Imagine a seated Buddha resting peacefully in a garden. His eyes are closed, hands gently open in his lap, lips almost smiling as if they cannot help but express the content he feels in this quiet moment. Now turn your thoughts to yourself. What feeling would your lips express after this visualization? Most of us would feel peaceful ourselves, if only for a moment. What if we could keep that feeling throughout the day, so that it touched everything we did and everyone with whom we spoke? In turn, what if each of those people also felt this serenity and they too passed it to others? This is Buddhism at its core; a belief that positive energy creates more positive energy. Because these emotions come from within our own minds, we are responsible for maintaining a healthful state of being.
Residents of Baltimore have a golden opportunity to do just that on May 21 at UMBC, when Kadampa Meditation Center-Maryland will be sponsoring a free lecture and reception on the subject of “happiness”. Kadampa Meditation Center is located in Charles Village near Johns Hopkins University. They offer meditation classes, workshops, retreats, and a monthly children’s class. Classes are held in Baltimore, Annapolis, Canton, Churchville, Columbia and Towson. The Baltimore center is also residential community and participates in outreach activities in the area. As a recognized non-profit group in Maryland, sponsoring talks such as this will hopefully create new interest and enlarge their community.
What is Kadampa Buddhism? Kadampa is a subgroup of Mahayana Buddhism and was founded by the Buddhist Master, Atisha who lived from 982 to 1054 A.D. Having an open canon, emerging religious leaders of the Mahayana school have been able to write commentaries on the previous scriptures. Modern Kadampa Buddhism is largely based on the teachings and commentaries of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union. Kadampa professes that a joyous state of mind that is shared with others is the best path to realizing the true nature of reality. Meditation is the means by which Kadampa Buddhists turn negative thoughts into positive ones. Acting with and attaching compassion to all daily activities passes this joy to others.
Join Kadampa Meditation Center-Maryland as they welcome Gen Kelsang Jampa, National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition in the U.S. His subject will be “Creating Happiness: The Art of Peaceful Living”. This is free and open to the public and will be followed by a free vegetarian reception! To register or find out more information, visit: http://www.meditationinmaryland.org/free-public-talk-creating-happiness-the-art-of-peaceful-living-2011 Also, feel free to stop in on Sundays for a morning of meditation, prayer and delicious food at “Peace & Pancakes” from 10:30 to 11:30.