Tibetan Native and Buddhist Monk, Geshe Sonam lives at the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Louisville, Kentucky. He decided he wanted to be a monk as a young child in Tibet. In 1997, after years of training and schooling, he received a blessing from his holiness, the Dalai Lama.
At The Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion, the monks are working towards, “An enlightened, peaceful community transformed through the wisdom and compassion of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.”
Geshe Sonam, along with fellow monks, teaches weekly meditations consisting of intervals of silence and chants sung in Tibetan language. It is customary to remove one’s shoes at the door and quietly sit in the chairs or Zafu cushions on the floor. Though this Dharma center is a non-profit organization, they accept donations for the cause. People from all walks of life attend regularly to clear their minds and hearts in this welcoming space. Many of the people who attend do not belong to the Buddhist religion. After meditation, the atmosphere in the center remains calm. It is welcomed to stay after, have a cup of tea and converse with the Monks, or even stay meditating by yourself in the shrine room.
The shrine room is where the meditations are held, and it was created in a Tibetan style that dates back many centuries. It is quite vividly colored and gives one a lot to view while inside its walls.
The calming practice of mediation is proven to relieve stress and anxiety- while also benefiting one’s emotional health and ability to focus and concentrate.
The Drepung Gomang Center for Engaging Compassion:
Eden Smith, Sweet Spade
Photos: Taken by me, Nikon D3300