Interfaith Events at St Mark’s

On 5 June Brother Phap Vu was invited by Jon Bagust to lead the Mindfulness@Lunchtime practice. (See Jon’s report below. The following evening Brother Phap Vu gave a lecture at St Mark’s entitled Mindfulness in Everyday Life. A few weeks later, on 26 June, again at St Mark’s the Annual Inter-Faith Occasion for World Peace took place. The key speakers were Mrs Samena Dean, Muslim Women's Activist, and Fr Jeremy Bath, Catholic Archdiocese of Edinburgh. We look forward to publishing an article by Rev Brian Cooper on this event. Meanwhile we print a picture of the main faith representatives, supplied by our minister, Rev Peter Fairbrother.

On 5 June Brother Phap Vu was invited by Jon Bagust to lead the Mindfulness@Lunchtime practice. (See Jon’s report below. The following evening Brother Phap Vu gave a lecture at St Mark’s entitled Mindfulness in Everyday Life. A few weeks later, on 26 June, again at St Mark’s the Annual Inter-Faith Occasion for World Peace took place. The key speakers were Mrs Samena Dean, Muslim Women's Activist, and Fr Jeremy Bath, Catholic Archdiocese of Edinburgh. We look forward to publishing an article by Rev Brian Cooper on this event. Meanwhile we print a picture of the main faith representatives, supplied by our minister, Rev Peter Fairbrother.

Mindfulness@Lunchtime

Jon Bagust writes:

Around fourteen years ago the Wild Geese Sangha (Part of The Community of Interbeing) moved home to St Mark's (I am a member of both communities), and being recently retired, it seemed to me a very natural step to encourage local folk to share in a mid-week lunchtime meditation practice. A swing sign, a few leaflets, a snappy title, so I thought, and a commitment to be there every Tuesday, has meant I've never sat alone! We average around twenty with twelve or so sharing our mindful lunch together.

A few weeks ago I invited a senior monk to be our special guest at our Tuesday lunchtime practice of mindfulness. Br Phap Vu is a monastic in the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, who's mindful practice we follow on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Br Vu kindly accepted my invitation and led the practice and subsequently posted the very friendly blog below, on his Bodhi Wheel site.

If you haven't yet managed to come along, remember Br Vu's words below : 'The idea and energy of Mindful Lunch is there for you to eat up – bon appetite!'. You're welcome any Tuesday.

Posted on Bodhi Wheel by Br Phap Vu

You know you are in Edinburgh when you attend Mindfulness@Lunchtime at St Mark’s Unitarian Church. Every Tuesday for about the past ten to fifteen years urban dwellers of Edinburgh (Edinburghers) have had the opportunity to stop and enjoy a bit of mindful practice during lunchtime. The weekly event is a collaboration of the Wild Geese Sangha

in the tradition of Plum Village and the Unitarian Congregation of Edinburgh, and of course the lunchtime practice is open for anyone who is interested. Knowing that I was going to be in the area, Jon Bagust, the creator and facilitator of Mindfulness@Lunchtime, asked if I would be willing to facilitate a session. I had facilitated once before a few years ago at the invitation of Jon and knew what a terrific event it is – how could I refuse.

Between 12:30 and 2:00 every Tuesday the doors of St Mark’s is open for a schedule of mid-day practice. One just needs to bring their lunch and their mindfulness. The Lunchtime event begins with sitting mediation and walking meditation from 12:30 to 1:15. At 1:15 to 1:40 there is eating meditation in silence. After the meal at 1:40 to 2:00 there is another session of sitting meditation. What makes this schedule so accessible to the urbanites of Edinburgh is, I believe, two things; first, it is in the heart of Edinburgh; second, you don’t have to attend the whole thing. The Mindful Lunchtime schedule is set up so that anyone can join in at any of the practices. If you can’t make the sitting, fine, join in for the meal. If you can’t stay after the meal, great, enjoy the rest of your day.

I think that Mindfulness@Lunchtime must be one of the great secrets of our time because I am really surprised that this idea and expression of the practice hasn’t spread to other urban areas. In any event, the idea and the mindful energy of Mindful Lunch is there for you to eat up – bon appetite!

Some Links:

For Phap Vu's evening talk at St Mark's, 'Mindfulness in Everyday Life' - https://wildgeesezen.org

For Phap Vu's Blog page - https://bodhiwheel.blog

Mindfulness@lunchtime www.facebook.com/mindfulnessatlunchtime

From left: Samena Dean, Muslim Women's Activist Heidrun Williamson, Unification Church; Sister Louisa Gupta, Brahma Kumaris; Father Jeremy Bath, Ecumenical Officer, Roman Catholic, Catholic Archdiocese of Edinburgh;    Rev Peter Fairbrother, Unitarians in Edinburgh; Naren Sood, Edinburgh Hindu Mandir; Lesley Hartley, Unitarians in Edinburgh; and Rev Brian Cooper, Uniting for Peace.

From left: Samena Dean, Muslim Women's Activist Heidrun Williamson, Unification Church; Sister Louisa Gupta, Brahma Kumaris; Father Jeremy Bath, Ecumenical Officer, Roman Catholic, Catholic Archdiocese of Edinburgh;

Rev Peter Fairbrother, Unitarians in Edinburgh; Naren Sood, Edinburgh Hindu Mandir; Lesley Hartley, Unitarians in Edinburgh; and Rev Brian Cooper, Uniting for Peace.