Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Update

A full list of events can be found on the calendar tab - click on any item in the calendar for more information (location, time, etc.).

Sunday, October 11, 12:45 pm to 6 pm: Day of Mindfulness
Theme: Emotions & the Foundations of Mindfulness

We will share three group learning activities to illustrate working with emotions as the objects of mindfulness practice. We will touch on Buddha's and Thay's teachings from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd foundations of mindfulness. Each of these foundations is useful in making contact with emotional energy, and transforming our relationship to it. Some of the material may be tried and true and some may be new to you. We will have a lot of time to work together naming ways we can apply it.

This will be an afternoon of meditation, short presentations, working in trios on scenarios from daily life, and reporting back to the group. I hope everyone who comes will go home with a clear idea of the Buddha's core concepts for these first three foundations of mindfulness. You will also take home a number of techniques for using the foundations to open up contact with the world of emotions –ideas from me but mostly from the other participants. As always the sangha leads each other by walking together.

Potluck dinner.  BYO Cushion.
Please RSVP in advance to Chris Phillips at 585-503-6949,

Sunday, October 18, 4 pm - 6 pm Meditation and Sharing at the Zen Center
We will have guests from NTID, many of whom attended a day of our retreat in April.  Please attend!

November 6 - 10,  2015: Answering the Call for True Presence and Growing our capacity to care for our loved ones, our community, and the Earth
A Mindfulness Retreat in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, with Dharmacarya:Michael Ciborskiat Mercy Prayer Center, Rochester, NY
Still plenty of room for commuters and there are 4 rooms left in the residence. 
Register by October 16 or pay a late fee!  No registrations accepted after October 23.  
Full retreat details are at the end of this post. Please email to request a registration form

The Gift of Gratitude  (From the Day of Mindfulness in September, shared by Arlene)
Follow the link for a wonderful article on gratitude.
Are you missing something?  Two lovely large pillows were left behind on September 12. Please email if they are yours.

October 22-25, 2015: Laughing Rivers Sangha Retreat, Pittsburgh, PA
Visit for more information

Save the Date: Spring retreat April 15 -19, 2016 with Joanne Friday, Springwater Center!

Fall Retreat: Answering the Call for True Presence and Growing our capacity to care for our loved ones, our community, and the Earth
A Mindfulness Retreat in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
With Dharmacarya:Michael Ciborski
November 6 - 10,  2015
Mercy Prayer Center, Rochester, NY

Registration is now open - see additional information below, and please email to request a registration form

We live in a time of rapid transformation full of challenges for each of us an individual, and also as a global community.  We can no longer continue to assume that mainstream society is on the right track.  We cannot simply just go with the flow and live in the small bubble of our own life.  For we are faced with the awareness of how far each of our actions ripples out into the world, bringing about either happiness or suffering.  The Earth is asking us each to wake up and become a sacred and important part of Life.  Through the way we breathe, walk, and live each day, we are asked to contribute to the collective awakening – an awakening based on presence, wisdom, and compassion.

In this retreat, with the practice of mindful living as a base, we will have the opportunity to look into ourselves, reflecting and accepting with honesty, embracing pain with self-compassion, and 
establishing an inner ground of solidity and freedom.  We will also sit together as a community to water seeds of joy, strengthen our mindfulness and concentration, and look deeply to find a clear path that nourishes healing and transformation.  Come join the Blooming Lilac Sangha as a thread in 

Michael Ciborski has been traveling to upstate New York for 8 years 
to lead retreats.  Each year he deepens our understanding of the Dharma, and his relaxed and 
smiling presence reminds us that ours is a path of openheartedness and joy.Michael lived and 
worked intimately with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh both as a monastic and lay practitioner. He 
practiced for seven years as a monk in Plum Village, France, and received teaching transmission in 2001.  He is married to Fern Dorresteyn, a Dharma teacher in the same tradition.  They now live in New Hampshire with their son and two daughters.  Together with others they are building a mindfulness practice community for sustainable living and education.  
For more information, go to:

The retreat is residential or commuter, centering on periods of sitting and walking meditation and daily Dharma talks by the teacher.  Periods of silence and being wonderfully together are an important part of the retreat 

Is conveniently located near Highland Park in Rochester.  This retreat is designed for both beginning and experienced practitioners.

Eleven comfortable rooms, some with single beds and some with double beds are provided, as are vegetarian meals.  Please indicate any special food needs on the registration.

The guidance and teaching offered by our Dharma teacher is offered in the spirit of generosity.  It does not cost anything.  This is an age-old tradition.  And it is also a practice of this retreat 
for participants to make an offering to support the livelihood of the Dharma teacher. We incorporate the offering into the cost of the retreat.  

For those registering by October 16, the cost of lodging for a single room, food and dana for 
the marvelous weaving of life!experience, as is small group sharing and work meditation.
the teacher is $420. If you share a room (and a bed) the cost is $400. each.  Due to the 
large number of people applying for residential space, we cannot reduce the cost for 
lodging. If you are commuting, the cost for day space, food and dana is $260. If you 
can only partially attend the retreat as a commuter, the base rate is $150, then add $37. 
for each day beyond 1 day.  Complete retreat cost is due at time of registration. Please note that registration is only by postal mail. After October 16, please add $10 for late registration.

Cancellation Policy:  The purpose of our cancellation policy is to acknowledge that retreatants’ 
future plans can change unexpectedly and at the same time to clarify that Blooming Lilac Sangha may have already incurred costs for food, etc or commitments to the retreat center.  If you cancel more than 2 weeks prior to the first day that a retreat begins, you can expect a full refund.  After that if you have a last minute illness or emergency that prevents you from attending the retreat, refunds will depend on money that has gone out already and how solvent the retreat funds 

Scholarships (Commuters only):  We will do our best to help those who cannot afford the full cost to be able to attend.  Application is required by October 

Check-in is 3-6 pm on Friday, November. 6. The retreat will end around 2 pm on Tuesday, November 10.  Retreat event schedules will be available at check-in.  

Registration ends October 23.