New to Buddhism?
Welcome! We’re glad that you found your way here.
The Buddha was a real human being who lived 2,600 years ago and reached enlightenment. The first teaching the Buddha gave after he reached enlightenment was the Four Noble Truths:
There is suffering in life.
There is a cause of that suffering.
The suffering can be eliminated.
There is a path to eliminate suffering.
The purpose of Buddhist centers is to teach the path, which leads to the end of suffering. And the end of suffering also means the perfection of ourselves to the fullest extent possible, which enables us to help others also end their suffering and perfect themselves. In the Mahayana tradition, the person on that path is called a Bodhisattva – someone dedicated to reaching enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings, without exception.
To learn more about this path and the teachings of the Buddha (also referred to as the Dharma) it is best to find a kind and qualified teacher, who themself has studied from a qualified teacher. Below are some suggested books and links to helpful places to start learning more about the Dharma, but of course, there is nothing like finding a qualified teacher whom you can connect with in real life.
Tea with the Monks & Sunday Dharma Teaching
We have a 10am Sunday class most Sundays. See our events page. You are welcome to come before class around 9:30am to introduce yourself and have tea with the monks. If you have any questions, or want to schedule a separate time to meet with one of our teachers, please send us an email. Don't be shy. Our Tibetan monks speak English and love meeting people!
Recommended Dharma sites online:
https://livestream.com/DalaiLamaEnglish You can register to get email notifications, when the Dalai Lama’s teachings will be broadcast live.
https://studybuddhism.com/ Also known as “the Berzin Archives,” it’s a wealth of Dharma information in one place.
http://vajrapani.org/ has many wonderful retreats, some of which are ideal for beginners.
Recommended Introductory Books:
Immovable, Like a Mountain, by Geshe Gyalten, provides a concise explanation of calm abiding meditation, which increases concentration, is a necessary basis for wisdom and spiritual growth, and develops physical and mental pliancy and bliss.
The Four Noble Truths, by Geshe Tashi Tsering, provides an easy to read comprehensive overview of the entire path to enlightenment.
Healing Anger, by the Dalai Lama, is a commentary on A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, teaching how to develop more love, compassion, and tolerance in our lives.
An Offering Cloud of Nectar, by Choden Rinpoche, explains many beautiful Tibetan mind training techniques to develop compassion and ethics, including a detailed explanation of the practice of giving and taking (tonglen), based upon Rinpoche's personal experience.