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Violence and the Option of Mindfulness

By Jon Sievert

In honor of 2015 International Peace Day, Cati Demme presents a brief synopsis of the connection between the theory of violent behavior in our current culture and the alternative of “Mindfulness Practices” at this Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service.

UU Service
By Cati Demme
Sun, Sep 20, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

The Seville Statement on Violence, adopted by an international meeting of scientists in 1986, concluded that humans are not biologically programmed for war and aggression. That presents a most hopeful, yet confusing, conclusion as we are faced with aggression, violence, and war on a daily basis. When we look closely at the history of modern Western culture, we see it is based on materialism, consumerism, and exploitation of resources, and that it benefits by perpetuating violence. The fear and despair experienced by so many is a direct product of living with aggression, resulting in loss of meaning and hope.

So what can we do as individuals? According to the 14th Dalai Lama, peace begins within; by learning simple daily mindfulness practices such as meditation techniques, yoga practices, mind/body attention training, and, most importantly, compassion practices, we are given the choice as to how to cope and live amidst the current upheaval and enjoy our lives.


Cati Demme, MA, is a mindfulness practitioner and teacher. Brought up in a Quaker household, she learned at an early age that she could sit still, in silence, and enjoy it. In her 20s and 30s she studied the discipline of the teachers Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in “The Work,” an eclectic and rigorous discipline for applying mindful living practices to daily life. Through “The Work” she became interested in Buddhism. As an educator she has taught mindfulness practices to students of all ages in both English and Spanish. She is currently a scholarship student at the Metta Center for Nonviolence Studies in Petaluma, CA, and teaches Mindfulness Practices in the San Miguel area.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs for coffee and snacks afterwards. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


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