enlightenment

Practical Enlightenment: Modern Buddhism at Kadampa Meditation Center

“Anything you do can be incorporated because it depends on the mind in which you do something, so you can always have a peaceful, loving, enjoyable, heart centered feeling at work, with friends, with family; especially when things are stressful. It’s a practical practice. It’s not just about sitting formally.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

On the Northside of Williamsburg, inside one of the many new towers that have arisen, sits Kadampa Meditation Center — a cozy, peaceful space with bright walls, golden Buddhas and very chill teachers. In this busy town, coming back to ourselves for simple, quiet reflection is increasingly difficult. Even in this space of North Brooklyn that boasts apothecaries, yoga studios, and new age classes, we can struggle to find that which we are all searching for: Peace and Happiness.

Enter Joe Giacona, a volunteer and Teacher, who’s been helping run the Kadampa Meditation Center of Williamsburg for years by setting up in various yoga studios throughout Greenpoint. (It’s only recently this branch of the New Kadampa Tradition found a permanent home at 119 North 11th Street between Bedford & Berry). This self proclaimed “goof” exudes a sense of serene happiness. As he talks about meditating on love and compassion in simple routine times like your daily commute, you realize that steps towards enlightenment aren’t nearly as stressful as they’re made out to be.

“Meditating on Love is just recognizing somebody wants to be happy … and you have the same the wish … If people could just meditate on that alone, the world’s problems would just cease. You’d recognize we are all in it for the same thing. We’re not on these different sides; getting stuck and entrenched in our views, thinking you’re right and they’re wrong. No, we all just want to be happy.” — Joe Giacona, Meditation Teacher at KMC Williamsburg Branch

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