Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Day of Mindfulness with Avi Madigoff

The Way of 

Walking in the Mud

A Day of Mindfulness
in the style of
Thich Nhat Hanh
with Avi Madigoff

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keith Anderson Community House
19 Bennoch Rd., Orono, Maine

Avi shares that his specialty is Mud.  He has loved and supported the practice, Thay, and the community for many years.  Avi has practiced with Thich Nhat Hanh since 1993 including many visits to Plum Village and Green Mountain Dharma Center.  He was ordained in the Order of Interbeing in 1996.  In 2008 Thay offered Avi the new dharma name of True Sound of Compassion. Click here for a talk by Avi at TEDxTimberlane Schools.

Time:  8 AM – 9AM Gathering for set up and settling in
9 AM – 3PM Program
3PM – 4PM Clean up

Program: Mindful walking, sitting, eating, deep relaxation, dharma talk and dharma sharing
Bring: You are invited to bring a vegetarian lunch and  tea or snacks to share at the tea table, cushions for sitting, yoga mats and a cover for deep relaxation, warm clothing for possible outdoor walking meditation and personal contributions for the altar.

Cost: By donation (dana) –The teaching is seen as priceless and offered in the spirit of generosity with the opportunity to contribute in a dana basket on-site. A $5 registration fee at the door will cover expenses.

Registration is required as 
Space is Limited

Please register via email: theodate52@gmail.com



For this Day of Mindfulness we have the opportunity to practice “dana” or generosity in the Buddhist tradition. There will be a large bell or bowl at the entry to the meditation hall for offering donations of gratitude for the teaching.

We offer our practice and donations of time, energy and material/financial support to our dharma leader and the sangha. For this day, the dana collected will be given directly to Avi to support his teaching in every way. Additionally any excess registration monies will be added to the dana bowl.

The Buddha gave the people in northern India and Nepal an incredible gift when he walked with his begging bowl. Anyone who was fortunate enough to add even one lentil continues today in all of those touched by his teachings. Whenever we recognize our ancestral teachers, we recognize all who contributed in their lifetimes.

Our opportunity to practice dana in this way is a great gift as well. It is an opportunity to enter the stream of supporters through donations to our dharma leader as he shares this ancient and eternal practice in our modern world. 

November Mindfulness Retreat In Rochester, NY

A  Mindfulness Retreat with Dharma Teacher Michael Cibroski will be offered at the Assisi Institute in Rochester, NY this November.  

The retreat opens Thursday evening on November 14 and concludes Monday afternoon after lunch on November 18.  This is a residential retreat with single rooms available at the retreat center as well as commuter options. 

Please e-mail Janet at jchaize@rochester.rr.com 
for more information or to register.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Maine Peace Walk October 10-19

A Peace Walk led by Japanese Buddhist monks and nuns from the Nipponzan Myohoji order will traverse Northern and Central Maine in October.  The walk will be passing through Old Town and Bangor on Saturday October 12th and through Bangor and Skowhegan on Sunday October 13th.  

This walk is to foster awareness of surveillance drones in Maine and to keep weaponized drones from being tested in our state.

Please click here for more information, routes and schedules.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mindfulness in the business world

A day of mindfulness training at Google with Thich Nhat Hanh is the lead for a fascinating and encouraging article in The Guardian.

Please click here to read more ...

Calligraphy Exhibit in NYC

Calligraphic Meditation:
The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh

Available for viewing at:

ABC Home
888 Broadway
New York, NY

From September 7th
to December 31,2013

Please click here for more information about this wonderful exhibit! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nourishing Mindfulness

Mindful Eating by Thich Nhat Hanh
(from an interview with Oprah on March 9, 2010)

When we can slow down and really enjoy our food, our life and our health, we can take on a much deeper quality.  I love to sit and eat quietly and enjoy each bite, aware of the presence of my community, aware of all the hard and loving work that has gone into my food.  When I eat in this way, not only am I physically nourished, I am also spiritually nourished.  The way I eat influences everything else that I do during the day.  If I can look deeply into my food and take this time as a meditation - just as important as my sitting or walking meditation time - I receive the many gifts of the cosmos that I would not otherwise profit from if my mind were elsewhere.  Because if I eat and am consumed by my worries and projects, I am eating a lot of stress and fear and this is harmful to my body and mind.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wanting To Be Loved, And To Love

Thich Nhat Hanh, from a Dharma Talk on June 6, 2006

Student: I am a little embarrassed to tell you about my problem. What concerns me is the pain that I feel from wanting to share my life with someone, but not having a partner to do this with. The ache of this pain is so deep that it sometimes physically hurts. At the same time, I remind myself about how fortunate I am to have wonderful friends and family. But not having a partner makes me very sad. I don’t know what to do with this feeling of loss I have. I don’t know what to do with the heart ache.

