A few weekends ago, I found myself at the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Rondebosch in Cape Town, for a morning introduction to meditation. And what a wonderful morning it was…
The Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre (quite a mouthful!) is part of the New Kadampa Tradition, led by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. While it is, obviously, very Buddhist in nature, it’s not alienating to those who aren’t Buddhists or don’t know much about Buddhism. This is actually the second course I’ve done with them, and I was struck, both times, by how practical and relevant their teachings are. They focus on meditation for our modern lives, where we’re busy and distracted and not able to sit in lotus position for an hour – well, at least not yet!
Much of this practical nature comes from the wonderful centre teacher, Gen Kelsang Pagpa. He’s a British Buddhist monk with a fantastic sense of humour and a tendency to bring tea into his teachings (“You’re sitting there trying to meditate, and suddenly you think, ‘Oh, I’d love a cup of tea’.”) He’s also deeply spiritual, of course, but the light, practical way he teaches makes it much easier to absorb – and far less intimidating. The goal? Finding true happiness in our everyday lives: a worthy goal if ever I heard one!
As well as the courses and meditation classes at the centre in Rondebosch, the Tushita team holds meditation classes in the CBD, Durbanville, Milnerton, Muizenberg, Simonstown, Somerset West and Wellington. They also have a wonderful Durban branch – the Mahasiddha Kadampa Meditation Centre. If you’re searching for a little inner peace (aren’t we all?) I highly recommend a visit or dropping into a class. It’s a practical, accessible way to experience a taste of Buddhism, and of stillness. And who doesn’t need that?