I first developed an interest in Buddhism and meditation in the early 1980’s, while reading about Zen in college. I casually dabbled over the years, reading more, and meditating, mainly for stress reduction. In 1990, I had an opportunity to spend a week in Tibet, as part of a family vacation, and this led me to dig deeper into Tibetan Buddhism – after returning from that trip, I was hooked! Unfortunately, at the time, there was little opportunity to have a direct and consistent connection with a Vajrayana teacher in Dayton, and my enthusiasm was channeled into other pursuits. After continuing to read – and dabble – for many years, I finally did some on-line investigation in 2015 – and found Gar Drolma. The first time I walked in, I was immediately greeted by warm, friendly, enthusiastic people, who were clearly dedicated to helping me in any way that they could. I was also immersed in a very special space for meditation and study which cannot be adequately described – only experienced. I found a living and authentic connection to Dharma which I could only dream about more than 20 years ago.
Gar Drolma is a hidden jewel in the greater Dayton area, and hosts an astonishing array of world-class teachers every year. Much like Buddhism itself, it offers a wide-range of “skillful means” to the local and regional community, and can offer something of value to anyone who is lucky enough to visit. I am very grateful that I have found this center, and I am honored to be able to provide whatever support I can, to help people access meditation, Dharma teachings, and precious sense of community that Gar Drolma provides.
If I can offer one bit of advice, it would be to tell people to come and visit. Don’t wait – don’t put it off (like I did….). Do it now. It doesn’t matter whether you just discovered the word “Buddhism” yesterday, and are curious, or if you have been practicing for several decades. It doesn’t matter how much time you have to spend, or if you are just curious about meditation, and want to know what it might do for you. Just drop in – I guarantee you will be glad you did.
– Michael Stanek