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.]

Monday, February 19, 2018

2 Days of Mindfulness March 17: Resting in Stillness at Riverside Church and 'From Self Care to Empathy' at ABC Home with Blue Cliff Monastics

Community of Mindfulness New York Metro
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh
Invites you to a Day of Mindfulness

Resting in Stillness
A Day of Mindfulness in the tradition of
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Please join us for a day of practice, exploring the ways we access -- or are challenged by -- stillness in our bodies, in our minds and in our feelings, and investigating practices that support us in bringing the qualities of stillness into the busyness of our lives and our world.

“Stillness is the foundation of understanding and insight.
Stillness is strength.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Our day together will include guided sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement, deep relaxation, journaling and sharing from the heart. Please bring a pen and notebook or journal.

Anne Woods will lead the Day.
Anne practices with the Berkshire Mountain Laurel Sangha in Great Barrington, MA, and 
was ordained into the Order of Interbeing. 2011.  
When: Saturday March 17, 2018: 10:00am-4:30pm.
Where: Room 20-T, Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue
Lunch: Bring your own vegetarian lunch.  Lunch is around 1pm-2pm.
Chairs and Cushions available.
Please do not wear fragrances.
Days of Mindfulness the 3rd Saturday of each month.
From Self Care to Empathy
A Day of Mindfulness with Monastics [Monks and Nuns] from Blue Cliff Monastery

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 17 Day of Mindfulness: Groundlessness

Community of Mindfulness New York Metro
Practicing in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh

Fluidity in life, Fluidity as practice
A Day of Mindfulness February 17 2018

Together, we can explore life as motion and change, like it or not.  
We will explore the practice of letting go of aversions to what is present
and letting of of  the attachments to our many preferences,
So that we may touch groundlessness, and transform suffering.

Together we practice sitting and walking meditation, mindful eating, Dharma Sharing,
Total Relaxation, and more, being wonderfully together in Sangha.

Tom Duva will lead our Day.  Tom is a co-founder of the PoJama Sangha in Connecticut,
which formed in 1997.
 He received Ordination into the Order of Interbeing in August 2007.

Date/Time: Saturday February 17, 2018.
Location: The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T, NY, NY
Chairs and Cushions available.
Bring your own vegetarian lunch: lunch is around 1pm.
Please be fragrance free.

“The Way is perfect like great space,
Without lack, without excess.
Because of grasping and rejecting
You cannot attain it.” **
[Faith in Mind, Sheng Yen, Kindle Location 144]

“Nothing is born, nothing dies.
Nothing to hold onto, nothing to release.
Samsara is nirvana.
There is nothing to attain.

When we realize that afflictions are no other than enlightenment,
We can ride the waves of birth and death in peace,
Traveling in the boat of compassion on the ocean of delusion,
Smiling the smile of non-fear."
  [From Transformation at the Base, Thich Nhat Hanh]