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Newsletter: Our Buddhist Film Festival, A New Earth Workshop & Courses, Mantra Healing Circle, field trips

From: Buddhist Faith F.
Sent on: Friday, October 2, 2009 11:28 AM
This BFF of Ct/NASBA Newsletter includes:

From the President?s Desk

Middletown Schedule for[masked]
Field trips & Activities for this autumn (Mantra Healing Circle)
Buddhist Film Festival in Middletown
Volunteer Opportunities @ the Sangha
Mansfield Freeman Center?s exhibition
Our Autumn Semester Courses including A NEW EARTH
NASBA/BFF of Ct?s Facebook (join us)
Wikipedia: Works of Shinran (Kyogyoshinsho)
Become a Member

From the President?s Desk

Keeping with our autumn and winter theme of Touching Peace & Discovering Faith, I am delighted to announce three more fantastic events that will deepen your experience, faith and insight into the Buddhist religion.

Once again, after a long absence, we will be offering our Mantra Healing Circle lead by Myo-on. This event will take place on Oct 25 in Middletown. Please peruse below for more information.

The second event is our Connecticut Valley Buddhist Film Festival which will show two movies this autumn at the Buttonwood Tree Center in Middletown. The films are Departures, inspired by the Shin Buddhist book, the Coffinman and How to Cook Life, a delightful sage of how to find nirvana in the kitchen. This festival is coordinated by Shoshin.

We are also excited to announce our newest workshop at our New England Institute for Buddhist Studies called A New Earth Workshop: A Discussion on Eckhart Tolle?s book ? A New Earth. For many of us who have read his books, Eckhart Tolle has touched our lives and now we have the opportunity to (re)read, explore and discuss his book, A New Earth. It will be a treat for all who partake in this activity.

I wish to give thanks to the volunteers who have put these three new events into motion. I hope you can all attend some of these and other BFF of Ct?s gatherings, activities, field trips and courses. Let us be grateful. Namu Amida Butsu.

-- Senpai


Fall Theme:
Touching Peace, Discovering Faith

10/04. Bits of Rubble Turned into Gold. We tend to feel like we need to do or practice something in order to have access or be worthy of salvation. Some of us even feel like we need to willfully strive to experience the Pure Land or Kingdom of God. In this talk, Shoshin will recount her experience with the rocks and stones in Lake Champlain, Vermont, and explore how their transformation from rough to smooth through the action of water and wind is analogous to the Nembutsu Path as a natural way to liberation. This will be an interactive and experiential discussion. Presented by Shoshin.

10/11. Craving, Consumption and the Challenge of Living Mindfully. In this discussion we will explore the variety of ways that human beings attempt to avoid pain and seek pleasure, from overindulgence in food or entertainment to life threatening drug addiction. We will focus on mindfulness practice as a spiritual method of recovery from these issues, as it is described in the text of Mindful Recovery by Thomas and Beverly Bien. Presented by Jinshu.

10/18. A New Earth
. According to Eckhart Tolle, there is hope for the dire state of humanity. A new state of consciousness is emerging in the world. This talk and discussion will cover our erroneous identification with the ego-self, the storylines it creates, and the path that leads to a new state of consciousness so that we can experience who we really are. Excepts read from the book by Eckhart Tolle. Presented by Myo-on.

10/25. The Day of the Dead & Cemeteries?Buddhist Style. Discover the unique Shin Buddhist way of honoring the dead and the how the d?cor of its cemeteries reflects its philosophy of life, its deep trusting faith in the Great Compassion and about its views on the afterlife. Presented by Senpai.

For BFF of Ct?s[masked] schedule & directions click below

Autumn 2009 Field Trips & Activities

09/27. The Connecticut Renaissance Faire Field Trip. Join the fun and experience medieval times with jousting, live shows and expositions.

We will be leaving right after sangha @ 12:15 p.m. to Hebron. We will have lunch there. The Faire closes at 6 p.m. We are looking for carpooling volunteers. Come and join the fun. Rain date: 10/11.


