Meditation helps quiet the noise in our minds. It should be something that can just come to us, but often due to brain chemistry or soul-crushing stress, it isn’t. Yoga and meditation go together. You can meditate without yoga of course, but often you won’t be doing yoga (correctly) without some form of meditation.
Amitayus Kadampa Buddhist Temple
1102 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Located in the Washington Square area, Amitayus Kadampa Buddhist Temple teaches Buddhist practices, offers free meditation and is described as a relaxing, supportive and beautiful place. You can be guided in your meditation, take group classes or just drop in. This center is non-profit and a member of the New Kadampa tradition. Its purpose is to provide a place and resources for those seeking the path to enlightenment with the belief that meditation provides inner peace by quieting our minds to rise to life’s challenges. Numerous events are available throughout the year, along with a variety of classes. Some are even free. Classes are on Sunday mornings and Monday and Thursday evenings.
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1611 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Dhyana Yoga is described as a friendly place. There are tons of class packages available, such as unlimited use for three weeks for $30. This center is set up to allow you to meditate but is also for those who like power yoga and other elements used to strengthen your core muscles, sweat and prefect your poses. This center is suitable for those who want or need to be challenged. It offers workshops and international retreats. This September, Dhyana Yoga is headed to Italy and in 2015 Galapagos in Ecuador. Dhyana Yoga has three other locations in Old City, Spring Garden and in Haddonfield, NJ.
Sankhya Yoga School & Wellness Center
700 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
One of the favorite elements of Sankhya Yoga School & Wellness Center, according to customers, is the open and spiritual feel of the center and its absence of mirrors. Sometimes, staring at yourself while trying to meditate can be distracting at best and intimidating at worst. This warehouse setting has huge windows overlooking a courtyard of trees, so you will forget you are in the city. Sankhya Yoga offers a guided meditation class for those who have yet to try meditation. This wellness center also has numerous other mind and body classes available to enhance your experience, such as nutritional classes. This will be an asset to those interested in detoxing and purifying their insides. If you have ever considered going vegan, this may be the place to learn more about it. Ten yoga classes are $70.
Shambhala Meditation Center
2030 Samson St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Shambhala Meditation Center is a very spiritual place that doesn’t demand anyone set aside their own religion or personal beliefs. It is a place where you can learn as much as you wish about Buddhism without pressure. Everything here is based around the principle that the natural state of the mind is calm, and this is exactly what you will achieve by being here. You can take a wide variety of classes or workshops from the center to suit your needs. This center is great for people who have no experience meditating, or for those who are well acquainted with their own dharma. Instructors here are described as friendly, supportive and non-judgmental.
The Zen Center
4904 Cedar Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
The Zen Center is something a little different. Here, there’s no yoga necessary. Participants can meet on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. On Sundays, there are three separate features of the class: meditation time (referred to as Zazen), Zen talk and private interviews with instructor Dokusan. This makes the mediation personally therapeutic. You can pay membership dues of $20 a month, but The Zen Center also has other options for those who are unable to commit to that amount monthly. The Zen Center’s philosophy focuses on sitting, stillness and chanting ideal “for ordinary people who wish to learn meditation in the midst of their everyday lives.”
Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.