Pages

Thursday, July 24, 2014

late July - August 2014 schedule and announcements

Here is our late July - August schedule & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Look below or in the schedule for more information regarding: 

1. 
DUSTIN'S CD RELEASE PARTY CELEBRATION AND POTLUCK- SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 4 PM - 9 PM : Spiritual music, joy,
dancing, and sharing!  

2.  Announcement and information of opportunity of a Dharma teaching with Bhikkhu Kaiyin, the Dharma teacher of Xiaoping and Min.  Please RSVP as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity, which will be in October. 

3.  Save the Date: NOVEMBER 7 - 11, 2014
  Mindfulness retreat with Dharma Teacher Michael Ciborski at MERCY PRAYER CENTER, HIGHLAND AVENUE  in Rochester, NY
4. Poem from Thich Nhat Hanh about diffusing a bomber.


JULY 24 through AUGUST SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Thursday  morning every week
 from  7:15 - 8:15 a.m.  at the home of Xiaoping and Min.  Their address is: 375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.  On Tuesday, we practice sitting meditation for about 40 minutes and then have  a reading. On Thursdays, we start with a guided meditation, then practice walking meditation, continue to sit silently and have a short reading at 8 am. We are reading Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh. Arrive and leave as needed for all sittings.
--Thursday, July 24th - 6:30 pm -7:30 pm at 800 East River Rd. Recitation and study of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. 

-- Sunday, July 27, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, Wake Up Practice Sessions for those age 18 - 35ish: sitting and walking meditation, 5 mindfulness trainings discussion, group sharing;    ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607
and also
- SUNDAY, JULY 27, 12:30 pm - 4 pm Day of Mindfulness:  Children Welcome! 5745 Federal Rd, Conesus, NY 14435.  CONTACT ANNIE FOR INPUT AND INFORMATION: 346-0557
--- Sunday, August 3  -ZEN CENTER:  3 p.m.: Newcomers Welcome (must RSVP)  ; guided meditation and sitting instruction (For new and old) 
Please RSVP by July 2, if you or a friend are attending the 3 pm session by sending an e-mail to 
laurie.breathe@gmail.com
--SUNDAY, August 3, ZEN CENTER:  4 - 6 pmMeditation, Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, 5 Mindfulness Trainings, Dharma Sharing.

--  Thursday, August 7, 7- 8:30  pm
  Study and Meditation:  Cultivating the Mind of Love   375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.
-- Sunday, August 10, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, Wake Up Practice Sessions for those age 18 - 35ish: sitting and walking meditation, 5 mindfulness trainings discussion, group sharing;    ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607
- Sunday, August 17 - ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607:   4 - 6 pm, Guided and Silent Meditation;  Readings; Dharma Sharing  If you wish, please
bring a reading.
--  Thursday, August 21, 7- 8:30  pm  Study and Meditation:  Cultivating the Mind of Love   375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.
-- SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 4 PM - 9 PM - CELEBRATION -  DUSTIN'S CD RELEASE PARTY AND POTLUCK:  257 Fishell Rd., Rush, NYEnjoy connecting with Sangha and also bring any friends or acquaintances you may have!  ENJOY DUSTIN'S AMAZING VOICE, TALENT
AND INSPIRING SONGS!
-- Sunday, August 24, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, Wake Up Practice Sessions for those age 18 - 35ish: sitting and walking meditation, 5 mindfulness trainings discussion, group sharing;    ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607