10/09. Thich Nhat Hanh Field Trip. A public talk offered by Thich Nhat Hanh, titled Building a Peaceful and Compassionate Society, at the Beacon Theatre New York City. This event is organized by the Omega Institute. 7:00 p.m. carpooling from Connecticut @ 3:30 p.m. (a Friday event).

To purchase tickets visit:

10/17. Peace Pagoda & Foliage Field Trip. Experience the beautiful autumn peak foliage in New England with the sangha. Peace Pagoda, located in Leverett, Mass, is a huge inspirational stupa depicting the life of the Buddha and dedicated to world peace. Later, the return trip includes dinner at Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant and window shopping in Northampton. Car pooling & leaving @ 12 noon from Wethersfield. Returning approx. 7 p.m. Volunteer(s) needed to carpool. E-mail to sign up (after 9/25 & before 10/8).

10/23. Annual Halloween Party. Date is tentative. To be announced.

10/25. Mantra Healing Circle. Looking for spiritual, emotional or physical healing? Join the friends, lead by our BFF dharma teacher Myo-on, in triggering our inner healing though the power of voice meditation (chanting). From 1 - 2 p.m. at the private home near the BFF of Ct in Middletown. E-mail us for directions at [address removed] or just attend our Sunday morning gathering and follow the others to the location.

11/21. Buddhist Symposium Field Trip. This annual seminar, by the American Buddhist Study Center @[masked] Riverside Drive, NYC, explores the teachings and practice of Shin Buddhism. Includes various notable speakers and Japanese style lunch is provided. Transportation: Car pooling or Metro North. More information is forth coming. volunteer(s) field coordinator(s) needed.

12/18. Annual Holiday Party. Come and celebrate Bodhi Day, Christmas, Chanukah and the Solstice. Date is tentative. To be announced.

Buddhist Film Festival

The Connecticut Valley Buddhist Film Festival showcases the cinemagraphic works that explore the Buddhist religious experience or take on Buddhist spiritual themes. Two movies will be shown in the autumn of 2009 and at least two in the winter/spring of 2010 in Middletown, Connecticut.

Departures - Tuesday Oct. 27th, from 7:30- 10:00 p.m.

This Academy Award winning movie depicts a touching journey into the heartland of Japan and an astonishingly beautiful look at Japan?s sacred tradition that reveals how to truly live life while confronting the reality of death. Inspired by the Shin Buddhist book, The Coffinman.

How to Cook Your Life - Find Nirvana in the Kitchen Tuesday Nov. 24th, from 7:30- 10:00 p.m.

Charismatic Zen master Edward Espe as his uncovers the guiding principles of Zen Buddhism as they apply to life and the kitchen. It?s a delightful experience that will help you appreciate the everyday life while opening the joy of cooking.

Both movies are offered to the larger community free of charge at the Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts and Cultural Center at 605 Main Street, Middletown, Connecticut. The Connecticut Valley Buddhist Film Festival is sponsored by the Buddhist Faith Fellowship of Connecticut.

The Film Festival 2010 and 2010 includes:

Baraka - December

Visitor ? January. This 2009 film did not get nearly enough attention- even though Richard Jenkins received Best Actor nomination for his performance. The theme of film is "just connect". It is a beautiful story of what can happen when lives intersect and people are willing and able to drop their story lines- and "just connect."

Nobody Loves Me - February

Cherry Blossoms ? March. This film is directed by Doris Dorrie, a German Buddhist film maker- who also directed How to Cook Your Life. It takes place in Japan during very special cherry blossom season. It deals with life/death with Buddhist concepts subtly interwoven.

We hope you can join us and explore Buddhist filmmaking.

Volunteer Opportunities[masked]

The BFF of Ct is looking for volunteers to help us out at the sangha. Our community is a volunteer-based organization. For[masked], we are looking to expand participation in our sangha community. We can not exist without your help. Thanks so much for your consideration.

