Rev. Herbert Daughtry’s Atlantic Yards Zen center

New Barclays meditation room allows fans to pray during play

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Barclays Center is now offering something rare in a sports arena — peace and quiet.

A lavender-colored meditation room opened up on the main level of the Prospect Heights entertainment complex on Tuesday as part of an agreement between developer Forest City Ratner and neighborhood groups that cleared the way for the Atlantic Yards mega-development. The room shows that the Barclays Center’s owners have their priorities in order, according to the reverend who negotiated for it.

“There ought to be a place where people remember that we are more than physical, that the mind is spiritual, and you need a place to rest and reflect,” said Rev. Herbert Daughtry, pastor of the nearby House of the Lord Pentecostal Church on Atlantic Avenue.

The Zen den — which boasts a shrine, rows of chairs, and walls imprinted with words such as “Love” and “Forgiveness” — is the first of its kind, the pastor added.

Daughtry initially lobbied for a chapel in the arena paid for in part by taxpayer dollars, but was told that he could not use public funds for religious purposes. Despite the dilution, the meditation room is still a win for event-goers who need a break from the chaos of urban life, he said and, we would add, for Nets fans seeking the favor of a power higher than Kevin Garnett’s massage tab.

“Hopefully it will send a message across the country that while we build, build, and build, and while we advance, we should remember that these things don’t necessarily make for quality of life,” the reverend said.

The room is open during all Barclays Center events and use of the quiet quarters can be arranged outside of normal hours.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Norman Oder says:
"use of the quiet quarters can be arranged outside of normal hours"....

"Any requests outside of this time must be made with our Community Affairs Department and may incur labor and rental fees"
March 17, 2014, 6:02 am
Mohommad says:
Praise Allah! May his blessings be many-ful!
March 17, 2014, 8:06 am
ty from pps says:
Norman Oder -- Are you suggesting that is inappropriate? (It seems like you are.) Every other space in the building has rental and labor fees associated with it...

Use of an elementary school auditorium or multipurpose room has rental and labor fees associated with it. Use of a meeting room at Borough Hall has rental and labor fees associated with it. Use of a church's basement has rental and labor fees associated with it. Use of this "meditation room" is INCLUDED in the rental and labor fees levied for events at the arena (basketball, concert, etc.)
March 17, 2014, 10:11 am
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
Not to defend my pal, Norman (who hates when I call him my pal), a private church or other building can charge whatever it wishes. But Ratner got lots and lots of public money to build the arena and two apartment buildings around it (what? You think there'll be more? Hahahahaha).

Anyway, that meditation room should be free.
March 17, 2014, 11:04 am
ty from pps says:
BrooklynGersh... that's why I specifically included an elementary school and Borough Hall as examples. Two out of three examples are directly tax-funded buildings. The third example (the church) is a tax-payer subsidized enterprise in its own right... unless you don't think full tax exemption is the equivalent of a subsidy.
March 17, 2014, 11:11 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First off all, Oder's blog is very well respected especially for giving the real story on what's going on. More importantly, I'm glad that he reported about the mediation room when most of the media didn't or just scratched the surface only. Why should fees be charged when taxpayer dollars are already going this? Let's not forget that this project was built with taxpayer dollars despite being private, and most of the promises haven't even been met, which shows how much the sheep were lead to the slaughterhouse on this.
March 17, 2014, 6:51 pm
Norman Oder says:
The meditation room has been pitched, in part, as a community resource.

It has been barely used, in my observation, during arena events, and is not even promoted by the arena.

"Organizers say they want to expand the use to more people in the community," News12 reported.

So it is worth pointing out that people in the community, who are not event-goers, may well have to pay to use the meditation room.
March 18, 2014, 1:51 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm sorry Mr. Oder... I feel having Tal Barzilai's support can't be a good thing for your cause. It's like discovering the local chapter of the KKK is supporting your bid for elected office. You may be right, but you're not gonna win with nutbags like that publicly supporting you.
March 18, 2014, 5:10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it ty was one of Ratner's paid supporters considering the personal attacks especially at someone who has been actually covering this when so many others haven't.
March 18, 2014, 6:45 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Yes, your magical sky-daddy is totally gonna help your team win the game, and you can tell that's true because some player is gonna say they "thank God" that he made the win possible. As for the few hundred children who died from malaria and starvation in some other part of the world during the game... c'mon, your magical sky-daddy wasn't gonna do ——t about that anyway.
March 18, 2014, 11:25 pm

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