Mindfulness in Daily Living (MIDL) by Stephen Proctor starting March 2019

March / April Stephen Proctor
Mindfulness in Daily Living (MIDL) will be joining us via Skype to teach a 4 week series: 

3/11 Eightfold Path: Right View and Right Intention.
3/18 Mindfulness Immersed within Body.
3/25 The Five Hindrances as a Meditation Object.
4/1 Vedana: Breaking the Cycle of Reaction.

Stephen has dedicated his life to the practice of understanding the mind, reducing suffering and had created a systematic training method for practicing and developing the Satipatthana path to full maturity within daily life.  http://www.meditationintheshire.com.au/

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Visiting Teacher – Enjoying the Mindfulness of Breathing with Singhashri

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Join us Monday 2/4 7-9 with visiting teacher Singhashri as we cultivate deeper states of absorption through mindfulness of breathing, opening the heart and inviting in the resultant fruits including joy, integrity, peace and contentment

A teacher with the Triranta Buddhist Community, second generation American currently living in the UK. Read more about her and read/listen to her teachings https://www.radicalembrace.org

From Singhashri’s website: “Any radical act must get down to the root of things, which often lies below the surface, is hidden from view, taken for granted, yet is ultimately essential for existence. The radical embrace calls us to face and draw in near, as near as we can get, the very crux of the matter, the rub of our existence. We may have spent our whole life, up until now, running from our pain, ignoring our vulnerability, hiding from our own shadow. The radical embrace is about waking up, not only to the shadow, but to the deep, transformative power inherent there.”

FB link https://www.facebook.com/events/346284596100687/

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Eight Verses for Training the Mind

Eight Verses for Training the Mind, Kadampa Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054 -1123)

By thinking of all sentient beings as even better than the wish-granting gem for accomplishing the highest aim, may I always consider them precious.

Wherever I go, with whomever I go, may I see myself as less than all others, and from the depth of my heart, may I consider them supremely precious.

May I examine my mind in all actions, and as soon as a negative state occurs, since it endangers myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it.

When I see beings of a negative disposition or those oppressed by negativity or pain, may I, as if finding a treasure, consider them precious, for they are rarely met.

Whenever others, due to their jealousy, revile and treat me in other unjust ways, may I accept this defeat myself, and offer the victory to others.

When someone whom I have helped, or in whom I have placed great hope, harms me with great injustice, may I see him as a sacred friend.

In short, may I offer both directly and indirectly all joy and benefit to all beings, my mothers,and may I myself secretly take on all of their hurt and suffering.

May they not be defiled by the concepts of the eight mundane concerns,and aware that all things are illusory, may they, ungrasping, be free from bondage.

Transcribed from: Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, Daily Prayers

Venerable Lama Losang Samten, Spiritual Director

Print version: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/ac1f24_d63c0bf8779f4d868c98dfa7201f3559.pdf

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Please read this when I’m buried – Thich Nhat Hanh

This is from Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a beautiful homage to the earth. I’ve decided to leave instruction that this please be read when I’m buried:

“The earth has been there for a long time. She is mother to all of us. She knows everything. The Buddha asked the earth to be his witness by touching her with his hand when he had some doubt and fear before his awakening. The earth appeared to him as a beautiful mother. In her arms she carried flowers and fruit, birds and butterflies, and many different animals, and offered them to the Buddha. The Buddha’s doubts and fears instantly disappeared.

“Whenever you feel unhappy, come to the earth and ask for her help. Touch her deeply, the way the Buddha did. Suddenly, you too will see the earth with all her flowers and fruit, trees and birds, animals and all the living beings that she has produced. All these things she offers to you. You have more opportunities to be happy than you ever thought. The earth shows her love to you and her patience. The earth is very patient. She sees you suffer, she helps you, and she protects you. When we die, she takes us back into her arms.”

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2019 Meditation Retreats

At some point you will find yourself considering taking time to deepen your meditation practice by attending meditation retreat. There are various retreat structures to choose from, and they are all wonderful, ranging from a day of mindfulness at a house to weekend retreats sponsored by a local sangha to a mountain retreat center that welcomes participants all year long. Below is a list of the retreats coming up that will aid you in attending one that appeals to you at this time.  Also check the various retreat websites for retreats that are not on page.

March 3/15- 3/17 Blue Sky Refuge retreat led by Padmadharini.

