Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Day of Mindfulness May 19 2018

Deep Listening to the Beautiful One Within
A Day of Mindfulness May 19, 10:00am-4:00pm.
At The Riverside Church, 20-T

Through meditation, songs, deep relaxation, and personal sharing, this retreat explores ways to
love ourselves even more, listen well to our inner child, transform our inherited suffering, and
touch our true nature. Sound good!


The day will be facilitated by John Bell, a Dharma Teacher who has practiced with Thich NhatHanh’s tradition for over 35 years. John guides the Mountain Bell Sangha, near Boston, is on the Care TakingCouncil of the North American Dharma Teachers Sangha, Earth Holder Sangha, and ARISE (the Plum Village initiative on racial equity. In his wide world work, John co-founded YouthBuild in 1978 and, until his recent retirement, guided its development into an integrated program that offers education, construction training, and leadership development to low-income young people in 260 communities across the U.S., and in 80 communities in 21 other countries. 

In all his work, he aims to combine three interrelated areas—social justice, emotional healing, and spiritual practice. John's writings on these various topics can also be
found on his website,

Where: The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, Room 20-T [120-122nd Street, one block west of Broadway]
When: Saturday May 19, 2018: 10.00-4:30pm [Lunch is around 1:00pm.]
What to Bring: Your own Vegetarian Lunch.
Chairs and Cushions Available.
Please Do Not Wear Fragrances.

RSVP to [One can attend without RSVPing but is is helpful to us if you do.]

Friday, April 6, 2018

Two Days of Mindfulness: April 14 and April 21 2018

Day of Mindfulness: Care for Mother Earth
With Sister True Vow and other Blue Cliff Monastics
April 14 :  At ABC Home, 19th and Broadway, 10.30am-5.00pm.  


April 21 at The Riverside Church: 10:00-4:30pm
Responding to Conflict and Disparity with Kindness and Clarity:  A Day of Mindfulness and Healing.  
With Michael Ciborski

[Michael is a senior Dharma teacher in the Order of Interbeing, the Buddhist tradition of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh.  He lived as a monk for seven years in Plum Village, France, and has worked closely with Thich Nhat Hanh to organize, support and offer meditation retreats around the world. A skilled musician, he served as an English language chant master in the monastery.  Michael also studies and practices in the tradition of Anthroposophy, begun by Rudolf Steiner.  He finds great joy weaving together these two wonderful paths guided by two marvelous and awakened human beings.  After leaving the monastery in 2003, Michael returned to the US and along with his wife Fern Dorresteyn, has helped to establish an intentional spiritual community and mindfulness center in Southern New Hampshire known as MorningSun []

More details about this Day to come.
          Where: The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, NY, NY 10025.  Room 20-T
          When:  10:00am-4:30pm: come for all or part of the Day.
          What to Bring: Vegetarian lunch for yourself--lunch is usually around 1:00-2:00pm                  and we eat together in mindfulness.
         Chairs and Cushions are available.
          Please do not wear fragrances.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sister Ocean Leads Riverside Sangha March 27, 2018

Dear Friends,

The Riverside Sangha is happy to welcome Sister Ocean, and to invite us all to practice together with her this coming Tuesday, March 27, 7-9pm at Riverside Church.  [And feel free to bring a friend.]

Sister Ocean will share around practicing with the Five Remembrances:  how they can reveal our deepest aspirations, enhance our capacity to be 'present,' develop a sense of urgency around our spiritual practice and open the door into insight of 'no birth/no death' and develop our capacity to be present.   [The Five Remembrances are reflections on the inevitability and universality of aging, illness, death, separation, continuation.]

Our evening will include a round of sitting and walking meditation and then a Dharma Talk and time for Questions and Response with Sister Ocean.  

"Sister Ocean (Chân Trăng Hải Ấn) is a Canadian monastic who ordained in Plum Village in 2012 and moved to Blue Cliff Monastery in 2014 and is currently on sabbatical.  She is a musician and a poet and loves to grow the Dharma through creative modalities.  She is also a member of ARISE, working to bring racial justice to the forefront of the Plum Village community"  

When: 7:00-9:00pm, March 27 2018
Where:  The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, NY, NY 10025.  In the Wellness Center Nursery.

Below are Five Remembrances and Reflections on them.

Take care,

Five Remembrances 
1. I am of the nature to grow old.  There is no way to escape growing old.
2. I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.
3. I am of the nature to die.  There is no way to escape death.
4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change.  There is no way to escape being separated from them.
5. I inherit the results of my actions of body, speech, and mind.  My actions are my continuation.
[ From Chanting From the Heart, p. 51.]

Lessons in Emptiness
Formerly glowing cheeks and pink lips,
today cold ashes and white bones.
Position, renown though unsurpassed,ythey are but part of a long dream,
However rich and noble you are,
You are no less impermanent.
Jealousy, pride, and self-clinging,
But self is always empty.
Great strength, ability, and success,
but in them is no final truth.
Since the four elements come apart,
Why discriminate old from young?
Crevices erode even mountains,
More quickly the hero is dead.
Black hair has hardly grown on our head,
When suddenly it has turned white.
Our well-wisher has just departed,
A mourner arrives on our death.
This six-foot skeleton of dry bones—
With what effort it seeks riches.
This wrapping of skin containing blood
Suffers year after year just because of attachment.
[From Breathe! You are Alive, page 71.]

Looking deeply into the Five Remembrances can heighten our motivation to practice and “helps us to live the present moment in a joyous, calm, and awakened way.” [Thich Nhat Hanh, Blooming of the Lotus, p. 69] 

"This body is not me. I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born and I have never died.
   Look at this ocean and the sky filled with stars,
   manifestations from my wondrous True Mind.
Since before time I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide and seek." 
[Contemplation on No-coming, No-Going, in Chanting from the Heart, p. 243.]