July 25, 2015 was a very auspicious day.
That day, I arrived at Garrison Institute for a lamrim retreat with a group I had never met: Shantideva Meditation Center. I knew nothing about them. I had previously gone to teachings on A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, so the name of its author, Shantideva, was already awe-inspiring. Also awe-inspiring was meeting Venerable Amy Miller, the retreat leader. Her gentleness, openness, endearing presence, and practical approach to sharing the Dharma won my heart.
A month later, Lama Zopa Rinpoche would open the door to liberation at Tibet House, hosted by Shantideva Meditation Center … I knew I had to be there. Feeling the compassion and love flowing in the room, I realized that I had found the right spiritual community and started to attend as many teachings as my schedule allowed, trying not to miss any retreats. Thanks to the teachings I received from Venerable Amy and so many other compassionate teachers, maintaining a happy mind became easier for me.
I was deeply struck by the commitment of all the wonderful individuals involved in making the center work. Because the center didn’t have a base, teachings were held in different spaces throughout the city, which resulted in logistical hardship for the volunteers.
The seed of an idea took root: the center needed a home and I could help! I would help by creating a space where meditation, Dharma studies, and yoga would be offered and practiced together. It would be a space where everyone could cultivate happiness, health, and peace!
So we started this beautiful journey together and very soon our wonderful Dharma community will have its own home for the benefit of all.
The center has made my life a joyful and meaningful one, surrounded by wonderful teachers and practitioners. It certainly deserves my support. It also deserves yours.
French born, Brazilian grown and now a Brooklynite, Georges has been involved with Shantideva Meditation Center since 2015. He is looking forward to bringing his love of yoga to the community.