Suitable for meditators with some experience, we will explore an aspect of the Buddha’s teaching on satipatthana or mindfulness as a path to liberation from suffering.  You will be guided in an ancient method of noting sensations as a means of deepening concentration and awareness.  Through careful cultivation of present moment sensations, the mind becomes naturally clear and equanimous. These techniques can reveal directly the true nature of our experience, and liberate the mind from the tyranny of attachment to self.  The retreat includes teaching, led meditations and space to enjoy the beauty and stillness of the surroundings. Cost varies depending on ability to pay. Registration and more information at elainesmith3322@yahoo.com

March 3/16 10 am – 5 pm – Soji’s monthly one-day retreat (zazenkai) is a great way to experience a short, intensive meditation retreat. The day consists of zazen (meditation), dokusan, (interview), and samu (work practice). You are welcome to come for the entire day or any portion of it. Please bring your own lunch. Registration is not required. Suggested donation: $10. http://sojizencenter.com/workshops-events-2/

March 3/26 – 3/31 PBMG MEDITATION RETREAT Five-day retreat involving meditation and teachings
Retreat Leader: Anam Thubten
Arrival: Tuesday, March 26 starting at 4:00PM. Dinner will be offered Tuesday evening.
: Tuesday evening from 4:00-7:00PM
Practice begins: Required orientation at 7:00PM. Teaching from 7:30-9:00PM Tuesday.
Departure: Sunday, March 31 after lunch
Location: Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center 29 Pleasant Grove Road
Port Murray, NJ 07865

Cost: Dorms + Meals $630 or Private rooms + meals $760.

PBMG Contact: ATRinfo@PBMG.org Registrar: Kathie Smythe

April 5 (Fri, 6 pm) to April 7 (Sun, 5 pm)  Foundation Retreat—three days of practicing Chan meditation in stillness and motion, with instructions on sitting, moving, walking and eating meditation, important Dharma concepts to support one’s practice, as well as private personal interviews to discuss difficulties in and questions about one’s practice.  $220 (scholarships available; no prior retreat experience needed)

April 12-14, 2019 – Fri – Sun CTBC RETREAT www.tibetanbuddhist.org

The Nature of the Mind” with Ven. Losang SamtenPendle Hill Center, Wallingford, PA

The CTBC annual Residential Retreat will be held at beautiful Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center located in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. This will include teachings, practice and noble silence during meals and personal time in the Brinton House at Pendle Hill – Cost varies: $75 to 395 Click for More information

May 25 (Sat, 6 pm) to June 2 (Sun, 10 am)  Silent Illumination Retreat—I am co-leading this retreat with my current teacher and one of Master Sheng Yen’s Dharma heirs, Dr. Simon Child.  Detailed instructions will be given on this subtle method of Chan to investigate the mind, to really get to know ourselves, and to cultivate wisdom and compassion. Participants will also receive individualized instructions in private interviews.  $525 (scholarships available; 3-day retreat experience needed)

June 20-25   Summer Sesshin at St. Raphaela

August 16 (Fri, 6 pm) to August 18 (Sun, 3 pm)  Beginner’s Mind Retreat—For individuals relatively new to the practice, this is a good first retreat although many experienced practitioners find the variety of practice activities helpful.  Besides sitting, walking, moving and eating meditation, we will also be practicing in workshops ranging from the Art of Seeing to the Art of Communication to learn about how to bring our practice into daily life.  $220 (scholarships available; no prior retreat experience needed)

Oct 11 (Fri, 6 pm) to October 16 (Wed, 10 am)  Western Zen Retreat—Within the context of Chan meditation, participants will make use of a question to penetrate the mind to gain a deeper understanding of our habitual tendencies and patterns of thoughts and insights into the working of our mind.  I will be co-leading this retreat with Simon Child and Fiona Nuttall from the UK.  This retreat has limited spaces as each participant will receive lots of individual instructions in private interviews.  Suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners.  $375 (scholarships available; no prior retreat experience needed)

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2018 New Years Retreat

jj.jpg12/31/2018 – On this last evening of the year, you are invited to join the BSBC community for a rare and lovely opportunity to engage in extended meditation practice with our sangha. The retreat will be from 7 pm to 12 am.  Everyone is welcome to come for the whole or part of the evening.

The retreat will include guided meditation instructions, chanting, alternating sitting movement and walking  meditation periods, and a time for sharing poems, readings and reflections.

