Monday, July 10, 2017

July 15 2017: Day of Mindfulness. The Secret of Transformation

The Secret of Transformation: A Day of Mindfulness

"The present moment
Contains past and future.
The secret of transformation
Is in the way we handle this very moment."

In our July 15, 2017 Day of Mindfulness, we will explore this 'Secret of Transformation,'   with the Practices of Sitting and Walking Meditation, Dharma Sharing, Mindful Eating, Mindful Movements and more: all grounded in mindful breathing

"When we realize that afflictions are no other than enlightenment,
We can ride the waves of birth and death in peace"
Is this our experience right now?
Can this Teaching become a question to plant into the Storehouse Consciousness?

We will maintain Noble Silence***, supporting each other with our presence and practice.  
There will be guided meditations and suggestions for working skillfully with whatever presents itself.
And there will also be silent meditations and Individual Practice time.

Beginners Welcome.
Chairs and Cushions provided.
Lunch is from 1:00-2:00pm: bring your own vegetarian lunch.
Please do not wear fragrances.

          ***Noble Silence means: we refrain from all talking and "chit-chat" except during Dharma Sharing.  Thus
               we support our Sangha Friends in their practice.  And the 'outer silence' allows us to look more deeply into our own life.  We allow the calmness and silence to penetrate our flesh and bones.

          When: Saturday July 15, 10:00-4:30pm: come for all or part of the Day.
          Where: The Riverside Church, #20-T, 91 Claremont Avenue, in Manhattan.
By Donation [Dana, Free-Will Donation, Generosity]: Donations mainly pay the rent to Riverside  
               Church and the CMNY also donates to the TNH fund.

         David Flint will lead the Day.  David is a Dharma Teacher in the Plum Village/Thich Nhat Hanh lineage,  receiving Lamp Transmission from Thay in 2011. He practices with the Riverside and Queens Sangha.

                                                            The Path of Practice
Meditating on the nature of interdependence
Can transform delusion into enlightenment.
Samsara and suchness are not two.
They are one and the same.
Even while blooming, the flower is already in the compost,
And the compost is already in the flower.
Flower and compost are not two.
Delusion and enlightenment inter-are.
Don't run away from birth and death.
Just look deeply into your mental formations.
When the true nature of interdependence is seen,
The truth of interbeing is realized.
Practice conscious breathing
To Water the seeds of Awakening.
Right view is a flower
Blooming in the field of mind consciousness.
When sunlight shines,
It helps all vegetation grow.
When mindfulness shines,
It transforms all mental formations
We recognize internal knots and latent tendencies
So we can transform them.
When our habit energies dissipate,
Transformation at the base is there.
The present moment
Contains past and future.
The secret of transformation
Is in the way we handle this very moment.
Transformation takes place
In our daily life.
To make the work of transformation easy,
Practice with a Sangha
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]


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Day of Mindfulness June 17 at Riverside Church

Community of Mindfulness New York Metro
Practicing in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh
Invites everyone to
A Day of Mindfulness

Achieving Happiness in Stressful Times
Saturday, June 17, 2017


Please join us for a day of meditation, contemplation, and practice of specific strategies to calm the mind.  We will enjoy guided sitting and walking meditation, and nourish ourselves in Noble Silence,

The day will be facilitated by Heidi Spitzer.  Heidi practices with  Sangha on the Hudson in Piermont, NY.  She was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in 2005.  

Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, Manhattan
(North of 120th Street and West of Broadway)
Please bring your own vegetarian lunch.
Chairs and cushions available.  Please do not wear fragrances.

Beginners Welcome!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Five Mindfulness Trainings Transmission Ceremony July 9 2017

Dear Friends,

On Sunday July 9,  there will be the opportunity to formally receive the  Five Mindfulness Trainings, in a Transmission Ceremony.  The Transmission will be offered by our four New York Dharma Teachers: Dennis Bohn [Rock Blossom Sangha]; Jeanne Anselmo [Green Island Sangha]; David Flint [Riverside Sangha, Queens Sangha] and Marjorie Markus [Riverside Sangha, Birdbath Sangha.]
The Five Mindfulness Trainings are “a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. “
When we receive the Trainings in a Transmission Ceremony, we are supported and nourished by the collective energy of the Sangha.  

You can receive only those Trainings you feel in accord with and committed to practicing, as well as receiving all Five Trainings.

