Tuesday, November 3, 2015

'A Warrior's Journey Home,' November 10, 7-9pm.


Please Join the Riverside Sangha,
Next Tuesday November 10th🍁7pm-9pm🍁 please RSVP*

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 17: "Happiness is here and now" Day of Mindfulness




COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS/ NEW YORK METRO
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh

invites you to a
Day of Mindfulness
Saturday October 17 , 2015 / 10 am to 4:30 pm
***
  Happiness is Here and Now

Join us for a relaxing, nourishing, regenerating Day of Mindfulness, as we practice enjoying each breath, each sight, sound & step, and each other.
Please bring a drawing, poem, or object, that nourishes your happiness. 

The Day will be facilitated by Anne Spieser who received OI transmission in Plum Village from Thay in
1996. She facilitates the Deep Ocean of Compassion Prison Sanghas & also practices with several Sanghas in CT. Anne has had extended stays in Plum Village, Green Mountain Dharma Center & BCM.

This day will offer opportunities for Sitting , in & outdoor Walking Meditation, Eating Meditation after 12:30 (Bring a vegetarian bag lunch)Deep Relaxation & Sharing.
We are a Fragrance Free Environment.

The Riverside Church * 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T
1 block west of broadway, between 120-122 streets


Monday, September 14, 2015

Being Wonderfully Together
Day of Mindfulness Saturday September 19
10-4:30pm, Room 20-T

We will deepen our mindfulness practice together in Community, resting in the awareness of each in-breath and out-breath.  The Day includes Sitting and walking meditation, total relaxation, mindful eating, dharma sharing, singing, mindful movements and more.

Led by Dennis Bohn and David Flint.  Dennis and David are Dharma Teachers in the Plum Village/Thich Nhat Hanh tradition:  they received Lamp Transmission from Thay at Plum Village in February 2011.  Dennis practices with the Rock Blossom Sangha [Brooklyn] and David with the Riverside Sangha [Manhattan.]

September 19: 10-4:30pm.  
At Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T
Lunch: bring your own vegetarian Lunch.  Lunch is around 1-2pm.
Chairs and Cushions available.
Attend all or part of the Day.
Please do not wear Fragrances.
By Donation.***

Contact:  davidrflint@gmail.com 



[***We pay about $5000 to Riverside Church per year, for 12 Days of Mindfulness and weekly Sangha meetings: donations mainly pay the rent.]



Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day of Mindfulness August 15



COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS/ NEW YORK METRO 
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh 
invites you to a Day of Mindfulness Saturday August 15, 2015 / 10 am to 4:30 pm *** 


The Five Wonderful Mindfulness Trainings 
The day will be facilitated by The Stony Brook Sangha, with their founder Linda Anderson who has happily been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh since the mid 1990's. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister and currently runs a bereavement program in Stony Brook.   Linda has co-led Days of Mindfulness at The Riverside Church and she is happy to be returning. to facilitate with members of her Sangha! 


The Day will offer opportunities for a Dharma Talk, Sitting and Walking Meditation, Eating Meditation(bring a veggie bag lunch), Deep Relaxation & Dharma Sharing. We are a Fragrance Free Environment. 
Chairs and Cushions Available.  By Donation.



The Riverside Church * 91 Claremont Avenue 1 block west of broadway, between 120-122 streets, 20-T


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day of Mindfulness July 18 at Riverside Church: Spiritual Friendship

Spiritual Friendship

A Day of Mindfulness, July 18, 10-4:30pm
At Riverside Church, 20-T

The theme of Our Day of Mindfulness will be "Spiritual Friendship, and will be led Tom Duva and Mike Geres. Tom and Mike have been practicing in Sangha together for about 17 years.

During our Days we practice Sitting and Walking Meditation, Mindful Movements, Mindful Eathing, Dharma Sharing: all grounded in breath awareness.

Lunch: around 1-2pm.  Bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Chairs and cushions available.

Please do not wear fragrances.

At Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T, 10-4:30.  Come for all or part of the Day.

Contact Marjorie, at marjoriemarkus@gmail.com or davidrflint@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS/ NEW YORK METRO
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh
Joyfully Welcomes
*
Dharma Teacher Lyn Fine
Saturday June 20, 2015
Day of Mindfulness
10 am - 4:30 pm ( please arrive by 9:45 )
Sangha Wisdom:
Building Beloved Community
*
Lyn Fine received Lamp Transmission from Thay in 1994 & is co founder of our
Community of Mindfulness NY/Metro . Lyn now resides in Berkeley California, offers retreats in the US & Israel and is the founder of Mindful Peacebuilding

We will enjoy:DharmaTalk, Q&A, Sitting ,Walking, Eating Meditations (bring a veggie bag lunch)
We are a Fragrance Free Environment
The Riverside Church * 91 Claremont Avenue, Room 20T, 120-22nd, west of broadway
Please RSVP marjoriemarkus@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day of Mindfulness May 16 with Monastic Brothers from Blue Cliff Monastery



COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS/ NEW YORK METRO
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh

invites you to enjoy a
Day of Mindfulness
With Monastic Brothers from Blue Cliff Monastery 

                                                                                       


Saturday May 16, 2015 / 10 am to 4:30 pm

Our Day’s Practices will Include:
Dharma Talk (please send us questions you  would like to be addressed, to marjoriemarkus@gmail.com)
 Q&A , Sitting , Walking, Eating Meditations (bring a veggie bag lunch), Deep Relaxation & Dharma Sharing. 
 We are a Fragrance Free Environment
The Riverside Church  * 91 Claremont Avenue, Room 20T
1 block west of broadway,  between  120-122 streets


Sunday, April 12, 2015



Community of Mindfulness New York Metro

Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh

 invites you to a 

Day of Mindfulness 

Saturday April 18, 2015 / 10 am to 4:30 pm 


The Energy of Prayer 

The day will be facilitated by Linda Anderson (True Path of Peace) who has happily been a student of

Thich Nhat Hanh since the mid 1990's. She is a Unitarian Universalist minister and currently runs a

bereavement program in Stony Brook. Linda practiced with the Budding Flower Sangha in the Hudson

Valley and was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in 2005. Since moving to Long Island in 2010 she

helped to found her current home Sangha (http://stonybrooksangha.com). Linda has co-led Days of

Mindfulness at The Riverside Church and she is happy to be returning.


The Day will offer opportunities for a Dharma Talk, Sitting and Walking Meditation, Eating

Meditation(bring a veggie bag lunch), Deep Relaxation & Dharma Sharing.

1 block west of broadway, between 120-122 streets

We are a Fragrance Free Environment.

The Riverside Church * 91 Claremont Avenue


Friday, March 13, 2015

Day of Mindfulness: Saturday March 21

COMMUNITY OF MINDFULNESS/ NEW YORK METRO
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh

invites you to a
Day of Mindfulness 
Saturday March 21, 2015 / 10 am to 4:30 pm 

Refreshing our Practice 

Welcoming the Spring 

(The Energy of Prayer with Linda Anderson is postponed & will be rescheduled)

The Day will offer opportunities for a Sitting and Walking Meditation, 

Eating Meditation (bring a vegetarian bag lunch), Deep Relaxation & Dharma Sharing. 

The Riverside Church * 91 Claremont Avenue
1 block west of broadway, between 120-122 streets 
Room 20-T
We are a Fragrance Free Environment. 

First Day of Spring 2015


Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 21 Day of Mindfulness: This Silence is Called Great Joy


Dear Friends,

Our February 21 Day of Mindfulness will continue to explore Thich Nhat Hanh's teaching: "This Silence is Called Great Joy."  We will also use Thay's book "The Power of Silence" to guide us.

We will explore 'silencing the mind' through the directing our attention to the breath and the body; and by resting our attention in the space between the stream of thoughts; in the pause between an in-breath and out-breath; in the silence that emerges as we attend to sound.  

