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
All are welcome to join in quietly at any transition point. On the other Sundays the space is open for those who choose to come and sit. Beginners as well as experienced meditators are always welcome.

For more information contact

Meditations for the Mid-Week

From the Center for Mindfulness at USG
in conjunction with Exploring Elderhood
Wednesday afternoons at 2:30pm starting January 15, Sullivan Chapel 3

All are welcome- senior, junior, USG member or not to join Deborah Cooper for an hour of quiet meditation, reflection and sharing. Most of us long to be peaceful and happy, and yet our lives and the world around us, frequently present us with situations that cause anxiety and pain. The Buddha, 2,500 years ago, discovered a way to live that makes it possible to experience tranquility and joy in spite of the various difficulties we encounter day to day.In this hour we will explore some of his teachings and learn some ways to help ourselves navigate everyday challenges so that we can experience more peace in our world. No fee but donations (dana) gratefully accepted.

BREATHE- Schedule and course information

Breathe is our Sunday evening mindfulness program with a rotating cast of experienced meditation teachers and mindfulness leaders. There is no fee for the classes, but dana (donations to the teachers; suggested $15 to $20) are greatly appreciated.

All classes are Sunday Evening, 5 PM – 6:30 PM unless otherwise noted.

January 26, February 2, 9 & 15,  5:00-6:30
Mary Kalyna-  Engaged Buddhism:   Mindfulness in Action

Can we integrate our spiritual practice as we work to oppose racism, sexism, destruction of the planet and other injustices in the world? We begin with the premise that it is not enough to “just sit there.” We will explore how spiritual practice can inform activism and prevent burnout, and how engagement in the world is required for a grounded and authentic spirituality. The class will include meditation time, readings and discussion. We will consider the teachings and practice of Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernie Glassman, and Rev. angel Kyodo williams, among others.

Mary Kalyna has practiced Vipassana Meditation for 30 years. She has taught classes in the Philadelphia area and was facilitator of the Rainbow Buddhist Meditation Group at the William Way Center. Mary is a lifelong activist, from initiating the first Earth Day at her high school, through anti-war organizing, women’s and LGBT rights, anti-racism and economic injustice. She has been part of the USG choir since 2011 and also sings with Voices Rising Philly, a group formed in 2016 to sing at protests.

Questions- Contact Howard Silver at or 215-669-8871.

Cultivating Awakening Emotions with Dharma Teacher Tuere Sala
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Often emotions can turn our lives into a roller coaster ride of re-activity which can have the effect of turning our meditative practice into an escape clause rather than the source of our inner strength. It is possible, however, to engage our meditative practice in a more proactive way by cultivating several awakening emotions. They are considered awakening emotions because when present, they bring clarity and wisdom. We will explore these awakening emotions, how to distinguish them from non-awakening emotions, how to cultivate them and how to recognize their impact upon our practice.

See event listing for more info.

Developing Compassion, for Oneself and the World: Livestream with Suvaco Hansen
Sunday February 9, 2020.
1:30-3:00 PM in the Sanctuary at USG

This session will include a brief led meditation, a Dharma talk and time for individual questions.
Suvaco was a monk in the Thai Forest tradition for many years. He now lives in England  where he is a psychotherapist and  teaches meditation retreats.  He  is active in the Climate Action community and occasionally works with refugee communities.  Deborah Cooper regularly attends his retreats.  
Suggested Donation- $10-$15

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.