Mindfulness and Dialogue
presented by Deborah Cooper and Rev. Kent Matthies
We are delighted to co-facilitate this class in which we will read the book Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron. The program will help us explore ways of responding to the challenges in our daily lives in a non-combative and open-hearted manner.We will use meditation and group discussion to deepen our understanding of our own reactivity and find ways to hold ourselves and the world around us with compassion and equanimity.
This is a 6-week class meeting on Sunday evenings from 5:30 – 6:45pm at the Unitarian Society of Germantown on May 6, 13 and 20; June 3, 10, and 17.
We encourage people to read the book and attend all sessions, but it is okay to drop in as well. We ask for $10 – $15 dana (donation) per session. It is also true that anybody may attend and participate with no financial obligation.
“If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts…we have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That is the true practice of peace.” ~ Pema Chodron
Mindfulness Meditation with Rev. Kent
Please note new time! Thursdays, 6:30-7:15pm, Sullivan 3
Come together to sit, move, or lie down to meditate, mostly in silence. Jon Kabat-Zinn defined mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” With the goal of engaging in mindfulness, Kent will provide basic guidance for paying attention to breath, or sound, or simple body movements. The documented health benefits of mindfulness for body, mind and spirit are irrefutable and wonderful. Come on in to pay attention
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.