Nurturing Kindness: A New Mindfulness Meditation Program
Sundays 5-6:30pm from September 9 through October 21.
“Kindness is my religion.” ~ The Dali Lama. We all want to give and receive kindness, but how do we cultivate this? In these classes we will explore ways in which we can strengthen our capacity to care for ourselves and others with kindness and compassion. The class will consist of time for meditation, listening to parts of dharma talks by well-respected teachers in the Mindfulness tradition including Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein and others. There will be time for group discussion. All are welcome. In the Buddhist tradition, participants are invited to give a donation to help support the teaching.
Sunday Morning Meditation
Welcoming space for meditation is available every Sunday at USG from 9:15 to 10:15am in Sullivan Chapel 3 or in the Grove. On the First and Second Sundays, the Mindfulness Group will follow this schedule:
- 9:15-9:35am – Sitting meditation
- 9:35-9:55am – Dharma reading and sharing
- 9:55-10:15 – Sitting or Walking meditation
Unitarian Universalism and Buddhism
Like UU’s “free and responsible search for meaning”, Buddhism is non-creedal. In his first mindfulness precept, Thich Nhat Hahn says Buddhist teachings are not doctrines but guiding means to help us develop understanding and compassion. One of the Buddha’s last teachings was to “be a lamp unto yourself”.
The inherent worth and dignity of every person is evident in Buddhist teaching that everything in the universe shares Buddha nature.
The Universalist emphasis on the saving power of love can be seen in the Mahayana Bodhisattva vow to renounce nirvana until all beings are enlightened, and in reverence for Avolokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of great compassion.
UU respect for the interdependent web of all existence mirrors the Buddhist teaching of emptiness, what Thich Nhat Hahn calls inter-being–that everything in the universe exists only in its connection with everything else, and nothing has an absolute separate identity.
UU affinity for Buddhism goes back to Thoreau. There has been an active Unitarian Universalist Budddhist Fellowship for many years. It is still considered an independent affiliate of the UUA.