New Buddhist Meditation Center Opens In Nashville, March 17, 2007

Nashville, TYN (USA) -- There has been a Buddhist temple in Nashville since 1981 and since then, the number of practicing Buddhists has grown dramatically. In turn, the Buddhist temple has opened a new center for meditation.

In a small house off Murfreesboro Road in south Nashville, dozens of immigrants and Asian Americans from the nation formerly known as Burma, meet several times each week, seeking peace.

Meditation is one of the key practices in Buddhism.  It is not meant for relaxation but as a way to attain perfect sanity and awareness.

It is believed that Gautama Buddha, the founder of the religion, attained enlightenment after years of meditation, self denial and contemplation.

Followers, meditate several times each week following the path of their spiritual leader.

A Buddhist monk lives in the center and leads the meditation times.  He teaches novice Buddhists mantras, or chants and he also teaches about the noble truths of the faith, or how to end suffering.

Seated on cushions or on the floor, Buddhists meditate for 10 to 30 minutes.  They sit with legs crossed because it is disrespectfulto point one's feet toward the front of the temple.

Meditation is self-discipline.

Win Myint, 75, helped start Nashville's first Buddhist temple in 1981.  He believes meditation has helped him control his Parkinson’s disease; something he has lived with for 22 years.

He said, “The only thing I can give credit to is because of the fact I know how to meditate.”

“I have been able to contemplate my thinking, what I say as well as how the movement of my body is functioning.”

There are other Buddhist meditation centers around town, each attended by Buddhists of different ethnic backgrounds suchas Laotion, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Tibetan.

There are also many Americans who meet in a Zen Buddhist Center on Franklin Road.