Union County News

Fanwood's Dhammakaya Meditation Center Aims for World Peace Through Inner Peace

Klint leads a meditation center. Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Dhammakaya International Meditation Center Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Luangpi Klint (front) and Luangpi Choo (second from front) lead a walking meditation in the center's garden at a special event Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center
Luangpi Klint (front) and Luangpi Choo (second from front) lead a walking meditation in the center's garden at a special event. Credits: Photos courtesy of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center

FANWOOD, NJ —  It's Saturday afternoon at the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center in Fanwood. People from all backgrounds are gathered together to meditate. Towards the end of the meditation, Venerable Klint Kaevalin, the monk leading the group, articulates slowly in a calm, soothing voice: "Now, let us begin spreading loving kindness. Spreading loving kindness is like spreading out your heart, sending out good intentions to all beings."

This is just one part of the meditation sessions, which are held almost every Saturday and Tuesday. The center has been offering the free non-religious English meditations to the public since 2003. The center's motto is "World Peace through Inner Peace," explainED Kaevalin. He has been leading meditations at the center since 2010, and is known to most as Luangpi Klint. (Luangpi is the title of respect for monks.)

"When you're calm and peaceful, that feeling, it emanates out of you, it radiates out of you, like a bright candle," said Kaevalin. "Each of us are like that one candle. We have light. We're not that bright by ourselves. But when we share that candle light with others, we want to brighten the whole world one person at a time. When you have that inner peace, it spreads to people that are close to you." 

Sign Up for E-News

He says in this way we have the potential to go from inner peace, to family peace, to community peace, to world peace.

DIMC is affiliated with the larger main Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani, Thailand, which has been in existence for over 40 years. Decades ago in Thailand, the original head monk had the the dying wish to spread the teaching of meditation throughout the world, in order to increase peace. Dhammakaya Temple now has branches in every continent, and has ten branches in the U.S. The Fanwood center is home to seven monks and eight women staff, most of whom are originally from Thailand.

The meditation sessions begin with guided relaxation of the body, starting from the top of one's head and gradually going down to the tips of the toes. Once one is relaxed, the next step in meditation is consciousness or focus. Of this stage, Kaevalin remarks,"You're relaxed, you're calm, then it's easy to really see what's going on in your mind. You get to really observe yourself." You can be relaxed and alert at the same time, he added.

To aid in the focus, some may choose to close their eyes and visualize an object floating in their abdomen, such as a full moon, the sun, or a bright star. This is followed by a time of silence. Then, participants use the insight and peace they have gained from meditation, to spread loving kindness, to all the people they know, and to all the people they don't know. At the end, as a group, those interested can share their meditation experience and ask questions of the teaching monk.

In Western culture, "The good thing is we have a very good way of thinking, thinking in a process," said Kaevalin. "The problem is we've only been taught how to keep thinking, but not how to stop thinking. So this becomes stress: over-thinking."

Meditation helps us "get back to calm," he said. "It's something the world in general needs right now. To be able to clear their mind, and then work, instead of stress, stress, and then trying to get work done. It (the latter) just adds to the the stress."

Having a stable and calm mind, Kaevalin said, enables you to see how to live with others. A stable mind helps with cohesion, he said. "You start to see all the similarities (among people) and then it usually brings people together."

Kritthinan Sriwiriyasangworn, better known as Kris, one of the staff members at the center, concured. 

When people have a still mind they will be more considerate of their actions," she said. In this way, she said, mediation can prevent conflict. "People will be able to live together with more harmony just by letting everyone meditate" or be mindful, in their own way, she explained. Her work at the center makes her happy "because it helps other people find the happiness in themselves".   

Meditations are held Tuesday evenings, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., except there will be no meditation Aug. 19. The first half hour on Saturdays consists of gentle and relaxing stretching exercises, while the first 20 minutes on Tuesdays features chanting, in which attendees may choose to listen or chant along. In addition, meditations geared especially to kids and teens, respectively, are offered once or twice a month on Saturdays. 

Meditation is free, and there is a donation box on premises for those who wish to donate. Those meditating use the center's chairs or mats, choosing whichever is most comfortable for them. No RSVP is necessary, and participants can attend as many or as few sessions as they would like. There is also a meditation garden, with benches, located in the rear of the property which is open to the public seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When Wanchalerm Lamyaipongsatorn, better known as Luangpi Choo, leads meditation, he tells the participants, "This is a great time for your life, to be with yourself." He explained that whenever you meditate, "that will be the best time of your life."

"We know that our daily lives are not quite peaceful, because we are dealing with many things in our lives," stated Lamyaipongsatorn. "We have work, we have problems, and mostly we spend our time with those things. You don't even think about the peace inside your mind when you are doing something else". In these cases, when you are preoccupied, you are thinking of things "outside your mind," he observed. In contrast, when one meditates, one is present inside one's mind, one is with the center of their mind, he says. Thus, meditation is a way of "keeping awareness with yourself."

Lamyaipongsatorn said the peace gained from meditation can help people adapt themselves to any place or situation.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, there will be a candle lighting ceremony for world peace outside in the mediation garden beginning at 7 p.m.  As with all of the center's activities, all are invited.  
The meditation center is located at 257 Midway Avenue in Fanwood. The staff can be reached during business hours weekdays at (908) 322-4187   Visit their websites www.meditationnewjersey.net and www.facebook.com/dimc.NewJersey.en/

Kaevalin summed up DIMC's essential goal: "When everyone has inner peace, that's when we can truly have world peace."




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Dozens of Dogs Rescued from Squalor in Roselle, According to Authorities

June 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ — A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, June 19

June 20, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Good evening everyone! It’s been another busy two weeks with lots of great stuff happening. These past two weeks were particularly fun because I spent lots of time with lots of kids:

-I met with Franklin third graders in Mindowaskin Park as part of their day-long ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...


Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Westfield Police Blotter: Tires Slashed on Scotch Plains Ave & More

June 13, 2018

June 6, 2018 3:05 p.m.

A resident of the 200 block of sunset avenue reports being the victim of a fraud. Unknown actor(s) utilized victims credit card to purchase an appliance valued at $1,000.00. Victim did not sustain any monetary loss during this incident. 

June 6, 2018 6:50 a.m.

A resident of the 100 block of Scotch Plains Avenue reports being the victim of a criminal mischief.

State Farm Lowers Auto Rates in New Jersey

June 20, 2018

State Farm Indemnity Company will cut its rates in New Jersey. As a result, its overall personal auto rate will drop by up to 2.7%. The total state-wide expected impact for State Farm Indemnity Company by this rate decrease in New Jersey will be approximately $15.5 million.


“State Farm Indemnity Company always looks to create long-term value for its customers with the products ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*


TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more