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Buddhist Faith Fellowship at the Mansfield Freeman Center

 
 
 

Welcome!

 

 

Buddhism is a lifelong education to learn how to realize our human potential by transforming suffering into peace, joy and liberation.

 

 

 

  

A Place for Refuge and Renewal

 

 

Practice with us,

on Sunday mornings,

 

Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies,

Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut,

10 a.m. to 12 noon

 

 

 Please try to arrive 10 minutes early but if you are late,

 feel free to join us.  Dress informally and comfortably.

Open to all beginners and advanced seekers.

 

 

 

Sunday morning activities are offered Free of Charge 

but a donation is greatly appreciated.

(a minimum suggested donation is $10)

 

See our Calendar & Activities below.

 

 

e-mail us

amida@bffct.net

or call us for more information

 

(860) 529-2933

 

Join our American Shin community
Practice and live a happy life.

 New To Site 

 

 

 

Mindfulness Luncheon Event. Learn about and practice mindfulness and the loving-kindness chant.  Sunday, Feb. 16, from 12:30 - 2 p,m. at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Middletown. To RSVP and more details visit our Facebook page at Mindfulness Luncheon under events.

 

Buddhist Sunday School.  Central Connecticut's only Buddhist Sunday School resumes classes on January 12, 2014. Visit our comprehensive Family Dharma Sunday School web site.  

 

Podcasts on iTunes. Listen to  over 80 of our podcasted talks and discussions online free of charge through iTunes. See web page.

 

I Stumbled Upon A Jewel - Our Fellowship's first published book is now available at the BFF of Ct in Middletown on Sunday mornings. See web page.

 

Salt Lake City Buddhist Fellowship. We are happy to announce a new North American Buddhist Association sangha in Utah. Visit the Salt Lake City Buddhist Fellowship's web site for more information.

Come as you are and practice with us
Sunday Mornings at the BFF of Ct

 

MIDDLETOWN

CALENDAR

 

(Updated on February 16, 2014)

 

Winter Theme:

Refuge and Renewal

 

 

01/12. Beginning Anew. Start off 2014 with inner renewal and hope.  The annual Beginning Anew Ceremony is a powerful and intensely emotional experience. It allows participants to look deeply within their hearts, share their feelings about others and events, and to let go of personal obstacles in order to awaken to peace and inner balance.

There will be 4 main phases: 1) mindful incense offering, 2) sharing regrets, 3) expressing hurt, 4) sharing a difficulty & asking for support. Sharing is purely voluntary but listening is equally a powerful experience. After each phase, a short meditation and loving kindness prayer will be given the participants.  Lead by Senpai Daishin.

01/19.  Anatman: In Search of Non-Self. As Buddhists at some point we ask, “What am I?” Engaging in the teachings we discover that the answer is: no one, nothing.  How can this be? Isn’t there some eternal soul or spirit in all of us? This talk will look into our true and real nature. Inspired by an essay by Ed Parker. Presented by Rev. Senpai. Daishin.

 

01/26. The Wise Heart. Was Buddha the first psychologist? How can Buddhism help to alleviate the suffering that people bring to mental health therapy sessions? Inspired by the book, A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology is by Jack Kornfield, Presented by Jinshu.

 

02/02. Everything is a Gift.  Is there a secret to living a long and happy life? Holocaust survivor and pianist, Alice Herz Sommers,  at 108 years old, lucidly explains the meaning of life.   In a remarkable video with Anthony Robbins, she expresses her thoughts on peace, forgiveness and living a life of thanksgiving.  After the video, a discussion will follow to discuss its content and how her wisdom can be applied to our lives.  Presented by Rev. D. Senpai.

 

02/09. One Pure Moment of Deep Hearing. This talk will explore the central Shin practice called ‘deep hearing.” What is it? What are practitioners supposed to hear or listen to? This talk will cover the presenter’s person experience with deep hearing and its transformative effects.  Dojin is one of the contributors of the BFF’s book “I Stumbled Upon A Jewel” and this talk is based on one of her chapters. Presented by Dojin.

 

02/16. Cancelled due too winter storm.

