One Day Retreats with Chris Phillips

Retreats Coming Up                                                                            Home

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations #1)

Part A          Friday September 21   1 - 5 pm, Spiritus Christi, downtown Rochester            See Meeting Location details below

Part B           Friday September 28   1 - 5 pm, Spiritus Christi

A thorough introduction to basic mindfulness skills suitable for the brand new beginner in meditation or as a stimulating refresher for experienced practitioners.    See more

Foundations #1 Again!     Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment            

Saturday October 27   8:30 - 4 pm, Rochester Mennonite                         See Meeting Location details below                          

We will hold this intro program again as it has been so helpful for boosting folks' mindfulness practice.  A second date also gives more people an opportunity to join the later portions of the Foundations retreat trilogy.

Satipatthana & Emotions (Foundations #2)       Pre-requisite = Foundations 1        Description         

Pick One Intro Session        Friday Nov 2        1 - 4            Spiritus Christi

                                        Saturday Nov 3    1 - 4            Rochester Mennonite     SAT SESSION CANCELLED, NOT ENOUGH REGISTRANTS

Main Session                      Saturday Dec 1st    9 - 5         Rochester Mennonite

A complete overview of the Buddha's teaching on "Satipatthana," the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness.  The first 3 Foundations are a roadmap for the way mindfulness can liberate our relationship to every human experience.  Of course that includes all our emotions.  

The Buddha suggested a priority-order for mindfully dividing human experience into three types of sensations.  Body awareness is the beginning and the most fundamental foundation.  Feeling-tone awareness is the second.  The third area is Mind awareness, the world of mental events and formations. In this retreat we will come to understand these three focus areas for mindfulness, gain experience working in each area, and put them all together for a whole-person embrace of our emotional life.

This retreat day involves a preview session about a month before the retreat.  In the preview we cover conceptual material from the Four Foundations Discourse and early Buddhist Psychology, so that we can have more time for silent practice on the day itself with the laboratory of our emotions.  At the preview you will receive sense-based mindfulness homework -- daily practice assignments to start getting used to approaching emotions as sense events.   

We can't "get rid" of our emotions or "perfect" them.  We CAN learn not to take them personally.  We can welcome leadership from their energy.

Boundless Mind Days: Lovingkindness & Compassion                More Here                            

December 8                            An intro to ancient and modern forms of Metta and Karuna meditation!

December 29                         Saturdays  9 am to 12 noon       All at Rochester Mennonite

January 12, 2019

January 19, 2019

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations #1) 

Part A     Friday January 4    1 - 5 pm                   Spiritus Christi

Part B     Saturday January 5 2019    1 - 5            Rochester Mennonite

A thorough introduction to basic mindfulness skills suitable for the brand new beginner in meditation or as a stimulating refresher for experienced practitioners.    See more


Going Deeper Into the Present Moment            

dates and location TBA                          

Exploring themes from "Dwelling Happily..." in more detail.  This is a chance to ask for particular guidance and then work together as a group on our interest areas.  Where are you having challenges, or seeing windows of opportunity to deepen or broaden your mindfulness path?

7 Factors of Enlightenment (Foundations #3) 

Pre-requisite = Foundations 1 & 2  

Part A    Friday January 18    1 - 5 pm                Location TBA

Part B    Friday January 25    1 - 5 pm                Location TBA

What is the 4th Foundation of Mindfulness about?  We will get more familiar with the Buddha's Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse.  Why has it become the main manual for Buddhist Meditation?  How has the 4th category been interpreted by translators and teachers?  Is it just a small list of confusing terms?  Is it a "cliff notes" version of the Buddha's teachings?  Or can we see it as important patterns of experience that the Buddha suggests we watch for and use while we meditate?  These patterns are universal and personal,just waiting to be discovered.  How can I practice with these patterns in my formal meditation and during daily life?  

