Friday, August 19, 2016

Home Retreat

Home Retreat Schedule

Simplicity of Ch'an; Richness of the Senses”
at the home of Chris Phillips, 364 Merchants Rd., Rochester


Send an email to or give me a call a day or more ahead so I know who to expect and/or contact if there is a last minute change. 845-264-7000    585-305-6949

Especially do call if you would like to stay for some morning work meditation in the gardens 9 am to 11:30, so I can have simple tasks ready..

Morning Practice 7 – 9 a.m.

Open format. Arrive and depart as you wish. Set your own schedule for sitting and motion meditation. The outdoor gardens are nice right now for walking meditation, qi gong or yoga.

(Please remember that the Blooming Lilac Sangha holds morning practice at the home of Min and Xiaoping every Tuesday and Thursday all year, from 7:15 to 8:00. So on Tuesday and Thursdays you have a choice.)

Evening Practice 7 – 9 p.m.

Arrive between 6:30 and 7:00. Sitting and walking together indoors, with tea and dharma sharing from 8:30 – 9:00. Some evenings I will have a dharma talk selected. Others will be simple practice.


On a few nights evening practice will be preceded by a potluck dinner, 5 to 6:30. I will have a pot of grains and some simple beans ready for dinner. Please bring chopped raw vegetables, or fresh fruit of any kind.

Day                  A.M. Practice                      Evening Pratice

Saturday 8/20               off                                                      7 – 9 pm
Sunday 8/21                 7 – 9 am                                              7 – 9 pm
Monday 8/22                7 – 9 am                                              off
Tuesday 8/23                7 – 9 am                                              off

Wednesday 8/24            7 – 9 am                                             S&P meeting, all invited
6:45 to 8:45 – special meeting of Stillness & Presence group, with a reading from Gerald May's Dark Night of the Soul. This is an interfaith small group which explores bridges between shamatha-vipassana meditation (mindfulness) and contemplative, non-verbal prayer in “God traditions.” All are welcome to join. About 1 hour silent practice begins the meeting. Call or email for more info.

Thursday 8/25               7 -9 am                                             14 Mindfulness Trainings meeting
6:30 – 8:30 monthly meeting to read and share about the 14 Mindfulness Trainings and the Order of Interbeing. All are always welcome to join this monthly meeting hosted by Laurie Brewer.

Friday 8/26                    off                             potluck 5 pm      7 – 9 pm
Saturday 8/27                 7 – 9 am                     potluck 5 pm      7 – 9 pm
Sunday 8/28                   7 – 9 am                                              7 – 9 pm
Monday 8/29                  7 – 9 am                                              7 – 9 pm
Tuesday 8/30                  7 – 9 am                                               off
Wednesday 8/31              7 – 9 am                                               off
Thursday 9/1                   off                                                       off
Friday 9/2                       7 – 9 am                                               7 – 9 pm
Saturday 9/3                    7 – 9 am                     potluck 5 pm       7 – 9 pm Close of Home Retreat

Dharma Talk Possibilities

A Basket of Plums -- classic Plum Village songs from the 80's and 90's.  I believe this was performed and recorded in French and English by the Montreal Sangha.  A mix of well known and unknown songs.

Beginning Anew by Sister Tu Nghiem

Thich Nhat Hanh – readings on practicing with the Earth, and from his book Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise.

What is Equanimity? Shinzen Young

Dark Night of the Soul Shinzen Young

The Primordial Rhythm of Nature & Practice Shinzen Young

a reading from Pema Chodron's Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Directions: 364 Merchants Rd., Rochester 14609
Park on Woodstock Rd. enter the house at rear door off back deck
shoes off in back hallway

walk through kitchen, dining room – meet for practice in living room

More About the Retreat Name

Friday, August 5, 2016

Day of Mindfulness - August 14th, 2016

The August 2016 Day of Mindfulness Connecting and Healing with Nature is Sunday, August 14th with a different start time then usual. Erin Bullock has invited us to her beautiful organic CSA farm in Bloomfield, NY (just south of Mendon). The day starts at 10:30 am and ends at 3 pm.

We will be meditating and walking outside quite a bit so dress for the weather. We may also gather in a lovely old barn. See inline document below for schedule, directions, and photos of this amazing space! Please bring water, sun protection (hats, sun lotion) meditation cushions and blanket or folding chair and a contribution to our potluck lunch.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Family Day of Mindfulness July 9

Come and experience a beautiful drive to the Finger Lakes area for a Family Day of Mindfulness. Bring your favorite child(ren) or inner child! We will be exploring nature and our feelings with fun activities for all ages! 

When? Saturday, July 9, 2016, 10:30 am to 4 pm.
Where? 5745 Federal Rd. Conesus, NY 14435-Home of Michael and Annie O'Reilly
What? Bring a brown bag lunch-drinks and snacks will be provided. Wear clothing for outdoors-long pants tucked into socks is helpful! If it rains we may spend a limited time outdoors.

RSVP: or 585-346-0557

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Day of Mindfulness May 14th, 2016

You are invited to a Day of Mindfulness, on Saturday, May 14, from 10:30 am to 4 pm at the home of Diane Rennie in Fairport at Address: 42 S Ridge Trail Fairport, NY 14450

The day will start with a dharma talk on compassion by Sister Annabel Laity. (see below for brief bio).