Thich Nhat Hanh: This fear is always with us----that our desire to love and be loved will not be fulfilled. That we will be left lonely. Everyone one of us want to love and be loved. But we are afraid we will not have a chance to love and be loved. We need to recognize this need within ourself. Our practice is to look deeply into this kind of fear, this kind of need.

To love is to offer understanding and comfort. Yes, we do feel miserable if no one understand us. Because when someone does not understand us, he or she can’t love us. Understanding is the proof of love. You can’t say he loves me, but does not understand me. This does not make sense. Without understanding love is impossible.

We are looking for some one who can show us that they understand and love us. Suppose there is such a person. But first we have to ask the question: whether we are capable of generating understanding and love? Are we capable of offering them what they need and what we need? This is the real important question. If we are not capable of generating understanding and love, nothing will happen.

The teachings of the Buddha are to help us generate the energy of understanding and love. And if we can produce that energy we will first be able to help ourself. And with this capacity for understanding and love we can embrace the people who are with us now. We can make them happy while at the same time we make ourself happy. Because the energy of understanding and love is a very positive energy which has the capacity to nourish, heal and bring happiness.

So the question is not whether there is understanding and love around us, but do we have the capacity to generate the energy of understanding and love. If we can, then maybe we can make everyone our partner. This is the love of the Buddha----to want everyone to be your partner. True love is like that.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Mindfulness Bell Summer 2013 Issue is available

Dear beloved Sangha,
The Summer 2013 issue of the Mindfulness Bell celebrates our love for Mother Earth. This wonderful collection begins with Thich Nhat Hanh's Dharma talk in two parts, "Take Refuge in Mother Earth" and "A New Teaching on the Twelve Nidanas."

Thay gently reminds us: "Allow yourself to relax and release all the tension in your body, and all the worries and the fear in your mind, because these things are preventing you from healing. Let go, release, take full refuge in the Earth and in the sun, and allow yourself to be healed."

This issue is full of nourishment and inspiration:

* The Earth Peace Treaty helps us make specific commitments to care for the Earth.

* "Harvest Is the Way" tells about Plum Village's new Happy Farm project and the happiness it cultivates.

* "Walking the Green Path" describes Deer Park Monastery's practices to care for Mother Earth.

* "Touching the Earth for Ecological Regeneration" offers a practice to experience the non-separateness of ourselves and the Earth.

The Mindfulness Bell

Still Water Sangha has a copy of this inspiring publication.
To borrow it, please contact Theodate!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Workshop for Veterans Living with PTSD

This is a one-day workshop led by published author, well-known Veteran and
Zen Buddhist monk Claude Anshin Thomas.

The workshop will focus on Buddhist techniques for living with and reducing the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The workshop is open to all Veterans experiencing PTSD, their families, freinds and members of their support networks.

Please contact Jay Mason to register:
(207) 650-0149

Pot Luck and Meditation Evening in Portland

Here's an opportunity to celebrate the Buddha's Birthday and connnect to the greater Maine Buddhist community.

Consider attending this Pot Luck and Meditation Evening offered in Portland.

Click here for directions.

For more information:

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Announcements

Mondays 5:30 PM Regular Sangha Gatherings Throughout the Month

April 8, 2013 - Recitation of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings following Sangha Gathering 

April 15, 2013 - Book Group at 4 PM - Awakening of the Heart Sutra Translations and Commentaries by Thich Nhat Hanh - We are reading the Heart Sutra

April 22, 2013 - Recitation of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings during our sangha gathering

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sangha Members Deepen Their Practice

Some of the 42 people who received transmission of
the 5 Mindfulness Trainings on March 23 
The Maine sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness, blossoms like a lotus. We had a wonderful transmission ceremony for the Five Mindfulness Trainings at the Day of Mindfulness with Joanne Friday in Augusta on Saturday.

The day included  a dharma talk and question and answer period from Joanne, mindful eating of our lunch in noble silence with a children's table, a mindful walk outside, and dharma sharing in the closing circle.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Radical Compassion Retreat with Joanne Friday

This residential retreat will be held at idyllic Camp Aldersgate in northern Rhode Island and is open to all  sangha members. 

Joanne Friday, a Buddhist practitioner and teacher with over 20 years experience, has a special connection to our Portland, Augusta and Orono sanghas.

Click here to view/download more information and a registration form.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fall Retreat With Thay at Blue Cliff Monastery

Please visit  http://www.tnhtour.org for more info or to register!

Resource on Mindfulness

Dear friends, This is a wonderful resource on mindfulness practice for all of us and especially for young people. I hope you have the chance to view it.