We will put a special emphasis on the 7 Factors of Enlightenment.  You will experiment personally with the Buddha's calming and energizing factors.  No matter what your body and mind are like, the 7 Factors leave us a roadmap to practice like a Buddha and uncover our own enlightenment in this very life.

This is the concluding retreat in the Four Foundations trilogy.  Please make sure that you have attended Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (#1) and Satipatthana & Emotions (#2) to get the most out of this day.  Thanks!

Rehabilitating Concentration        

date and place to be determined                9:00 am - 12:00 noon

A practice clinic revisiting how we think about and cultivate concentration during mindfulness meditation.  No more focus worries!  Your concentration is already just fine!!!!!!          More here. 

Metta Mornings                       

date and place to be determined      9:00 am - 12 noon

People have requested that I offer a second series of 3 mornings on Lovingkindness Meditation based on the success of this past winter's program.  Find out more here on Boundless Mind Days. 

Neuroscience of Awakening

June 2019    

An introduction to the wellness teachings of Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius, authors of Buddha's Brain and Hardwiring Happiness.  Rick and Richard have made a potent fusion of mindfulness meditation with the most current neuroscience of happiness.  This retreat will alternate periods of short presentation with practice and discussion.  We will use brain science adapted into techniques from Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Goldstein, Shinzen Young to stabilize our contentment, fuel our focus and foster the awakened mind.  This is a new and different angle on mindfulness of emotions.

To Register

Please sign up for retreats with a note including your contact information especially email and phone.  

Also send a small non-refundable gift. There will be a chance for more giving at the end of the retreat.

Gifts can be in the form of cash, check, paypal or electronic funds transfer.                                                        

Retreat Descriptions                                                                                  HOME

Foundations of Mindfulness Series

Inspired by the 2016 retreats on Emotions and the Foundations of Mindfulness Suttra of the Buddha

1)  Intro Level Mindfulness Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment

2)  Mindfulness 201 Satipatthana Suttra and Emotions

3)  Seven Factors of Enlightenment -- How The 4th Foundation explores and directs the universal patterns of mindful experience.

Shorter Practice Clinics -- Investigating Skills and States 

Contact me if you know a community interested in any of the following topics.  Workshops can be arranged for any size group.

a)  Rehabbing Concentration – What is it? Why we all can do it!   More here -->

b)  Boundless Mind Days        More here-->

c) Equanimity Cues -- "This shouldn't be happening" and "I can't bear this."

d)  Zen & Vipassana, Vajrayana & Pure Land -- Where Does Thich Nhat Hanh Stand?  A Teacher of All Buddhism

e)  See, Hear, Feel -- the Basics of Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness

f) Mindfulness Meets Modern Science & World Mysticism -- the Teachings of Shinzen Young.  Going broader; going deeper. A framework for broadening our understanding of meditation to embrace mystical practices across religious traditions.  Deepening  meditation for enlightenment in this very life.

g)  Flow Practices -- to develop transforming awareness of the miracle of constant change.  Becoming intimate with the flow of change in our ordinary experience is a gateway to the Insight of Impermenance.

h) Stillness & Presence -- a method for setting up small home practice communities with an interfaith theme.  Two themes from Buddhism can form the basis for a group to enliven their exploration of contemplative practices.  Can be used with many silent prayer methods of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Native Religions

i) Neuroscience of Awakening: A New Angle on Mindfulness of Emotions -- sharing practices from Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius (in development)

j)  Flow and Grieving (in development)


Many of these retreats and practice clinics are held at the 

Mennonite Fellowship of Rochester, 111 Hillside Ave, 14610 


at Spiritus Christi Church, 121 N Fitzhgh Street 14614 downtown  

Both are in Rochester NY.

To Register

To register send a gift of any size as a deposit to hold your slot, to Chris Phillips, 364 Merchants Rd, Rochester NY 14609.  I'm committed to sharing the Dharma for no fee. Gifts are what keep spiritual ecologies rolling, so there will be a chance during the retreat to support this work to continue.  Cash, check, electronic funds transfer and paypal available.


