The Path to Peace Goes Through Capitol Hill


Posted Tue, Mar 4, 2014

[Photo by Tom Skelley]

House of Harmony: The Kadampa Meditation Center at 1081 Marion St. offers many classes and workshops designed to help you find inner peace. [Photo by Tom Skelley]

DENVER — The man sits in a folding chair, facing a semi-circle of 9 other people in a sunlit room. As the people in the room become quiet and still, the man’s voice emerges, gently inviting everyone to begin focusing their attention on the rise and fall of their chests as they breathe. Within moments, the sounds of traffic outside, the creaking of the woodwork of the house, and the rush of the gusts of wind against the windows fade away. After a few moments more, the voice is the only sound in the room.

The voice belongs to Denis Radigan, and he is leading a Lamrim Meditation class at the Kadampa Meditation Center. The class meets every Monday through Thursday at noon at 1081 Marion St. Radigan says people from all walks of life attend the class with one thing in common — “people want to be happy.”

The class is free of charge and invites anyone to participate. Radigan has been leading the class for about a year now, guiding students down the path to enlightenment one 30-minute class at a time.

Radigan ow journey began when he had a chance meeting with a book, “The Joyful Path to Good Fortune” by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso at a café. “I had never read anything like it.” That book was his first step on a path that he has traveled now for 15 years.

Though he has been doing this for longer than most people stay at any job, Radigan still has the same challenges that he faced when he began. “I get a little nervous,” he says. “But then I try to get myself out of the way… and I really try to let Geshe Kelsang Gyatso work through me… and if I let that happen, the nervousness goes away.”

Teacher and Guide-Denis Radigan leads a Buddhist meditation class at noon, Monday through Thursday

Teacher and Guide: Denis Radigan leads a Buddhist meditation class at noon, Monday through Thursday. [Photo by Tom Skelley]

While Radigan continues to work through his greatest challenge, he sees that most beginning students face the same obstacle, one that often discourages them to the point of giving up. It is ironic that as people desire to lead a calmer, more serene life they become aware of just how busy their lives, and their minds already are.

“When beginners start out… when you slow down and meditate and you try to focus your mind, you notice how much stuff you’ve got going through your mind, and that sometimes discourages people,” he says. “But that’s really what goes on in our mind all the time anyway.”

Sticking to it, Radigan says, is the key to successful meditation: “as you learn how to concentrate, like, for example on your breath, as we did today, your mind gets more peaceful, it just takes a little while… It gets better.”

As a person learns to meditate and find a peaceful place within, the positive effects can also be experienced by the people one interacts with, and the cycle is complete. “Allow yourself to experience the deeper peace that arises from within,” Radigan instructs his class, still using the gentle, clear cues that now seem more like internal thoughts than someone’s voice. “And as you bring peace and happiness to others, you will notice that your own life feels happier and more at peace.”

The Kadampa Meditation Center offers a variety of classes and workshops for anyone who wants to start their own journey to find that peace.

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About Tom Skelley

Tom Skelley is a freelance writer, photographer, drummer, husband and soon-to-be father, living in Aurora, CO. He moved to Denver in 1997 with nothing but his car, and he loves to sleep.

View all posts by Tom Skelley

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