Archive for the ‘Community Events’ Category

October 2014 Calendar

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

October 2014 Calendar

Ongoing  Events

Newcomer Orientation: 2nd Monday of the month, CC Shove Chapel, Dharma Hall upstairs at 5:45 pm to meet anyone who would like some orientation to meditation, to our tradition, or to our sangha and customs.
Dharma Study and Discussion: Each Monday 5:15 pm, CC Shove Chapel, Dharma Hall downstairs.

Zen Threads: October 4, Saturday
Saturday morning’s meditation schedule will be a little different on the first Saturday of every month.
6:30 to 8:00 AM Three periods of meditation as before
8:00 AM Robert King will talk about integrating dream work with Zen practice.  Discussion will follow, and we’ll close with our vows at 8:25 as usual.
Once our nomadic Dharma hall is packed away, all who are interested will go to Wooglins for breakfast and more conversation.

Dharma Talks:
October 20 Sarah Bender, Sensei

October 27 Andrew Palmer, Sensei

Work in the Room: October 18 is cancelled due to the retreat.  Kathryn will lead this Saturday’s meditation.

Steering Committee Meeting: October 1 6:30 - 8:30 at Liz Cramer’s house 533 Crystal Hills Blvd.  Contact: Robert King @ for updated information

Harvest Retreat
October 15-19, 2014
The Abbey, Canon City

Someone asked Yaoshan, “what’s the most important thing about Buddhist conduct?”
Yaoshan said, “The main thing is not to flatter anyone.”  This person asked,
“What would your mind be like if you never flattered anyone/”
Yaoshan said, “even if you were offered the entire country,  your mind would never change.”

One of the beauties of our long meditation retreats is this:  we take time together, so much time to slow down, time to sit side by side in quiet and stillness, so much time to be simple and not try to prove anything or please anybody!

What is your mind like then?  Not to have to flatter anyone, even yourself?
What is it that doesn’t seem to change through all the changes?

It’s not so easy to create a time and space like this.  It takes the effort and expertise of a team and fortunately, we have that.
It takes the dedication of some experienced sitters, and we have that.
It takes the guts and curiosity of some newer sitters, and we have that.
It takes the offerings of many teachers, from way way back to now and onward, and we have that, too.

Our October retreat comes at that liminal time when things seems naturally to begin to slow and darken down, if we let them,
and we can ride that energy.  But it takes the doing of it, sometimes to overcome our reluctance to give ourselves to the silence
and to make ourselves subject to a simplified structure of life for a few days.  Are you up for it?
It’s an offering you can make to yourself, to your companions, and to this so needy world.
You darken down a little and get quiet enough to hear with your whole being the shining that needs no embellishment.

Body of the Way Practice Period

Beginning with our Harvest Retreat (October 15-19) and continuing through our Buddha Wakes Retreat of December 6-7, this Fall Springs Mountain Sangha will offer a practice period.  More complete information about the practice period will be coming soon, but here I’d like to offer a first introduction and an invitation for you to give your input.

Essentially your practice is your life, ongoing.  At the same time, a period of more intense and dedicated practice can bring renewed energy, insight and joy.  So your sangha wants to offer this opportunity.

A practice period begins with you.  You decide if you will commit to a time of more consistent meditation, study. expression.  If you do, reflect a little, envision this and choose how you’d like to do so.

Meanwhile, your sangha provides support for this effort:  lone inquiry, precepts study, meditation, sutra study, work in the room.

Please let us know what you would like to be part of.  Your ideas about this will be very important input.

Also, please let us know your preference re: a book study time:  Saturday morning, 10:00, or Wed. eve., 6:30?  Which is better for you?

Write to me at

Many thanks,
Sarah Bender

Looking Ahead
(mark your calendars!)

All Sangha Meeting

November 16th
Sunday 4
4:00-7:00 PM
The Woman’s Club, Colorado College
10 Mesa Road

This is our once-a-year meeting to elect a steering committee and approve a budget for the coming year.  It is also a wonderful opportunity to get better acquainted and share ideas about the sangha.  The steering committee will update us on any plans in the works and unite input on where we go from here.  Some of our best ideas have come from these meetings.  So put this date on your calendar and plan to join us if you can.

Buddha Wakes:  a Bodhi Day Retreat, December 6-7
at the Creek Bend Zendo

Each year we celebrate Shakyamuni’s Enlightenment by joining it:  entering into meditation, cleaning our eye in the dark and lifting our gaze to greet the Morning Star.

This year we sit together Dec. 6 and on into Dec. 7, ending with brunch.

More information about this retreat will follow

October 2014 Harvest Retreat

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Harvest Retreat

October 15-19, 2014
The Abby, Canon City

About Retreat Practice, and about our Harvest Retreat

People often ask me, “How can I deepen my practice?”

Just asking the question is a great start.  Ask it of yourself in the mirror in the morning - and listen to the response you give yourself.  Ask the clouds and stones, the people, dogs and trees, who witness the day and night with you.  There are so many ways.

Pretty much everyone I know who has sustained a nourishing meditative practice has said one thing:  attending meditation retreats has been key.  They can’t imagine how they could have done without them.  And I add my “Amen!”

When you  enter retreat, you join others in laying down a slew of burdens and distractions.  You enter a simplified time and space where, with the supportive energy of shared intention and the collaboration of a teacher, you can join the deep silence and stillness in, around, under and through everything.  You can find the courage to simply be with your life as it is - with yourself as you are - and welcome the “Honored Guest” in the form of koans and other teachings.  You can hear the deepest calls of the heart-mind, and respond.

It takes guts to do this, even if it’s not your first time, and it takes a commitment o time and resources.  But if you are ready, go for it.  It’s a kind offering you can make towards freedom in the world, for yourself and others.

A theme running through this October’s Harvest Retreat will be words from Hakuin Ekaku’s “Praise Song for Meditation”: This very place is paradise; this very body, the Buddha.”  If Hakuin is describing his real, actual experience, what is this?

If you have other questions about this meditation retreat, please don’t hesitate to talk with a leader or to the registrar Steve Milligan or (719) 633-5925; or,  contact me at
Sarah Bender, Sensei

The cost of this retreat is; $425 full time.  $90/day part time.   Depost: $150.
Deadline for Registration:  October 5. The retreat registration form can be downloaded from this link.