 

02/23. Nirvana Day - Nehan-ye. Commemorating the passing of the historical Buddha into parinirvana, a special ceremony will take place in remembrance of this event. This will be followed by a meditation, chanting and an insightful talk on death called, Our Greatest Fear. Learn about death from the buddhist perspective. What do Buddhists mean by the statement, “nothing is born, nothing dies?” Is there eternal life? How does Namu Amida Butsu come into the picture of living and dying? Two short readings from the books, No Fear, No Death by Thich Nhat Hanh and River of Fire, River of Water by Dr. Taitetsu Unno will be discussed. Presented by Rev. Daishin Senpai.

 

03/02. Life is a Process of Change and Growth. A look into the deep spirituality  and basic values of Shin Buddhism.  This well-done and inspirational video explores why Shin is attracted to Westerners and how its changes lives. This video is from the Honpa Honganji Mission of Hawaii. Presented by Rev. D. Senpai.

03/09. Why Am I A Buddhist and particularly a Shin Buddhist? Shoju will explore the Buddha's teachings to discover how they inspire us the path to true entrusting and ease suffering. What makes the Buddha’s way so attractive to people? Why is the Shin Way so appealing? Presented by Shoju.

 03/16. How the Dhammapada Set Me Free. The Dhammapada is an ancient collection of the Buddha’s sayings. They are insightful, spiritual and quite psychological. It is a scripture that is accepted by all school of Buddhism. This talk will unveil how the Buddha’s words hold a powerful effect for over 2,600 centuries.  Shoshin will talk how these sayings changed her life. She is one of the contributors of the BFF’s book “I Stumbled Upon A Jewel” and this talk is based on one of her chapters. Presented by Shoshin.

 03/23. The Dharma of Richard Gere.  This short but insightful BBC video looks into Richard Gere’s perspective on the Buddhist teachings.  Mr. Gere has been on a spiritual journey for over 30 years and since the early 1980s has been a student of the HH Dalai Lama.  The discussion will reflect on his viewpoint, the challenges and gifts of our spiritual journeys, and the significance of American Buddhism. Presented by Rev. D. Senpai

03/30. A Shin Buddhist View of the Eightfold Path.  Why is the Eightfold Path? Why is it considered the essential path of the Buddha? How does it integrate with Shin teachings?  Learn how to engage the Buddha’s Way in the 21st century. From Rev. D. Senpai. upcoming book.

04/06. A Child of Destiny. Celebrate Flower Festival, known as Hana-masturi, which honors the birth of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama over 2,500 years ago. Come and join us in our multi-media presentation of the birth story and learn about the basic teachings of the Buddha, wash and offer flowers to the baby Buddha, listen to sacred chants and more. Bring flower(s) to offer to the baby Buddha on the altar. This community event is perfect for new to Buddhism, families and friends. Lead by Rev. Daishin Senpai. 

**Buddhist Faith Fellowship's Birthday - In addition, this date commemorates the 13th anniversary of the founding of the Buddhist Faith Fellowship. On this date, in 2001, Rev. Daishin Senpai, founded this community in his apartment in Bristol, Connecticut with five others in attendance.

04/13. Relax, Trust, Thank.  Learn about the 3 Essential Daily Practices in Pure Land Buddhism to encourage a happier and more meaningful life. Presented by Shoju based on an essay by Ven. Zhi Sheng.

04/20. Buddhist Parables that Inspire the Heart. The Buddha taught in many way and freely used parables as wonderful tools to help seekers to engage his teachings at a deeper level. The intent of these parables is to transform the lives and inspire the seekers on the Bodhisattva path. Presented by Rev. D. Senpai.

04/27. Buddhist Teachings on Aging. .The video and discussion will explore the Buddha’s teachings that promote physical and spiritual well-being, and longevity.  Also, the topics of the afterlife and the meaning of life will be covered. The video is an interview with Buddhist teacher Lewis Richmond and the author of "Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser. Presented by Rev. D. Senpai.

 

05/04. Buddha Is My Personal Trainer. How does Buddhism view our youth and body image obsessed ideas about "Fitness"? Dharma teacher Shoju  talk and discussion will be based on his 30+ years as a health professional and regular exerciser. Presented by Shoju.

05/11. To be announced.

05/18. To be announced.

