The new Dharmālaya, housed in the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center, is a testament to Georgetown’s commitment to religious diversity.
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Title:Georgetown unveils new Dharmic meditation center

Author: Bhriana Smith
Date Published: April 26, 2022

Georgetown’s Dharmālaya, a meditation center for students of Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, and other Dharmic traditions, celebrated its unveiling last fall. The center offers a safe, com- fortable space for varying Dharmic traditions to gather in groups, practice religious and spiritual traditions, and meditate. It is the first of its kind to be opened on a U.S. collegiate campus.

Sannidhi Shashikiran (NHS’22), president of the Hindu Student Association, uses the center during the weekly Sunday Aratis held by Dharmic Life. “As someone who has been involved with the Hindu Students Association and has heard about a theoretical Dharmic prayer space since my first year, I am beyond excited that the space has come to fruition during my time at Georgetown,” Shashikiran says.

“Along with other members in the Buddhist Student Association, I have used it as a meditation and social space,” says Yalin Wu (C’24). “We have weekly meditations on Thursdays led by V. Yishan and student-led meditations on Fridays. After meditation, we come together to discuss our experiences with Buddhism under themes like compassion, relationships, and inner peace.”

The Hindu Student Association, Buddhist Student Association, and Sikh Student Association collaborated on the planning and use of the Dharmālaya. They wanted a communal space to practice ritual-based meditation while at Georgetown.

“I cannot wait to see how the space serves as a home to students at Georgetown in the coming years,” adds Shashikiran.

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