At the end of one of the hardest weeks of her life, Debbie Phillips found a few minutes of much-needed peace at Kadampa Meditation Center Texas.Phillips, of North Richland Hills, had lost her mother a few days earlier. Seeking comfort and answers, she was among a stream of visitors during an open house Saturday afternoon.“I feel so much better now,” she whispered to her friend Terry Normand of Fort Worth after participating in a short guided meditation.The temple, which sits a few long Tony Romo passes west of Cowboys Stadium, serves as a visitor center, bookstore and gift shop, in addition to offering classes. Its beautiful Buddhist statues symbolize some of the key aspects of the New Kadampa Tradition, which was founded primarily by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, whose translated teachings are available for purchase.Buddhism can be whatever a practitioner wants, said Kelsang Chogo, the center’s administrative director.“Some see it as a spiritual path,” she said. “Some see it as a way of life. Some see it as a religion. Some see it as all three.”Having the open house was a chance to invite the community inside the temple for a nonthreatening peek at what is offered, she said.The temple’s resident teacher is Gen Kelsang Jampa, an American Buddhist monk who also serves as national spiritual director for the New Kadampa Tradition. Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong is the spiritual director of the tradition and a Buddhist nun.The Arlington temple was renovated under Geshe Kelsang’s guidance and “is part of an international spiritual community dedicated to achieving world peace through following the Buddhist path,” according to its website.Visitors are welcome to drop by and take a tour on Mondays and Tuesdays, Chogo said. Classes are offered Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, as well as during the lunch hour on Mondays and Wednesdays.“We average 60 to 75 on Sundays,” she said. “They aren’t always the same people, of course. On Wednesday evenings we usually have 30 to 35.”Phillips said she lived with and cared for her mother, whom she described as “my best friend.”Not only was she dealing with grief but also uncertainty about whether there is life after death, and if so, what its nature is.The few minutes of meditation, she said, at least momentarily lifted much of the burden from her.“It’s the first time since she died that I’ve felt like myself,” Phillips said. “That’s what she would want me to do.”
A closer look
Kadampa Meditation Center Texas
• 609 Truman St.
• 817-303-2700 or firstname.lastname@example.org