Sangha member and long-time practitioner Jeanne Reis will lead the retreat with BSBC founder James Reis who will travel from Boston MA.

If you aren’t able to arrive at 7 pm, you may either time your arrival to coincide with a walking session or enter quietly if the group is sitting. If a sitting is in progress, choose a spot in the back of the hall, then feel free move to a preferred spot during the next walking session. There will be chanting sessions at the beginning and end of the evening; chanting sheets will be provided.

You may bring a favorite poem, reading, and snack to share at teatime, if you wish.

Suggested donation is $10 to cover the cost of reserving the meetinghouse

Please contact us with questions 

Tentative Evening Schedule:

7:00pm-7:30pm                    Welcome, settle in, quiet sitting
7:30pm – 8:00pm                  Mindful Walking
8:00pm – 8:40 pm                 Opening session and Bells Meditation chanting
8:40pm – 9:00 pm                 Walking session* (instructions available)
9:00pm – 9:30 pm                 Quiet Meditation
9:30pm – 10:00 pm               Tea: share readings, poems, intentions
10:00 – 10:30 pm             Mindful Movement
10:30 – 11:45 pm               Alternating quiet sitting and walking
11:45 – 12:00 am               Closing and final chant

*You may opt to continue sitting during walking sessions, if you wish 

If you can promote this event, please download and print the Flyer  


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DHARMA and THE ARTS December 2018

dharma discussion dec 2018DHARMA and THE ARTS:
Inspired by the teachings on awakening set forth by the Buddha, poetry of practitioners of the way, from Lao Tzu to Thich Naht Hahn, masters of movement, breath and spirit, and meditation artists using flowers, brush, and camera, the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County is pleased to offer a 4 week series exploring beauty, the nature of self, other, objects and the co- creative process:presentations, participation and discussions begin at 8pm

Week 1: Visual Arts/Photography
We will feature reflections and images of two practitioners, James Reis and Phil Brown, who use photographs as a way of seeing

Week 2 :Body Practice 
Acupuncturist, Herbalist and dhamma practitioner Matt Branham of Healing Path Acupuncture and Cross River Meditation Center, will present an exploration into the physical foundations of mindfulness with Qigong.

Week 3 :Poetry /Spoken Word 
We will include readings from various poets and sangha members drawing upon themes of intimacy, self image, awakening and anything else that emerges.I hope to have something written by 10 or sooner. We ask folks to come with a short poem, written by either themselves or other, or a spoken word piece that could be read, we will have a round robin style evening, with members reading poems and then 30 sec or so silence, another reads and so forth.

Week 4:  mantra/chanting
We will be harmonizing and chanting as a co-creative process leading to beauty and collective heart opening

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2018 Annual BSBC Report

The Mission of the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County is: To Present, Teach and Practice Buddhism, and to Provide Meditation Instruction and Community Service in a Manner Consistent with the Teaching of the Buddha.

The Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County is a community of friends practicing the Dharma together. It’s a place we go each week to support each other in our practice and in our struggle for awareness. Thich Nhat Hanh describes a Sangha as more than a supportive community, but as a deep spiritual practice.

Working together, we support the desire to awaken our deepest understanding of life through meditation practice, Dharma discussions, and opportunities for compassionate community service.

We started the year once again with our traditional New Year’s Eve mini-retreat with Jeanne Reis and BSBC founder James Reis. Our long-time teacher in the Tibetan tradition, Lama Gursam, honored us with multiple visits. His first was at MFM on a stormy Friday in March. And on Saturday, Lama provided a wonderful Dharma talk, reading from Milarepa’s Songs. He’ll be with us there in another few weeks.

It was quite a year for our Sangha. We embraced change; we saw a few members step down from their previous roles and we saw new members step up to enrich the spirit of our Sangha. We benefited from a programming committee with tremendous depth, creating rich programs throughout the year, and further connecting us with truly skillful teachers from various traditions.

Spring was a time for introductions. Moira Kowalczyk introduced us to Padmadharini (PD) who is ordained in the Triratna Buddhist Community. She led us in a 6-week meditation series. Little did we know this would be the beginning of a significant relationship with a new teacher who has graced us with her open, practical, and heartfelt Dharma offerings throughout the year.

Philip Murphy brought George Haas to Yardley who guided us in meditation and gave a Dharma talk on ‘The Meaningful Life’.

