USG currently offers mindfulness programs VIRTUALLY and in person, outdoors, under the direction of Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development.

This page includes all of USG’s practice based spiritual development including meditation, yoga and conscious dance. The Adult Spiritual Development page has discussion based spiritual development.

The Zoom links for all weekly Mindfulness and Wellness sessions are sent out in a separate Saturday email entitled “News and Zoom Links from the Center for Mindfulness at USG.” If you would like to be put on the list to receive these announcements, contact communications@usguu.org. If you have questions about the classes, please email mindfulness@usguu.org

Teacher Donations and the Practice of Dana                        
In the Buddhist tradition the teachings are offered freely, and the teachers lives are supported by donations (dāna.) Dāna translates into the Buddhist principal of generosity. Please donate to our teachers. USG does not pay or employ the teachers; they provide their services free of charge, and in doing so sustain mindfulness programs at USG. Suggested donation is $10-$20 per session. If you cannot afford this amount, feel free to attend without giving, or give whatever is affordable.

Recurring Programs

Click on any program title below to go to a full description.

Wednesday Mid-Week Mindfulness with Deborah Cooper
Thursday Mindfulness with Jesse Frechette
Yoga Programs with Esther Wyss-Flamm
Saturday Root Conscious Dance Experience
Sunday Breathe Mindfulness Sessions

Wednesdays

Meditations for the Mid-Week led by Deborah Cooper, Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30pm 

Please join Deborah Cooper as she leads us into calm and reflection with meditation, inspiring writings and poems from the great meditation teachers, and teachings based on her own extensive training as a mindfulness teacher.  Deborah also shares how she has applied mindfulness in her own life experiences and guides us in applying mindfulness to ours.  

Dana to Deborah:

Thursdays


THURSDAY NIGHT MINDFULNESS
Online with Jesse Frechette from 7:15-8:30pm 
Access: 
bit.ly/Jessethursday
Please note that bit.ly links are case-sensitive.

Appropriate for all levels. Enter into this practice with a beginner’s mind and fresh eyes, whether this is your first time or you have been practicing for many years.
The fee to the instructor for this one hour session is $15-$20 if financial circumstances allow, but no amount is too small and all are welcome regardless of ability to pay.
Please send to:
Venmo: Send to Jesse-Frechette-1
Use PayPal under “family and friends” and send to: jesse@centermindful.org 
Mail check to: 1405 Reiner Rd., Eagleville, PA 19403

Some Saturdays

ROOT: A CONSCIOUS DANCE EXPERIENCE
Next gathering in
USG Grove, TBA

 As the evenings get colder, ROOT will be in the Edna Jones Assembly Room, 2nd Floor of USG. Access from the rear parking lot via the ramp at the back of the building. 

ROOT is a conscious movement dance experience. The inspiration lies in earthy mysticism and the sacred ritual of the elements that sustain our lives. We will do a conscious exploration of all this in the dance. 

Along with the electronic music that we’re all familiar with, there will be gifts from the community village including live drumming, sound baths, vocal exploration, poetry, and breath work.  As in all conscious dance, the music will carry you, the drums will ground you, and the dancing community will support you. 

Masks are encouraged if you are not yet vaccinated. Bring your own water, and dancing shoes if you’re not accustomed to bare feet on the ground. 

Suggested Donation:  $20 (cash or Venmo)

Venmo: @michellemahan22

Event is facilitated by Michelle Mahan and co-sponsored by Adult Spiritual Development at USG.

RSVP by emailing rootwithmichelle@gmail.com.


Esther’s Strong and Steady Yoga

For more information and links, go to whiteflameyoga.com or contact Esther at: ewyssflamm@gmail.com.


 Sundays

Breathe Mindfulness, Sundays 5-6pm

The Breathe mindfulness class format consists of guided meditations, teaching, and discussion geared to support and enhance the practice of both experienced and beginner meditators.

The sessions will be led by the following outstanding and  experienced  teachers in rotation- Pamela Freeman, Mary Kalyna, Jesse Frechette, Deborah Cooper and Rev. Kent Matthies.

BREATHE TEACHER SCHEDULE
Most 1st Sundays- Pamela Freeman
Pamela Freeman, LCSW, has been a psychotherapist for over 25 years, working with individuals, families, and couples. She is also a long-time social activist working on issues of gender, race, class, and anti-violence in many places around the country. A graduate of School of Playback Theatre and founder of Playback for Change in Philadelphia, Pamela also founded the Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Project.

A practitioner of mindfulness meditation, she co-leads the People of Color “Sit” in Philadelphia and serves on the Insight Meditation Board of Directors. Pamela is also a graduate of the Aboriginal Indigenous therapy program. Contact info – pfree12334@aol.com

Dana to Pamela:

  • Paypal at:  pfree12334@aol.com or
  • US mail: 6655 McCallum Street Apt 101. Philadelphia PA 19119 (Please note address change as of 1.28.2021)

Most 2nd Sundays- Mary Kalyna
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, and support for human rights in Ukraine. 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. Contact Mary at mk382k@yahoo.com.

Dana to Mary:

  • Paypal at: mk382k@yahoo.com
  • US Mail at: 138 W. Sedgewick St., Philadelphia, PA 19119

Most 3rd Sundays- Jesse Frechette
Jesse Frechette, LCSW, is the founder/ director of Center Mindful, providing services virtually and sometimes live. He is a mindfulness educator, coach, and mindfulness-based psychotherapist, committed to diversity, inclusion, equity, and supporting individuals, couples, and families with better mental health. Jesse has additional competency in supporting LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, families, and others who experience prejudice and discrimination. Contact: jesse@centermindful.org

Dana to Jesse:

Most 4th Sundays- Deborah Cooper
Deborah Cooper, M.Ed., has been a counselor for 35 years and is the former coordinator of the Friends Counseling Service. She has a small private psychotherapy practice in Mt. Airy, PA. Her chief interest for the last 14 years has been mindfulness meditation. She trained to teach mindfulness meditation at Jefferson, teaches several meditation groups, and sits a month-long silent retreat annually. She has taught many workshops at USG,and leads a weekly USG class on Wednesday called Meditation for the Mid-Week. Contact: deborahcooper125@gmail.com

Dana to Deborah:

Most 5th Sundays Reverend Kent Matthies
Rev. Kent Matthies, senior Minster at USG, was trained in mindfulness leadership at the Jefferson University Hospital Practicum for professionals.  Kent enthusiastically integrates mindfulness with Unitarian Universalist theology and spiritual practices in worship, pastoral care and USG programs for children and adults. Contact info kmatthies@usguu.org

Dana to Kent:

  • Web payment at: usguu.org/give/
  • Text: 215-608-2660 & enter 00 mindful (amount – space – mindful)
  • US Mail at: 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119. Memo line: “Mindfulness”

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.