The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center is a (non-sectarian) Center dedicated to the study, practice, and preservation of Buddha’s teachings. Originally named the Lamaist Buddhist Monastery of America, it was founded in 1958 through the great efforts of Geshe Ngawang Wangyal, a Kalmyk-Mongolian guru who received his training in Kalmykia and in Tibet, and has the distinction of being the first Tibetan Buddhist dharma center in the West. Through its educational programs, TBLC provides regular classes on a wide range of Buddhist topics appropriate for both beginning and advanced level students, regardless of their religious affiliation or other distinctions. TBLC also engages in scholarly activities aimed at preserving the Buddhist teachings and making Tibetan materials available for English speakers.
TBLC is a non-profit religious and educational organization run solely on donations. Located on 32 mostly wooded acres in Washington, NJ, the Center is 1.5 hours from New York City and approximately 2 hours from Philadelphia. TBLC facilities include three main buildings that look down upon a central stupa (or “memorial to enlightenment”): the “Retreat House,” the original house, currently serving as a residence; the “School House,” containing a large library and classroom as well as facilities for program attendants, and the “Temple,” which, in addition to housing a place of worship and study, contains a permanent apartment for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who often stays at TBLC when visiting North America.
Among its regular programs, TBLC provides prayer services and teachings on the First Sunday of each month. Several times each year, the Center holds seminars, weekend intensives designed to explore particular topics in more depth. In addition, TBLC celebrates annually Founder’s Day in February and the Maitreya Festival in August.
TBLC is directed by Joshua and Diana Cutler. The Cutlers, who lived and worked closely with Geshe Wangyal for many years, voluntarily administer all TBLC programs and also serve as resident teachers and scholars.
For a video introduction to the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center from PBS39 News, click here