You are fundamentally good. This was the basic message and purpose of the Shambhala meditation I attended. A group of 25 of us sat on comfy meditation pads and cushions, listened to our breath, and felt relaxed and at peace in the moments in which our minds could be still and quiet. This practice of getting in touch with the ‘goodness’ in yourself is precisely what founder Kelly Smith set out to accomplish when she opened The Center of Living Peace four years ago: “We strive to promote inner peace and help people make ‘good happen’ within their community.”
The leader of the meditation noted that the nature and pace of our culture takes us away from this sense of well-being. This relationship, the inner goodness that is our core as human beings, and the swirling, chaotic world that surrounds us and takes over our mind is much like The Center: a calm, peaceful environment, surrounded by the hurried nature of the shopping and eating complex in which it is located. As you walk into the center, your breath and body naturally relax as you soak up the beautiful sights and energy of the space, including beautiful artifacts, prayer jars, and a library where adults and children alike can read uplifting books and relax.
As the meditation class continued, we practiced walking meditation, a contemplation, and a brief discussion. To feel the openness of the people, and to hear them discuss their process made it clear that The Center for Living Peace is a place of community and connection; where one can grow as an individual, with the support of a group. As I gathered my things and wondered around the space, I was reminded that, not only do I feel peace, but at my core I AM peace, and for that I was thankful.
The Center for Living Peace is founded on the notion that “Good begets good.” They espouse the idea that one simple act of kindness can inspire another person to “pay it forward,” spreading a stronger sense of spirit and community. Each of the center’s offerings adhere to the four ‘Program Pillars:’ 1) Inner Work and Development, 2) Peace Making and Effective Communication, 3) Safeguarding the Environment, and 4) Arts and Culture. Over 80 classes per week are offered: everything from Tai Chi and Qi’gong to communication and conscious parenting classes. www.goodhappens.org