All She Is Saying Is Give (Inner) Peace A Chance

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Posted Tue, Apr 15, 2014

SPIRITUAL PURPOSES: Kaye Franklin’s journey into Buddhism took her through Wisconsin and Washington, eventually bringing her to Colorado. Franklin now serves as the administrative director for the Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center in Denver.

SPIRITUAL TREK: Kaye Franklin’s journey into Buddhism took her through Wisconsin and Washington, eventually bringing her to Colorado. Franklin now serves as the administrative director for the Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center in Denver.

DENVER – Kate Franklin began meditating to find a way to spread peace in the world. She has continued to do it for more than a decade because it works.

“I went to this protest (of the Iraq War),” Franklin says, “and this guy starts pretty much belittling (the woman standing next to me). And she starts freaking out, and it’s just escalating and escalating.”

Wishing Love

Franklin decided to try one of the techniques she had been taught recently at her Buddhist meditation class, “wishing love,” that is imagining love radiating from herself to everyone around her.

“So I kind of turn back and I try to imagine this love in my heart, and I say to him, ‘I think it’s really good that you’re talking to us, because I think that part of what’s wrong in America is that… people with different ideas don’t express that to each other.’”

That stopped the man, and her fellow protester in their tracks.

“He just turned and said, ‘Have a great day,’ and walked off. And (the other protester turned to me and said, ‘What the hell was that?’”

At that moment, Franklin knew that what she was practicing in a small class could have a big impact on the world around her, “kind of Care Bear style.” But it had taken her a few years to get to that point.

“I was actually not interested in meditation at all,” she says. Franklin had travelled around Asia, sampling and observing meditation groups, and was disappointed to find that they didn’t live up to their reputation.

“I was not impressed,” she says. ”And I just thought that organized religion (must be) the same everywhere.”

Rediscovering Buddhism

Franklin didn’t completely give up on Buddhism though, and in 2003 she found herself in Olympia, Wash. at another meditation center.

“I started doing some meditations that were really simple, and I found that it really did affect my mind.”

At the same time Franklin was rediscovering Buddhism, she was becoming disillusioned with many other parts of her life. She was living and working with people involved in organic farming, the environmental movement, and the sustainability movement.

“And the more I tried to find people who were really doing the right thing… the more I found the gurus who were doing (it), the more unhappy they were. I started realizing that everything is interdependent. You’re not going to be able to solve your outer problem if you have inner problems. You have to work on your mind.”

Enter The Mile-High City

Franklin’s journey into Buddhism took her through Wisconsin and Washington, eventually bringing her to Colorado. Franklin now serves as the administrative director for the Kadampa Buddhist Meditation Center in Denver. It began in Ft. Collins, and as the demand for a meditation center in Denver grew, the center expanded to add a branch at its current location at 1081 Marion St. She is given a monthly stipend to cover living expenses, but like the other staff at the center, she is effectively a volunteer.

Throughout her 10 plus years as a meditation teacher, Franklin has seen the demand for meditation increase, seeing the same desire she had to find peace within herself reflected in her fellow citizens. “As a society we are moving toward being distracted on an exponential level,” she says. “So I think that meditation, now more than ever, is really important.”

Penetrating The Mainstream

Franklin says that more people have acknowledged a need to find a way to cope with the stressors of modern times, leading Buddhism and meditation in general to “penetrate the mainstream. “It’s not just this weird Eastern thing anymore.”

Franklin sees the ultimate goal of Buddhism as nothing less than helping to create world peace. But while that may seem like an insurmountable task, her approach is down to earth, one person at a time. She firmly believes in the Buddhist philosophy that if people try to find peace of mind, on an individual level, then peace on a larger scale will follow.

“Our group is incredibly practical,” she says. “The point is: ‘What is this going to do for you to become a better person?’”

 

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Tom Skelley

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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