Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: The New UU: A Program for Welcoming Newcomers to Unitarian Universalist Congregations

Leader Resource 1: Meditation on Formative Stories

Part of The New UU

Ask how many participants have experience with guided meditation. Tell them you will lead them through a meditation with questions. If some participants are unfamiliar with guided meditation, explain that you will offer words, images and questions for them to contemplate in silence. Invite them to relax and go with the images and thoughts spurred by the words of the meditation. Explain that after you are finished, there will be time to talk about what they have discovered.

Read aloud slowly in a soothing voice, observing the pauses indicated.

I invite you into a time of quiet contemplation. Sit comfortably with feet on the floor. Breathe deeply into your body. Let your focus move away from this room; closing your eyes may be helpful for that. Continuing to breathe deeply, I invite you to move back in time.

Find yourself in a time and place where a story captured you. This was no ordinary story—it was a story that you resonated with, that touched you. A story that held meaning for your life. The story may have been a traditional religious story. It may have been a story of your people. It may have been a family story. It may have been a storybook you read over and over. Whatever the story, you knew it was important to your understanding of yourself. (Pause for several seconds.)

Focus on your story. Remember your first encounter with it. Where were you? Who was with you? (Pause briefly.) What do you remember about the details of the story? (Pause for several seconds.) Did you picture yourself in the story? Did you admire or identify with a person in the story? What images or ideas from the story have stuck with you? How has the story affected the way you have moved through life? (Pause for a full minute.)

Now, continuing to breathe, recommit the story to your heart and mind and return slowly to this space, to this time, to these people. When you are ready, open your eyes. Feel free to stretch if you want to.