What Happens In A Class
At the beginning of each class the teacher will guide a gentle, relaxing meditation in which he or she will help us to develop a beneficial motivation for attending the class.
Then the teacher will give a practical teaching on some aspect of Buddhist meditation and practice. There is usually time for discussion and questions and answers. The teachers have all trained on the Teacher Training Program and are skilled in helping us to apply Buddha’s advice to our own daily lives with appropriate analogies, stories, reasoning and humor.
The session ends with a guided meditation, designed to help us take the teaching to heart in such a way that we are confident in beginning to practice it on our own.
Afterwards, for those who wish, there is a chance to talk to the teacher and other students informally.
Gen Wangpo teaches the classes at KMC HTX. He has a warm presence and empowering style.
Outside of Class: Ongoing Practice
Having learned some methods for improving our mind, we can then continue to train in these meditations and special practices on our own. If we put these methods into practice we will experience our mind gradually becoming more peaceful, our problems diminishing, and our relationships improving.
Although the General Program classes are taught as a series, each class is self-contained, so feel free to attend any one. We frequently offer special introductory workshops, courses and retreats on the weekend at the Center.
As all General Program classes are based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s books, teachers will often reference a particular section of these books. This gives us the opportunity to deepen our familiarity with the topic by engaging in follow-up study.
Train in meditation at home.
Train in your daily life.
Do you have a question? Maybe the answer is here.
Q: Do I have to be Buddhist to attend?
A: No. Anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits that come from having a peaceful mind. Buddha’s teachings are presented in a way that is accessible to everyone; there is not any religious commitment required. Buddhists respect all people and are happy to help anyone regardless of whether they subscribe to another faith, or to none.
Q: Do I need any experience?
A: No. Everyone is welcome, including beginners. The classes are fully guided so all you need to do is show up.
Q: What is the cost of the class?
A: The cost is $12 for most General Program classes, $6 for lunchtime meditations. The costs for weekend classes varies depending on the event.
We also offer monthly memberships that allow unlimited access to to all General Program classes, which helps support the Center and the branches.
As a nonprofit organization, fees for classes are our only source of income.
Q: How should I dress?
A: No special clothing is required, just dress in a way that is comfortable for you. You might want a sweater or extra layer if you are sensitive to air conditioning.
Q: Is there any physical activity involved?
A: No. The classes focus on meditation and teachings alone. You can choose to sit on a chair or meditation cushion. Some people move between both option.
Q: Do I need to sit on the floor/cross-legged?
A: No. You are more than welcome to sit on a meditation cushion on the floor, but if you would prefer to sit on a chair have no fear, we have plenty of them!
Q: Do I need to wait for the next series to begin?
A: No, please feel free to drop in whenever you like. Attending the entire series of classes is highly beneficial, as each class builds on the next. However, each class is taught so that attending even just once will give you some experiences and wisdom that you can apply to your daily life.
Q: Do I need to bring anything to class?
A: If you wish to take notes, please bring a pen and notepad.
Q: What kind of Buddhism is practiced at KMC Houston?
A: KMC Houston is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), as such we emphasize mediation and modern Buddhism. NKT is a Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Just as Buddhists of other Traditions faithfully adopted the practices taught to them by the great Indian masters and adapted those to their own cultures, so Geshe Kelsang, the founder of the New Kadampa Tradition, encourages people from all ethnic backgrounds to adopt the wisdom and compassion of Buddha and put it into practice in a way that suits their particular culture in modern life.
Q: What is the New Kadampa Tradition?
A: The New Kadampa Tradition is a global network of Mahayana Buddhist Centers founded by meditation master, scholar and author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Classes are offered so that people from all backgrounds can learn about the timeless wisdom and compassion taught by Buddha and put it into practice in a way that suits their particular culture and needs.