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Buddhist meditation class provides sanctuary

Buddhist meditation class provides sanctuary

Kadampa Buddhist teacher Jenny Streit-Horn hosted a discussion about karma on November 18 at the Seven Mile Café. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

Buddhist meditation class provides sanctuary
November 30
21:51 2015

Nikki Lyssy | Staff Writer

@Blindnikkii

The subtle hum of a humidifier positioned in the center of a small room is all that can be heard. The lights are dim, and not even the soft noise breaks the spell that seems to have fallen like a blanket over the space.

Jenny Streit-Horn begins the first part of her weekly meditation class with a guided breathing exercise.

“Breathe out all of the stress and worry you have, and relax,” she said.

As the three students surrounding her collectively breathe, it is clear Streit-Horn is the leader of the group. The students continue to meditate for the next five minutes.

A portrait of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Modern Kadampa Buddhism teacher, is placed on the table whenever Jenny Streit-Horn teaches classes. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

A portrait of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Modern Kadampa Buddhism teacher, is placed on the table whenever Jenny Streit-Horn teaches classes. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

This was the group’s final Wednesday night class at Seven Mile Café, where they have been meeting for over 10 years. Streit-Horn started teaching meditation classes there nine years ago.

“The location that we had only allowed us to have class once a week,” administrative director Kelsang Chogo said. “We wanted to be able to have classes more than that.”

Streit-Horn said there are a variety of benefits to practicing meditation.

“There are certainly physical benefits in helping with the lowering of blood pressure and health issues,” Streit-Horn said. “The primary benefits from the Buddhist perspective are being able to permanently liberate ourselves and others from suffering. There’s certainly mental peace along the way as well.”

Streit-Horn, who grew up Catholic, began studying the Buddhist religion in her 20s.

She became involved with the meditation classes after seeing a flyer in a now-defunct coffee shop in Denton. She said she was searching for some peace of mind after taking her qualifying exams and anticipating the results.

“I studied it in a world religions class in my undergrad and have been interested in Buddhism ever since then,” Streit-Horn said.

Kadampa Buddhist teacher Jenny Streit-Horn demonstrates meditation and breathing excercises, which are a central part of the religious practice. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

Kadampa Buddhist teacher Jenny Streit-Horn demonstrates meditation and breathing excercises, which are a central part of the religious practice. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer

She also felt drawn to the religion.

“It made more sense to me,” Streit-Horn said. “It fit better, and I feel like I was able to practice it better. I’ve been very religious my whole life, even when I was Catholic.”

Streit-Horn’s family was very involved in the Roman Catholic Church. Her father was a deacon, and her mother was an active member. But when she chose to practice Buddhism, she said her parents were supportive.

“It’s something that has really stuck,” Streit-Horn said. “It’s not just a phase. I think they see it as something that’s really been beneficial for me.”

Despite the site change, classes are still going on from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday nights. They will resume Dec. 2 in the new location, 210 South Elm St., Suite 105. . The fee to participate is $10, but students pay $5.

Featured Image: Kadampa Buddhist teacher Jenny Streit-Horn hosted a discussion about karma on Nov. 18 at the Seven Mile Café. Ranjani Groth | Staff Photographer 

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1 Comment

  1. CHANTICLEER
    CHANTICLEER January 23, 18:35

    Maybe I misunderstood something. Is it a class where there’s teaching or is it meditation or both… if it’s just meditation it would be a shame to charge people money.. believe it or not even $5 is too much to some people ; especially if they have to drive 25 or mile 30 miles round-trip just so they can meditate with other Buddhist practitioners rather than do it alone at home .

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