Monday, November 5, 2018

BLS Newsletter - November 2018

Sacred Conversations on Race & Action Review

Thich Nhat Hanh has spoken frequently on the issue of engaged mindfulness. His essential teaching on activism is that mindfulness gives people the ability to find peace in themselves so that their actions come from a place of compassion. "Mindfulness must be engaged," Nhat Hanh writes in his book At Home in the World. "Once we see that something needs to be done, we must take action. Seeing and action go together. Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?"… "Nonviolence is not a set of techniques that you can learn with your intellect," he goes on to say. "Nonviolent action arises from the compassion, lucidity and understanding you have within." Two Sangha members from Blooming Lilac Sangha attended a two-part workshop called Sacred Conversations on Race and Action, along with members of the Zen Center and members of a local union, United Healthcare Workers. Our skillful guides were from RocActs.org.

Mindful listening, speaking and reflecting were shared as we allowed ourselves to touch the interbeing nature of racial injustice. We experienced the confluence of shared values and are inspired to continue engaged Buddhism!

Interested in attending in the future? Blooming Lilac Sangha participants are welcome to join in another "Sacred Conversations on Race and Action" Please email Janet at BloomingLilacSangha@gmail.com for a seat or if you have any questions.

No scheduled Day of Mindfulness in November

There will be no scheduled Day of Mindfulness (DOM) in November, please enjoy the retreat. Our next DOM is set for Saturday, December 15th, 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Contact Annie with ideas: ukemiracle1@gmail.com.

Boundless Mind Days: Lovingkindness and Compassion

When: 9 am to 12 pm Saturdays, Nov 29th, Dec 8th, and Dec 29th.

Where: Rochester Mennonite Church 111 Hillside Ave 3 part series.

An introduction and exploration of Lovingkindness (Metta) Meditation and its sister technique Compassion (Karuna) Meditation.

This is going to be a lovely way to punctuate the holidays with the seasoning of love and tenderheartedness. Learn a variety of ways these 2 "boundless mindstates" are taught by the Buddha and generations of teachers after him. Find a technique that works for you. Learn why meditators over the ages have relied so much on these nurturing mindstates to strengthen concentration and intention. Use the three Saturday mornings as a way to "sandwich" the start of winter with moments spent cultivating kindness.

For more information and to register visit Chris's Sunlight Of the Heart Website.

October Earth Holder Day of Mindfulness Review

The day started out unusually with a most comfortable and soothing relaxation meditation that cradled us in the arms of our bodhisattva, Mother Earth. We heard a talk from a member of Earth Holder Sangha that encourages us to use beginner mind in solving the quagmires that our earth and we face now. A beautiful trail in the woods with changing colors of the trees, navigated our feet in walking meditation. The day ended with our commitment for healing our great bodhisattva, earth, and a beautiful, tender song on CD, performed by children that couldn't help but put a smile to our faces to punctuate the day. Enjoy the links below for more information.

Earth Holder Website for those interested in learning more, or utilizing their resources
July 2018 Earth Holder Dharma Talk by Heather Lyn Mann (Youtube Video)
The Voice of the Natural World Ted Talk, by Bernie Kraus (YouTube Video)

Sister Ocean Visit Review

Several of us joined Sister Hai An (Sister Ocean) on October 18th for a short and wonderful visit. We walked the land at Ganandogan and were nourished and awakened. Later Sister Ocean joined us for our third Thursday evening meditation and exploration of the book: Awakening Together. We feel gratitude for these wonderful conditions and opportunities for peace and love.

Future Caretaking Council

We would like to schedule a CareTaking Council in January. Our practice has been to schedule the winter Caretaking Council during the day on a weekend, for example at the Zen Center at 2:30 pm on a Sunday if that works for the Zen Center's schedule. All are welcome to attend! This is a meeting where we come together to plan for Blooming Lilac Sangha. To suggest agenda items, or ask questions about CareTaking Council., please write to BloomingLilacSangha@gmail.com. Your input is important!

Practicing Together

Regularly Scheduled BLS Events that are not on Sunday. If you haven't had a chance to attend these offerings for a while, or never attended, please give them a try.

Core Practices; Core Teachings:

First Thursday evening of each month 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607. Live stream participation also available via Zoom. Contact Karen Smith at kdesjardin@gmail.com for access.

