Located just outside of Washington, D.C., the city of Falls Church, Virginia encompasses 2.2 square miles and has a population of 12,332 people. Though there are no Buddhist temples within the city limits, there are several in close proximity to Falls Church. Falls Church's location in northern Virginia and near Washington, D.C. means traveling to nearby cities is easily accomplished by car, bus or Metro.
Shambhala Meditation Center
The Shambhala Meditation Center of Washington, DC "is part of a global community of meditation centers which aspire to awaken kindness, goodness and wisdom within society, through a variety of classes, retreats, community events, and free of charge public meditation sessions." The Shambhala Meditation Center is rooted in the Buddhist tradition of gentleness and is located in the Cleveland Park neighborhood, about 12 miles from Falls Church. The staff recommend utilizing Metro to arrive at the Meditation Center as parking is very limited.
Located in Potomac, Maryland, Avatamsaka Vihara is unique in that it is the only East Coast site of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. It exists to "instill, develop and maintain the core virtues of kindness, filial piety, respect, and integrity of the Bhudda's teaching." To accomplish these objectives, Avatamsaka Vihara provides free classes to area youth, weekly Dharma Assembles and holy day celebrations. Driving to Avatamsaka Vihara, about 12 miles from Falls Church, is recommended as arriving at temple using public transportation may be cumbersome, and the facility has ample parking spaces.
Ekoij Buddhist Temple
The Ekoij Buddhist Temple practices Shin Buddhism, whose objective is to "live the life of gratitude, and share the rejoicing of it with others." In addition to regular Sunday services, the temple offers weekly classes, tours and yoga. Additionally, the temple's grounds offer cherry blossom trees and a meditation garden. Driving the 13 miles to Ekoij Buddhist Temple from Falls Church is recommended as the nearest Metro station is several miles away and bus service may not correspond with the temple's service schedule.
Mahayana Sutra and Tantric Center
The Mahayana Sutra and Tantric Center of Washington, DC follows the Gelukpa Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The Center offers a variety of free classes pertaining to Buddhism and meditation in addition to Tibetan language education and occasional weekend retreats. Monthly recitations of the Medicine Buddha ceremony are open to the public and offered completely free of charge. Driving is recommended since the Center is located in northern Virginia several miles from the nearest Metro station. The Mahayana Sutra and Tantric Center is located about 11 miles from the city of Falls Church.
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