Frequently Asked Questions

Can I visit the Temple even if I am not Buddhist?

Sure! Buddhism is not a religion of conversion, and Jetsunma’s vision was for Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) to be a spiritual refuge for all people. Anyone is welcome to spend time in the Prayer Room (open 24 hours a day), enjoy the Peace Park from dawn to dusk, and attend most classes.

When is a good time to visit?

KPC’s Prayer Room, Peace Park, and grounds are open every day for visitors who wish to meditate, visit the stupas (sacred structures), and enjoy the walking trails. If you have a few hours, then Sundays are good days to visit the Temple. You can attend a meditation class, participate in a traditional Tibetan Buddhist prayer and offering ceremony, and listen to a teaching on the Buddhist path. For more information on specific times, see the Sunday Schedule.

Do I have to know how to meditate to come to the classes or ceremonies?

No. Meditation is not a prerequisite for any of the activities. If you would like to learn about meditation, you are most welcome to participate in the meditation instruction class, Stabilizing the Mind, that is offered on Sunday mornings. The class is free of charge and open to the public. No preregistration is necessary. Experienced meditators are also welcome to attend the class and the group meditation session that follows.

How should I dress when visiting the Temple?

You are welcome to visit in casual or dressy clothing. Since the Temple has a large monastic community of monks and nuns with vows of celibacy, we ask that visitors do not wear clothing that is unreasonably revealing. If you plan to spend time sitting in the Prayer Room or meditating, you may want to consider wearing clothing that is comfortable rather than too restrictive. While in the Prayer Room or other Teaching Room, we ask that you remove your shoes.

Will there be someone on hand to answer questions or give a tour?

Sundays are dedicated to welcoming visitors and we do our best to answer questions you may have and/or provide tours of the Temple. If you would like to schedule a tour in advance, please call 301-710-6259 and leave a voice mail message or write us at kpc@tara.org. We will do our best to welcome you.

Are children allowed at the Temple, even small children?

Yes, absolutely. We welcome people of all ages. However, we do not have a child-care program and young children must be supervised by the adults who bring them to the Temple.

Can I bring my dog to the Temple?

Although we don’t restrict you from bringing a dog to the Temple, we also don’t encourage it. Dogs must stay outdoors and cannot be left unattended on the grounds at any time. Dogs must be on a leash at all times, regardless of how well trained or behaved. If you wish to have your dog accompany you on the walking trails in the 65-acre Peace Park , you are welcome to do so, also on a leash. If you do bring your dog, we encourage you to take a walk around the sacred stupas, so your dog, as well as you, may benefit from the blessing.

Does the Temple accommodate school groups or tour groups?

Group visits are definitely welcome! We host many youth groups from other religious traditions, as well as school groups (from youngsters to adult learners) frequently as part of a course curriculum in comparative religion. If your group would like to come on a day other than Sunday, it is best to schedule the visit in advance, so that we can be sure to have someone on hand to welcome you, explain aspects of the Temple’s activities and the Buddhist path, and answer questions.

As a Buddhist Temple, we are also a place of pilgrimage for other Buddhists, including larger groups who visit on traditional holy days or sometimes as part of a Washington, D.C. area tourist experience.

Is there a restaurant at the Temple?

There is not a restaurant at KPC. There are restaurants in Poolesville and Darnestown.

Are overnight accommodations available at the Temple?

There are no overnight accommodations for visitors.

Is there anything to do other than pray, meditate, take a tour or attend a class?

Yes. Although KPC is a Buddhist Temple, dedicated to offering traditional Vajrayana Buddhist teaching and a place of traditional spiritual practice, we welcome guests to visit our extensive and beautiful crystal collection, take photos of the Stupas and Temple, enjoy the 3 1/2 miles of walking trails and birdwatching in the Peace Park.

How can I learn more information about the Temple’s activities and schedule?

To find out about upcoming programs, activities, classes and special events, please sign up for our mailing list. There is no charge and you are welcome to unsubscribe at any time.