of Peacebus.com

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Peacebus can be contacted in Australia on 0407 951 688
and by email at
graemedunstan[ at ]peacebus.com


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