An opportunity to study Core practices and teachings of the Plum Village tradition. We are exploring the book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, and inviting sangha members to take turns sharing one Plum Village practice meaningful to them. You are welcome to any and all meetings. No need to make every session.

Study And Meditation - Inclusivity:

Update:  November 2018 there will be no meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the retreat. Normal scheduling should resume in December; every Third Thursday each month from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607 .

14 Mindfulness Trainings Study and Practice:

Update: Because of a scheduling conflict with Thanksgiving, the
14 Mindfulness Trainings Study and Practice for November will be on the fifth Thursday, November 29th for this month. Henceforth the monthly meeting will return to the usual 4th Thursday of the month.

Thursday November 29th at 6:30 pm we will gather to recite and study the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. The 14 Mindfulness Trainings are the essence of the Order of Interbeing. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is and to see our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. They help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self.

If you are interested in deepening your mindfulness practice, cultivating your skill in transforming suffering, touching joy in each moment and supporting others in their practice, please join us.

All are welcome to explore this practice. For location and directions contact Laurie Brewer at 585-698-7664 or laurie.breathe@gmail.com .

Morning Meditations:

Every Tuesday and Thursday 7:15 am to 8:00 am 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607

A new school year is beginning. Could this be a good time to freshen your meditation routine? You can start your day by meditating with the support of the community!

All are welcome. Our hosts are Xiaoping, xplin7842@gmail.com and Min min_wang3@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

BLS Newsletter - October 2018


BLS 25th Anniversary Jubilee Quick Report

Here is a quick recounting of our jubilee celebration at Brighton Town Park September 15th. Close to forty people attended, not including the two virtual guests who Facetimed in or the RIT gang nearby who played badminton and croquet with us.

The weather was beautiful, the pond shimmering, the sun-filled sky heaped with towering clouds, the food delicious, the lodge congenial, the ceremonies, songs and dharma sharing sweet. Even the walking meditation had an escort of monarch butterflies.

With deep gratitude for all who helped the day unfold, for the open hearts, generosity and affectionate spirits of all who attended, Bernie Shore for the BLS 25th Anniversary Planning Team

Buddhist Peace Fellowship Silent Vigil

When:  Monday, October 1st, from 12 pm - 1 pm

Where: The Federal Building, 100 State Street, Rochester NY

The Rochester Chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship invites you to join us on the first Monday of each month for a silent vigil (meditation) for peace.

Please bring your blanket, cushion or chair (and ground cloth or piece of plastic if it is wet). If you can't come for the full hour, please join us for as long as you can. This is an opportunity for us to publicly express a non-violent, compassionate, thoughtful alternative to aggression and conflict.

Sacred Conversations on Race and Action

This is a single workshop spread out over two Saturdays: October 13th, 9 am to 1 pm, Location: 1199 SEIU Union Hall, 259 Monroe Ave., Suite 220, 14607 and October 20th, 9 am to 1 pm at the Zen Center, 7 Arnold Park, 14607

Attendance at both sessions is required.

Our hosts, James Thompson and Wilma Campbell have been facilitating workshops on race for many years. James is a diligent Zen practitioner of almost 50 years, a yoga teacher, and community activist. This workshop will allow you the opportunity to be deeply heard and to also deeply listen. Here is the opportunity to speak from your heart about your concerns and feelings regarding our country's racist heritage. As James says, "This is also an opportunity to see if our actions to overcome racism can enhance our meditation practice, allowing it to become deeper and more integrated, so that we are more at home everywhere." If you would like more information, there is an informational meeting on Monday, September 24th from 6 pm - 7 pm.

To register contact: James Thompson jimbojimbolaya@gmail.com

View or download the flyer for details

Sister Ocean Visiting October 18th

Sister Hai An (Sister Ocean) will be visiting Blooming Lilac Sangha on October 18th. Depending on her plans, we may have a day of meditation, mindfulness with her, or be in nature. She will be joining us for our 3rd Thursday evening meditation and study of Awakening Together.

October Day of Mindfulness (DOM): Be an Earth Holder

When:  Saturday, October 20, 2018, 10:30 am to 4:00 PM
Where:  Chili, NY

Be An Earth Holder day of mindfulness will set the intention for us to touch our love for mother earth, sit with our feelings about her suffering, and consider some things we might do to help her (and us) heal. This will provide an opportunity to renew hope and let us feel more empowered. RSVP to Annie at ukemiracle1@gmail.com. Location and directions will be given to you at that time.

