USG currently offers all of its mindfulness programs VIRTUALLY
under the direction of Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual
Development, and Howard Silver.
The Zoom links for all weekly Mindfulness classes are sent out in separate email announcements titled Zoom Links and Newsletter from the Center for Mindfulness at USG. If you would like to be put on the list to receive these announcements, or 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.

Upcoming Special Programs

Courageous Heart: A Fall Equinox Virtual Retreat for Womxn

Friday, September 25, 7 – 8:30pm; and
Saturday, September 26, 10am – 1:30pm
Leaders: Esther Wyss-Flamm, PhD, EdM (Left) and
 Adrienne Dolberry, PhD (Right)
 
Join us for a two-day virtual retreat to find space through meditation, restorative movement, and ritual to surface how we can move into the future with intention and impact.    The equinox is a time to pause, let ourselves get still and listen to our quiet voice within. Give yourself this gift to relax, recharge, and rebalance in body, mind, and spirit.
 
You will walk away with:
*Self-care mind-body practices to nourish you in the safety of your home
*Connection with sweet community
*One courageous next step you have been longing to take
*A mystery gift (that will be mailed to you)
This is an intergenerational event inclusive of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, designed to celebrate and fortify women. No prior experience with yoga or mindfulness needed.
 
Workshop leaders
Esther Wyss-Flamm. More at estherwyssflamm.com.
Adrienne Dolberry. More at linkedin.com/in/dolberry/.
Cost:  $55. Scholarship support available – for info, contact Esther at esther@whiteflameyoga.com.
 

Recurring Programs

Mondays

Mindful Mondays with Jesse Frechette, 7:30 – 8:30pm
This drop-in weekly community mindfulness session will feature a teaching/discussion on Mindfulness with an emphasis on the wisdom and lessons we can learn from nature and its symbols, including the planet, the seasons, the elements, animals, plants/trees, and ourselves as we are part of nature and nature is part of us. Teaching/discussion is followed by a guided mindfulness practice that incorporates the wisdom, lessons, and guided imagery of nature into the practice.
 
Participants are asked to have available one piece of paper or a notebook each session for a few brief journal questions to help deepen the learning experience and enhance discussion, and one piece of blank paper and either markers, crayons, or color pencils for a possible simple drawing activity in some sessions to support the cultivation of select mindfulness practices.
Jesse Frechette, LCSW, is the founder and director of Center Mindful in Fort Washington, Pa. He is a mindfulness educator and coach and a mindfulness-based psychotherapist. Jesse is committed to collaboration, diversity, inclusion, and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and families and others who experience prejudice and discrimination. 
If you would like to be put on the list to receive these announcements and the zoom links please email mindfulness@usguu.org
 
 
New Program for Black UUs
Black Lives UU is starting a monthly mindfulness session on second Mondays at 8pm. For more information or to register, visit the BLUU Resources for Black UUs page.
 
 

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:


Fridays & Saturdays, 9:30-10:45am

STRONG AND STEADY YOGA with Esther Wyss-Flamm

Fridays, Starting September 4
This gentle chair-to-mat class is designed to release tension, stretch the body, and support joint health. Full focus is on safe movement, alignment that supports the healthy spine. As my most accessible class, it is great for anyone with age-related health conditions or recovering from physical injury.

Saturdays, Starting September 5
This mat-based class builds strength and stability in body, breath, and mind. The focus is on alignment and reviewing fundamentals to build postures from the ground up, including lunges, balance postures, twists, and back bends. A great way to kick off the weekend!

Esther is offering these classes to USG Members on a donation basis. 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.

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: 6038 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144

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 and director of Center Mindful, a mindfulness studio in Ft. Washington, PA.  He is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s in Social Work from University of Pennsylvania.  Jesse is a mindfulness educator, mindfulness coach, facilitator, and mindfulness-based psychotherapist who completed a year-long Mindful Educator Certification Program through Mindful Schools.  Jesse is committed to collaboration,diversity and inclusion, and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and families and other individuals and communities that experience prejudice, discrimination, and microaggressions. 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”

Questions- Contact Howard Silver at Mindfulness@usguu.org or 215-669-8871


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.