Rebecca Li (pictured on the left with Dave) from the Dharma Drum Chan tradition visited us twice, presenting Dharma teachings on ‘Silent Illumination‘ in April, and on ‘The Bodhisattva Ideal’ in November.

Padmadharini hosted two additional programs. In July, a 4-week series on ‘Wisdom Factors’, and over the past 2 months our Sangha has been enjoying an 8-week study group ‘Going For Refuge,’ with able assistance from  Triratna student, Elaine Smith. It has brought members of our Sangha closer together in a true spiritual sense.

Several Sangha members also attended a residential retreat at PD’s and Elaine’s Blue Sky retreat center in Stockton, NJ. Inside and out, the center is as warm and welcoming as the lotus plant from their pond.

(Until that weekend, I never knew lotus plants’ petals open each morning and close at night)

As has been a long-running tradition at BSBC, several members led lively discussions on numerous Buddhist topics. Moira & Philip M. each led on multiple occasions, along with Dave, Lowell, John Wentz, and Eugene & Anna. The effort put forth to develop rich content and initiate wonderful discussions amongst our members and visitors is such a treat and a draw.

In addition, the book club has continued to thrive, serving as another vehicle for providing the BSBC family with a warm, personal environment in which to explore a couple carefully selected books each year.

The year was not without loss. In May, we lost one of our own—Brian Jennings. Several members attended a ceremony hosted in Bristol with family and friends. Brian was a warm spirit and will truly be missed. As we’ve grown closer to Moira, PD, and Elaine, we’ve also learned more about the Triratna tradition and we were all impacted to learn of its founder Sangharakshita’s passing just a few weeks back at the age of 93.

Three standing committees were created by the BSBC board as part of the bylaws revision three years ago. The committee structure has helped to organize our activities and spread responsibilities among our group of dedicated and talented board and general members and friends of the Sangha, who all pitch in to make our community function to benefit all.

Communications Committee: (Co-chairs: Eugene Pevzner, K.C. Focht, & Joe Beck, with support from Marc Kaye). The committee focuses on BSBC’s visibility on digital platforms. Contributions by several members and friends appeared regularly on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Special events received special treatment through traditional means as well, through advertising in local news outlets, and creating and posting flyers.

Eugene has been at the helm of the BSBC weekly e-newsletter, our primary communications vehicle to members for many years. Eugene and Joe have continued to create an increasingly robust website with audio recordings available for many of our visiting teacher’s offerings.

Program Committee: (Co-chairs: Moira Kowalczyk, and Philip Murphy, with help from Lowell Arye,). We have studied the Buddha’s teachings and related practices and traditions through the many visiting teachers enumerated above, through several extensive month-long programs targeted at a variety of Buddhist topics, through the book group hosted by board member Edna Telep, and members Jeff and Roseanne MacNair, and through our weekly discussions. Many board members led discussions as noted above, with special thanks to Moira for providing consistent leadership over the entire course of the year.

Outreach and Service Committee: (Co-chairs: Rika Barrett & Diana Collinelli). We have continued our outreach and service activities through contributions to the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter, organized by Rika & Diana, who strategically target our contributions in response to the expressed needs of the shelter.

The BSBC jumped in with both feet launching an active drive to support the ‘Backpack Challenge’ run by The Valley Youth House (VYH). This program raises funds and collects essential back to school items for foster care youth. Our Sangha contributed 3 Google Chromebooks (a value of $750) and 4 boxes of stationary supplies. The energy that Diana brought forth to really lift this effort was inspiring.

The outreach & service committee also facilitated having Woody from VYH come and share with our Sangha his mission and help us understand their program and specifically what he does to help these struggling youth.

BSBC looks forward to continuing to work with both the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter and The Valley Youth House going forward.

We continued our 15-year long tradition of participating in Pennsylvania’s road clean-up program, collecting trash along our designated highway in Levittown, in the fall and spring, organized by member Lina Blanchet. (See the picture above of some of the fall clean-up crew.)

We also continued to bring awareness of Buddhist teachings and our presence in the area through four invited contributions for the Bucks County Courier Times column, From a Faith Perspective, written by board members Phil Brown and Joe Beck.

Louise Wile, our long-time librarian, has been updating our lending library when possible but we’re in need of more help. The initiative led by Dave Mermelstein to expand the library seems to continue year after year, and we received contributions of additional resources from other donors as well, including Philip Murphy offering a box from NY IMS with Bhikkhu Bodhi books amongst others.

