2017 New Years Retreat

Jeanne with Lama Gursam to her left and James above during retreat

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 now reside in Boston.

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:

7:00-7:30pm                    Welcome, settle in, quiet sitting
7:30 – 8:00pm                  Walking
8:00 – 8:40 pm                Opening session and Bells Meditation chanting
8:40 – 9:00 pm                Walking session* (instructions available)
9:00 – 9:30 pm                 Quiet Meditation
9:30 – 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

Download BSBC New Years Eve Retreat Schedule 2017

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 The practice of Samadhi – 11/27/17 Nikki Mirghafori

Nikki Mirghafori joined the sangha in November 2017 to discuss the practice of Samadhi (unification of mind).

You may see the video that was streamed live by clicking the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn1mf4WWGY8   – There are also auto generated subtitles available so you can make use of that!

Nikki is a Spirit Rock authorized retreat teacher, a Stanford trained compassion cultivation instructor, and a UCLA certified mindfulness facilitator, Nikki teaches Buddhist meditation and contemplation nationally. She was introduced to contemplative practices and yoga in the early 1980’s, to meditation in 1991 and to Theravada Buddhism in 2003 and has studied with various Western and Eastern teachers.

In 2012, Nikki was invited by Jack Kornfield to join the 2013-2016 joint teacher training program at Spirit Rock/IMS/IMC, and was mentored by Gil Fronsdal and Guy Armstrong. She holds a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley, engaging in daily life practice as a research scientist in academia.

In addition to Pa Auk Sayadaw, she has practiced with other monastic teachers such as Bhikkhu Analayo, Ajahn Succitto, U Tejaniya, and Tsoknyi Rimpoche (Dzogchen), as well as highly respected Western teachers, such as Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Guy Armstrong, Gil Fronsdal, and Steven Tainer (Chan).  She particularly appreciates and enjoys the depth of long-retreat practice.

Please visit the following URL for a long list of Nikki’s Dharma talks:
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/229/

See the following URL for a more complete biography–
https://www.nikkimirghafori.com/bio

 

 

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Annual Report 2017

Click here to download and view the President’s BSBC 202017 Annual Report

 

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2017 Annual Meeting

Please join us tonight for a special annual meeting and fellowship Monday, Nov 6.

Instead of the regular service and meditation All are welcome to our Potluck dinner and annual meeting.
( Feel free to bring guests ) if you can, bring a dish to share. (There will be plenty of food so don’t let that stop you please )

6:30 – 7:15 eat and socialize
7:15- 7:30 Dave leads us in some chanting and a short meditation
7:30- 7:45 President’s report – year in review ( 2017 Annual Report link )
7:45-8:00 Board Elections
8:00-8:30 Welcome to the new board, everyone present get’s a chance to speak – prompt something like: what the Sangha has meant/means to me.
8:30 end with short meditation
***Check our newsletter and facebook for the latest news, articles and more!

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George Haas 10/30/17 visit

We were delighted to have George Haas to the Yardley Friends Meetinghouse on Monday, October 30th.

The Audios from that evening are available below:

George Haas 10.30.17 Guided Meditation     
George Haas 10.30.17 Dharma Talk     
George Haas 10.30.17 Q&A     

Mettagroup Founder George Haas

Mettagroup founder George Haas began his creative explorations in the fine arts, as a visual artist and poet associated with the late Seventies downtown New York City art scene that coalesced around the iconic Club 57 — a community that included Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Madonna, among others. (George’s work will be included in a Club 57 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art opening on October 31).

Following a relocation to Los Angeles to advance a career in the film industry George began to study meditation with Shinzen Young, which led to his pursing the path of meditation teacher and ultimately founding Mettagroup. George has brought his creative and synthetic skills to bear in a skillful wedding of Theravada Buddhist theory and practice and the modalities of western psychology, particularly Attachment Theory, with spectacular results. “George’s teachings are extraordinarily powerful,” says BSBC sangha member Philip Murphy. “Looking through the lens of attachment theory at the ways we form and maintain personal relationships, and utilizing Buddhist meditation practice to reimagine and implement affirming life strategies has had a profound impact on my way of being in the world.” states Philip. (To view a two-minute overview video on Mettagroup’s The Meaningful Life course, click here.)

To view a 2 minute video on Mettagroups “The Meaningful Life” course please visit:

https://vimeo.com/174866097

To learn more:

https://www.mettagroup.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory

http://press.moma.org/2016/11/club-57/

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George Haas October 30th 2017

Please join us Monday, 10/30/17 at Yardley Friends Meeting House on Main Street in Yardley Borough.  Mettagroup founder, George Haas is a wonderful Dharma teacher and he’ll be with us live in Yardley this time. His topic for the evening is Valuating Spiritual Maturity: Practice with mind states and Emotional Regulation.

Click here to listen to George’s YouTube Live (recorded on 5/15/2017), where we streamed and recorded an earlier Dharma talk George shared with BSBC.

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Rebecca Li – Patience/Endurance & the Chan Practice, 10/9/17

We were delighted to have Rebecca Li give a dharma talk at Yardley Friends Meetinghouse on Monday, October 9th.

The Audio from that evening is below:

Rebecca Li Guided Meditation     
Rebecca Li Patience/Endurance     
Rebecca Li Q&A     

 

About Rebecca Li, PhD Rebecca Li is a Dharma and meditation instructor teaching at the Chan Meditation Center(CMC). Rebecca leads Chan practice at Rutgers University and the New Jersey chapter of DDMBA and teaches on behalf of Dharma Drum in various community activities in the NJ-NY area. Rebecca is a board member of the Dharma Drum Retreat Center and professor of sociology at The College of New Jersey.