November retreat with Micheal Ciborski

Dear Friends, may this email find you peaceful and smiling! 😊 Registration is now open for the November retreat with Dharma teacher, Michael Ciborski. The retreat will be from November 15th - 19th, 2018, in Rochester NY.

Please note that all residential spaces have been taken for this retreat. You are welcome to sign up as a commuter. If you live out of town, some Sangha members have offered a room in their home.

To register, print the third page of the Information and Registration packet (link below) and send it by postal mail. In gratitude, Janet of the Blooming Lilac Sangha.

Read through the Information and Registration packet flyer thoroughly. If you have any questions, please reply to this email.
 

Unified Mindfulness Rochester

When/Where:
Mondays 7 pm -  8:30 pm
339 Berkeley St Rochester NY

And

Fridays 10 am  -  11:30 am
Spiritus Christi Church 121 N FitzHugh Rochester NY

Chris is offering a 10-week repeating cycle of classes on the basic skills of insight meditation. The cycle resumes with class 1 at the beginning of October. Open for drop-in any week. The first few weeks of October are an excellent time to check out this program and get in on the next round.

Hosted by sangha members Chris Phillips, Avery Argenna and JoAnne Wilson

To learn more and stay up to date, like the Unified Mindfulness Facebook page

Boundless Mind Days: Lovingkindness & Compassion

A three-part series hosted by Chris Phillips

When: Saturdays  9 am to 12 pm.
November 29th, December 8th, and Dec 29th.

Where: Rochester Mennonite Church 111 Hillside Ave

An introduction and exploration of Lovingkindness (Metta) Meditation and its sister technique Compassion (Karuna) Meditation.

For more information and to register, visit Chris Philip's Boundless Mind Days Webpage

Practicing Together

Regularly Scheduled BLS Events that are not on Sunday. If you haven't had a chance to attend these offerings for a while, or never attended, please give them a try.

Core Practices; Core Teachings:

First Thursday evening of each month 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607. Future occurrences include Sept 6th, Oct 4th, Nov 1st, Dec 6th, etc.

An opportunity to study Core practices and teachings of the Plum Village tradition. We are exploring the book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, and inviting sangha members to take turns sharing one Plum Village practice meaningful to them. You are welcome to any and all meetings. No need to make every session.
 

Inclusivity:

Update:  November 2018 there will be no meeting due to a scheduling conflict with the retreat. Otherwise, it is every Third Thursday each month from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607.

We will be reading from Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community by Larry Yang. We will start with meditation and then offer Dharma sharing to look more deeply at these issues. You can show up any month for these meditation and study sessions. No need to start at the beginning.

14 Mindfulness Trainings Study and Practice:

Fourth Thursdays at 6:30 pm we gather to recite and study the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. The 14 Mindfulness Trainings are the essence of the Order of Interbeing. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is and to see our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. They help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self.

If you are interested in deepening your mindfulness practice, cultivating your skill in transforming suffering, touching joy in each moment and supporting others in their practice, please join us.

All are welcome to explore this practice. For location and directions contact Laurie Brewer at 585-698-7664 or laurie.breathe@gmail.com .
 

Morning Meditations:

Every Tuesday and Thursday 7:15 am to 8:00 am 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607

A new school year is beginning. Could this be a good time to freshen your meditation routine? You can start your day by meditating with the support of the community!

All are welcome. Our hosts are Xiaoping, xplin7842@gmail.com and Min min_wang3@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

November retreat Registration Now Open!

Dear Friends,
Look for the email from BloomingLilac Sangha@gmail.com sent out on September 26.  
It contains information and the Registration Form for the November 15- 19 Retreat with Michael Ciborski.
This retreat will fill up quickly.  Because the retreat center we are using, Mercy Prayer Center, only has 11 single rooms, most of the rooms will be taken by people coming from our sister Sanghas in Ithaca, Syracuse, etc. If you are not able to commute, Sangha members who live in Rochester fairly close to the retreat center are open to guests.
For more information about Michael Ciborski, go to: http://truemiddleway.org
Micheal Ciborski fills the frame in profile view facing left. His palms are together in gasho. He has ruddy cheeks, he is standing outside in what looks to be a winter day.

