Natural Awakenings Lancaster/Berks September 2022

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event spotlights

An Exploration of


or nearly 2,500 years, Buddhism has provided a pathway for practitioners to find peace and balance in their lives and free themselves from suffering. The Urban Well at Saint James workshops and programs introduce Buddhism to non-Buddhists. A daylong workshop in-person and via livestream on October 1 is for those anchored in a Christian contemplative tradition that want to explore the insights Buddhism offers for inner and outer peace building. Specifically, participants will explore the concepts of wisdom and compassion through teachings, practices and discussion. One of the workshop leaders is Reverend Grace Song, an ordained Won Buddhist Kyomunim, meditation teacher and interfaith dialogue advocate. She is the Won Buddhist Studies department chair at Won Institute of Graduate Studies and Buddhist Chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania. The other leader is Randall Zachman, professor emeritus of reformation studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in theology for 26 years and is currently an adjunct instructor of theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Workshop topics include the major tenets of Buddhism; practices that help us find peace and balance; insights related to personal harmony and social impact; the practice of guided meditation and understanding physical postures, breathing and gentle movement; reflecting on how to deepen compassion in everyday life; and simple takeaway practices to enhance peace and balance. A bus trip on September 28 to the Walters Art Museum, in Baltimore, led by Father David Peck, rector of Saint James Church, in Lancaster, and Professor Zachman, will view a large collection of Buddhist art, including a carved figure of a Bodhisattva from secondor third-century Pakistan. Six Thursday evening classes on Buddhism from 7 to 8:30 p.m. between October 6 and

November 10 via Zoom will feature selections from Christians and Buddhists that have sought to learn from one another. These classes will be taught by Zachman, who brings both knowledge of and curiosity about Buddhism to each session. The first noble truth of Buddhism says that suffering is an innate part of human existence. The second says that suffering comes from desire. The third says that it’s possible to stop suffering, and the fourth shows the pathway to relieve suffering and achieve enlightenment. While these noble truths can be quite philosophical, Buddhism also offers practices that are approachable and useful in daily life. One of these is using meditation as a way of calming the mind and developing empathy and compassion. Buddhism has much to teach people from other faith traditions about finding inner peace and practicing outer peace building. The Urban Well at Saint James is a source for contemplative prayer and practices. Online and in person, they teach us to be more centered, conscious and compassionate in our world. The Urban Well strives to bring together people from different faith traditions in order to deepen their spirituality and connect with the community. That is why they are offering several ways to learn about Buddhism. Rev. Grace Song For registration and more information, visit See ads, pages 5 and 54.

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