Zen Peacemaker Affiliate
Mindfulness Practice Group of Annapolis
We are a community, a sangha, supporting each other in meditative practices.
Tell us a bit about how your group was concieved
Rev. Fred Muir asked Art Hansen to found a meditation group at the UU Church. Art (now deceased) was at that time interested in Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing Zen. Because of our UU origins, however, we have always been interfaith & eclectic, while taking our normal format from the Order of Interbeing.
How many members do you serve? 40
Tell us about one exciting project, program, or other offering you are currently working on.
From this weekend through Nov. 4, we will offer practices with death & loss including ceremonies of the Order of Interbeing & a Death Cafe. After two sessions for Veterans' Day, we will begin a period running through Christmas of working with the Dalai Lama's & Archbishop Desmond Tutu's The Book of Joy.
How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement?
Most consistently we have had a long-standing engagement with the Light House Shelter in Annapolis [for the homeless,] making, packing, & handing out lunches, cooking Saturday night dinners, contributing to drives for the pantry which hands out grocery bags to families & to appeals for winter clothes like socks. At the moment, a sangha-friend runs their free laundromat one afternoon a week. This is more exacting than it sounds, since it involves refereeing & spotting people in such crises that they appear to have greater needs than clean clothing & then summoning appropriate staff. Just this week, he & Sensei Bob just barely rescued the possessions of a formerly homeless & tenuously housed sangha-friend after they had been deposited outside his transitional housing, and rain was starting to fall. This despite our payment of his weekly rent arrears. I suspect this anecdote will have additional chapters.
What is the most meaningful challenge your organization Faces?
Sectarianism. The vast majority of us over our three decades said that what they most appreciated about the MPG was its openness & respect. Still, somehow, there are occasions on which someone "instructs" another from a place of "doctrine." As a previous, wise facilitator said, "We respect all meditative practices which respect all meditative practices."
For more information: http://mpgannapolis.org/
Mindfulness Practice Group of Annapolis -
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Rd. Annapolis MD 21401