Our usual location for the Thursday evening, 7 pm - 8 pm meditation and book reading, is not available on Thursday, Nov. 2nd. A possible substitute is to view "Walk With Me" at Eastview Mall on Nov. 2nd.
Although it appears full, Regal Eastview could move it to a larger theater screening of "Walk With Me"
The phone number for the box office at Eastview mall is: (844-462-7342)
No Day of Mindfulness November
There will be no Day of Mindfulness (DOM) in November. We hope to see you at the retreat.
The next DOM will be on Sunday, December 17.
Meditation Service Nov. 12th
Meditation service will continue Sunday, November 12th from 4 pm to 6 pm as usual at the Rochester Zen Center for those who are not attending retreat.
Chris Phillips One-Day Retreat
Saturday, January 6th Chris Phillips will be offering a one-day retreat day on "Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment" from 9 am to 4 pm at the Rochester Mennonite Church at address: 111 Hillside Ave, Rochester, NY 14610
This is an intro to meditation and a prequel to practicing with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse of the Buddha. A fine way to start the new year!
Please mail Chris a note with your contact information and a small gift which will be a non-refundable deposit. This needs to arrive at least one week in advance at address: 364 Merchants Rd, Rochester NY 14609
We will hold our annual Ceremony for the Deceased on Saturday, January 20thas the main event for January's Day of Mindfulness. It will be held at Min and Xiaoping's house, at address: 375 Westminster Rd Rochester, NY 14607Time to be announced. Stay tuned.
We conduct this formal ceremony as developed by Thay and the monastics at Plum Village. All are asked to bring photos and a story to share about one family member or loved one who has passed away.
Spring retreat with Joanne Friday
Save the date for Spring retreat with Joanne Friday: April 12th - 16th, 2018.
In order to help our sangha cast a wide net into the community, Blooming Lilac Sangha now has a Facebook page. This is complementary to our Blog which will still have up to date information for events and newsletter items.
The Facebook page provides an easier way to share reminders for upcoming events, poems, news from Plum Village and Blue Cliff Monastery, and pictures from retreats and sangha events.
Please visit and like our page and ask friends to do the same if you think they might benefit. The newsletter, blogspot, and calendar will continue to provide sangha updates and event information.
Update on Walk With Me
Our sangha hosted a sold-out showing of Walk With Me on October 24th. Many people new to the practice were in attendance, in addition to people from our Sangha.
We were fortunate enough to have Venerable Bhikkhu Kaili who, with our Sangha brother, Chris, helped the audience prepare for the viewing by setting a very gentle, calm energy.
Much gratitude for all who helped bring this movie to the Rochester audience. There will be another sold-out showing on November 2nd at Eastview Mall! It is wonderful that there are opportunities for those in our community to see the work of the larger sangha, monks, and nuns, and hear the words of our teacher.
We have an extra ticket for the November 2nd showing - if anyone wants or knows someone wanting a ticket, please email Karen Smith for more info at email@example.com!
Writing from Thich Nhat Hanh
"Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness, we try our best to help and we can have peace in our heart. Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don't know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important practice is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping.
We who have been fortunate enough to encounter the practice of mindfulness have a responsibility to bring peace and joy into our own lives, even though not everything in our body, mind, or environment is exactly as we would like. Without happiness, we cannot be a refuge for others. Ask yourself, what am I waiting for to make me happy? Why am I not happy right now?" - excerpt from The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
Sisters Sing For Thay
Enjoy this lovely video of sisters singing for Thay.
The Tuesday/Thursday Morning (7:15 am to 8:15 am) sitting location will change for the following dates: 10/17, 10/24, 10/26, 10/31 and 11/2 only. On those dates, the morning sitting will be held at: 68 Crosman Terrace Rochester, NY 14620
PSA: Scented Products
For some people, scented products may trigger migraines, breathing problems, even neurological effects.
Several people in our Sangha are sensitive to fragrance of any kind and report respiratory difficulties and migraines when sitting in a room with people wearing perfumes, essential oils, or where incense is burned. Please respect the health needs of your friends during meditation and be sure to wash off or don't use scents or perfumes when coming to meditation gatherings. Thanks!
In order to help our sangha cast a wide net for community, Blooming Lilac Sangha now has a Facebook page. This is complementary to our Blog which will still have up to date information for events and newsletter items. The Facebook page provides an easier way to share reminders for upcoming events, poems, news from Plum Village and Blue Cliff Monastery, and pictures from retreats and sangha events. Please visit and like our page to receive updates if you are a facebook member. The newsletter, blogspot, and calendar will continue to provide sangha updates and event information.