Financially, we ended the year with a balance of approximately $5,250.  These expenses included payment for our rent for the year based on $90 per Monday evening and special events at the Yardley and Makefield Friends Meeting Houses. Thanks to our treasurer, Rika Barrett, for handling the expenses and records with both caution and a spirit of generosity.

The BSBC Board welcomed five new members this year: Ann Favaloro, Irina Dmitrenko, Rich Kelly, Laura DePallo, Kelly Kampf, and Sandy Forester. We appreciate their willingness to be more involved and supportive of the BSBC, and wish them and all members and attenders fulfillment on the Dharma path.

We look to the coming year to continue the growth of our Sangha, welcoming teachers to deepen our understanding of Buddhist teachings while expanding practice and service opportunities for our members and friends. All are truly welcome.

We are grateful for the opportunity to have served in a leadership role for the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County for the past three years, and greatly appreciate the ready and willing assistance from so many who have made this past year so valuable and memorable as we travel this path together.

Joe Beck, Co-President

Dave Mermelstein, Co-President

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2018 Annual Membership and Board Elections and Sangha Potluck and Donations Drive

JOIN US November 19th for our Annual Membership and Board Elections and Sangha Potluck and Donations Drive

At this event we will elect officers to serve the sangha board and welcome new board members! Everyone is welcome to join us as we share a meal and get to know each other better

We currently have multiple active and vibrant committees that welcome participation and are inducting the positions of Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer – if you can serve as either let us know.

Also committees needed assistance are:

** Communications: assist with newsletter updates, social media, website, notify Sangha and friends at large of upcoming events, visiting teachers , focused study groups, learning series, etc

** Outreach: coordinate outreach activities such as Homeless Shelter donations/support, relationship building ; road clean up; focused donation drives for youth in need, and much more (open to new ideas and development)

** Programming : coordinate visiting teachers, study group, learning series , group discussion, gather feedback regarding interests of the Sangha and develop programs to meet those needs

Click to see full list of  Positions and Committees

We are also using this event as a donation drive for the homeless shelter and Valley youth house. Economic difficulties are daily occurrences for persons and are all too common in the realm of impermanence and uncertainty. As practicing Buddhists we vow to embody generosity, simplicity, compassion and gain understanding at the deepest roots of interdependence.

We understand that all want to be safe, protected and happy. If possible please bring something to donate to the shelter, they are in particular need a << baby diapers, wipes, gift cards, etc. >>

Link below offers a list of additional needed items. Please contact Diana or Rika if you would like to contribute a small monetary donation in lieu of items and they will use money to purchase and deliver items.





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List of Board Positions and Committees

The Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County consists of the Board Member and the following Officers:

  • President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Member(s)-at-Large and such other officers as shall be determined by the Board.

President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the Board. The President may make and sign in the name of the BSBC contracts and agreements in the ordinary course of business, and other contracts, obligations, and instruments when authorized by the Board. The President shall have such other powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to him by the Board. The term of office of the President shall be for two consecutive years and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Vice President: The Vice President shall perform duties assigned by the President or Board and will represent the President when he or she is unavailable. The term of office of the Vice President shall be for two consecutive years and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Secretary: The Secretary shall give notice of all meetings of the General Membership, as required by these by-laws, and shall keep and maintain records and minutes of all meetings of the General Membership and of the Board. The term of office of the Secretary shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Assistant Secretary:  The Assistant Secretary shall perform duties assigned by the Secretary and serve as Secretary, when the Secretary is unavailable. The term of office of the Assistant Secretary shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall be entrusted with the care and custody of the funds of the BSBC, under the direction and supervision of the Board, and shall keep or cause to be kept accurate books of account of such matters that shall be the property of the BSBC. The term of office of the Treasurer shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

Members-at-Large:  The Members-at-Large shall oversee projects of interest to the Board, as directed by the President.  The term of office of the Members-at-Large shall be for one year and shall begin on the date of the meeting of the voting members at which he or she is elected.

The sangha members and other Friends of the Sangha approved by the Board also belong to one or more Committees

  • Outreach, responsible for community service activities
  • Communications, responsible for newsletters, member notices and digital communications;
  • Program, responsible for recommending and securing special teachers and for providing leadership and assistance in organizing special events.

More information about how the sangha operates is found on our Bylaws page

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