I first walked in to the Meditation Museum having been invited to cover a current exhibit. My expectations were to find a quaint and quiet gallery that housed a few pieces of reflection and maybe space for a few classes of guided meditation and exercises.
I quickly learned that my expectations were misconceptions and that this space was far more than a “tucked away” museum gallery. I was stuck, I knew that there was an entirely different story that was meant to be told and that my notepad and camera were not the right tools. I was given a thorough tour and discussed the space, then asked if I could schedule a return visit and sit down with one of the Meditation Museum’s leaders, Sister Jenna.
I returned without camera, but instead brought my recorder. During my walkthrough it was quickly apparent that the present appearance of the Meditation Museum was not what the space was about. It spoke nothing of the history, mission, resources or work that occurred there. Whatever description and pictures I could deliver would offer no justice to the museum or audience. I was a passerby amongst a 16 year history of work and community dedication. It was not my right to share such underdeveloped insights (with that said I will keep my writings brief). My task was to allow Sister Jenna to share her story of the Meditation Museum.
The main points of our conversation included the atmosphere of the space itself. The space, while not focused on a single religion or set of beliefs is very spiritual. As Sister Jenna says, “You can feel you are in a different space, it is a different world.” It is also important to mention that the Meditation Museum is not traditional as a museum in the sense of keeping to yourself while reflecting on pieces as an individual and moving through the space.
Sister Jenna shares, “We have over 200 programs per year here.” These programs range from guided sessions of meditation to stress and anger management techniques and even courses on finance and life management. Sister Jenna urges that people look past their misconceptions of meditation or even spirituality. “We believe meditation is a sitting down and don’t do anything affair…” But in actuality “It is a very proactive way of life.” The mission of the Meditation Museum is to help people connect with what it is they need for fulfillment. “It is more than a museum… nobody leaves here unfulfilled and learned. They leave here figuring something out about who they are.”
As far as experiencing the museum itself and future visitors Sister Jenna states “I would like them (people) to stop running away from themselves.” and would “like them to look inside themselves and see the most beautiful human being.”
I ask that you please take the time to listen to my interview with Sister Jenna and hear the full story of the Meditation Museum the way it was meant to be shared. They are currently searching for a new location, but you can visit them now at 8236 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
You can also visit their website for details on their upcoming events, courses and various media offerings including both TV and radio programs hosted by Sister Jenna.