Monday, September 3, 2018

BLS Newsletter - September 2018

Photo Courtesy of Paul Davis, he can be reached by email at quest4pce@yahoo.com

RSVP for BLS' 25th Anniversary Celebration !!

We'll be gathering rain or shine September 15th 10 am - 3 pm at: Carmen Clark lodge 777 Westfall Rd. Rochester, NY 14618

Please come, bring family or friends and join us for a potluck picnic and day of cultivating joy!. There will be games, music, some contemplative moments, an opportunity to share what our sangha has meant to you & your vision of where it can bloom in the future.

Plans for the day: (downloadable/shareable/printable document)

10 am - arrival and settling in
10:30 am - welcome and opening circle 11:15 am - socializing, games, art, contributing to history & ideas for the future
11:45 am - walking meditation
12:15 pm - picnic
1 pm - open: games/ walking/ sitting/ celebration circle: music, dancing, poems, singing, art
2:15 pm - closing comments & readings
2:30 pm - cleanup begins, out of lodge by 3 pm

What to bring: a dish to pass, memories, stories, photos, drawings, musical instruments, sense of humor, smiles and open hearts.

Here is A Guide for the Unfamiliar a document that explains a little bit about what we do and where or rather who we draw our practices and customs from.

Email invitations and RSVP coming soon! We need your RSVPs! Reply to bloominglilacsangha.org to let us know if you plan to come or not, how many will be coming with you, or for any questions

See you soon! With joy and gratitude, BLS 25th anniversary planning team.

Four Foundations of Mindfulness Retreat

You are welcome to this Four Foundations of Mindfulness retreat series developed by sangha member, Chris Phillips.

The discourse on the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness is the core manual for vipassana meditation in the teachings of the Buddha. It is the original seed of the modern mindfulness movement. This trilogy on the 4 Foundations offers a series of practices and presentations for folks to become familiar with the basic plan and intentions of the discourse. It also acts as a step-by-step preview to vipassana methods, from first sitting down to train the attention all the way along the rhythmic road to liberation.

I Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment
Sept 21, Sept 28 Jan 4, Jan 11

II Emotions & The Foundations of Mindfulness
Intro: Nov 2 or Nov 3 Full Day: Nov 10

III 7 Factors of Enlightenment & Other Patterns Jan 18, Jan 25

Full descriptions and other retreat dates at sites.google.com/site/onedaysplus

If new to mindfulness or vipassana meditation, retreat workshop #1 Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment is the pre-requisite for workshops 2 and 3. Dwelling Happily runs three times per year.

Workshop #2 Emotions and the Foundations of Mindfulness, or consultation with Chris, is the prerequisite for #3.

For more info & registration, visit sunlightoftheheart.com. To register, scroll down. Fill out the form at "Register for a retreat." Another option is to call to register if preferred. Chris's phone number is 585-305-6949

Unified Mindfulness Classes

Sangha members -- Avery Argenna, Jo-Anne Wilson, and Chris Phillips -- are offering a series of meditation classes to share with the public the vipassana methods of Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. Vipassana practice is often referred to as "deep looking" in Thich Nhat Hanh's system of teaching. The leading Vipassana style teachers in our day include Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, or SN Goenka. Here is a new presentation in the spirit of science, helpful for starting up, inspiring for the experienced, with great carry-over into daily life.

All are welcome at any time. Easy to join in the middle or miss a class if you get a little briefing from the hosts on what you missed.

This 10-week Unified Mindfulness curriculum resumes from the beginning in mid-September.

Mondays 7 pm - 8:30 pm Berkeley Street
Fridays 10 am - 11:30 a.m. Spiritus Christi Church 121 N FitzHugh downtown
First Saturday practice immersions, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm Rochester Mennonite Fellowship, 111 Hillside Ave

Here is the Unified Mindfulness Rochester Facebook page with details.

Questions? Write Chris Phillips, sunlightoftheheart@outlook.com or call 585-305-6949

Jataka Tales Featured on Forbes!

Our dear friend Rafe wrote us with this to say about his recently released book:

A bit of astonishing news. -- My latest book -- "Before Buddha Was Buddha: Learning From the Jataka Tales" was just featured in Forbes !! on-line, in an article on Dealing With President Trump's War On Truth!! How about that for the very contemporary relevance of the Jataka tales!! And ongoing Zen Buddhist practice! Cheers and many thanks!

