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.
4th Annual Weekend Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
“SHOWING UP: For Our Lives, Our Communities, and Our World”
March 16-18, 2018
For most of us, to live fully and well is our deepest longing. Yet so often in our lives, we’re embroiled in thought, entranced by some distant drama, lost in a past we can’t change or a future that rarely comes to pass. And yet… there is in life the possibility of cultivating awakened presence. No matter how busy our minds are, no matter how anxious or fearful we feel, we can learn to show up for our lives, just as they are, moment by moment. And as we learn to be more present for our own lives, we can bring greater sensitivity and kindness to our relationships, our communities and our world.
In our fourth annual Weekend Mindfulness Meditation retreat, join with others who see contemplative practice as essential life practice for showing up. On this weekend, participants will receive guidance within a carefully structured environment, allowing each of us to develop awareness, sensitivity and authenticity. The retreat will be held primarily in silence, with opportunities for questions, times of heartful movement and heartfelt interaction. This retreat is offered for beginners and experienced meditators alike. Everyone is invited to attend, whether a congregant or a member of the wider community. All are welcome.
The retreat will begin Friday evening with a social dinner followed by opening instruction and meditation practice. For most, sleep and breakfast will happen at home, with guidance for how to maintain mindful awareness during at-home time. For Saturday, participants are asked to bring a bag lunch; vegetarian/vegan/flexitarian dinner will be provided. The weekend will end with Sunday morning practice and an opportunity to share one-on-one and with the group, then a worship service and a celebratory social hour.
This year, we plan to provide hosted housing for any out of town participants. There will also be the option to stay at the church, though there are no shower facilities and you will need to bring your own bedding. If you wish to request a home stay for the two nights of the retreat, plan to stay at the church, or would like suggestions for a nearby hotel, please contact Retreat Manager Kim Gillis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our retreat will be offered on a three tier basis. You may select which tier feels right for you—no participant will be turned away based on financial constraints. The tiers are: 1) you name the amount; 2) $40 to cover retreat costs; or 3) any amount above $40 to help cover the church’s overhead costs and to support the expansion of the congregation’s contemplative practice activities.
For more information contact Kim Gillis at email@example.com,
Growing a Sustainable Mindfulness Practice
Saturday, April 28, 9 AM to 12 Noon
Often after a retreat or a meditation class, when we’ve been sitting regularly every day, we think it will be easy to maintain a daily practice on returning home or continuing on our own. Not so! Anyone who has aspired to maintain a daily meditation practice for any amount of time knows that this is a challenge, and yet it is the heart of the matter if we wish to marry our practice and our lives. Join Jeanne Ann Whittington for a morning of guided practice, discussion and exploration of ways to make practice and daily life one thing. This morning workshop is open to all—new meditators, experienced meditators, and especially those who participated in the March Showing Up retreat and wish to sustain the momentum cultivated on retreat. To register or for more information, contact Jeanne Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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]