-
- SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 - PROPOSED DAY OF MINDFULNESS....ARE YOU AVAILABLE?
1.  FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER OPPORTUNITY WITH DHARMA TEACHER BHIKKHU KAIYIN;  Please RSVP as soon as possible if you are interested in this opportunity: 
Invitation to attend a few hours or a 1/2 day of meditation and teaching with Dharma teacher Bhikkhu Kaiyin,  a highly recognized master of samatha (tranquility) and vipassana (insight) meditation, also an artist and tea master.  Tentative dates would be a choice of: days during the first week of  October.  Bhikkhu Kaiyin is the Dharma teacher of Xiaoping and Min, our hosts at 375 Westminster Rd.  Bhikkhu Kaiyin would like to know what topics and themes Blooming Lilac Sangha would be interested in.  Possible topics:  Benefits of meditation practice; Loving Kindness Practice; (Please suggest others) The Venerable. Bhikkhu Kayiin  feels delighted to do either Dharmma talk/discussion or meditation guidance or both.  Here are two introductions about him:
http://bodhimonastery.org/bhikkhu-kai-yin.html
http://www.maba-usa.org/Bio_of_Bhikkhu_Kai_Yin.pdf


2.  NOVEMBER 7 - 11, 2014
Mindfulness retreat with Dharma Teacher Michael Ciborski at MERCY PRAYER CENTER, HIGHLAND AVENUE  in Rochester, NY
The retreat opens Friday evening and concludes Tuesday afternoon after  lunch. Single rooms available at the retreat center
as well as commuter options. IF YOU THINK YOU WILL BE ATTENDING PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS E-MAIL  WITH YOUR INPUT AS TO THEMES OR PRACTICES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE AT THE RETREAT.

3.   Defuse Me
If I were a bomb
ready to explode,
if I have become
dangerous to your life,
then you must take care of me.
You think you can get away from me,
but how?
I am here, right in your midst.
(You cannot remove me from your life.)
And I may explode
at any time.
I need your care.
I need your time.
I need you to defuse me.
You are responsible for me,
because you have made the vow (and I heard it)
to love and to care.
I know that to take care of me
you need much patience,
much coolness.
I realize that in you
there is also a bomb to be defused.
So why don't we help each other?
I need you to listen to me.
No one had listened to me.
No one understands my suffering,
including the ones who say they love me.
The pain inside me
is suffocating me.
It is the TNT
that makes up the bomb.
There is no one else
who will listen to me.
That is why I need you.
But you seem to be getting away from me.
You want to run for your safety,
the kind of safety
that does not exist.
I have not created my own bomb.
It is you.
It is society.
It is family.
It is school.
It is tradition.
So please don't blame me for it.
Come and help;
if not, I will explode.
This is not a threat.
It is only a plea for help.
I will also be of help
when it is your turn.
-Thich Nhat Hanh in Please Call Me By My True Names

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July 2014 schedule

Dear Sangha
Here is our July schedule and below that:
a short Dharma talk by Mitchell Ratner (Dharma teacher ordained by Thay) on "Suffering and the Second Dart" In the “Discourse on the Dart,” the Buddha taught that when an untrained person “is touched by a painful feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught.” (Translation by Nyanaponika Thera from the Sallatha Sutta.) It is as if the untrained person had been pierced by two darts: first by the original dart that caused the pain, and then again by the mental anguish he or she creates. The trained practitioner, the Buddha explained, experiences only the painful feeling -- one dart. He or she avoids the second dart. 

JULY SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Thursday  morning every week from  7:15 - 8:15 a.m.  at the home of Xiaoping and Min.  Their address is: 375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.  On Tuesday, we practice sitting meditation for about 40 minutes and then have  a reading. On Thursdays, we start with a guided meditation, then practice walking meditation, continue to sit silently and have a short reading at 8 am. We are reading Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh. Arrive and leave as needed for all sittings.
--  Thursday, July 3, 7- 8:30  pm  Study and Meditation:  Cultivating the Mind of Love   375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.
--- Sunday, July 6  -ZEN CENTER:  3 p.m.: Newcomers Welcome (must RSVP)  ; guided meditation and sitting instruction (For new and old) 
Please RSVP by July 2, if you or a friend are attending the 3 pm session by sending an e-mail to 
laurie.breathe@gmail.com
--SUNDAY, July 6, ZEN CENTER:  4 - 6 pmMeditation, Dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, 5 Mindfulness Trainings, Dharma Sharing.
-- Sunday, July 13, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, Wake Up Practice Sessions for those age 18 - 35ish: sitting and walking meditation, 5 mindfulness trainings discussion, group sharing;    ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607
--  Thursday, July 17, 7- 8:30  pm  Study and Meditation:  Cultivating the Mind of Love   375 WESTMINSTER ROAD 14607.
- Sunday, July 20 - ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607:   4 - 6 pm, Guided and Silent Meditation;  Readings; Dharma Sharing  If you wish, please
bring a reading.
-- Sunday, July 27, 3:30 - 5:30 pm, Wake Up Practice Sessions for those age 18 - 35ish: sitting and walking meditation, 5 mindfulness trainings discussion, group sharing;    ZEN CENTER, 7 Arnold Park 14607
or
- SUNDAY, JULY 27, 1 pm - 6 pm Day of Mindfulness:  Children Welcome! 5745 Federal Rd, Conesus, NY 14435.  CONTACT ANNIE FOR INPUT AND INFORMATION: 346-0557
 