Sometimes, by Not focusing on a specific mental formation, or 'issue' or 'theme.' our Storehouse Consciousness has the freedom to 'work' freely on whatever is most essential, and 'present' this to our Mind Consciousness during meditation.

During this Day of Mindfulness, we will also have a total relaxation exercise, the opportunity to eat mindfully with each other, mindful movements and walking meditation and our Dharma Sharing Practice of Mindful Listening and Speaking.

Come for all or part of the Day. Beginners Welcome.

We will maintain noble silence during the Day.

Chairs and cushions available. Bring a vegetarian lunch. Lunch is around 1-2pm.

Please do not wear fragrances.

Saturday February 21, 10-4:30pm.
Room 20-T, at Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue in Manhattan.

Schedule:
10-10:20: Walking Meditation, Mindful Movements
10:20-Noon: 3 Rounds of Sitting and Walking Meditation
12:10-12:50: Outdoor Walking or Dharma Sharing [Depending on Weather]
1:00-2:00pm: Mindful Lunch [in Silence]

2:00-2:30 Total Relaxation
2:40-3:00 Mindful Movements/Walking Meditation
3:00-4:00  2 Rounds of Sitting and Walking
4:00-4:30: Dharma Sharing/Close


"This Silence is Called Great Joy
A teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh on the truth beyond our usual truths"
There are two kinds of truth, conventional truth and absolute truth, but they are not opposites. They are part of a continuum. There is a classic Buddhist gatha: 

All formations are impermanent. 

They are subject to birth and death.

But remove the notions of birth and death,

and this silence is called great joy.



This beautiful poem has only twenty-six words, but it sums up all of the Buddha’s teaching. It is one of greatest poems of humanity. If you are a composer, please put it to music and make it into a song. The last two lines should sound like thundering silence, the silencing of all speculation, of all philosophies, of all notions and ideas.

The gatha begins in the realm of conventional truth and ends in the realm of absolute truth. The first line describes reality as we usually perceive it. “All formations are impermanent.” This is something concrete that we notice as soon as we start paying attention. The five elements that make up our sense of personhood—form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness—all are flowing and changing day and night. We can feel their impermanence and so we are tempted to say that the first two lines of this gatha are true.

But the danger of this statement is that we may believe that formations are real and impermanence is an absolute truth. And we may use that kind of truth as a weapon in order to fight against those who don’t agree with our ideas. “Formations” is a notion, an idea. “Impermanence” is another notion. Neither is more true than the other. When you say, “All formations are impermanent,” you are indirectly confirming their permanence. When you confirm the existence of something, you are also implying the existence of its opposite. When you say the right exists, you have to accept the existence of the left. When you confirm that something is “high,” you’re saying something else is “low.” Impermanence becomes a notion that opposes the notion of permanence. So though perhaps it tried to escape, the first two lines of the gatha are still in the realm of conventional, relative truth. 



To reach the absolute truth, the ultimate truth, you need to release the conventional truth found there. There’s a Chinese term that means halfway truths and another that means all-the-way, hitting-the-bottom truths. The first two lines are a halfway truth and the third and fourth lines try to remove what we learned in the first two. 



When the notions are removed, then the perfect silence, the extinction of all notions, the destruction of all pairs of opposites, is called great joy. That is the teaching of absolute truth, of nirvana. What does nirvana mean? It is absolute happiness. It’s not a place you can go; it’s a fruit that you can have wherever you are. It’s already inside us. The wave doesn’t have to seek out the water. Water is what the wave has to realize as her own foundation of being.
 


If you have come from a Jewish or Christian background, you may like to compare the idea of nirvana, great bliss, with the idea of God. Because our idea of God may be only that, an idea. We have to overcome the idea in order to really touch God as a reality. Nirvana can also be merely the idea of nirvana. Buddha also can be just an idea. But it’s not the idea that we need; we need the ultimate reality.

