You are welcome here

Garchen Mila Buddhist Center welcomes new visitors. It is an important part of our mission to be a place where newcomers can connect with the teachings of Buddhism. No matter the depth of your curiosity or interest, this is a space where you are truly welcome.

The teachings held by the Buddha and the Drikung Kagyu lineage challenge us as individuals to recognize and dissolve barriers that separate us from others. As a community of practitioners, we work to teach the understanding of and respect for the basic goodness inherent in all individuals, social groups and cultures.

Health safety

Vaccination against Covid19 is encouraged for all visitors. Please refrain from visiting if feeling at all unwell, including mild symptoms. If positive for Covid or flu, wait at least ten days before returning. Stay home if exposed to either.

Best times to visit

These are the discussion times and meditation sessions that are designed for those who are completely new or fairly new to the Dharma. There will be plenty of time for question and answer during these sessions:

Tara Meditation Practice & Explanation | Saturdays . 9:30–10:15am
Newcomers Discussion | Saturdays . 10:30–11:15am

What to expect

  • All of our meditation and discussion session are in-person.
  • Seating options include both cushions and chairs.
  • Kindly take off your shoes and silence your phones before entering the practice area.
  • 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.

What to wear

We recommend wearing comfortable attire that allows for ease in sitting cross-legged on cushions. 

Other good things to know

  • Do not step over Dharma materials (books, prayer books, etc.)
  • Do not put Dharma materials on the floor (books, prayer books etc.)
  • Do not place objects on top of Dharma materials (books, prayer books, etc)


We are an open and inclusive sangha, and do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, income, sexual orientation or political orientation. We are a diverse group of people with members from many walks of life.


Occasionally, the need may arise for us to cancel one of our scheduled sessions due to weather or illness. Please check the website for last minute cancellations. In addition, if you sign up for our email list we are often able to send out an email as well.

Your support is needed

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.


Address: 209 E Washington St., Suite 200, Iowa City, 52240

The Dharma Center is located on the second floor of the Paul-Helen Building in downtown Iowa City.  The entrance to the building faces the Dubuque Street pedestrian mall. The building and the center are accessible to individuals with mobility difficulties.



Iowa City’s downtown streets have limited 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). You may want to download this app on your phone to park on the street (although coins are allowed): Park Mobile