Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Poolesville, MD Temporarily Closes

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Open to the public for twenty-eight years, Buddhist Temple temporarily closes and appeals to the community to help fully reopen in order to provide services, meditation classes and activities.

Tens of thousands of people have meditated, prayed and visited Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC), Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Poolesville, MD since 1985. As of March 1, the Temple has not been able to hold public events, as necessary renovations severely limit activities and bring a stop to classes, activities and the gift shop within the building.

Further, the situation is such that the Temple could be completely closed if the necessary renovations are not completed within a reasonable period of time, while the precise timetable remains to be determined. The grounds surrounding the Temple and Peace Park remain open to the public and the 24-hour per day, 7-day per week Prayer Vigil, unbroken for 28 years, remains open and can be visited.

Extensive renovations are necessary to meet compliance requirements with Montgomery County, Maryland’s Building Use and Occupancy Code. KPC’s goal is to begin the mandatory building renovations and comprehensive interior upgrades as soon as possible, including fire separation, electrical and plumbing work, storm water management throughout the grounds, the installation of extensive sprinkler systems throughout the building, and fire truck access. The initial estimate for this exceeds $1,000,000.

KPC is looking at creatively providing services during this interim period by providing teachings online, hosting outdoor events including weekly Sunday BBQ’s, and having greeters available for visitors.

In late March, a weekend of sacred empowerments and teachings will take place in a heated tent on the front lawn of the Temple. Khenpo Tenzin Norgay, a highly respected teacher, originally from Bhutan, will lead a “Phowa” retreat from March 22-26. Phowa is the traditional Buddhist teaching and method for the transference of consciousness at the time of death.

The public remains invited to visit the 7-acre Temple grounds and the 65-acre Peace Park during daylight hours, which contains walking trails, Stupas, prayer wheels and meditation benches. Stupas are ancient forms of Buddhist architecture that are considered to embody the enlightened mind. One of the main features of the Temple, the 24-hour Prayer Vigil dedicated to peace and begun in 1985 will be maintained privately by the site’s resident monks and nuns, with the help of a small group of friends, thereby continuing the unbroken stream of prayers. People may still request prayers for loved ones, at http://www.tara.org.

“We’ve kept the doors open for twenty-eight years,” said Founder and Spiritual Director, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, who created the 24-hour Prayer Vigil. “So many people, both local and far away, let me know, how much they have been helped in times of difficulty by finding a place to come and be at peace at all hours of day and night”.

The members of KPC are making an urgent appeal to those who have participated, visited or benefited from the Temple. Claire Waggoner, President of KPC says “KPC Temple has been a source of refuge for those needing sanctuary, and we are committed to fully reopening with the help of the community near and far who value this place.”

Updates to the status of the renovation, reopening of the Temple and event information will be posted on http://www.tara.org. For more information, or questions, please contact KPC by email at kpc(at)tara(dot)org or call 301-710-6259. KPC is a Vajrayana Buddhist organization founded to uphold the Palyul Lineage in the Nyingma tradition, located at 18400 River Road, Poolesville, MD.

Press Contact: Shelley Sims, 928-300-9917, shelleynsims(at)aol(dot)com

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