Weekly Meditation and Dialogue, Tuesdays 7-8:30pm
Together, we sit. Together, we ask questions that challenge our commonly held assumptions. Together, we come to a shared understanding of human nature, especially the nature of the mind. This group is open to those beginning the journey, as well as those already on the path. It is open to those who are familiar with meditation and dialogue, and those who are not. Together, we will learn to draw guidance from our own inner teacher; we will learn to be a light unto ourselves. In this way, we might draw from various traditions as a starting point. Ultimately, however, the purpose of this group is to help us embrace the present moment and our lived relationships as the most fertile ground for learning and transformation. Facilitated by Director of Spiritual Development, Jason Bender.
Sunday Morning Meditation
Welcoming space for meditation is available every Sunday at USG from 9:15 to 10:15 in Sullivan Chapel 3. On the First and Second Sundays, the Mindfulness Group will follow this schedule:
- 9:15-9:40 – Sitting meditation (in the Grove or in Sullivan 3)
- 9:40-10:00 – Walking meditation
- 10:00-10:20 – Dharma reading and sharing
A Day of Mindfulness Meditation – Finding Inner Peace
Saturday, March 25 from 8:30am to 4pm. The day will include some brief teaching as well as periods of meditation and Qi Gong. New and experienced meditators are welcome. Participants will be asked to maintain silence throughout the day, including during the lunch break, which will be held on site. Retreat instructors, Deborah Cooper and Paul Martin, will offer guidance throughout the day. Please bring your own lunch. Beverages will be provided.
Deborah is a practicing, licensed family therapist and a Mindfulness Meditation instructor. Paul is an experienced teacher of Qi Gong with many years of practice and teaching experience.
*** Child care will be provided (for children 6 months and older) to make this event more accessible to parents. ***
Registration is required as space is limited. Please register here: click on “Online Payment Center”, then select quantity (number of people) for “A Day of Mindfulness”,, go down to the bottom to select “donation frequency” and “start date” and then continue to pay. Please contact Sharon Mafuru at email@example.com or 215.756.6466 with any questions.
The facilities fee will be $15 for this event, which is paid at the time of registration. This covers use of the facilities and child care only. The instructors offer this retreat free of charge. Participants may choose to give a donation in the Buddhist tradition of dana.
Parking for USG is off Johnson Street, northeast of Wayne Avenue.
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.