The Buddhist Dharma Center of Cincinnati began in the mid 1980's as a handful of meditators sitting in one another's living rooms on an increasingly regular basis. After a time, we found a home above the Prasada Press, then located in Northside, a neighborhood that has been our home ever since. In 1992, we moved to the Off the Avenue Studios, where we stayed until spring of 2001, when we moved into our present location at 15 Moline Court, just off Hamilton Avenue, in a facility which was renovated specifically for our use. It includes a spacious, well-lit meditation hall, an adjacent room for tea and conversation, and a back library room. Here we meet several times a week.
Since its beginning, the focus of the center has undergone several shifts, but has always emphasized welcoming a broad range of people working within the various Buddhist traditions. Although various members of the center have done some study in the Tibetan traditions, the predominant forms of practice among us have been vipassana, zen, and meditative inquiry. The center has always been funded by individual donations.
Sitting quietly, each person practices within the tradition that is most heartfelt. There is both deep respect for the paths we and others are on, and a sense that we are all engaging the core or common denominator of Buddhist practice. Some of our members identify with no particular tradition and study with no teacher outside our center; others maintain links to teachers and styles of practice found elsewhere. No one seems to "represent" any particular school, and in discussions over tea, we find both genuine differences of approach and lots of common ground.
The services at our center are characterized by simplicity. Meditation is framed by a bow and the lighting of candle and incense. On Sundays, brief chanting begins and ends the service. Sittings run 20-35 minutes on Sundays and Tuesdays, punctuated by walking meditation. Sundays and Tuesdays have readings in the second sitting session. Instruction (or review), along with teaching or discussion is available Wednesdays. Month long classes are also offered four times a year.
Whether you are just beginning to explore meditation or have been practicing for years, you are welcome to join us in quiet sitting, in which. little by little, so much can be discovered and resolved.