Welcome to Iowa City's Tibetan Buddhist Dharma Center

 We are a home for meditation, the cultivation of compassion, and the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. The center is under the spiritual direction of His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche who is known for his vast realization, attainment, and great compassion. Everyone is welcome at the center.

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Spring 2024 . Weekly Schedule

“What does it mean to study Buddhism? It means that you cultivate a mind of love and compassion for others.” – H.E. Garchen Rinpoche

  • Health Policy: Vaccination against Covid19 is encouraged for all visitors. Please refrain from visiting if feeling at all unwell –or if you have been exposed to Covid. If positive for Covid or flu, wait at least ten days before returning. 
  • Our programs are mostly free of charge. Regular visitors are invited to become members to support the Center. Occasional visitors are encouraged to make a modest donation.
  • Seating options include both cushions and chairs. Kindly take off your shoes before entering the practice area.

MONDAYS–FRIDAYS -zoom only

Daily Prayers & Practices with Khenpo Samdup

Mondays – Fridays, 10:00 am–11:15 am 


Virtual Achi Chokyi Drolma Practice, Smoke Offering & Parnashavari Practice.

DETAILS

Let’s stay connected! Please join our community of devoted Dharma practitioners as we come together on Zoom.us to study and practice the dharma under the leadership of Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche and senior practitioners.


Location:
Zoom only | CLICK HERE TO REQUEST ZOOM LINK

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0

SATURDAYS

Introduction to Tibetan Buddhist Meditation:
Green Tara Practice

Saturdays, 9:30–10:15am


An ancient meditation that allows us to experience love and compassion for all beings.

DETAILS

This is a chance to explore Tibetan Buddhist meditation. We always have time for instruction and Q&A. Through Green Tara meditation we can realize our own heart of compassion through the application of mantra recitation, mindfulness meditation and visualization.  Newcomers welcome.


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
The Paul Helen Building  –in downtown Iowa City
209 East Washington Street, Suite 200

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0 | Donations welcome. Regular visitors are invited to become a member.

Exploring Buddhism: The Heart of Compassion

Saturdays, 10:30–11:15am


An introduction to Buddhism through discussion of the '37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.'

DETAILS

Explore the path of lovingkindness and compassion as guided by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s classic book  The Heart of Compassion. Purchase of the book is optional. Suitable for both newcomers and seasoned practitioners. 


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
The Paul Helen Building  –in downtown Iowa City
209 East Washington Street, Suite 200

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0 | Donations welcome. Regular visitors are invited to become a member.

SUNDAYS

Dharma teachings by Khenpo Tamphel: 'In Praise of Dharmadatu' by Nagarjuna

Sundays, 9:30–10:25am


Profound teachings on Nagarjuna’s ‘In Praise of Dharmadatu’

DETAILS

This poetic work from the great 2nd century Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna shows us how buddha nature exists in all beings, and how it can be gradually uncovered by those who train in the methods described, and blossom into the fully enlightened state of dharmakaya–completely free from all imperfections. Open to all. Teaching will be held on zoom –but broadcast only at the Dharma Center. Khenpo's teaching will be followed by ten minutes of silent meditation.

“This basic element, which is the seed,
Is held to be the basis of all dharma.
Through its purification step by step,
The state of buddhahood we will attain.”
Nagarjuna’s ‘In Praise of Dharmadatu,’


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
The Paul Helen Building  –in downtown Iowa City
209 East Washington Street, Suite 200

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0 | Contributions to Khenpo Tamphel are very much welcome. 

Tibetan Buddhist Meditation
Chenrezig Meditation Practice

Sundays, 10:30–11:15am


Joyful meditation to realize our own compassion.

DETAILS

Through Chenrezig meditation practice we can realize our own heart of compassion through the application of mantra recitation, mindfulness meditation and visualization. Everyone welcome!


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
The Paul Helen Building  –in downtown Iowa City
209 East Washington Street, Suite 200

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0 | Donations welcome. Regular visitors are invited to become a member.

MONTHLY PRACTICES & EVENTS

Sangha Lunch at India Cafe

1st Sundays | June 2, 11:15am

June 2, July 7, August 4


Join us for lunch and chatting.

DETAILS

This is an opportunity for us to get together and relax.  Everyone welcome!!


Location:

India Cafe is located at 227 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240

Vajrakilaya Practice

1st & 3rd Thursdays (occasional adjustments)
6:00–7:30pm

Jun 6, Jun 20, Jul 3, Jul 18,
Aug 1, Aug 15, Sep 5, Sep 19

 

DETAILS

Vajrakilaya is a wrathful deity associated with the removal of obstacles, particularly those related to spiritual practice. The meditation practice of Vajrakilaya is aimed at overcoming inner and outer obstacles on the path to enlightenment. H.E. Garchen Rinpoche has specifically requested our sangha to do this practice regularly.

