Find peace, meditate at Buddhist Center

by Tamara H. Sone,, Jun. 3, 2011

Palm Springs, California (USA) -- For Coachella Valley residents seeking an outlet for stress and negativity, the Dharmachakra Buddhist Center in Palm Springs tries to provide what's needed to help their bodies and minds find inner peace.

The center, open for two years in the Plaza de Las Palmas office building at 1301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, offers a variety of meditation classes, prayer services, retreats and weekend workshops.

“The classes teach meditation techniques and basic Buddhist philosophies designed to help people live happier lives,” center teacher Ray Potter said.

Buddhism was founded by Buddha Shakyamuni, who lived and taught in India more than 2,500 years ago, according to the center's website.

Buddha taught methods on how to overcome negative states of mind such as anger, jealousy and depression while enforcing positive aspects such as love, understanding and compassion.

The center's format for classes is more of a spiritual nature than a religious one.

“We invite people from all religions to attend. We don't tell them they have to become a Buddhist,” Potter said.

“The effect of the class is therapeutic. We try to offer useful insights that they can choose to use or not use in their life,” he added.

Some who attend center classes often have experienced a traumatic event and are looking for a way to de-stress their mind and life.

The center now serves about 75 students a week between classes and prayer services.

Palm Springs resident Joanie Clark, 51, believes the meditation and Buddha's teachings have had a positive impact on her life.

“I got into Buddhism when I divorced my husband after 27 years of marriage,” Clark said.

“The methods helped me to get a balance on my life. I really enjoy it. I don't feel that it interferes with my personal religion, which is Baptist.”

Classes are offered in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and Bermuda Dunes.

The center will take a short summer break beginning July 24 through August 9. Classes will resume in mid-August.

If you go

What: The Dharmachakra Buddhist Center, Plaza de Las Palmas, 1301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 208

When: Classes are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Class times and locations vary.

Price: ranges from free to $10

Information: or (800) 988-3396