Article by Keira Adams
A meditation center is a great place to begin your odyssey into self-enlightenment. Whether you’ve attended classes before or you’re just getting started, there’s no better way to learn what meditation is about than through meditation centers. In these quiet, idyllic settings, you will feel a sense of deep meditation and relaxation as you begin your journey. Hopefully, you will acquire enough skills and practice before you leave to carry over into your everyday life. Here are a few of the centers across the nation.
In Los Angeles, the Kadampa Meditation Center is a comfortable white building nestled in the Elysian Valley between Griffith Park and Dodger Stadium, with convenient access from Highway 5. They offer a number of classes, day courses, study programs and retreats. Kids, individuals, couples and families can all attend classes, which focus on breathing techniques, meditation, a short lesson and discussion time.
Their website explains Kadampa Buddhist teachings as such: “If we do not maintain a peaceful state of mind we are not happy even if we have ideal conditions. On the other hand, when our mind is peaceful we are happy even if our external conditions are unpleasant.” Rigorous study programs, meditation teacher programs, lunchtime meditations and temple ceremonies are all available. For more information, visit http://www.nkt-kmc-california.org.
Spirit Rock is another meditation center in California — this one in Woodacre, north of San Francisco. In the foothills of beautiful wine country valleys in a little Asian styled wood building, you can find inner peace and respite from the stresses of daily life. According to their website, “The purpose of Spirit Rock is to help each individual find within himself or herself peace, compassion and wisdom, through the practice of mindfulness and insight meditation (vipassana), and to support the individual in taking those qualities into the world.” Visitors can attend residential meditation retreats, daylong workshops and weekly classes . The overnight residential retreats range from five days to twenty-eight days to help students immerse themselves in spiritual meditation and practice. To learn more, visit http://www.spiritrock.org.
“There’s a reason why Buddhist monasteries have traditionally been built on high mountaintops or deep in the forest,” says Melvin McLeod, editor-in-chief of the Buddhist publication Shambhala Sun. “Getting into nature and breaking from the usual storylines of our lives helps us to tap into our own deeper consciousness.” According to Travel and Leisure Magazine, the top meditation center programs are incidentally set in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. Some of these retreats include: Ananda in the Himalayas (Uttaranchal, India), Shambhala Mountain Center (Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) and The Middle Way Meditation Retreat (Loei, Thailand). Visit http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/ten-top-meditation-retreats/1 for their full “Top 10 Meditation Retreats” list.
About the Author
Some people choose exercise or therapy to eliminate their stress. Others use simple meditation exercises to help them see the problem or situation in a different light. Mindfulness meditation is tool used by millions to help enhance their lives and free themselves of stress.
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