Kagyu Shedrup Choling, a center for Tibetan Buddhism in El Portal, will host its fifth annual Spirit Miami event at 1 p.m., Feb. 13, at 60 NW 86th St.
Every year, the center reaches out to the community through Spirit Miami to not only celebrate the practice of Buddhism, but to also celebrate Tibetan food and activities. The event is free and open to the public, not just those who attend the center. This is the first year that the event will be held at the Kagyu Shedrup Choling Center.
Lama Karma Chotso, the resident teacher who coordinates the center’s programs, said the event is a great opportunity for the community to come together to enjoy different facets of Tibetan culture and spirituality.
The purpose of the event is to fundraise for the center’s year-round programs, which include yoga and meditation classes and lectures. During the event, there will be massages, yoga classes, a Tibetan shop, and traditional foods, such as momos and teas.
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Chotso also mentioned that most of the time only one or two family members practice Buddhism.
“One of the nice things about Spirit Miami is that it’s a time when [Buddhists] can bring their families and have a great time while being with the rest of the Buddhist community,” she said.
The center provides services to Buddhists of all ages: “The oldest person we’ve had here is 75 and the youngest one is 10,” Chotso said.
“I’ve been here in South Florida for 18 years and [the Buddhist community] is changing a lot in the sense that we’re getting a lot of Buddhists who are raising their own families. We have children’s classes where they learn and sing and hear stories,” she said.
What makes the Kagyu Shedrup Choling special is that there are events for everyone, even those who practice other religions. Apart from their annual Spirit Miami event, the center also hosts free meditation classes at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Thursday’s meditation sessions are held in Spanish.
“I feel like I’m really a better person by virtue of being associated with Kagyu Shedrup Choling. I encourage people to go to Spirit Miami because they will see a variety of people who offer different kinds of information,” said Nan Van Den Bergh, who has practiced Buddhism at the center over the past four years.
If you go
▪ What: Spirit Miami
▪ When: Starting at 1 p.m., Feb. 13
▪ Where: Kagyu Shedrup Choling, 60 NW 86th St.
▪ More information: Visit kagyu-sfla.org
▪ Cost: Free