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Bringing an Ancient Practice to Modern Pennsylvania At Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center

By Elisha Neubauer

Buddhism was created in the fifth century BC. This belief system is based on the teachings of one man, Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, and has continued until this very day. Buddha's teachings state that of all life's problems, it is the internal issues that are the most important ones to correct. He believed that these problems, such as anger, attachment, and ignorance, directly destroyed inner peace and happiness.

It is because of this philosophy that the practice of Buddhism has continued to grow, spreading across the world over the many thousands of years since its inception.

For those in Southern Pennsylvania, the Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center is offering a safe space to practice Buddhism. The non-profit center was founded in 2008 and is a part of the New Kadampa Tradition, which is an international union of Kadampa Buddhist Centers founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso with more than 1,000 centers and branches worldwide.

In our high-stakes modern society, stress has become a built-in factor of our daily lives. In recent years, meditation has grown in popularity because it is extremely helpful in reducing stress.

"I think a lot of meditation programs focus exclusively on this aspect of meditation," James Bowman of the Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center said. "Buddhism uses meditation for stress reduction, but it also offers a way to meditate that allows us to continually deepen and stabilize our feeling of inner peace until it becomes our normal and natural state of mind." This, he claimed, helps to improve overall health.

When one meditates, the mind becomes calm and peaceful. This feeling of inner peace leads to the individual experiencing a natural happiness.

"We normally feel that our own happiness depends upon various things in our life going well for us," Bowman said. "Since it is impossible to control every external circumstance, our happiness is always wavering and elusive."

A regular practice of meditation can lead to gradually learning to control the mind, so that it will remain calm regardless of outside stimulus.

"If our mind is peaceful all of the time, then we will be happy all of the time," Bowman said. "This is the best benefit of meditation."

According to Bowman, the atmosphere at the Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center has been designed to be tranquil and welcoming. The Center focuses on a modern approach to Buddha's teachings so that they are easy to understand and practice. Each teacher is highly qualified, experienced, and approachable.

"We hope everyone will feel relaxed, comfortable, and curious about Buddhism and meditation," Bowman said.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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