Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Demo leads a guided meditation. Courtesy of the Kadampa Meditation Center

By Georgine Wallace

This will be the first of a series of articles on the Faith Community in Southwest. We’ll introduce you to new faces as well as check in on faith leaders who have served our community for years. 

The Kadampa Meditation Center is a Temple of Modern Buddhism that studies in the New Kadampa Tradition. Located at the corner of M and First/Canal Streets Southwest, it opened in June 2019. Eight months later, it closed public programming and moved to virtual classes due to the pandemic. The center currently offers hybrid sessions to the community.

Resident Teacher Gen Kelsang Demo is a Seattle, Washington native who describes Southwest as a “small town in a big city.” Drawn to our strong sense of community, she enjoys working with area residents and is heartened by our open and accepting nature. Education Program Coordinator Anika Trancik, a Cambridge, Massachusetts native, echoed the sentiment. The entire nine-person staff is made up of volunteers. 

Though the Center follows Buddhist principles, class attendees are not required to do so.  Everyone is welcome to attend the public guided meditation classes no matter their religion. Gen Demo and Anika encourage the public to learn mediation to take advantage of the health benefits it can provide such as increased focus, stress reduction, anger management and clarity.  

Prices for classes range from $5 to $12 per session. Monthly memberships are $45 for unlimited classes. The room is large enough to allow social distancing. If you prefer an online class, approximately 25 individuals attend on a regular basis. The center also offers reduced price classes for those on a limited budget. In addition to meditation, a class includes a topic such as the concept of attachment, seeking happiness or validation from others when we need to achieve it within ourselves. 

For beginners who want more in-depth study, the center offers special events such as their New Year’s Eve one-hour session on the Power of Intention to help individuals develop plans for the coming year. Topical retreats of a half day, full day or weekend are also available online or in-person. A retreat involves a series of sessions of an hour of meditation and instruction. Each session contains one to two 15 periods of meditation plus practical instruction on how to integrate meditation into daily life. For more information about Kadampa Meditation Center, check out their web site at https://meditation-dc.org/ or email info@meditation-dc.org.

If you would like to attend a class in-person or online, Kadampa is offering one free Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday class during the month of January. Simply select a class on their website and use the coupon code FREECLASS. 

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