Dharmachakra Buddhist Center in the Millburn Village Mall, 2933 Vauxhall Road in Vauxhall, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 6. There will be a special event at the center, called an Empowerment of Buddha Maitreya, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a Gala event 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Woodland in Maplewood Village.
“This blessing ceremony helps us connect with our own potential to become more loving, kind and compassionate toward everyone,” says Resident Teacher Kadam Peter Kurczynski of the empowerment.
At a time when meditation is becoming mainstream in American life, Dharmachakra has been providing a place in northern New Jersey for Buddhist practice for the past decade. Some classes are conducted in Glen Ridge.
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As noted in the New York Times, the New Republic, Huffington Post and other media outlets, meditation and mindfulness, in particular, has become more and more popular in recent years. Many corporations, including Aetna, Google and Apple and even Proctor & Gamble, Deutsche Bank and Prentice Hall Publishing as well as other mainstream companies, encourage and support their employees in meditation practice in the workplace. Meditation is seen as a way of helping employees lower stress, increase their mental focus and thereby increase productivity.
In his just released book “Mindful Work” NY Times reporter David Gelles writes about how meditation can help create a happier and more productive workplace.
In 2014, dubbed the Year of Mindfulness by Time magazine, since the ancient Buddhist practice appeared to be expanding everywhere, ABC television co-anchor Dan Harris authored “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self Help That Actually Works - a True Story,” a book in which he discusses how Buddhist meditation changed his life after he suffered an on-air panic attack.
Similarly, Aetna Chief Executive Officer Mark T. Bertolini now offers yoga and meditation classes to Aetna employees after he discovered the benefits of meditation following his own near-fatal accident. Bertolini now promotes meditation as a way to improve life.
Dharmachakra Buddhist Center (DBC) offers access to meditation classes in the Vauxhall center and other locations in New Jersey.
The center, previously located in Maplewood, was founded in 2005 by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, an internationally renowned Buddhist master, at the request of a local community of meditators who had been practicing since 2002. The center has been featured in the NY Times and the Newark-based Star-Ledger and has offered meditation classes to the general public at its own venue, branches and various community adult schools throughout northern and central New Jersey.
The resident teacher, Peter Kurczynski, is a scientist who left his career at Bell Labs in 2005 to teach Buddhism. He was given the title Kadam, or senior lay teacher, in 2013, after many years of study and practice.
Tickets to both the empowerment and the gala in celebration of DBC’s 10th anniversary can be purchased online through meditatenj.org