Dharmapalooza 2009 – Day 3

I am a little late on posting on the last day of Dharmapalooza 2009. It was a long day with the travel to Denver, the flight to Oakland, and then the shuttle home so I didn’t manage to post it during the same day.

Originally, the third day events were going focused on the Buddhist Geeks podcast and doing a panel, followed by getting lunch. Unfortunately, at the last minute, Vince had to go to California so the original event had to be cancelled. Jun Po Roshi did a morning meditation session and some last minute teaching and summing up instead. Since we had spent most of the day before and Friday evening with him, that worked out just fine though it made the event, outside of Stuart’s concert, really a Jun Po weekend workshop. That isn’t a complaint but I had hoped for a little more diversity and had been looking forward to the panel.

There isn’t much to say about the morning session. We had had a snowstorm on Saturday afternoon and evening, which continued overnight, so transportation was slightly more problematic. Once everyone had shown up in the morning (and we had a bit of attrition), we did a meditation session followed by more Qigong. Jun Po Roshi then discussed the work that we had done the bit before, working with people to make sure they understood what we had been doing and clarifying questions that people had about the practice, how it worked, etc.

Following this, we collected our Stuart Davis Dharmapalooza 2009 swag, which was extensive (lots of CDs and some art) while giving him shit for whoring himself. A large group of us left Boulder Integral and went to lunch together at a little Czech-run greasy spoon. It was a good chance to continue to talk to people. Out of the group of people attending this weekend, I would say that most were not specifically Buddhists of any sort. We seemed to draw the crowd largely from Boulder Integral, which is the organization drawing on Ken Wilber’s work. Fortunately, I’ve read Wilber’s work, for the most part, and can follow the jargon, which was useful for discussions. Boulder Integral’s space is a converted church and very nice though I’m not sure how my “First Church of Ken Wilber” comment went over. All in all, a nice group of people with a decent sense of humor and good intentions.

I’m planning on attending on of the “Mondo Zen” seven day retreats run by Jun Po during this next year. They are doing one in Santa Rosa, a bit over an hour from me, in January but I cannot attend that since I’ll be in Hawaii with my wife on a long awaited vacation (our first since my protracted illness). Jun Po thought that they would do another later in the year.

A few people have asked me about what I thought of things or asked me questions based on my comments here. I’d really have to have more time and exposure to Jun Po’s different way of teaching things to form a really solid impression of his program or curriculum. I liked what I saw but, more than that, I felt a real connection to Jun Po and his presence. Despite some comments I’ve seen about Jun Po’s earlier drug experiments (which he seems unabashed in acknowledging), he felt really solid to me, a real and vibrant presence committed to practicing the Dharma and teaching it. None of the Dharma that he taught felt wrong when it was presented nor on my later reflection. It was perfectly in line with Zen as I’ve discovered and learned it, just open and willing to try new methods of teaching. I plan to delve deeper into it.