(Updated 10/26/19) Just a short walk from the Greensboro Metro Station, a meditation center in the heart of Tysons offers free classes for visitors.
The Tysons spot is the second location for Meditation Museum II in the D.C. area — the other is in Silver Spring, Md. Sister Jenna, the founder of the center, said she chose Tysons because it is vibrant, multi-cultural and serves as a convenient place for people in the area.
A few weekends ago, Tysons Reporter attended one of the entry-level sessions.
It’s hard to miss — there’s a giant banner outside an aging building at 1984 Chain Bridge Road, but the museum’s door is a little hard to find. Guests must walk up a set of indoor stairs to reach the repurposed office, which consists of roughly 1,000 square feet of space.
Once inside, people’s shoes get stored in little cubbies before they check-in.
The woman who led the 9:30 a.m. class said she worked as an IT consultant for a cell phone company in Tysons and volunteered at the center in her free time. She seemed very welcoming and willing to answer any questions.
Self-named a “museum,” the location is decorated with informational panels and posters that are supposed to teach visitors about mindfulness and the philosophy of the center, according to the staff member who led the class.
The meditation class turned out to be a very intimate experience with the two people who showed up.
The journey began with a 15-minute pre-recorded guided meditation that repeated mantras such as “You are a child of light” and “Focus your intention.” Participants were asked to gaze at a screen at the front of the room and instructed to “Tell our thoughts to come back later.”
After the time was up and the recording finished, the teacher reemerged and pulled out a whiteboard where she explained to us the difference between our mind, intellect and the physical brain inside our heads.
She also spent a significant amount of time covering the difference between physical needs and well being compared to spiritual wellbeing, along with encouraging participants to share perspectives.
The session ended with yet another pre-recorded mediation session before the hour-long class concluded and attendees could recollect our belongings at the front.
Though it may not have been this reporter’s cup of tea, the center invites anyone from the community to give it a shot.
The philosophy of the center isn’t based on a singular religion but instead aims to help people of all beliefs enhance their lives, according to Sister Jenna.
“When you want to be a better Christian when you leave the door, that will happen,” she said.” If you want to be a better atheist when you leave, that can also happen.”
Anyone wishing to participate in the classes may sign up online. The “Learn to Meditate” classes begin at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and last an hour.
Although classes are free, donations are encouraged since they use the money to pay rent and rely on volunteers so they don’t have to pay overhead, Sister Jenna said.