UU Faith in Action and Mindfulness

Mike Wilson, Chair, UUCWC Council for Faith in Action

Unitarian Universalism is supposed to be an active faith. Mindfulness enhances our involvement in what we are about. My thought is that the more we are mindful about how we actively involve ourselves in our faith, the more we profit from our involvement.

Here are some quotes from Jon Kabat-Zinn who is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he developed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.

“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.”

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”

“Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.”

Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Buddhist monk, author, and mindfulness teacher. One of his students was Jon Kabat-Zinn. Thích Nhất Hạnh was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are some of his quotes on mindfulness:

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”

“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”

“Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.”

Can we be more a part of our lives in ways that they become more meaningful? Is it possible to practice faith as one practices a meditation, being fully in the moment and aware of the most minute, subtle circumstances and results? Can we, as UUs, be more fully connected to a faith through our mindful practice of that faith in whatever ways we define it?

The reason I decided to join the Council for Faith in Action and be its chair (although I am not certain yet what it means to be a chair yet) was to answer these and other questions about my UU faith. To begin with, I knew that my faith is not directed towards a higher power or greater omnipotent being but in the forces that connect us and make us a more successfully loving, collective whole. I realize it is a quest I will never fully satisfy, however I invite anyone and everyone to mindfully share the journey with me.