Friday, July 11, 2014

Buddhist Camping Trip

Seth Auberon, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly; Dharma Punx (AgainstTheStream.org)
Dharma punks, campers, meditators, and Buddhists of Against the Stream, Los Angeles
A meditating "America" wears sweatshop-free American Apparel attire and holds a fine quality made-in-China American flag on a 4th of July parade float in Huntington Beach (KFI AM)

Meet author/founder Noah Levine
Wisdom Quarterly has been on vacation while the world falls apart.

Over the long Independence Day Weekend, we enjoyed a "Buddhist camping trip" at San Onofre State Beach Bluffs with Dharma Punx. It was a sold out, waiting list only event.
 
Dharma Punx of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and guests reserved several campgrounds for 4th of July weekend at Old Man’s beach.

Body vs. board surfing (loltops.org)
It was not a retreat -- and not party central for the happy, clean living campers -- just an opportunity to spend time with sangha ("spiritual community") members, making campfires, surfing, hanging at the beach, and watching 4th of July fireworks.

videoWho is "Against the Stream"? This short clip shows a gathering at the Santa Monica branch of  Dharma Punx to see visiting Theravada monk Bhikkhu Bodhi for Buddhist Global Relief.
 
Camping dreams not reality
There were 50 people to begin with, but the camping was rougher than expected. It couldn't have helped that we're all spoiled cosmopolitans. The parties with the earliest reservations, first come first served basis, had it no better than the waitlisters really. Anyone looking for debauchery had to consider that there would be children, RVs, and tents.
 
It was four people to a car, three cars per site, so there was carpooling and ridesharing. That's when the fun began -- in addition to a meditation group sits and other activities throughout the weekend. But somehow someone forgot the Twister, or at least we didn't find it.
 
It was every person for him or herself, a real game of Survivor because we could enjoy activities, but ATS did not provide the food, drinks, water, firewood, tents, towels, or even sparklers! There should have been sparklers. ATS did not want to assume any liability for the weekend. It was only coordinating the logistics, and the rest was up to campers.
 
It's just camping and SoCal socializing
It wasn't free but it was cheap: $9 per person, per night (campsite fees) or $18 per person for the whole weekend, two-night minimum.
  • San Onofre Bluffs and San Onofre Surf Beach are located south of San Clemente on I-5 (exit Basilone Road)
  • BLUFF SITE: this section of the park offers campsites along the old Hwy 101 next to sandstone cliffs, six dirt trails with steep access to the beach.
  • All campsites include fire pit and picnic table.
Bhikkhu Bodhi annually walks at Dharma Punx Santa Monica for Buddhist Global Relief

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