FROM MITCHELL RATNER, StillWater Mindfulness Practice Center, MD: "SUFFERING AND THE SECOND DART"

"I was invited this week to be on a panel for a nursing school class studying religious perspectives on suffering. The request was that I address the relationship between religion and suffering in my spiritual tradition and also in my own lived experience. I was allotted 10 minutes!

Since there would be five speakers, I wanted to keep my talk simple and memorable. I hoped the students would at least remember two key phrases: “Avoid the second dart” and “The healing power of presence.” Here is the gist of what I planned to say to the nursing students:

I came to mindfulness practice because of my suffering.  Although there were many positive elements in my life, there was a lump of dissatisfaction and weariness in my heart. It felt like it had been there for a long time, and I didn’t know how to work with it. Mindfulness practice offered me new ways of thinking about my unhappiness.

The Buddha was especially interested in what he called dukkha, a Pali word that has been translated as suffering, anxiety, stress, discontent, or unsatisfactoriness. He encouraged his students to recognize it, see deeply into it, and learn to relieve it in themselves and others.

Unlike in common English where pain and suffering are often used interchangeably, the Buddha taught that there is a critical distinction between the painful feeling brought about by an intense or damaging bodily or mental event and the dukkha we create in reaction or response to it.  There is a difference between the unpleasant feeling we experience when we have a severe cramp or lose a friend, and the resistance or resentment we add to the unpleasant feeling. Perhaps we may respond with anger and blame, as in, “This should not be happening to me. This isn’t right. I don’t deserve this.”
In the “Discourse on the Dart,” the Buddha taught that when an untrained person “is touched by a painful feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught.” (Translation by Nyanaponika Thera from the Sallatha Sutta.) It is as if the untrained person had been pierced by two darts: first by the original dart that caused the pain, and then again by the mental anguish he or she creates. The trained practitioner, the Buddha explained, experiences only the painful feeling -- one dart. He or she avoids the second dart. 

Knowing about the second dart helps me tone down my reactions, whether it is contracting around a physical pain or sliding into exasperation and judgment when I feel frustrated. I am encouraged to just experience what is there, without adding to it.

The Buddha taught that the best way to reduce our dukkha, our  suffering, was through the healing power of presence: our capacity to mentally be in the here and now, without agenda, with a quiet and open mind, and with a warm and caring heart. A short-hand term for this way of being is mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh often compares mindfulness to the sun. What ever the sun touches, be it spring flowers or concrete buildings, it transforms.

One of my most memorable experience of the healing power of presence occurred when I was first learning to meditate during a week-long stay at a monastery in Thailand. The monks were encouraging me to be present to my breath and to my sensory experiences, to experience my body as I walked, to notice the trees and flowers around me. It didn’t feel right to me. There were so many life problems that were unresolved. It felt right to allow my mind to keep obsessing over what needed to change. Finally, we worked out a deal. At 7:30 in the morning and at 7:30  in the evening I could think or write about my problems and their solutions. During  the rest of the day my intention would be to be present. It worked for me -- it changed my life. Not only did my overall anxiety level drop down in just a few days, but remarkably, sometimes when I was focused on and enjoying my walking, a worry would just dissolve. The way out was obvious.