Those who wish will receive a Dharma Name, along with the Certificate of Transmission.  The Dharma Name reflects your aspirations and is an inspiration to stay connected to your aspiration. If you are interested in receiving the Trainings, and/or learning more about it, please contact:   
David Flint,,  Marjorie Markus,, or Dennis Bohn,
[If you do practice in a Sangha Meeting feel free to contact the one of us already known to you.]

See the Five Mindfulness Trainings and commentary at:

Date/Time: July 9, 6.30-8.30pm.  
Location: Gethsemane Church 1012 8th Avenue Brooklyn [Rock Blossom Sangha.]
Take care,
David Flint

Friday, May 12, 2017

May 20 Day of Mindfulness: Precepts, Concentration and Insight

Community of Mindfulness New York Metro
Inspired by the Teachings and Practice of Thich Nhat Hanh

"Precepts, concentration, and Insight--the nature and function of all three are one." In our Day of Mindfulness, we will explore this insight.  Being wonderfully together we practice sitting and walking meditation, enjoy singing and total relaxation, mindful eating, mindful breathing and engage with the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. 

Image result for mindfulness is a source of happiness

10:00-1:00pm: Sitting and walking meditation,
                           Mindfulness Practices

1:00-2:00pm: Lunch

2:00-4:30pm: Total Relaxation, Dharma Sharing
                         Sitting and Walking Meditation

Our Day will be led Zack Foley.  Zack has been practicing mindfulness with the Riverside Sangha since 2004. In 2011, he helped co-found the Wake Up NYC young adult sangha with several close sangha friends. Zack was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in 2013.  In 2015, he helped co-found the Middle Way all ages sangha with "graduates" of Wake Up NYC.  He is also one of the co-facilitators of the newly formed Planting Seeds Sangha for Parents and Children.
Zack is a social worker and a jazz musician. Zack says that Sangha Practice brings him great joy, solidity and freedom.   
AtThe Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T
When:  Saturday, May 20th: 10:00am-4:30pm: come for all or part of the Day.

Chairs and Cushions Available.
Bring your own vegetarian lunch.
Please do not wear fragrances.

The great way of Reality,
Is our true nature’s pure ocean.
The source of Mind penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue springs the practice of compassion.
Precepts, concentration and insight –
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to reveal the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness to be possible,
Wisdom and Action must go together.

Zen Master Lieu Quan, root teacher of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village Lineage.

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 21 2017 Touching Freedom from Fear, with Dharma Teacher Dennis Bohn and Order of Interbeing Member Anne Wood, at Wainwright House

Wainwright House & Quiet Harbor Sangha invite you to
“Touching Freedom from Fear”
Day of Mindfulness 
in the traditioof Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh 
With Dharma Teacher Dennis Bohn and Order of Interbeing Member Anne Woods
Sunday, May 21, 2017:  10:00am–4:00pm
Day of Mindfulness is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in meditation practice. Through guided breathing, walking, eating, and other practices, we will work with and transform our fears.  No prior experience is necessary.  

Image result for seeing myself as a flower, I breathe in
Here are some things to keep in mind so you will have a fulfilling day:
• Bring a vegetarian lunch and water bottle or mug with a lid
• Wear comfortable clothes and footwear for walking on the shore of the Sound if weather permits
• We will have cushions, blankets, and chairs but feel free to bring your own
• Come with an open heart
Image result for breathe and smile
To register, call 914-967-6080 or visit us at
All proceeds to benefit Wainwright House
$45 per person(WM),  $50 per person (NM)
Code 6410, WM = Wainwright Member, NM = Non-Member
260 Stuyvesant Avenue,, Rye, NY 10580

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 15 Day of Mindfulness: Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Do

Saturday April 15 is our monthly Day of Mindfulness, at Riverside Church.  As we practice sitting and walking meditation, mindful eating, Dharma Sharing, and total relaxation we will explore what it means to have a practice of  "Nowhere to Go, Nothing to Do."

At one level, these words are an invitation to relax and be fully present at our Day; at another level perhaps they are an invitation and instruction on how to relate to our experience.

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10:00am-12:00pm: Sitting and Walking Meditation; Mindful Movements

12:10-1:00pm: Personal Practice [ Each of us can practice in accord with our needs: sitting, walking, contemplating a teaching and so on.]

