Buddhist / Zen Meditation Group
The UU Buddhist group is a community, a sangha supporting each other in meditative practices. Our mission is to nurture and support individuals who are exploring the Buddhist path and those who are interested in meditation practice. We are a small group in the Church ministry. We are non-sectarian Buddhists and welcome all to join us for meditation — whether they practice Zen or any other tradition, or are just beginning their journey.
We are peer-led and lay-led: We are all each other’s teachers. All are welcome to sit with us. Our group practices are Buddhist, yet we respect all meditative practices and celebrate the diversity of practice among us.
WHEN AND WHERE
We meet every Thursday at 7:00 PM for meditation, including Zen-style sitting (Zazen), walking meditation, chanting, and discussion. Periodically we offer an introduction to Zen meditation. Beginners are welcome and are asked to come 15 minutes early for brief instruction and explanation of our service.
Our Thursday meetings go something like this:
- 6:45 PM — First-time visitor orientation and set-up
- 7:00 PM— Zazen (sitting meditation) – 20 minutes
- 7:20 PM — Kinhin (walking meditation) – 10 minutes
- 7:30 PM — Zazen (sitting meditation) – 20 minutes
- 7:50 PM — Service (chanting or reading)
- 8:00 PM — Tea, Reading and Discussion, and Announcements until about 8:30.
We may be reached by email at UUBuddhistgroup@richmonduu.org. We would be pleased to add you to our email list, which we use only for program announcements and room changes.
As a spirituality program of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, the UU Buddhist Group is governed by the policies of First UU, including the Safe Congregation Covenant. In our democratic adoption of our own covenant and policies for our programs and governance, we have honored the Seven Principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote and which constitute the core of the covenant among Unitarian Universalist Congregations:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The UU Buddhist/Zen Meditation Group is a place of safety and integrity for each person’s mind and body. We are a supportive and nurturing Sangha, celebrating the diversity of those gathered with us. Recognizing that warmth, kindness, and compassion will shape us as a Sangha of goodwill and generosity, we covenant to affirm and promote:
- Understanding, honesty and kindness in our relationships;
- Respect for the right of others to be different and to choose what to believe and practice;
- Openness to others’ insights and experiences;
- A welcoming nonjudgmental attitude;
- Speaking truthfully and constructively;
- Using words that are supporting and caring-not harsh, belittling or demeaning;
- Refraining from uttering words or taking actions that can create discord or cause the community to break; and
- Listening deeply to one another.
As we continue our spiritual path, honoring the gifts, blessings and commitments each person brings to our Sangha, let us be gentle with each other, mindful that our perceptions can be in error, and not be attached to our views.
The UU Buddhist/Zen Meditation Group is non-sectarian and celebrates the diversity of Buddhist and other meditative orientations represented within the group. We welcome participants from all contemplative traditions to attend its programs. Programs may also be proposed by those who have been consistently committed to the practice and Sangha-life of the Buddhist Group for at least six continuous months and who evince a comprehension of the Buddhadharma, an established personal meditative practice, and sangha-friendship toward others.
Those who wish to propose a Thursday program may contact any facilitator with a proposal (150-word maximum). Proposers of programs are encouraged to work with others and to integrate broad participation into their programs. Facilitators will schedule proposed programs based on their general appeal, compatibility with the goals of the group, participatory structure, and available time slots.