The first two lines of the gatha dwell in the realm of opposites: birth and death; permanence and impermanence; being and nonbeing. In God, in nirvana, opposites no longer exist. If you say God exists, that’s wrong. If you say God doesn’t exist, that’s equally wrong. Because God cannot be described in terms of being and nonbeing. To be or not to be, that is not the question. The notions of being and nonbeing are obstacles that you have to remove in order for ultimate reality to manifest.



In classical Chinese, the third line of the gatha literally says, “But when both birth and death die.” What does it mean by “death dying”? It means you have to kill your notions of birth and death. As someone who practices the way of the Buddha, you have the sword of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, which is sharp enough to remove wrong perceptions and cut through all notions, including those of birth and death.



The true practitioner understands real rebirth, real continuation. There are two views concerning life after death. Quite a number of people, including scientists, believe that after we die, there’ll be nothing left. From being we become non-being. They don’t believe that there is something that continues after you die. That view is called nihilism. In this view, either there is no soul or the soul completely dies. After death, our body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness are completely gone. The opposite view, eternalism, is that after we die, we are still here and we will continue forever. Our soul is immortal. While our physical body may die, our soul continues forever, whether in paradise or in hell. The Buddha called these two views just another pair of opposites. 



Before you can answer the question, “What will happen to me after I die?” you need to answer another question, “What is happening to me in the present moment?” Examining this question is the essence of meditation. If we don’t know how to look deeply to what is happening to us in the here and the now, how can we know what will happen to us when we are dead?



When we look at a candle, we say that the candle is radiating light, heat, and fragrance. The light is one kind of energy it emits, the heat is another, and the fragrance is a third kind of energy it can offer us in the here and the now. If we are truly alive, we can see that we aren’t very different from the candle. We are offering our insight, our breath, our views right now. Every moment you have a view, whether about yourself, the world, or how to be happy, and you emit that view. You produce thought and your thought carries your views. You are continued by your views and your thinking. Those are the children you give birth to every moment. And that is your true continuation. 



So it is crucial to look deeply at your thoughts and your views. What are you holding on to? Whether you are an artist or a businessperson, a parent or a teacher, you have your views about how to live your life, how to help other people, how to make your country prosperous, and so on. When you are attached to these views, to the idea of right and wrong, then you may get caught. When your thinking is caught in these views, then you create misunderstanding, anger, and violence. That is what you are becoming in this very moment. When you are mindful of this and can look deeply, you can produce thoughts that are full of love and understanding. You can make yourself and the world around you suffer less. 



You are not static. You are the life that you are becoming. Because “to be” means to be something: happy, unhappy, light or heavy, sky or earth. We have to learn to see being as becoming. The quality of your being depends on the object of your being. That is why when you hear Rene Descartes’ famous statement “I think, therefore I am,” you have to ask, “You are what?” Of course you are your own thinking—and your happiness or your sorrow depends very much on the quality of your thinking. So you are your view, you are your thinking, you are your speech, you are your action, and these things are your continuation. You are becoming now, you are being reborn now in every second. You don’t need to come to death in order to be reborn. You are reborn in every moment; you have to see your continuation in the here and the now. 



I don’t care at all what happens to me when I die. That’s why I have a lot of time to care about what is happening to me in the here and the now. When I walk, I want to enjoy every step I take. I want freedom and peace and joy in every step. So joy and peace and lightness are what I produce in that moment. I have inherited it and I pass it on to other people. If someone sees me walking this way and decides to walk mindfully for him or herself, then I am reborn in him or in her right away—that’s my continuation. That’s what is happening to me in the here and the now. And if I know what is happening to me in the here and the now, I don’t need to ask the question, “What will happen to me after this body disintegrates?” There is no “before” and “after,” just as there is no birth and death. We can be free of these notions in this very moment, filled with the great joyful silence of all that is."
© As published in the September 2007 Shambhala Sun magazine.