1:10-2:00pm.  Lunch

2:10-2:40: Total Relaxation

2:45-3pm: Walking Meditation

3:00-3:30: Sitting

3:30- 4:20: Dharma Sharing/Close

At: The Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue, 20-T
When:  10:00am-4:30pm: come for all or part of the Day.
Chairs and Cushions Available.
Bring your own vegetarian lunch.

Please do not wear fragrances.

Friday, February 24, 2017

March 18 Day of Mindfulness: Breathing into Silence

Breathing Into Silence: A Day of Mindfulness

 March 18, 2017. At Riverside Church, 20-T, 10:00am-4:30pm

Together we will begin our Day cultivating  mindfulness of breathing; calming the body; and  experiencing ease, joy and quiet.

With this nourishment of calm, ease and joy we then can look deeply into impermanence of body and mind, and touch Silence.

Our Day will include time for personal practice.***

The schedule of the Day is something like this:

10-11:10am: Sitting and Walking Meditations/Mindful Movements.
                       “Breathing in, I am aware of the whole body,
                         Breathing out, I smile to my body”

11:15-12:10: Sitting and Walking Meditation:
Breathing with Impermanence [of the body, of the mind]:

12:15-12:55: Personal Practice

1:00-1:50: Lunch [Bring your own vegetarian lunch; we eat mindfully, in silence.]

2:00-2:30: Total Relaxation Exercise

2:40-2:55pm:  Walking Meditation/Mindful Movements

3:00-3:25pm:  Sitting Meditation: ‘This Silence is called Great Joy.’

3:30-4:20: Dharma Sharing/Closing

***Personal Practice is when each of us can choose our practice: we may sit, walk, move, contemplate a teaching, write.  It is done in Silence.

10:00am-4:30pm, Saturday March 18, In Room 20-T.
At Riverside Church
91 Claremont Avenue.
Between 120-122nd Street, one block west of Broadway.
Come for all or part of the Day.

Chairs and Cushions are Available.  
Please do not wear perfumes or fragrances.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Day of Mindfulness February 18, 2017


Dear Friends,
Together, we will explore how we define sangha, the nature of sangha, and how the refuge of sangha can penetrate and help to heal ourselves and the world.
Such community practices as Dharma sharing, meditation, contemplation, touching the earth, deep relaxation, and song, are tools we can use to nurture joy and look deeply,  and to hold with care our personal and collective suffering, in order to transform and heal.

Facilitated by Tom Duva and members of the PoJama Sangha.

Image result for go as a river, go as a sangha

Chairs and Cushions Available.  
Lunch is around 1:00-2:00pm: bring your own vegetarian lunch.  We eat together in mindfulness and silence.
Saturday February 18th, 10:00am-4:30pm. Come for all or part of the Day.
At The Riverside Church, 20-T.  91 Claremont Avenue, NY, NY

Please do not wear fragrances.

Tom Duva 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.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Day of Mindfulness January 21 2017: This Silence is Called Great Joy

This Silence is Called Great Joy

During our Day together we will touch silence in different ways: by
directing our attention to the space between the stream of thoughts; to the
pause between an in-breath and out-breath; to the silence that emerges as
we attend to sound; we may experience the joy and happiness of our mindful breathing.
We will also relax into this Silence with Thay's practice of:
'The Mind is the Clear Blue Sky, thoughts and feelings come, thoughts and feelings go.'
And in silence, revealing and healing can happen.

Image result for lake superior

We will maintain noble silence throughout the Day, and thus can observe the habit energies that sometimes drive us to unnecessary talking.

Saturday January 21 2017: 10am-4:30pm.
At Riverside Church, 20-T,  91 Claremont Avenue, NY, NY
Chairs and cushions available.
Bring your own vegetarian lunch.  We eat together in mindfulness and silence.
Come for all or part of the Day.
Please do not wear fragrances.

Schedule [Subject to Change]:
10:00-Noon:  Sitting/Walking/Mindful Movements
12:10-12:50: Personal Practice***
1-1:50pm Lunch/Rest [Bring your own vegetarian lunch]
2:00-2:30: Total Relaxation
2:40-3:00: Personal Practice
300:-3:40: Sitting/Walking Meditation
3:45-4:30: Dharma Sharing/Close

Personal Practice=each of us can do what we need: sitting, walking, movements, resting, reading the Teachings/writing [all in silence.]

David Flint will facilitate this Day.
David is a Dharma Teacher in the Plum
Village/Thich Nhat Hanh Lineage.
"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

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."