BUDDHIST FAITH FELLOWSHIP OF CONNECTICUT

ABOUT THE BUDDHIST FAITH FELLOWSHIP

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Come join us.
Join and practice the dharma

 

YOU ARE WELCOME

 

We hope you will feel at home as we practice together. Keep in mind, our spiritual community offers you fellowship, learning, enrichment, service and practice. Remember to dress causally and try to arrive at least 5 minutes early. All new guests will receive a free gift book, Living Meditation, Living Insight by Dr. Thynn Thynn, which is practical and easy to read.

 

A PLACE FOR FELLOWSHIP  We offer a caring, spiritual and open environment that naturally creates healthy relationships between the members of our spiritual family. With our regular gatherings, practice groups, social events, etc. there is a place for you too.

 

A PLACE FOR LEARNING We are engaged in the study of the whole of Buddhism but place more focus on Shin Buddhism, which is designed for ordinary working people with busy schedules.

 

A PLACE FOR ENRICHMENT We offer many opportunities to get involved, with special programs for the environment, outreach ministries, courses, workshops and spiritual field trips.

 

A PLACE FOR SERVICE We accept our responsibility to reach out in service to others. Our people help those within our spiritual family and outside of our fellowship. See our Buddha Gaia environmental group as an example.

 

A PLACE FOR PRACTICE Every gathering is an occasion for spiritual refreshment full of blessings and inspiration. Our primary reason for meeting together is to practice the dharma, and to awaken to the Oneness of reality.

 

We hope to see you very soon.

 

 

To view video on YouTube

   

The Meaning of “Faith”

 

Some people wonder, what does the word faith mean within the Buddhist Faith Fellowship’s name? For many North Americans, the word faith is very disquieting and conjures up the baggage of the traditional religions from which many of us are trying to escape from. Around the world, many faith-minded people tend to blindly believe in all sorts of unproven dogma that is akin to superstition.

 

However, for us,  faith is not about believing in the far-fetched and unreasonable or in a fossilized dogma or in an ancient creed or in a set of unverifiable beliefs like those offered by many in today’s marketplace of religion and spirituality. Briefly put, the faith in our organization’s name has several refreshing nuances:

 

1)      Faith is the inner inspirational energy that draws and opens us to confidence in the Buddha’s teachings. Something just clicks within us and we feel a deep and comfortable familiarity with the dharma that gives us the conviction that we with all beings can “wake up” and realize our inner potential. 

 

2)      Faith denotes the time-honored process of practice, in which one has personally verified the teachings through investigation (reading, listening, attending gatherings etc.), experimentation (plenty of practice), analysis (reflection), and all this is crossed checked with the experiences of other practitioners covering a span of 2,600 years. The Buddha said, “Don’t believe because I tell you so…” First, one must try it out and see or not see the results of the process in one’s life’s experience. 

 

3)      Faith signifies the spiritual journey or the evolutionary natural path of the Buddha’s teachings that take us into an exciting adventure of inner and outer exploration, in which we will progressively encounter more peace and liberation, and the warm and open heart of boundless life and light.

 

4)      Faith does not mean “looking up to” something outside of us in fear or for comfort, but instead means entrusting ourselves to the total dynamic of life and light itself, symbolized as Amida Buddha, which is our true nature. This entrusting faith (shinjin) is a pure and open awareness without any subject or object or belief in any set of concepts. It relates to the Sanskrit word prasada which means “tranquility, stillness and purity” of mind and heart.

 

Shin is the universal spirituality,
Experience the new American Buddhism

New American Buddhism

 

 

The Buddhist Faith Fellowship (BFF) is a visionary and deeply spiritual lay Buddhist community in Central Connecticut, established in the spring of 2001. We are an American Shin Buddhist community, deeply rooted in the teachings and practices of the Mahayana tradition.

 

 

 

We offer an open, caring, and nurturing environment for all who seek the Buddhist experience. We see ourselves as spiritual pioneers of the 21st century, expanding the boundaries of the Buddha Dharma and helping to create a new American Buddhism. Below explains the mission, inspiration, journey, practices of our independent network of lay Buddhist congregations.

 

Our Mission: Our task is to provide a positive and nurturing environment that explores our human potential and cultivates the direct spiritual awakening to the Oneness of life, symbolized as Amida Buddha.  Together, we are actively engaged in the Buddhist teachings and practices to transform ourselves in service to other beings and the world. As equals, we encourage one another to understand, accept and live by the Buddha Dharma, sharing its message of peace, hope and compassion with all.

 

Our Inspiration:  Anchored in the Mahayana tradition, we are dedicated to the teachings of the historical Buddha and the 13th century Japanese reformer, Shinran Shonin, the founder of Shin Buddhism or Jodo Shinshu. In addition, we are inspired by the iconoclastic and meditative Soto Zen tradition, as an effective skillful means to better cultivate a calm and lucid heart and mind in order to hear the spiritual light within us. We are also open to all Buddhist traditions and the entirety of world spirituality and wisdom.

 

Our Journey:  We are called to entrust ourselves to the heart of Great Compassion, symbolized as Amida Buddha, to live by her calling, to gracefully experience the unfolding of life and to practice love and compassion with others. As a result, we are spiritually transformed, experiencing a renewed life of joy, purpose, and gratitude and dedicated to promoting the welfare of all sentient beings. 

 

Our Practices: While our inclusion of Soto Zen practice acknowledges the value we place on inner silence through meditation, the heart of Shin practice is about integrating spirituality with daily living by developing deeper compassion; practicing monpo or deep hearing (mindfulness); and voicing the nembutsu (Namu-Amida-Butsu) as a direct expression of our trust in and gratitude for the ultimate Oneness of life. We engage in community service, support one another’s spiritual growth, and strive to remember that we are all foolish humans doing the best that we can.

 

 

The Fellowship’s Guiding Principles

 

Our Fellowship honors the Six Principles of Harmony, taught by the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni over 2, 500 years ago in Northern India. These Six Principles are our organization’s guiding values. The BFF diligently seeks to maintain a harmonious, friendly, and open-minded atmosphere.  The Six Principles of Harmony are:

 

1.  Sharing similar viewpoints and aspirations

2.  Practicing the same ethical precepts

3.  Living and practicing peacefully together

4.  Abstaining from quarrelling and bickering

5.  Experiencing the inner peace and joy that results from community practice

6.  Sharing our benefits so as to be a blessing to each other and to the world

 

 
"On the journey of human life, faith is the best of companions; it is the best of refreshments on the journey, and it is the greatest gift."

Samyutta Nikaya 1:4-6