The Community of Mindful Living's dream of helping start a residential mindfulness retreat center took a significant step forward this month (January 1999). Bennett Dorrance, Healing Touch of the Heart, has purchased the 638-acre historic Bond Estate on the Big Island of Hawai'i, and offered CML the Kohala Girls' School parcel to begin a center for the cultivation of mindfulness, community, healing, creativity, and responsible land stewardship. This beautiful campus is surrounded by lush vegetation, including banyan, coconut palm, macadamia, banana, and papaya trees, and passion fruit and wood-apple vines. During the coming years, Bennett's organization, New Moon LLC, will improve all the structures, including the chapel, a large dormitory, a dining room and kitchen, and several smaller buildings.
A Day of Mindfulness with nearly 75 local people was held on the land January 10, led by Arnie Kotler and Therese Fitzgerald. Arnie and Therese are planning to relocate from California to this retreat center within a year. In February, Dharma teacher and CML Board member Wendy Johnson and her family will visit, and Wendy will lead a workshop on meditation and gardening.
Over the past fourteen years, the Community of Mindful Living has been accompanied by many wonderful co-practitioners in the efforts to help create a residential practice center. Wholehearted thanks to John Nelson, Kim Cary, Anh Huong and Thu Nguyen, Richard Brady, Pritam Singh, Mitchell Ratner, Betty Rogers, Kay Allison, Paul Norton, Jack Kornfield, Irving Kramer, and so many others in Virginia, California, and elsewhere, all of whose steady efforts have contributed toward making this possible. Special thanks to John Balaam, True Original Mountain, and our deepest thanks to Bennett Dorrance who found the "home" for practice on the Big Island. Undying thanks and a deep bow of appreciation to Thich Nhat Hanh and Sister Chan Khong for their unwavering support all these years. We look forward to the unfolding of this wondrous dream with the participation of the wide Sangha.