Rafe Martin endlesspathzendo.org

Regularly Scheduled Monthly BLS Events

We wanted to put out the word about some of our regularly scheduled once-a-month events that cover core practices and teachings.

Core Practices; Core Teachings:

First Thursday evening of each month 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607. Future occurrences include Sept 6th, Oct 4th, Nov 1st, Dec 6th, etc.

An opportunity to study Core practices and teachings of the Plum Village tradition. We are exploring the book The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, and inviting sangha members to take turns sharing one Plum Village practice meaningful to them. You are welcome to any and all meetings. No need to make every session.

Inclusivity:

Third Thursday each month from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607. Future occurrences include Sept 20th, Oct 18th, Nov 15th, Dec 20th, etc.

We will be reading from Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community by Larry Yang. We will start with meditation and then offer Dharma sharing to look more deeply at these issues. You can show up any month for these meditation and study sessions. No need to start at the beginning.

14 Mindfulness Trainings Study and Practice:

Fourth Thursdays at 6:30 pm we gather to recite and study the 14 Mindfulness Trainings. The 14 Mindfulness Trainings are the essence of the Order of Interbeing. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is and to see our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. They help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self.

If you are interested in deepening your mindfulness practice, cultivating your skill in transforming suffering, touching joy in each moment and supporting others in their practice, please join us.

All are welcome to explore this practice. For location and directions contact Laurie Brewer at 585-698-7664 or laurie.breathe@gmail.com .

Morning Meditations:

Every Tuesday and Thursday 7:15 am to 8:00 am 375 Westminster Road, Rochester, 14607

A new school year is beginning. Could this be a good time to freshen your meditation routine? You can start your day by meditating with the support of the community!

All are welcome. Our hosts are Xiaoping, xplin7842@gmail.com and Min min_wang3@gmail.com

Greetings from the Earth Holder Sangha

From Karen Smith, Healing Embrace of the Heart

I have had the pleasure of sitting with the Earth Holder Sangha the last two months, and have been enriched by their sharing and resources that are available https://earthholder.org/ I appreciate Janet's encouragement to join this group. The Earth Holder Sangha is inspiring, and encourages connection with our feelings around Mother Earth in her current state and the impact of climate change. In line with Thay's teachings and the work of Joanna Macy https://workthatreconnects.org/history-of-the-work/ when we share those feelings with each other, insights arise and are shared. I also appreciate Mary Gleason and Chris Phillips for introducing us to the Work that Reconnects last year, which is so valuable in bringing us from despair to empowerment and action.

At the sitting in August, we were reminded of the importance of developing peace within ourselves - the inner strength that allows us to have faith that our individual actions and group initiatives to care for the earth, can make a difference, and helps us not become discouraged in the face of adversity. During the July meeting, the Earth Holder's Heart Sutra was read, and it was quite powerful. Heather Mann wrote this version of the Heart Sutra in 2013, and recited it for us during the sitting. She prompted us to check in with our feelings during the recitation, which I found to be strong and varied, as we connected with the emptiness of all things. It is a powerful version of the precious Heart Sutra. Please enjoy, and connect with your feelings when you read it.

The Earth Holders' Heart Sutra

By Heather Lyn Mann, True Lotus Peace, March 2013
Global warming is emptiness, emptiness is global warming.
Global warming is not other than emptiness and emptiness is not
other than global warming.
The same is true with overpopulation, pollution, fracking and
other forms of resource exploitation.
(Bell)
All ecosystems are marked with emptiness.
They are neither produced or destroyed,
neither defiled nor immaculate,
neither increasing nor decreasing.
Therefore in emptiness there is neither forest, nor city,
nor ocean, nor mountain, nor desert.
No bird or rat or fish or bear or lizard or child.
No breeze no splash no scent of rotting flesh no thirst
no tender caress no sunset.
No native habitat (from wetland to new urbanist co-housing
development),
no resilient communities and no extinction of them
(from failure to adapt to casualty of war).

No species extinction, no cause of species extinction, no end of
species extinction,
and no sustainability.
No fixing and no success.
(Bell)
Because there is no success,
we, grounded in perfect understanding,
find no failure in our aspirations to heal Mother Earth.
Having no failure, we overcome grief, liberating ourselves
forever from struggle to realize nirvana in this moment.
All Activist Buddhas in the past, present, and future,
thanks to this perfect understanding,
arrive at full and right Insight Environmentalism.
(Two Bells)