Students taking notes at one of the center's retreats
We use Buddhist philosophy and techniques as the foundation for all our activities. But you don't need to be a Buddhist, and you don't need to want to become a Buddhist to participate! Many of our classes and other events are open to all and offer skillful methods to anyone looking to bring peace into daily life.
If this sounds like you, or maybe you're simply interested in knowing more about Buddhism in general, check out our introductory classes (e.g., "Meditation 101," "Mindfulness: Meditations to Benefit Daily Life," "Buddhism in a Nutshell"). The center also sometimes offers a "Meditation For Kids" class designed especially for children ages 7 and up.
For those already familiar with Buddhism, the center also offers many intermediate and advanced opportunities to study and practice the Buddha's teachings in greater detail. Authentic teachings on topics such as karma, bodhichitta and emptiness, plus Lama Chopa with tsog, Medicine Buddha pujas, tantric initiations, and meditation retreats are just a sampling. We also celebrate the major Tibetan Buddhist holy days together!
In addition, the center occassionally hosts events such as a Dharma book club, movie nights, and other social gatherings — in person and online. And be on the lookout for silent meditation time available before some classes and events.
"HOW DO I FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON, WHAT'S SUITABLE FOR ME?"
Our Home and Calendar pages are always the fastest way to see what's in progress and coming up. Throughout our site, you'll see images listed with each class and event description designed to help you make the most out of what the center has to offer. These image icons indicate activities that are considered introductory, intermediate or advanced; there's also a category for classes and events specifically for children. Icons for activities that are restricted to people who meet certain prerequisite requirements or require registration are shown with gold padlocks . Descriptions of each category can be found just below.
Introductory/Open To All: No prior knowledge or experience required; some activities are also suitable for children
Children: Specifically for children, including our "Meditation for Kids" class
Intermediate: Most suitable for practicing Buddhists and non-Buddhists already familiar with foundational Buddhist concepts
Can't get to our center in Fairfax, VA? No problem! Some classes and events are available online — either as live streaming or recorded videos. Check class and event listings for live streaming options. Also visit our YouTube channel for videos from past classes and events. You can also check our Online Library for audio recordings and materials from previous classes (note, some recordings and materials may only be available for those who originally attended the class/event or who meet certain prerequisite requirements).
OUR LINEAGE & TEACHERS
The center follows the Tibetan Gelug tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa, the same lineage as His Holiness The Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. All center classes are taught by qualified instructors with diverse backgrounds and years of experience, including a Tibetan Buddhist master and former abbot of Gyumed Tantric college, a clinical psychologist and Buddhist practioner of more than 25 years, and several other dedicated members of the monastic and lay Buddhist community. Details about our lineage, teachers, and facilitators can be found on our Teachers page.
SUPPORTING THE TEACHINGS
The center is run entirely by volunteers and with donations from people like you. We offer all Dharma teachings on a dana basis; dana is a Sanskrit word meaning generosity. That means all Dharma teachings are free. And we humbly offer you the opportunity to practice generosity by helping to make the Buddha's teachings available in our community.
So if you're able, please make a donation for classes and other events. Suggested donations for both members and non-members are listed in each class and event description, but please — give what you're comfortable with!
ONE-TIME CLASS OR EVENT DONATION
Don't forget to rejoice in your good deeds and dedicate the positive potential generated to the completion of something spiritually meaningful to you!
If you'd like to contribute but are unable to make a financial donation, please don't worry — no one will ever be turned away for financial reasons! And there are many other ways you can help support the teachings.
For more information about donations, tax deductible information, membership details, volunteer opporunities and other ways you can support the center, please visit our Practicing Generosity page.