What to Expect at a Meditation Class
The meditation classes are suitable for both beginners and experienced meditators. Everyone is welcome. Our Sunday and Tuesday courses in Hartsdale, and our Monday evening classes in Stamford, CT, are part of the General Program open to all. Those wishing to go deeper with their practice may sign up for the Study Program.
At the beginning of each class the teacher will guide a gentle, relaxing meditation in which he or she will help us to develop a beneficial motivation for attending the class.
Then the teacher will give a practical teaching on some aspect of Buddhist meditation and practice. There is usually time for discussion and questions and answers. The teachers have all trained on the Teacher Training Program and are skilled in helping us to apply Buddha’s advice to our own daily lives, with appropriate analogies, stories, reasoning and humor.
The session ends with a guided meditation, designed to help us take the teaching to heart in such a way that we are confident in beginning to practice it on our own.
Afterwards, for those who wish, there is a chance to talk to the teacher and other students informally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a Buddhist to benefit from meditation?
No. Anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits. Buddhism is a non-evangelical religion. Buddhists respect all people and are happy to help anyone regardless of whether they subscribe to another faith, or to none.
Do I need to have experience in meditation or Buddhism to attend the classes?
No. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life.
What do I need to bring to class?
If you wish to take notes, please bring a pen and notepad.
What is the cost of the classes?
$12.00 per class or $50.00 per month for unlimited general program classes. The monthly membership also entitles the cardholder to any weekend courses offered along with any applicable discounts at neighboring centers. As a nonprofit organization, fees for classes are our only source of income. All proceeds from class fees go directly to supporting the Center.
What if I don’t have money and I want to go to a class?
No one will be turned away.
How should I dress for class?
What relevance does Buddhism have to the US now and to my life?
Although Buddhism first appeared in India over 2600 years ago, it has a timeless and universal relevance. Buddha explained that all our problems arise from confused and negative states of mind. He taught methods for ridding the mind of these destructive states thereby enabling us to realize true happiness and fulfillment. These methods work for any mind, in any country, at any age.
In whom do Buddhists have faith, and why?
Buddhists regard all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as perfect guides and role models, and as such naturally develop faith in them and rely upon them as Spiritual Guides. As a meditator approaches and eventually attains enlightenment, he or she develops extraordinary mental powers. These include the ability to bless receptive minds with powerful transforming energy that greatly accelerates the process of mental development. For this reason, Buddhists try through meditation, prayer, and various ritual practices to communicate with enlightened beings and receive their transforming blessings.
Is the NKT part of Tibetan Buddhism?
No. The New Kadampa Tradition is global Buddhism. Just as the Tibetans faithfully adopted the practices taught to them by the great Indian masters and adapted it to their own culture, Geshe Kelsang, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, encourages people from all ethnic backgrounds to adopt the wisdom and compassion of Buddha and put it into practice in a way that suits their particular culture.