Just as we can alleviate our own suffering by being present to ourselves, we can support and heal others by offering our presence. Our presence supports their presence. Our capacity to embrace our difficulties allows others to embrace their difficulties. The theologian Henri Nouwen writes:
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. (From Out of Solitude.)"-- Mitchell Ratner

Suffering
by Gunilla Norris, from Sharing Silence

Through the practice of silence we become aware
of our pain. The pain is always there—in our minds
and in our bodies. Silence allows us to see it,
face it, release it.

We constantly judge ourselves. Our minds decide
what our experience should or should not be
—relentlessly labeling things good or bad—
and demand that our lives conform to our labels.
Then, when pain comes into our lives
—and it does to every life—we not only suffer it,
but we suffer our suffering as well.
We add the mind's harsh judgment of pain
to our actual experience of it.

By practicing silence, we may discover the ways
in which we intensify our pain by judging it.
Then we have a chance to become less harsh,
more forgiving.

The pain created by our minds is stored in our bodies,
creating rigid patterns of behavior, blocking the flow
of energy within us, cramping our being.
Our harshness and our fears are embodied in our flesh.
In silence, we can feel these tendencies harden—
and allow them to be as they are. They may then
uncramp and release, for anything that is not resisted
tends of its own accord to unfold and change.

By cultivating silence, we can find and release
deeper and deeper levels of pain and so discover
once again what is beneath the pain:
the natural joy that is already inside us,
free to rise and flow into experience.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mindfullness Bell App for your iphone/ipad/ipod

Dear Friends,

I have tried several apps. This one is the best but cost 99 cents. You can set starting time and ending time and how often you get the reminding bell. I like it because it is simple! I did tried another app on my PC for my last year-end retreat. It miss bells some time!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindfulness-bell/id380816407?mt=8

Thanks!

Xiaoping

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Second Body" Practice

Blooming Lilac Sangha encourages members to find people within the group with whom to do Second Body practice.  This is a kind of "buddy system" for mindful living.  Chris Phillips puts together a list of interested parties every year or so in order to help folks pair with a Second Body.

For more information, please go to:
https://sites.google.com/site/secondbodypracticeforum/

Interfaith Practice Support

STILLNESS & PRESENCE INTERFAITH GROUP

Sangha member, Chris Phillips, leads an interfaith group which explores and practices Buddhist Shamata-Vipassana practice and wordless prayer.  New members are welcome to join the original group, which meets in east Irondequoit every 3 weeks on Tuesdays, or to join a new group which will be forming this winter.

Where is the common ground?  What are some differences? 
How can we support each other to live these contemplative lifestyles?

For more information, please visit:  
https://sites.google.com/site/stillnesspresence/
or call 585-288-1073.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Update Page

Dear readers and followers:

I have started using the update page for this blog. You can find the link just below the header. Here is the link:
http://bloominglilacsangha.blogspot.com/p/latest-update.html

It keeps everything Janet sent in her email.

Thanks

In the Dharmma

Xiaoping

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New web site to download dharma talks from Thich Nhat Hanh - FREE

Dear friends,
I have created a new web site for listening to recent dharma talks by our
Teacher. Most talks have been available on the Vietnamese site for some
years, but some English-speaking users find it difficult to navigate and
there is no automatic notification when new talks are posted. Therefore,
this new site will allow you to subscribe using iTunes or RSS. It will
include English language dharma talks and you may listen to the talk on the
web site and/or download the file to your computer.
At this time, the three most recent talks have been posted (from November).
I would highly recommend the talk "Deep Desire: Spiritual Strength" from
November 5. In this talk, Thich Nhat Hanh explore the idea of aspiration. He
also suggests a new part to the Five Mindfulness Trainings Transmission
Ceremony liturgy.
Get started at http://tnhaudio.org
Enjoy. Kenley. Chân Niem Hy - True Recollection of Joy, Ojai, CA