We're fortunate to have a diverse community of Brooklynites. We've got scientists and researchers, writers and journalists, artists and designers, teachers and parents, and even an aerialist. We welcome kids. Our community event planners organize potluck dinners and BBQs. There are plenty of edible goodies and good conversation to enjoy before and after classes. Check back often to see what event we've got planned next and come join us to get to know your fellow meditators!


MEET OUR MEDITATORS


WILLIAM

How long have you been meditating for?
I have been meditating on and off for around a year, though finally found the determination for daily meditation a few months back.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
I practice meditation to calm and control my mind, as well as, clarify my understanding of this reality and how I may begin to change the cyclical nature of suffering I find myself in.

What is your favorite meditation?
I like to begin with meditating on the breath to calm my mind, then move to meditation on the mind and the clarity of the mind, and then finish with meditating on taking the suffering of others.


HAWA

How long have you been meditating for?
Since the fall of 2010.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
Meditation creates space in my life, allowing me more room to evaluate how I'm thinking, feeling and responding to life. It takes me out of autopilot mode.

What is your favorite meditation?
I like the meditation on the nature of the mind, with the focus of attention at the heart. It's very centering.



THOMAS


How long have you been meditating?
26 years.

Why do you meditate? What did meditation bring you?
To bring peace to myself and increase my ability to help and love others.

What is your favorite meditation?
Meditation on emptiness and meditation on giving and taking.
 


ANNE

How long have you been meditating for?
I’ve been meditating about ten years, but I didn’t get serious until I joined Vajradhara Meditaiton Center three years ago. It’s hard to maintain a practice on your own. You can literally forget why you’re doing it.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
Meditation gives me freedom. I used to react without thinking to just about everything that happened. I felt like a slave to my worst impulses. Now I have a choice about what thoughts I want to entertain and how I respond to what’s happening. It's very relaxing and saves me a lot of trouble.

What is your favorite meditation?
Clarity of mind meditation, which has you meditate on the nature of the mind itself. I’m starting to understand that my true self simply appreciates and enjoys everyone and everything that happens—it has no worries and no preferences. It’s super fun and freeing to identify with that aspect of my nature.



LISA

How long have you been meditating for?
I have been meditating since 2005.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
The reason that I meditate is that it keeps my mind peaceful and also helps me to make better decisions about the way I live. 

What is your favorite meditation?
I like to meditate on happiness and karma.


CAPRICE

How long have you been meditating for?
I’ve attempted meditation several times but never developed a practice until I came to the center. I’ve been diligently practicing for a over a year. 

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
I started meditation to get through a difficult life change and wanted to find some clarity; since then it has helped me tremendously with my anxiety and insomnia. I’ve been able to find more peace of mind and how to deal with difficult situations. 

What is your favorite meditation?
I have two, I enjoy the clarity of mind and meditating on death - a reminder that life is precious and we need to make the most out of being happy.


ADRIANA

How long have you been meditating for?
I started coming to class at the Center almost 5 years ago! But I didn't start meditating outside of class for a while. I loved everything about the classes and attended very regularly, but then I would get totally distracted during the week by my job. Then I attended a day-course in meditation that gave me practical tips and I learned that you have to meditate on your own and try, at lease every day, if you want to make any spiritual progress. So I've been steady ever since. Even if I take two minutes to breath and clear my mind on the train, it is better than nothing at all.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
I meditate because really, let's be honest, there's nothing better for you and for all the people you encounter.

What is your favorite meditation?
My favorite meditation is black and white breathing. You can do it any time, anywhere and all day long! Simply imagine that when you're exhaling, all your problems, anxieties, negative feelings and thoughts exit your body like a cloud of black smoke that disappears. Do that for a little while. Then imagine that when you inhale, a clear, pure light of bliss and wisdom in entering your nostrils and filling your body. It's better than a Caribbean vacation. 


MARIA

How long have you been meditating for?
I've known about mediation since my teens, but never practiced regularly, nor on my own. I found VMC a little over two years ago and my husband followed shortly after. After a year of regular classes, he and I decided to practice daily at home. We're not perfect, but it's been immensely helpful still. 

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
It allows me to face life with a little more ease and grace. It gives me a little mental "toolkit" to help with anything from minor irritations to serious problems. In my relationship with my husband, it's brought us infinitely closer and taught us both to be more patient and kind to each other. 

What is your favorite meditation?
That changes all the time. That's what I love about studying here: I've learned so many meditations that I can pick one that best suits my daily mood or circumstances. I do always include some meditation on compassion – you can never have enough and it's a beautiful start to the day to fill my mind with love and kindness.


CAITLIN

How long have you been meditating for?
I've been "meditating" on and off since I was fifteen, but I've been coming to the center for about a year and a half. To be honest, my meditation practice is still patchy, but even that has made a huge difference. 

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
Meditation is like taking your own good advice. It helps keep me more grounded and gives me a little extra room to find the ease in my life. The best side effect is definitely the increasing sense of compassion and community. 

What is your favorite meditation?
Clarity of Mind. It's so breezy in there!


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MELANIE

How long have you been meditating for?
I’ve been meditating on and off for about 13 years, but decided to really commit to it when I found Vajradhara Meditation Center about 3 years ago. 

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
I started meditating when I moved to Brooklyn. I was very anxious and having difficulty sleeping, so I turned to meditation to try to quiet my mind. Meditation gives me the opportunity to observe what goes on in my mind, and has taught me that I have a choice about where I allow my thoughts to lead me. 

What is your favorite meditation?
I love meditating on the clarity of the mind. Just observing that space and realizing the boundlessness is so freeing.


ASHLEY

How long have you been meditating for?
I have been meditating off and on for about 12 years, though I still have a hard time committing to a consistent daily practice.  I went on my first 10-day silent retreat about 10 years ago and discovered what a joy life could be when I moved outside the realm of my own worries and plans. I joined the center a few months ago and feel I have finally found a Sanga that makes me feel at home.

Why do you meditate? What is meditation bringing to you?
I meditate because when I do so what I care about most and the person I want to be in this lifetime becomes a little more clear. I also feel that mediating and the Dharma of Buddhism put me in touch with a wisdom and sense of potential that give my life a deeper meaning. 

What is your favorite meditation?
I was recently introduced to belly breathing that involves breathing from below your belly button and imagining a balloon inflating and deflating. It is a very effective way to calm oneself down.