I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published September 6th 2013
A brief moment of time for a reward of happiness
It's quite surprising that amidst the hustle and bustle of Newtown lies a sanctuary where anyone can drop in to free their mind, meditate, savour what life has brought, what the future would bring, or simply just enjoy the moment.
Where is it? You ask ….
It's at Sydney Buddhist Centre which is conveniently located virtually opposite Newtown train station. Upon crossing the set of lights, a very busy coffee shop is at the cross road, turn left and there is an an African Hair Salon with ladies queuing up to spend a few hours of a wonderful sunny day to have their hair braided
Cross another set of lights, and you'll be greeted with the scenery of an upbeat market. The stalls sell everything of anything. I found books by Eckhart Tolle that I had to book weeks in advance at the Library. Crystal glasses, candles, teddy bears, dolls, and more bric-a-brac that will entice you to browse for ages. But don't get distracted.
As I opened the door, I was greeted with the statue of a golden Buddha. Immediately, I felt the calmness of the surroundings before me. I have left a different world, the bohemian Newtown lifestyle that is so popular amongst tourist and locals alike.
A friendly face said hello, introduced himself with his Buddhist name and explained where the amenities are; coffee, tea and biscuits are provided as well as an area where you can leave your footwear. Pillows and blankets are also provided for your comfort while your meditating. The place is very quiet considering it's on a busy road. At the back is a massive room where the shrine of Buddha, surrounded by offerings is located; a smell of incense enveloped the air. The place feels so holy, that you're compelled to talk in whisper, but also felt comfortable and serene.
Now here I am, surrounded by people that I have never met before, but gathered together in this place with a common goal. Happiness and contentment. The guided meditation went for an hour, so if you have not done it before, an hour will seem to last forever. But by saying that, its all worth it.
There are regular morning and lunch time meditations. Saturday Unled practice 9:00 AM 10:00 AM Saturday Beginners' led practice 10:20 AM 11:30 AM
Tuesday Beginners' led practice 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
Wednesday Unled practice 10:30 AM 11:30 AM
Beginners' Led Practice: The beginners' unled practice sessions require no prior experience, and someone is there to guide you.
Unled Practice: there are regular attendees at this session. Most of them arrive as a group with friends and family to meditate together. There is no instruction, so it is important that you have already learned meditation.
It's free to drop in at the centre, but donation is humbly accepted. This place is run by volunteers, therefore generosity would go a long way. Think of your kind gesture as a small contribution to those that guide us to the path of enlightenment.
Sydney Buddhist Centre also offers courses, and organises meditation retreats. For more information for cost and timetable, please log on to www.sydneybuddhistcentre.org.au
I have attended a few sessions in the last few months, but today when I left this holy place, I was taken aback by the heat that simmered on my skin. I felt a tingling sensation, almost like walking on air; then I realised the contentment that embodied my being stemmed from the hour spent meditating. A happiness that I can't truly explain, but I know that my spirit had been touched and life is for living and giving.