 

The Chan Meditation Center: http://www.chancenter.org/
The Dharma Drum Retreat Center: http://www.dharmadrumretreat.org/
See Rebecca’s talk about why we meditate here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZrcxVnufyw
Visit Rebecca’s web site: http://www.rebeccali.org
Hear her recording from other visits http://buddhistsangha.com/tag/rebecca-li/ 

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Rebecca Li Dharma Talk on October 9, 2017

Please join us Monday, 10/9/17 at Yardley Friends Meeting House on Main Street in Yardley Borough.  Rebecca is a wonderful Dharma teacher. Click here to listen to earlier talks from Rebecca at BSBC.

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Come to Yardley Harvest Day and stop by to see us this Saturday

Yardley Harvest Day is this Saturday, September 16th from 10AM – 5PM. The Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County has a table at this annual event and welcomes anyone to stop over to chat or if interested, linger for a while to meet and greet visitors.

We are on the corner of E. College Ave and  River Rd.

http://yardleyharvestday.com/harvest-day/
“The Yardley Harvest Day Committee is proud to present the 2017 50th Anniversary Yardley Harvest Day, located in Downtown Yardley Borough and is one of the Borough’s most treasured traditions.  The event is scheduled, rain or shine, on Saturday, September 16th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  along Canal Street, E. College Ave., S. Bell and the field adjacent to Fitzgerald Sommer Funeral Home.

Once again,  Yardley Harvest Day will emphasize the many unique aspects of living, dining, socializing, shopping, working and enjoying one of Bucks County’s most historic and best communities.

Downtown Yardley is an idyllic setting for this community gathering, which showcases the Delaware Canal and the Delaware River.  Yardley Harvest Day features unique artist and crafters, music and great food, historic and educational tours, and local civic groups and businesses.”

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If I Only Had a Self

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On Monday evening (September 11, 2017), the Buddhist Sangha of Bucks County was fortunate to have visiting Zen teacher Andre Teasan Halaw practice with us. It was a very engaging and lively discussion.

This is a blog. These opinions or reflections are my own and do not represent those of the Sangha or perhaps anyone else, but I thought it might be worth to share as they resonated with me on a personal level in terms of putting my ongoing practice into perspective. As such, maybe it might do the same, to even a small extent, for you.

On the seemingly “never-ending” journey to become a better person.

It’s interesting. I typically do not mention my practice to anyone that themselves does not have some sort of practice of his/her own. This is not out of embarrassment or even out of fear of sounding “preachy” as I would go out of my way to not express myself that way. It is more out of the concern that those who are not actively practicing themselves might mistake this as some sort of view that I consider myself of a more self actualized stature, which of course, is nonsense.

However, as one learns about the Dharma, it sometimes is difficult, (at least for me), to separate the lesson from a feeling as if I am “less than” or an imposter. Of course it is true that this journey should be one in which meditation and mindfulness helps us be more open and aware but at the risk of beating ourselves up every time we get hooked by an angry thought (let alone a reaction as opposed to a response) this could be a hard goal to live up to. Here is where perspective is healthy.

During our discussion, we spoke a bit about this. Meditation, like other activities I might partake in, are, for me, about trying to be a more authentic (and hopefully) better version of myself but not a completely better or different person.

There are plenty parts of me I wish just were not so. We are, as we learned, a compilation at this very moment of many causes and conditions. To strive for better personhood sounds like a transformation that is unrealistic as opposed to a better version of who we are. Here’s a metaphor I thought of that helps me: I would like to look like George Clooney on his way to the Oscars but that’s not going to happen. I can buy a suit, however, and tailor it to fit me in a way that looks the best on me. I am creating a better (looking) version based on the person I actually am, not one that I wish I was. (But don’t worry, I won’t be buying a suit any time soon.)

Connection, flow and driving stick shift

Andre Teasan Halaw spoke about this idea of all things being connected, which many of us have heard, read or spoke about before. His example was around hearing crickets and trying to identify the “I” that is doing the hearing. When we are in “flow” such as at a great concert, during a game, playing music or sports, for example, we essentially lose the separation between connecting at that moment and the one who is actually experiencing it.

I really appreciated this as I have, at times, experienced this myself during a great comedy set or music performance. However, for me, the same flow or connection that allows these positive experiences causes undue suffering during more difficult times. In fact, the ability to not separate during a difficult exchange is a challenge. This is when Andre Teasan Halaw explained that our experience is like driving a stick shift car where we shift into the appropriate gear for which the situation calls. So, during a more difficult exchange, it is perfectly ok to establish the distinction between the self and the experience in order to become more of the observer of the feelings occurring, which again, is aligned with meditation.

The Apprentice where only you can say “you’re fired!”

George Price, who is part of our Sangha, had a great comment during our discussion which really resonated with me. He suggested that our meditation practice is much like playing a musical instrument. For a musician to get to the place where he/she is playing the instrument in a way that is seamless – not even thinking about where the fingers get placed on the guitar, for example – takes years of practice. The mechanics of learning to play and then moving toward playing in a way in which it is as much about musicality as it is about technique (if not more) takes commitment, time, patience and practice.

Our meditation practice is no different and for me, this was a notable change in thinking. I am in the apprentice stages of my practice. I am learning to come back to the breath, note thoughts, be mindful even when not in meditation and work toward non-grasping, non-attachment and non-self. I may be in this stage for the rest of my life. However, as I practice, there will likely be more moments where my set point for gratefulness, response versus reaction and general living in the moment is positively moved. This is really all I can hope for without shouting “you’re fired” to myself before my time is up.

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