In the mid-2000's we made the decision to re-locate further up the Ottawa Valley into the area just outside of the Town of Renfrew. In the spring of 2005 we set up our practice space in an L-shaped room attached to an old log school house, Ray and Judy’s new home. We continued the same forms of practice and non-affiliation. At the same time, Ray was developing a more active promotion of mindfulness training in his social work, through the Change Your Mind program he had first developed in Lanark.
This interconnection of practice environments worked in both directions. It gave those interested in Buddhist meditation a well-developed practice instruction program. For some of those who were learning about meditation in a secular environment this would be their entry point into Dharma study. This was a challenge to the group in Carleton Place. Those people tried for a year to maintain their practice but with the moving-away of some key people and the desire to participate more in the “home” base, the Carleton Place group shut down.
This was an exciting and rich time with the introduction of some instructional series and themed retreats. The schoolhouse proved to be a wonderful location, with peaceful walks down to Hurds Lake, several ponds at the entry, magnificent flower and veggie gardens and countless birds singing to us during practice times. All of us grew as practitioners and as a group. We began to feel the need for greater connection with a larger Dharma tradition to give us more guidance and depth. As he had a few years earlier, Ray began searching for a compatible relationship with a more established tradition.
Yours in the Dharma,
om namo amida butsu