UU Buddhist Group

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 24 August 2004.

Phone: 804-330-3263
Email: wyn2357@comcast.net
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The Unitarian-Universalist Buddhist Group of Richmond came about through the efforts of one man, Wyn Jordan. A long-time member and former president of Ekoji Buddhist Sangha, Jordan joined Richmond's Unitarian church in an effort to provide his children with a structured religious education. At the request of the church, he asked his teacher, Pat Phelan of the Chapel Hill Zen Center (and mentor of the Richmond Zen Group that meets at Ekoji), to conduct an overnight Buddhist retreat at the church in April of 2001. Response was positive and soon a group of UUs interested in Buddhism and meditation began meeting at Ekoji on Thursday evenings.

Activities and Schedule

The group now meets at the First Unitarian Church of Richmond on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. Sessions are held in the basement, in a makeshift room used for teaching Sunday school. Jordan sets up a temporary altar with an image of the Buddha, a flower, a candle, an incense burner, and a chalice (the symbol of Unitarian Universalism). Sessions begin with 25 minutes of silent seated meditation, followed by 10 minutes of silent walking meditation. Next comes 25 more minutes of seated meditation, and then a brief service that includes an English translation of the Heart Sutra, the four great bodhisattva vows, and a dedication verse. Participants sit on zafus and zabutons (Zen cushions and mats), small meditation benches, or pillows.
The group also helps to put on an annual Buddha's Birthday service for the church every May. This service, attended by much of the 400-member church as well as members of local Buddhist groups, includes a children's pageant acting out the Buddha's biography, sermons by the church minister and Wyn Jordan, and introductions to Buddhist practice by representative local groups.


The UU Buddhist Group of Richmond has 25 members, but only two to four show up on average for the weekly services. Reflecting the demographics of the church, most are European-American, but there are a few African-Americans as well, and ages range from 30s-60s. Unlike at weekly church services, however, the regular attendees are primarily male.