The Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) Maryland temple is located in rural Montgomery County, a pleasant half-hour drive from Washington, D.C. Visitors are always welcome.
The Prayer Room, the main shrine room at KPC, is filled with altars, prayer benches, and an extensive crystal collection. The express wish of KPC Spiritual Director, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, is that a sacred space for meditation and prayer always be available for those who seek it. For that reason, visitors are welcome to use the Prayer Room for prayer and meditation at any time, night or day. (If you come between midnight and 6 a.m., please ring the doorbell.) Cushions and chairs for meditation are available. The Prayer Room is also used by KPC students to maintain the 24 Hour Prayer Vigil for World Peace which began in 1985 and continues unbroken to this day.
The Dharma Room is the main teaching hall at KPC. In Vajrayana Buddhism, teachers are upheld on a throne as a sign of deep respect for their teaching of the Dharma, the path to enlightenment. There are two teaching thrones in the Dharma Room, as well as crystals, altars, and an elaborate three-dimensional mandala, which represents a pure spiritual environment. The Dharma Room is usually open on weekends and when teachings or ceremonies are scheduled. Meditation Classes and Buddhist teachings are offered every week on Sundays, as well as a Thursday class, “Turning the Mind to Dharma,” for those new to Buddhism. There are also frequently scheduled special events, such as teachings by visiting lamas, empowerments, and retreats.
KPC also has a large and beautiful crystal collection. Crystals are traditional Vajrayana Buddhist symbols for the pure nature of mind, and at KPC they play an especially important role in the interplay of the physical environment with the metaphysical. The crystals are specifically placed to enhance the network of spiritual energy established by continuous prayer and the virtuous activities of teaching and practicing the Dharma.
Tea, coffee, and water are always available in the solarium. Visitors are welcome to relax in the lounge area as well.
The Enlightenment Stupa is located on the Temple Grounds next to the parking lot. A stupa is a sacred structure that represents the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Visitors may use the stupa by walking around it clockwise, making wishing prayers or reciting mantra. Offerings may also be made on the altar bench in front. In addition to the Enlightenment Stupa, there are 29 stupas on the Temple property and across the street in the Peace Park, also open to the public.
KPC is home to the Garuda Aviary, a shelter for abused and neglected parrots. Visitors can view the parrots from their outdoor flight cage, located a short walk from the Temple entrance.
18400 River Road
Poolesville, MD 20837
Where To Stay
There are no overnight accommodations for visitors, although we would be glad to suggest some area hotels and camping grounds if you have an interest in visiting for more than a day.
Hilton Hotels has offered the best possible rate to Temple visitors. You can click on the icon to obtain the best possible rate.