The Buddhist Spiritual Affinity Group is a community gathered within the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Beaufort (UUFB), formed for the purpose of supporting exploration of Buddhist principles, practices, and thought within the congregation. These principles and practices reflect the Buddhist core values of non-harming, generosity, compassion, kindness, and good will, and are compatible with the principles of Unitarian Universalism. In the 2400 years since the death of the Buddha, many different Buddhist traditions and practices have developed. The Buddhist Spiritual Affinity Group is open to the diversity of Buddhist practices, and supportive of a variety of activities within the broad spectrum of Buddhism. In addition there are meditation practices which have originated from Buddhist practices, but which have been adapted to a more secular context. The Buddhist Spiritual Affinity Group provides support for those members wishing to explore meditation from these non-Buddhist perspectives as well.
Examples of some of the activities sponsored by the Buddhist Spiritual Affinity Group include:
- Weekly meditation and practice sessions.
- Silent meditation sessions open to the entire congregation.
- Introductory and continuing instructional classes in meditation. These might include topics such as mindfulness meditation, applications of mindfulness, insight meditation (vipassana), tranquility meditation, loving kindness meditation, concentration practices, and Zen meditation, among others.
- Educational classes on various topics of Buddhism. These might include any of the following as examples:
What the Buddha taught – an exploration of the original teachings of the Buddha
History and development of Buddhism
Socially engaged Buddhism
Comparative Buddhism – the Buddhist religions
Secular applications of Buddhist practices
Buddhism in the western world
The ethical basis of Buddhism
- Daylong retreats or meditation programs.
- Open discussion groups exploring various aspects of contemporary Buddhist practices.
- Participating in occasional worship services in cooperation with the worship committee and minister as may be requested of the spiritual affinity group.
- Participating with the congregation in community outreach activities, which reflect the core values of Buddhism.
Weekly Meditation Sessions:
At present meditation meets off-campus at One Yoga Sanctuary on Mondays from 7:30-8:30 PM. Both floor cushions and chairs are available. The sessions are open to the practice of all forms of silent meditation. Attendees include UUFB members, friends, and the wider community.
- 7:30 – 7:50: Silent Sitting Meditation
- 7:50 – 8:00: Optional Walking or Sitting Meditation
- 8:00 – 8:25: Guided Meditation or Traditional Message (Dharma Talk)
- 8:25 – 8:30: Reflections, Questions, and Comments/Close
Leadership of the sessions is by UUFB member Jim Miller in the insight meditation (vipassana) tradition and natural or secular Buddhism. UUFB member TZiPi Radonsky also contributes throughout the year.
For more information about the Buddhist Spiritual Affinity Group at UUFB, contact Jim Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.