05/25. Memorial Sunday Picnic – You are invited to our 12th annual potluck Memorial Sunday Weekend/Wisteria Festival Picnic. It will take place at Veteran's Memorial Park in Middletown from 1:00 - 4 p.m..  We will celebrate the coming of summer, our fellowship under the pavilion closest to the main entrance; it will be decorated with Buddhist Prayer Flags and the Buddhist Flag. There is plenty of free parking at the parking lot in front of the pavilion.

**Wisteria Festival or Fujimatsuri celebrates the birth of Shinran Shonin, the founder and foremost teacher of Shin Buddhism, over 700 years ago in Japan. All members and friends and their guests are invited to attend. 

06/01. To be announced.

06/08. To be announced.

06/15. To be announced.

06/22. Renewal of the Heart - a Summer Solstice Practice -Celebrate the wonder of life with light, balance, and renewal through meditation, chanting; and then discuss the interconnection between nature, beauty and gratitude with the Pure Land Way. Presented by D Senpai.

06/29. To be announced.

 

Family Dharma

Buddhist Sunday School

 

 

 

Registration is now open - classes resume on January 12, 2014

 

Grow together in inspiration, mindfulness and compassion

 

The Buddhist Faith Fellowship offers Connecticut families a unique opportunity to grow together in a fun, hands-on and inspirational Montessori inspired Sunday School format. This program is truly a rare treasure because it is the only Buddhist Sunday School/Family Dharma in New England.

 

This Sunday School is a place for  your child(ren) to be taught the Buddhist teachings such as mindfulness, virtue and compassion. It is a place where parents and children can learn and growth together.

 

Our Family Dharma has been designed to meet the needs of children and their parents. Lessons and activities are age and grade level appropriate. Everyone in attendance will be deeply enriched with the traditional Buddhist themes such as values of compassion & wisdom, the Eightfold Path, daily practice and the stories of the Buddha and his disciples. We will explore how to integrate Buddhist holidays and traditions to share with future generations.

 

To learn more, please visit our comprehensive Family Dharma Sunday School web site and/or visit our Meetup web site above (click the icon) to learn more and/or to join.

 

Buddhism 101 Course 

Winter – Spring 2014 Session

"This is not just a course but a transformational experience."

 

Registration is open

 

Learn about the Buddhist path from the ground up. Who was the Buddha and his disciples, and the Eightfold Path? What is meditation? How do can you meditate?  What are the Buddha teachings for lay people and what is the Shin path?

 

We have room for a couple of more students. If you have been interested in taking this 101 course, now you have another opportunity to do so. Let 2014 be the year for you to engage the Buddha’s teachings for lay people in a direct and structured way.

 

This is the tenth year of our most popular and comprehensive course on the Buddha’s teachings. It surveys the Buddhist life, his disciples and teachings, and how they may be applied to daily living in 21st century America. This non-sectarian course covers the vastness of the Buddhist religion through Theravada and Mahayana traditions. Classes start on January 26, 2014. It will meet for 6 sessions in 6 months. Open to Buddhists and Non-buddhists. No pre-requisites. This course is oriented to beginner’s who are looking for a concrete, practical and sequential study of Buddhism. See web site below.

 

Furthermore we offer intermediate and advanced courses like our Buddhism 201, 301 and 401 courses.

To keep the courses engaging, there is limited enrollment in all of our courses. We highly suggest that if you are interested in registering that you do so, sooner than later.

 

Visit our New England Institute of Buddhist Studies, located at the BFF of Ct in Middletown Connecticut for more details and online registration.

 

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Our Buddhist Facebook
 
BFF of Ct's Facebook connects people with other people of similar beliefs and/or who are interested in our style of lay Buddhist practice. Share your stories, practice, buddhist spiritual experiences and photos etc. and in addition you will receive regular updates of our activities, courses and retreats. Looking for a web community? Come and join BFF Facebook.

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Our Meetup Group
 

If you like to receive automatically sent weekly e-mail notifications of our activities, courses and retreats, then we suggest you join our Meetup.com group. It is free of charge to join this social network.

 
"His Light penetrates to the utmost ends of space
and guides people to Nirvana, the Buddha is the
King of the Truth, he is the Teacher of Gods and humans."

Larger Sutra, Chap. 33

Visitors:

 

 

 
 
 
 

The BFF is a tax-exempt, non-profit membership

organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the U.S. Tax Code.