[Refuge & empowerment are required to attend this practice.]


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
The Paul Helen Building  –in downtown Iowa City
209 East Washington Street, Suite 200

Registration: No registration, drop-in
Fee: $0 | Donations welcome. Regular visitors are invited to become a member.

Upcoming Special Events

Thursday, June 27


Location:
TBA

Friday, June 28


Location:
Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
209 E Washington St #200, Iowa City, IA 52240

Saturday, June 29

‘In Praise of Dharmadatu’ by Nagarjuna


This poetic work from the great 2nd century Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna shows us how buddha nature exists in all beings, and how it can be gradually uncovered by those who train in the methods described, and blossom into the fully enlightened state of dharmakaya–completely free from all imperfections.
Open to all. Teaching will be held on zoom –but broadcast only at the Dharma Center. Khenpo’s teaching will be followed by ten minutes of silent meditation.

“This basic element, which is the seed,
Is held to be the basis of all dharma.
Through its purification step by step,
The state of buddhahood we will attain.”
Nagarjuna’s ‘In Praise of Dharmadatu,’


*Note: Khenpo has been graciously teaching from this text to our sangha via Zoom. Now, we’re thrilled to announce the chance to delve deeper into these teachings in person, with ample time for questions and answers. Whether you’re a seasoned member or new to our Center, these teachings promise to offer a profound initiation into the path of Buddha Dharma.”


Time: 10-noon & 1:15-4:00

Location: Garchen Mila Buddhist Center
209 E Washington St #200, Iowa City, IA 52240

FAQ

  • Do I have to come to all the teachings?: No. The registration is set up on an event-by-event basis.
  • I am not very experienced in Buddhism – is it really ok for me to attend these events?: Absolutely! All of our events our open to people of all levels of experience with the Dharma.
  • The suggested donations are a bit much for me. Is there another way to make an offering? Yes – Just let us know and we can work something out with you. Email us at admin@milarepaiowa.org.
  • I have never been to the center – can I still attend some of these events? If you have never been to this Dharma Center or any other please feel free to attend any of these events.

MORE INFORMATION

  • Registration: Registration is required for special events held at the Dharma Center. 
  • Volunteering: To volunteer for one or all of these events, including lama-care, cooking and transportation – please contact us at admin@milarepaiowa.org
  • Arrival: Please arrive 15 minutes early for events to get settled in. On Friday evening the front doors will be locked after hours. Please arrive on time because we will have someone waiting at the door.
  • Health Policy: Vaccination against Covid19 is encouraged for all visitors. Please refrain from attending if feeling at all unwell –or if you have been exposed to Covid. If positive for Covid or flu, wait at least ten days before returning. (We will refund your donation if you become ill before or during the retreat events.)
  • Seating Options: include both cushions and chairs.
  • Posture Custom:  It is customary in a Dharma setting to not have your feet pointed towards the lama or the shrine.
  • Flowers: If you would like to make an offering of a bouquet of flowers for the Shrine that is most welcome. Please bring a vase for the flowers. Please arrive early to get them set up.
  • Lunch: We will take lunch on Saturday together at the India Cafe. We will pay for our meals individually. 
  • About Lama Visits: We have put together this page that provides some information about elements of a lama visit – including empowerments.
  • Questions: If you have questions – please text Ellen Marie at 937-244-1961

Dharma Center Location:  The Dharma Center is located on the second floor of the Paul-Helen Building at 209 East Washington Street (Suite 200) in downtown Iowa City. The entrance to the building faces the Dubuque Street pedestrian mall. There is an elevator that opens  directly to our doorway. The building and the center are accessible to individuals with mobility difficulties.

Parking:  Iowa City’s downtown streets have metered parking. Parking is also available in three ramps with entrances from Dubuque and Linn Streets (Sheraton Hotel), Clinton and Capitol Streets (Old Capitol Center), and Iowa Avenue (Clock Tower Place).

Health:  Please do not attend if you are feeling at all ill or know that you have been exposed to a contagious disease.

WE OFFER OUR MEDITATION IN THE TRADITION OF GENEROSITY…

The Garchen Mila Buddhist Center upholds the ancient 2600-year-old Buddhist custom of offering teachings without cost. Staffed exclusively by volunteers, the center functions through the kindness of our members, enabling us to provide meditation sessions to the community without any fees. For those who decide to make our center a regular part of their journey, we invite you to join us as a member and contribute to the sustenance of our programs. For those who drop by occasionally, a modest donation for the day would be greatly appreciated.

To send membership by mail, please send checks to:
P.O. Box 5352, Coralville IA 52241
Milarepa Buddhist Center of Iowa