Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County
Rev. Joe Cherry
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Rev. Joe Cherry
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A liberal religious voice in the Central Valley since 1953.
What is Mindfulness?
Paying attention in the present moment without holding onto judgments and doing this with intention
Where and when: See the Calendar Page for the exact day and time. It changes. The class is free, but we accept donations. You are welcome to drop in, but the greatest benefit will be for those who attend regularly.
We might say that mindfulness is to pay attention with a specific intention - to notice what is happening in our experience right now - without being distracted or reactive - so we can be fully present in a clear, balanced way.
What we'll learn to do is to train the mind to develop the ability to stay here in the moment - to not be swept up or carried away by distractions or our reactivity. When we are present in the moment, we can fully experience and appreciate this moment - we can choose our actions appropriately for what is happening now. If we miss this moment, it's gone.
Studies have shown that meditation reduces cortical thinning due to aging in prefrontal regions. It decreases stress-related cortisol, strengthens the immune system, helps a variety of medical and psychological conditions.
In addition to physical health benefits, mindfulness is also a spiritual path that provides insights which develop wisdom and compassion. We learn to disentangle ourselves from our habitual reactions and begin to have a friendlier and more compassionate relationship with our experience, with ourselves and with others. It takes courage and patience to be able to look at ourselves in detail - perhaps some of our bad habits and ways we react in the world.
The benefit if we stick with the practice is that we learn to be at ease with ourselves and at peace with the difficulties that arise in our lives. We gain a strength and confidence in our ability to be with challenges and difficulties in life. In the Buddha's teachings, mindfulness is a support to become free from the causes of suffering in our lives.
Although these teachings have their root in the teachings of the Buddha, you don't have to be a Buddhist or convert to Buddhism to practice mindfulness meditation. You can be of any religious faith. This practice is very pragmatic and doesn't require you to believe in anything other than that you can benefit from your own efforts.
Each meeting will include a period of silent or guided meditation, a short talk, and time for discussion. Please dress comfortably. If you like to sit on the floor and have a mat and cushion, please bring them. We have chairs, too.
2172 Kiernan Avenue
Modesto, California See a map
We have no mail service on Kiernan;
PO Box 1000
Salida, CA 95368
We are a liberal church and the only UU congregation in Stanislaus county. We serve Ceres, Denair, Escalon, Hickman, Hughson, Keyes, Manteca, Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, Ripon, Riverbank, Salida, Turlock and Waterford. We welcome Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Deists, Free-thinkers, Humanists, Jews, Pagans, Theists, Wiccans, and those who seek their own spiritual path. We welcome people without regard to race, physical ability, ethnicity or sexual orientation.