I invited some of the Center members who set-up our new meditation hall on Saturday, January 12th to share their reflections about its significance in their lives. This is the first in a series.
There we were. On a foggy Saturday morning a group of dharma friends including children and parents met at Lorne’s house packing prayers books and various dharma objects, images, tangkas and lights to move to the newly found home of the Guhyasamaja Center.
The center has been a moving entity for many years where the constant thread has been an increasingly larger number of people with a strong interest and growing devotion to the Buddha’s teachings. Over the course of the years we gathered periodically wherever possible to listen to enlightened, precious Buddhist teachers who gave us freely their time and the gift of their wisdom constantly inspiring us and providing their guidance to steer our mind towards a path that decreases suffering and benefits everyone. The spaces for these teachings were made available by the generosity of the leading members, some of them teaching themselves and opening their homes, or by renting meeting places in various churches throughout the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. Many teachers, classes and prayers later, all efforts had created the time and conditions to move into a more stable place. There we could gather and meet our community members and all others who are coming for a short visit or will keep coming for longer time.
We arrived at the new location a few hours later where other friends and members of the center had arrived earlier and were already at work. We had no specific plan or priority list to follow. As the boxes were brought into the new large prayer hall they were opened by anyone who was nearby, and the working puzzle dance kept playing for hours as every piece found its place. We all worked together taking on tasks as needed, guided by where we could put our abilities to their best use from dusting to moving large pieces of furniture and placing vases of flowers by the window sill. Our enthusiasm was palpable and the joy of each task was a reward in itself.
By the time the daylight started to fade, the shrine had been set up with the saffron water offerings in the beautiful line up of crystal bowls and candle lights in front of the images and tangkas. Sixteen panels showing Lama Tsongkhapa’s life were beautifully decorating the side wall. Maytreya was majestically presiding on the left of the shrine and a large carpet had been placed in front of the shrine for our prostrations.
We all sat amazed and surrounded by the beauty of the new prayer hall which already felt like home. In silence we felt the peace and quiet of the moment and a smile in our hearts and on our faces. We expressed our gratitude to all our teachers, center founders and everyone and everything that contributed to bring to fruition and experience the precious day. We all joyfully parted looking forward to seeing each other again soon in the same blessed space to receive and share more teachings for as long as we will be able.