How did a Kadampa Buddhist Temple for World Peace arise in Baltimore, Maryland?
Buddha originally gave teachings in India, over 2600 years ago. Those teachings subsequently spread to Tibet and other eastern countries, only moving to the rest of the world quite recently. The history of the New Kadampa Tradition in America, and now Baltimore, can be traced to 1977. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who lived in India at the time, accepted a request to teach in the West, leaving his home, his Teacher, his family, his culture and everything he knew to give Buddha’s teachings to a group of students in a castle in the Lake District of rural England. Subsequently, over the course of the next 40 years, “Geshe-la” as he is affectionately called, worked continuously to help Kadampa Buddhism spread throughout the world for the first time. In 1991, Geshe-la gave his inaugural teachings in the United States to a group of 50 students in Seattle, Washington. Later, Venerable Geshe-la would return to live as a Resident Teacher in Dallas, Texas, subsequently teaching to larger audiences throughout the United States and the world.
In 1994, Geshe-la requested a number of his students to come to the United States to establish meditation centers. Kadam Morten Clausen (who now teaches in New York City) established a Center in Washington DC, and his students soon began classes in Baltimore and the surrounding area. In 1996, the Center in Baltimore was officially established under the name Vikatadamshtri Center, and soon moved to a home in Charles Village near Hopkins Homewood campus.
The community gradually grew and has offered instruction in meditation to tens of thousands of people in the local area. As the Center matured, it was re-named “Kadampa Meditation Center (KMC) Maryland” to indicate that it is the principal Kadampa Center in the area. In May 2014, the Center moved to its current location, converting an existing building into the temple you see today. As you can see, the Temple is the result of the efforts of countless people over many years, most notably our founder, Geshe-la.
Thank you everyone for your support, generosity and prayers over the years!