Please arrive by 10:30 am so that you can hear the full talk. This Day of Mindfulness complete schedule will be available soon.

If you would like to share a snack, that would be appreciated but not expected. Snacks and tea will be provided by Diane.

Bring a bag lunch for yourself instead of a potluck dish.

RSVP to Diane Rennie via or 585-223-8663 to let the organizers know how many are attending.

Sister Annabel Laity Bio

Sister Annabel Laity, (Chan Duc, True Virtue), was born in England, and studied Classics and Sanskrit before going to India to study and practice with Tibetan nuns. She has been a disciple of Thich Nhat Hanh since 1986, and in 1988, in India, she was the first woman from the West to be ordained as a nun by Thich Nhat Hanh. She became a Dharma Teacher in 1990, and was Director of Practice at Plum Village for many years.She is currently Dean of Practice at the European Institute for Applied Buddhism in Germany, and divides her time between there and Thailand, where she teaches newly ordained novices at Thailand Plum Village.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gathas From Spring Water Retreat

Much gratitude to Jackie Siwicki for putting together wonderful gathas for the April retreat at Springwater, she has offered them to all of us here.

Thay gave a wonderful talk about losing our balance and falling, citing the high number of people in France (that particular year) who had fallen down. He gave a lovely visual of bamboo bridges in the countryside in Vietnam. A single bamboo trunk would traverse a river or stream. To aid the bridge crossing person, there would be wires strong across at arm level to grasp on to in order to prevent an accident. 

Thay went on to say that we can also “mentally fall down” He recommended using gathas such as the ones that Jackie put together, to act as our guide wires, and to help keep the positive seeds awake in us. 

Here are the gathas which can be printed for your own use!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ramya Kane Continuation Day Celebration

Our dear friend and diligent student of meditation, Ramya Kane, passed away on April 5th at age 85. A celebration of her life will be held on June 18th at 12:30 pm at: White Haven Memorial Park, 210 Marsh Rd, Pittsford, NY 14534.

Credit Blair Hornbuckle.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Seeking Penpals for Jason

Carmel and Richard invite friends of Blooming Lilac Sangha to consider becoming a pen pal with Jason, an inmate. He has served l9 years of a 35 year sentence, has almost no visitors and would benefit from more contact with the outside world to help him combat depression. Our ability to visit him has been greatly curtailed since his transfer from Attica to Wallkill last Summer.  Email for further information.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

April 2016 Springwater Retreat with Joanne Friday

Dear Friends,

It is with great joy that we have the Registration ready for our April 15- 19 Retreat with Joanne Friday! Please remember that we are unable to process retreat registrations on line or over the phone. Please print out the registration which is the third page of the retreat flyer. Then mail your registration and check by regular postal mail as instructed in the retreat flyer. Please mail as soon as possible as this retreat fills up quickly. With a bow to your awakening! -Janet & Adam

Update - March 24th, 2016: All rooms have been filled at the retreat center (Springwater Center). There are, at the moment, about 3 commuter spots open.

Community member Wendy Smith a documentary film educator and producer, and quigong instructor is seeking a ride to retreat, Saturday and back Sunday morning or down and back Saturday. Wendy can be reached via email: or phone: 585-546-3063

Direct Downloads: PDF, MS DocX

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

March 10th Sangha Caretaking Comittee (SCC)

The next Sangha Caretaking Council meeting will be held on Thursday March 10th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, at 375 Westminster Rd, the lovely home of Xiaoping and Min. All are welcome to attend.

The Caretaking Council is a gathering to review our past practices and choices, our current circumstances, and to make recommendations, choices and decisions for the future. 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.

These meetings happen three or four times a year. They are a pleasant way to learn about the planning and intentions behind sangha events, and to share amongst us the stewardship work which makes the Blooming Lilac Sangha possible. Please send short proposals for agenda items to Chris Phillips, Or call Chris at 585-305-6949.

For the meeting we are in need of volunteers for our three rotating roles – chairing, note taking, and bell keeping.

The chair leads the group in making a final agenda selection at the meeting's start, and then moves the discussion along, watching the time allotted for each item, inviting the group to decide on action items, next steps, or the need for more information, further conversation etc.

The note taker records minutes including highlights of the conversation, with special attention to plans, action items, and those who have volunteered to do any caretaking for the sangha. She or he circulates the notes to those in attendance for review, then sends them to the entire sangha through our general announcements and blog.

The bell keeper fosters an atmosphere of mindfulness by inviting the bell at the start and end of meetings, at transitions between agenda items, and whenever the dynamics of the conversation will benefit from a centering reminder to return to our breathing in the present moment.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blue Cliff Monastery Music Survey

This is SR Ocean at Blue Cliff Monastery. I'm involved both with the bookshop here and with music creation/recording. I have a request for the Blooming Lilac Sangha members.
We've recently explored selling our latest CD from bcm (healing songs) on-line through CD baby and iTunes. We are interested to know more about the music needs and interests in our larger sangha, and what interest there is for making more of our music available for on-line sales and/or free listening sites.
Please fill out this short questionnaire to help us gather collective wisdom about how to proceed with this. there are only 8 simple questions and your input is very important to us!
Here's the link to fill out the survey: Link