1. Sunday morning greeters (@ front door)

2. Sunday morning set up crew (putting up & taking down the chairs, altar, etc)

3. Sunday morning ?ambassadors? (orienting newcomers to what to expect & basic meditation)

4. Co-Coordinators/Volunteers for our Social Action Project (we need part-time participate to get the BFF of Ct involved in local charities etc (like walk for the cure). See web site

5. Volunteers for our capital fundraising project. We are looking to continue fundraising financial resources to have our own center. We are looking for people who can help out in events like our Meditation-a-thon 2009 etc. See web site

6. Family Dharma. We are looking for volunteers who have a family to get together and coordinate a once a month ?BFF Family Dharma Sangha?. We will help with the supplies. We just need one volunteer (with children) to have the monthly sangha in their home.

Please consider helping out. E-mail us if you can. Thanks for your consideration: e-mail [address removed]

Mansfield Freeman Center?s Exhibition

The Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University is the Sunday morning location of the Buddhist Fellowship of Connecticut. From September 16 ? December 13 the Center will have in exhibition Buddhist art works. We recommend that you take some time to look at and enjoy the gallery and the seminar room where the BFF of CT gathers.

Our Autumn Courses

Our New England Institute for Buddhist Studies is re-offering two favorite courses, Discovering Shin Buddhism and the 201 Course. We are also pleased to announce our newest course Finding Your True Home. Please visit and NEIBS web site and register soon. Many of our courses have enrollment limits. You may sign up online or at the BFF of Ct.

10/18 Finding Your True Home
(Intermediate ? advanced)
Prerequisites: 101 or Discovering Shin
Non-members may register online via Paypal.
Registration Deadline: 10/11

10/27 Discovering Shin Buddhism
(Beginner ? advanced)
No Prerequisites
Non-members may register online via Paypal.
Registration Deadline: 10/18
Open to all.

10/18 201 Spiritual Maturity and Leadership Course
(Intermediate ? advanced)
Prerequisites: 101
Non-members may register online via Paypal.
Registration Deadline: 10/11

11/08 A New Earth Workshop: A Discussion on Eckhart
Tolle's Book - A New Earth
(Beginner ? advanced)
Registration Deadline: 10/25

Join us online

Join BFF of Ct & the North American Shin Buddhist Association (NASBA) Facebook infuse Buddhist spirituality and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, with a modern 21st century vision of Shin. BFF & NASBA Facebooks are social utility vehicles that connect people with friends and others who are interested in our style of Buddhist practice. Share your stories, practice and photos etc. People use Facebook network to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. Looking for a web community? Come and join BFF & NASBA Facebook.

NASBA Facebook

BFF of Ct Facebook

Shinran Shonin?s Writings

Learn more about the famous Buddhist classic, written by the founder of Shin Buddhism, Shinran Shonin, called the Kyogyoshinsho. A complete explanation is now on Wikipedia.

Become a Supporting Member

Please consider becoming part of our dynamic and inspirational spiritual community that is diligently working to deepen and broaden the practice of Buddhism.
We need your financial support to pay for our operating expenses so that we can keep teaching the Buddha Dharma to Connecticut and help continue the growth the NASBA affiliated community throughout North America. Supporting Membership funds are separate from the Capital Campaign Fund which is earmarked solely for the creation of our new dharma center. However, any ?left over? Membership funds will be transferred to the Capital Fund. Join or rejoin us by becoming a member and collaborate with our uniquely American Shin Buddhist community.
Thank you for renewing your membership. You may do so during a Sunday morning gathering or online on an incremental monthly basis.
This is a reminder of the six membership categories to choose from:
Basic BFF Supporting Member
BFF Sponsor
BFF Benefactor
White Path Supporter
Patron of the Dharma
To see what it?s all about: visit

The BFF is a tax exempt organization, under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code.

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