Contemplative practices are a deep wellspring for our community. In addition to the ongoing groups listed below, the Contemplative Practices Group organizes a number of programs each year; typically a silent retreat day and a teacher-led retreat day each fall, and our signature silent mindfulness meditation retreat each winter/spring. To get involved with the Contemplative Practices Group, contact Jeanne Ann.
Book Discussion Groups: “Awakening From the Daydream” by David Nichtern
Facilitated by John Warner. Two dates: Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, September 30, after the church service. Open to all.
One Day retreat, “Lojong Practice: Generating Awakened Heart”
Saturday October 13, 9AM to 5 PM,
Join us for a retreat led by Rebecca Eldridge, an instructor at the Center for Mindfulness in Shrewsbury, MA and a student of Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. This day-long retreat is for anyone who wants to love and live fully, and to be in the good company of others who want the same. Together we will explore the practice of lojong—working with short phrases to generate an awakened heart.
This retreat is open to all, and no experience is necessary. There is no charge for this day, but there will be an opportunity to make a donation to support Rebecca. Rebecca asks that participants prepare by reading Norman Fischer’s “Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong.” Pre-register by Friday, October 5 by contacting Jeanne Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day of Silent Group Practice
Saturday January 5, 2019, 9AM to 5PM
This will be a day-long self-led retreat for individuals with some experience in meditation who value the opportunity to practice in silence with others. There will be a schedule of alternating periods of sitting and walking practice, and participants may join for part or all of the day. No registration required.
Fifth Annual Weekend Retreat
Friday March 22 to Sunday March 24, 2019
Our Fifth Annual Weekend retreat, led by Margaret Fletcher, Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger, and Jeanne Ann Whittington. The retreat begins on Friday night and concludes with the Sunday service, and includes instruction, sitting, walking, mindful movement, contemplative music, time for questions, delicious meals, and a rich sense of community as we spend the weekend practicing together and sharing our practice with the congregation on Sunday morning. More information will be available as the date draws nearer.
Spring Half-day Retreat
Saturday April 27, 2019, 9 AM to Noon
We will offer a half day retreat—both as a follow up to the March weekend retreat, but also appropriate for beginners and those not in attendance at the weekend. The theme, leader and other information to be announced.
Mindfulness Practice Group
Meets the Second & Fourth Mondays, in the Chapel
6:00 – 7:30 PM
We are a self-led group of practitioners of mindfulness meditation. We offer an inspiring range of mindfulness activities with some group members voluntarily rotating as facilitators. Everyone is welcome to join us, beginners and experienced meditators alike! Please contact Craig with any questions.
This is our group intention: “Grounded in Mindfulness Practices taught in the course Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, we come together in community with the intention to cultivate open-heartedness in a safe, trusting environment and to be friends with and IN the present moment. We encourage you to mindfully experience the wide variety of practices that our member facilitators share.”
The Clapping Registers Meditation Group
Meets every Tuesday, in the Chapel
The “Clapping Registers” meditation group sits in silent meditation for a period of 20-30 minutes. We then have a reading from a variety of books on meditation, typically Buddhist. A discussion on the evening’s reading follows. We then sit for another 15-20 minutes of silent meditation. All are welcome. There are some cushions in the chapel and benches and chairs are also available. We would suggest wearing comfortable clothing and bring a cushion or zafu if you like. If you have any questions, call Bob at 228-6264.
Insight Meditation Sangha
Meets the Third Friday, in the Chapel
Doreen Schweizer, guiding teacher for the Hanover/Lebanon-based Valley Insight Meditation Society (VIMS), provides Buddhist teaching and guidance in the insight meditation/Vipassana tradition. See the VIMS website for more detail about this tradition.
The sangha includes guidance that leads into meditation, a meditation period, and then a discussion that is generally a reflection on the sitting practice. The group is appropriate for beginning and experienced meditators alike. While the Insight Sangha is not directly affiliated with the UU Church, everyone is welcome! Please contact Doris with any questions: email@example.com.
Taizé services are held at 7:00 pm on the second Sunday of each month, October through April. These services offer a time for meditation, reflection, and renewal through music, brief words, and silence. [more]