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Deer Park Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh
September 2005

Photos and captions by Joseph Byrne

dharma hall, exterior.

I know from experience that this building holds 800 people (the number attending the retreat)!

The copper roof gleaming in the desert sun was a beacon for me. It could be seen by almost anywhere at Deer Park.

dharma hall, interior.

Cushions in readiness for the next event in the dharma hall.

The dharma hall was a popular gathering spot since it was one of the few air-conditioned buildings at Deer Park.

stain-glass window, dharma hall.

This beautiful stain glass window over the front doors depicts the gift of the Deer Park to the Buddha.

dharma hall, interior.

This is the reflection of the stain-glass window on the floor.

I found it just as beautiful as the window itself, but in a different way.

bell gazebo, outside the dharma hall.

Every morning at 5am, one of the nuns intoned this big bell and chanted. It was a beautiful way to be awakened.

big bell, close-up.

Behind the bell you can see the mountain that 600 people climbed in the darkness of dawn on the third day of the retreat.

baby bodhi tree, outside the dharma hall.

Here I was under my own bodhi tree, but only to take a picture!

young violinists, outside the dharma hall

On the last two days of the retreat, two young girls serenaded us as we entered the dharma hall. They were raising money for poor children in Viet Nam.

young nun, outside the dharma hall.

This was taken the last day of the retreat, when folks from San Diego came to hear Thay speak, adding to the 800 already there.

Many folks had to sit outside which, in the shade, was not so bad.

shoes and palm hats, outside the dharma hall

This was the scene outside of every door of the dharma hall: shoes and hats waiting to be re-claimed when Thay was done speaking.

orchids outside dharma hall

This orchid was taking a break from being beautiful in the dharma hall, right behind Thay's seat at the front of the dharma hall.

interior, dharma hall.

This was the scene as dozens of retreatants took the 5 Mindfulness Trainings for the first time.

Always an inspiring moment on a Mindfulness Retreat.

dining hall, solidity hamlet

I enjoyed eating my meals in silence, seated in front of this lovely statue of Quan Te Am (or Kuan Yin, female form of Avalokiteshvara).

two pilgrims outside the dharma hall

I had a chance to chat with the radiant Sr. Pine--formerly known to the DC sangha as Barbara Newell.

picture of Thay giving a dharma talk, through the dharma hall window.

Dharma hall, green mountain, people, Thay, all meld together--they inter-are.

sign outside dharma hall

a wonderful teaching on signlessness!

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Washington Mindfulness Community
PO Box 11168, Takoma Park, MD 20913.
tel: 301-681-1036.
email: info@mindfulnessdc.org
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