Establishment & History

The Southeastern Buddhist Community (SEBC) was created from the thoughts of a group of people in the Augusta/North Augusta community who were interested in both Buddhism and meditation. Several of the participants were also members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta at the time.

The final agreed upon name reflects the resolution of several divergent ideas about how to proceed to create something useful for both us and a wider community. The Buddhist descriptor reflects a decision about both focus and context. Meditation and mindfulness practices can be found in almost all religious traditions as well as secular ones like yoga, education, and even business environments. Like an unfocused picture, a widely generic approach becomes difficult for people both inside and outside the community to understand.

Buddhism provides very useful teachings about the mind, feelings, reality, and moral integrity that have proved quite valuable to those of us who have explored them. While Buddhism can include other contexts, such as Christianity and Islam, its own context provides a rich, safe landscape for practice and development.

The “community” term reflected the idea of sharing our practice and supporting each other. Perhaps practice community is more precise; the idea was to not offer our experience as teachers, but as fellow travelers. It also reflected our decision not to be a sangha organized around a specific Buddhist tradition, temple or teacher. “Community” also expressed an intent to offer and share our experience and practice with the wider local population.

“Southeastern” was intended to convey that we were interested and open to regional partnerships rather than those narrowly confined to a particular state, city, or small geographic area.

Our initial meetings were held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta in partnership with them. After a few months, the group meetings were moved to The Yoga Center in North Augusta. SEBC has partnered on meditation / mindfulness events with other area resources, and has established an ongoing partnership with the Lotus Buddhist Temple in North Augusta. SEBC’s basic outlook is to connect with and to support other Buddhist and non-Buddhist communities as synergistic opportunities present themselves.