In loving kindness, Theodate


Sunday, March 3, 2013

March Announcements

Mondays 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM regular gathering at church of the universal fellowship

(Feb 24) to March 31 -  Photography of our sangha member, Bill Lagerstrom, at The B.A.R.N., 142 Center Street, Brewer, Maine / 561-9444/ Visiting Hours 1:30 - 4:30 PM Mon - Fri and 1:30- 5  PM Sat and Sun.

Monday March 18, 2013 Rescheduled - Book Group 4 PM - 5:15 PM prior to regular schedule gathering.  Awakening of the Heart - Diamond Sutra

Monday March 18, 2013 Recitation of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings immediately following sangha. We usually finish by 8 PM

Saturday March 23, 2013  Five Mindfulness Training Transmission and Day of Mindfulness with Dharma Teacher Joanne Friday in Augusta, Maine - see flyer in previous post below.  Please register ASAP as space is limited and filling quickly.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dharma talks from Deer Park Monastery

A gift from Kenley,  
Chân Niệm Hỷ - True Recollection of Joy
Dharma Teacher

If you are interested in listening to the winter retreat dharma talks from Deer Park Monastery, they are all available using the link below. I have also included most of the sutras that were taught over the winter.

Dharma Talks (mostly audio)



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Awakening the Source of Love

Dear Friends, Here is a message from a dear Dharma Teacher, Chan Phap Tri.

Hello Dear Dharma Friends and Happy Valentine’s Day Greetings to you
one and all.  It is truly wonderful to be part of a community of practice that is based so much on the Heart. I know one of my favorite recitations from the Chanting of the Heart chanting book is “Awakening the Source of Love” which starts on p. 75. I have attached a copy of it for those of you who may not have a chanting book.


We bow respectfully to Avalokiteshvara,
to your great vow always to be there for all beings,
your capacity to look deeply at the world with compassionate eyes,
listen deeply to understand and to relieve suffering,
and with your holy willow branch,
to sprinkle the nectar of immortality,
cleansing my mind from all impurities.
I vow to take refuge in you with all my heart
Respectfully, I offer you my vow in thousands of words:

Namo Avalokiteshvara, I vow to look deeply into the Five Skandhas.
I vow to see the true nature of emptiness.
I vow soon to reach the shore of awakening.
I vow to overcome all obstacles.
I vow to take the boat of Perfect Understanding.

Namo Avalokiteshvara, I vow to be present in all three bodies.
I vow to realize the fruits of liberation.
I vow to cultivate great compassion.
I vow to understand deeply the Tathagata Store.
I vow to purify my mind.

Namo Avalokiteshvara, please help me get out of the abyss of craving.
Please help me dissolve the worries of my mind.
Please give me skillful means.
Please help me build Sangha.
Please help me transform my anger and hatred.
Please help me uproot my ignorance.
Please help me hold the high torch of right faith.
Please give me the clear eyes of understanding.

Namo Avalokiteshvara, please place in my hand the golden lotus.
Please allow me to see the Dharma Body.
I vow to build brotherhood and sisterhood.
I vow to show gratitude to my spiritual lineage.
I vow to practice loving speech.
I vow to look with loving eyes.

Namo Avalokiteshvara, I vow to practice deep listening
I vow to live mindfully and with clarity.
I vow to realize meditative concentration.
I vow to walk mindfully night and day.
I vow to abide peacefully in the ground of reality.
I vow to cultivate the five kinds of eyes, and the six miraculous powers.

Namo Avalokiteshvara,
Please come with me to the war zones
to stop the killing and bombing.
Please walk with me to the places of sickness and suffering,
bringing compassionate nectar and medicine.
Please walk with me to the realm of the hungry ghosts.
bringing the Dharma food of understanding and love
Please walk with me to the realm of hell
in order to cool the heat of afflictions.
Please walk with me to places of conflict
in order to remove hatred and anger
and help the source of love to flow again.

Homage to the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
Homage to the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
Homage to the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion
[bell, bell]

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Februay Events

February 2013

Weekly – Monday 5:30 -7:00 PM Still Water Sangha Monday gathering, Church of the Universal Fellowship – upper level in the annex, 82 Main Street, Orono, Maine

Feb 13, 2013 7:30-9 PM Introduction to 5 Mindfulness Trainings Transmission please contact Theodate for details at  Theodate52@gmail.com

Feb 15-17, 2013 Bringing Mindful Speech to Life – weekend retreat – for more information contact Theodate at Theodate52@gmail.com

Feb 18, 2013 Still Water Sangha Monday gathering followed by a recitation of the 14 mindfulness trainings  (typically 7-8 PM)

Feb 25, 2013 Probable 5 Mindfulness Training panel presentation and question opportunity at Still Water Sangha gathering for 6 -7:00 PM portion of the gathering