Past Retreat Programs

Satipatthana (the Four Foundations of Mindfulness) & Emotions            2016 and 2017

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations part 1)               Sept 16 2017


Rehabbing Concentration:  What it is?  Why we all can do it?               Dec 2017    


Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations part 1)                Jan 6 2018


Metta Days: Using Love, Super-charge the Dharma                  Jan 20, Feb 3, Feb 17

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations part 1)                March 2018   See more

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (a half day with Apple Blossom Sangha, Syracuse) March 2018                                          

Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment (Foundations part 1)                June 2018

Going Deeper into the Present Moment                   June 2018                       

Programs In Development

Flow: Befriending the Transformative Power of Impermanance                

Equanimity Days: Total Love

Flow and Grieving             

My Background

For all of these one day events my style expresses my personal Dharma practice and experience. That draws from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Mahasi Sayadaw vipassana style of Insight Meditation Society epitomized by Joseph Goldstein, early Buddhist psychology of the Pali Sutras, the vipassana style of Shinzen Young, and the wellness strategies of modern neuroscience.

You can always email me or call with questions.     845-264-7000     585-305-6949

More bioChris has been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh since 1990. He left his career running Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary with Massachusetts Audubon in 1996 to work full time for the Dharma. He became the Manager of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies retreat center from 1996 – 2001. He ran Turtle Path Mindfulness Practice Center in Worcester, MA from 1998 - 2003. Chris was ordained in the Order of Interbeing in Plum Village in 2000. He joined the Blooming Lilac Sangha when he moved to western NY in 2004. 

Chris takes his life framework from the Mahayana worldview of Thich Nhat Hanh, and grounds his techniques in the psychology of early Buddhism according to Pali scriptures such as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. He has practiced vipassana with many teachers from the Insight Meditation Society, the Thai Forest tradition, the Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw, and with Shinzen Young.

Chris is also familiar by experience with practices from Soto Zen, Dzogchen, Korean Song, Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, the Daily Liturgy of the Hours, the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, the Carmelite mystical prayer of John of the Cross & Teresa of Avila, Catholic Eucharistic mysticism, and several expressions of mysticism from worldwide faiths. He is a former wildlife sanctuary director and organic microfarmer.

Giving = Loving

Delivering these retreat workshops is a labor of love and generosity. If you want to see more of it, please nourish it by making a gift. I do what I can to make sure all costs of these events are met through generosity and not through fees.

My philosophy looks at the nature of human work as an expression of creativity, blessings and happiness, and the nature of society as a cooperative compassion system. Generosity is the True Basis of all Economy.  Buddha, Jesus, Francis of Assissi and others followed the custom that spiritual teachings are to be given, not sold. 

If money is limited please remember that volunteer work is another form of mutual generosity.  I can use lots of help.

        (PAYPAL account coming -- you don't need your own paypal to do this)

        address for CHECKS --  364 Merchants Rd, Rochester NY  14609

Book a retreat for your group or yourself        What are your preferences?

one day non-residential with preview evening?

residential weekend?

residential/non-residential blended urban setting?

self-retreat with 1-on-1 conferences?

any of the above


To Explore the Practice Community of Thich Nhat Hanh

            Blooming Lilac Sangha

            Plum Village

Local and Regional Resources for Vipassana Meditation

To Explore the Unified Mindfulness Practice Community of Shinzen Young

To Explore other Dharma communities in Greater Rochester

        Rochester Zen Center –

        White Lotus Society –

        Jan Cook –

        Och Hee Halley & Beth ____________

        Dharma Refuge –

        Lynn Westmoreland

        St Stephens' group

        South Wedge Mission group

Settings Supportive for Self Retreat

Springwater Center

Abbey of the Genesee

Blue Cliff Monastery

Mount Ireneaus

Mount Saviour Monastery

Mercy Spirituality Center

Shimmering Light Farm & Renewal Center

??? Light on the Hill