I’ve been in the U.S. for the past three weeks dealing with very frustrating South African visa problems. I’ve been ridiculously stressed. Then yesterday, in the middle of my most recent meltdown, I remembered my recent visit to the Lam Rim Buddhist Centre and instantly felt calmer.
The Lam Rim Buddhist Centre is in Fietas (also known as Vrededorp) — a historically non-white suburb in Joburg that experienced forced removals and virtual destruction during apartheid. The building used to be an Afrikaans Dutch Reformed church.
It’s not a place where one would expect to find an octagonal-shaped shrine to Buddha painted in every color of the rainbow. But there it is.
This is a rough neighborhood and the centre backs up to an informal settlement. But it’s so peaceful there, inside and out. The garden is simple but pretty and there’s a little koppie, or hill, behind the building where the residents of the centre go to have tea.
Marie-Lais and I visited on a Thursday evening and met Shayna, who lives at the centre, and Neil, who leads meditation classes there each Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
I mostly took photos but tried to meditate a little between shots. I’d like to go back soon to learn about meditation for real. I think I need it.
This is all I have time to say about the Buddhist Centre because I’m getting on a plane back to Joburg.
And speaking of which, my book is published! If you live in Joburg, please come to the launch of The 2Summers #Gauteng52 Challenge this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at Bridge Books in Maboneng. See you soon.