Parbawatiya Buddhist Center opens new temple at Safety Harbor

By Emily Rieman, St Peresburg Times, June 28, 2008

SAFETY HARBOR, FL (USA) -- The week is long, the weekend too short, and people are always looking for ways to rid themselves of stress. For more than a decade, the Parbawatiya Buddhist Center has offered a solution.

The center will share its space with interested newcomers Sunday at the grand opening of its new temple.

Meditation can help a lot, said France Roy, center education director.

"Most people come for stress relief or the health benefits," Roy said. "We teach them to get positive states of mind, to improve their relationships."

Sunday's grand opening will feature a lecture by resident teacher Gen Kelsang Demo, who will explain how meditation leads to inner peace through working the mind. A guided tour of the meditation room will follow. Refreshments will be served.

The Parbawatiya (pronounced Par-bah-wah-TEE-ya) Buddhist Center holds introductory classes on Thursdays and Sundays. Sunday's gatherings are focused primarily on meditation and prayers for world peace. Recent meditations have centered on compassion, wisdom and cherishing others.

The new center is not the only Parbawatiya site in the area. Seven others have spread throughout the Tampa Bay region.

Introductory classes are open to anyone interested and usually begin with a guided breathing meditation followed by a lesson on a particular topic, such as loving kindness. The leader then guides a shorter meditation to help participants focus their thoughts on that night's subject.

The center's Web site lists many advantages to meditation, including stress relief, better relationships and even improvement of physical health. Visit for more information.

If You Go

Parbawatiya Buddhist Center
Grand grand opening is scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at 201 6th Ave. S, Safety Harbor