Since you may be new to meditation or Buddhism before you attend your first class at KMC Chicago, here are some common questions we've heard from those coming to the center for the first time. If you still have a question after reading the FAQ's below, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Do I have to be a Buddhist to benefit from meditation?
No. Anyone can learn basic meditation and experience the benefits. Buddhism is a non-evangelical religion. Buddhists respect all people and are happy to help anyone regardless of whether they subscribe to another faith, or to none.
Do I need to have experience in meditation or Buddhism to attend the classes?
No. All you need is the wish to improve yourself and the quality of your life.
Do I need to sit on the floor?
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!
Is there any physical exercise involved?
No. There is no physical activity or movement involved in our classes.
Do I need to register for the General Program courses?
No. You need not register for any of our drop-in/General Program (GP) classes, and you can come to as many or as few classes as you like; there is no attendance commitment for GP classes. Registration is only required for our In-Depth Study Programs, and for some Special Events. When registration is required for such events/special courses, it will be noted on the website.
What do I need to bring to class?
If you wish to take notes, please bring a pen and notepad.
Is there a dress code?
Dress is casual so you can wear whatever you like.
What relevance does Buddhism have for our modern day lives?
Although Buddhism first appeared in India over two and a half thousand years ago, it has a timeless and universal relevance. As our founder Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in his latest book, "Meditation is a scientific method to transform human nature from bad to good. Everybody needs to be good-natured with a good heart. Having these is the real method to solve our own inner problems – problems of ignorance, depression, anger, and so forth – and also the real method to benefit others practically."
What is the New Kadampa Tradition?
The New Kadampa Tradition is a global network of 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.