One Day Retreat Workshops With Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips from our sangha is offering a series of one-day retreat workshops to build mindfulness skills. Taking registrations now for:
Saturday, October 7th 9 am - 4 pm
Rehabilitating Concentration - What is it? Why we all can do it?
Saturday, January 6th, 2018 9 am - 4 pm
Dwelling Happily in The Present Moment Foundations of Mindfulness Part I. This is a nice way to start the new year, with a basic intro to mindfulness meditation. Perfect for beginners and a detailed refresher for longterm meditators.
Please send agenda items via email to BLS by October 8th
October Day of Mindfulness
Plan to attend our next Day of Mindfulness on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, 12:30 pm to 6 pm We hold a monthly day of mindfulness at a member's home or public venue. This practice time is held in Noble Silence. The day includes sitting meditation, walking meditation, guided meditations, audio or video dharma talks, mindful movements, earth touchings, and Dharma sharing. The agenda is updated within the calendar notice as we approach the date. Sunday days of mindfulness end with a potluck dinner and conversation. Please email Annie O'Reilly or call at 585-346-0557 if you would like more information or if you would like to plan the Day of Mindfulness
"Walk With Me" Film Screening Update
"Walk With Me: was filmed over three years at Plum Village. The movie follows the seasons of monastic life with relatively little dialogue. It is a visually beautiful and captivating meditation, not a narrative nor a documentary.
Date: Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm. Tickets will Not be sold at the door.
You must get your tickets ahead of time online via gathr. If you would like a guide to getting tickets click here.
Some of you are unable to come on October 24th. See below for other choices.
GathR films is distributing "Walk With Me" through something called "Theatrical On Demand." Theatrical On Demand screenings can only happen if a minimum number of people reserve tickets before a screening expires. Tickets will Not be sold at the door. You must get your tickets ahead of time online via the links below.
There is more than one screening in Rochester and the surrounding area. Here are all the choices, though some haven't met the minimum number of reservations yet, called "Tipped." If they don't meet the minimum number of reservations ("tip") your credit card is not charged.
Bhikkhu Kaili is returning to Rochester from 10/28 - 10/31/2017. He will offer a Day of Meditation and individual and group meetings Bhikkhu Kaili is a senior monk at Plum Village. View or download the flyer to learn more.
Openings are only available for commuters as all rooms have filled up.
Housing Needed for out of town retreatants. Can you house an out of towner during the retreat? If yes, please email Janet Chaize
Registration form with more info and details can be viewed or downloaded here.
Connecting with Earth Holder Dharma - Karen Smith
At the "Awakening the Ancestral Heart" retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in August, I had the honor and pleasure of being part of the Earth Holder Dharma Sharing Group. Brother Phap Mann shared inspiring practices that help him be close to mother earth, and his intention for solar power in the meditation hall, for which he is fundraising. We spent time supporting the Earth Holder Sangha resource table, which provided an opportunity to talk with each other about practices for supporting the earth. Please enjoy the information about this special sangha. Your sister, Karen Smith, Healing Embrace of the Heart.
The Earth Holder Sangha is a group within the Plum Village Community; guided by the engaged Buddhist ethics of the Five Mindfulness Trainings and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. The purpose of the Earth Holder Sangha is to:
Build a community, bringing like-minded sangha members together for support and inspiration, and to develop "Earth Holding" practices inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings.
Engage in mindful Right Action, locally, nationally and internationally.
Support sustainable communities, in particular, Plum Village monasteries, lay practice centers and local sanghas.
The Earth Holder Sangha has a quarterly newsletter, featuring efforts and practices from Earth Holders in the US and around the world. You can subscribe to the newsletter below, and you can also access the current issue and archives here.
Interested in becoming an Earth Holder? If you wish to engage in the purpose and vision of the EHS, please consider if you are ready to make the 6 Earth Holder Pledges.
Gifts from Blue Cliff Monastery
Please enjoy these Dharma talks given by the monastics at the "Awakening Together Tour" at Blue Cliff Monastery this past August.
Plan to attend our next Day of Mindfulness on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Bring a bag lunch. This day will be held in the city of Rochester-stay tuned for the location. If you have ideas for a theme or would like to help plan the day, please respond to Annie by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Walk With Me" Film Rochester Screening Update
"Walk With Me: was filmed over three years at Plum Village and allows us to experience life at the monastery as well as Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching.
Agenda items welcome and input appreciated, all are welcome to attend and participate.
What is the Blooming Lilac Sangha Caretaking Council?
Like any garden, flower or other living thing a sangha needs to be tended and nourished to stay healthy and thrive. It needs attention, effort, and thoughtful reflection to ensure that its roots and practices remain strong, its direction and efforts are chosen with awareness, and that it offers support and guidance mindfully to Sangha brothers and sisters and the world, all with loving kindness. The Blooming Lilac Sangha Caretaking Council was convened to help realize this intention. An evolving forum for considering the Sangha's past and future in the present moment, it is open to all members of the Sangha. It is a gathering to review our past practices and choices, our current circumstances, and to make recommendations, choices and decisions for the future on how to best use our time, effort and resources. Like any other practice opportunity its goal is to address these tasks in mindfulness, to be a place where the concrete and practical are approached with awareness.
The Film: "Walk With Me" has been released! Filmed over three years at Plum Village, the monastery in France where Thich Nhat Hanh lives. One viewer said: "This film immerses us into Thich Nhat Hanh's practice of mindfulness and approach to life. It sets a beautiful mood while showing the life at a Buddhist monastery. The viewer experiences Thich Nhat Hanh teaching, children asking difficult questions, monks and nuns playing calming classical music …"
Blooming Lilac Sangha is hosting a screening on Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 pm here in Rochester. The film will be shown at Regal Henrietta, 525 Marketplace Drive. We will only be able to screen the film if enough people attend so invite your friends and family about it and sign up soon!
Follow this link to purchase your tickets. Your credit card will not be charged until enough people sign up. Once 50 people sign up, GathR films will confirm with you by email that "Walk With Me: will be shown at Regal Henrietta (Henrietta Stadium 18). If 50 people do not sign up by the deadline early October, we will not be able to screen and your credit card will not be charged.
August Day of Mindfulness
Save the date: Sunday, August 27th 12:30 pm - 6 pm Day of Mindfulness includes potluck at 5 pm. All Welcome. More details to come.
Your input needed regarding our fall retreat with Michael Ciborski which is Nov 9th - 13th, 2017. This retreat will be in Rochester at Mercy Spirituality Center on Highland Avenue. You can attend as a commuter or stay at the retreat center. If you plan on attending, please respond to this e-mail with your aspirations or needs for the retreat. Out of these, Michael will develop the teachings for the retreat and the general theme. DEADLINE for offering retreat aspirations, themes, needs is August 10th. (This is Not the retreat registration deadline) an email with the retreat registration form will be sent out when they become available.
New format for Thursday evening meditations
Instead of reading one book together over a period of months, we are reading a short reading from one of Thay's books. The format includes:
My "Home Retreat" time is a casual affair that really ramps up the fruits of practice, integrates mindfulness into my daily life and carries benefits forward easily. I hope it's that way for the people who join in. Last year was the 3rd or 4th year of doing this. I kept it more private in 2016. Now it's time to return to inviting others to share practice about 1/3rd to ½ of the days during the Home Retreat period.
Morning and evening practice periods, 2 hrs, open to all Guests from various spiritual communities will share their spiritual journey
Schedule and more details coming soon.
- Chris Phillips
Fielding Interest in Skillshare for Fall
A few of us were talking about all the people we know who have some kind of creative pursuit but have little opportunity to share it with others. We're imagining a get-together where we could share with each other. It could include all kinds of creative activities: writing, poetry, music, photography, crafts, painting, acting, cartooning, videos, storytelling or anything else we haven't thought of.
The date, format, and location aren't worked out yet, and would depend on the response we get.
As the summer is very busy for many people, we are thinking of a Fall date for this event. To move ahead, we need to have an idea of the level of interest. If this interests you, please email me (Robin Long) at email@example.com
We invite your questions and suggestions as part of the reply - or simply note: Keep me updated!
- Robin Long
Co-Meditation with Chris Phillips
The core of this method is a meditation which we do together in silence, except that we use "spoken labels." These labels make it a Co-meditation. We design the labels together based on your current practice needs and interests, so each co-meditation is different.
Labeling is built upon the Vipassana method of Noting made popular in Burma in the 19th century.
Labeling also serves to keep our attention directed to the senses and the present moment, in much the same way as Thich Nhat Hanh teaches the use of Gathas, short verses or phrases to support the aiming and sustaining of attention.
To get some impressions of Co-Meditation Coaching check with one of the sangha members listed below who have experienced this practice with me.
Jo Ann Wilson
More details and contact info are available at my website.
- Chris Phillips
12 truths I learned from life and writing by Anne Lamott
For my dear sangha - here is a video of Anne Lamott an author giving a Tedx talk with wise and funny words for this moment. - Arlene Levitt