Kadampa Buddhism Comes to Los Angeles
Buddha originally gave teachings in India over 2600 years ago. Those teachings later spread to Tibet and other eastern countries, spreading to the rest of the world only recently. The history of the New Kadampa Tradition in America, and now in Los Angeles, can be traced to 1977 when Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, living in India at the time, accepted a request to teach in the West. He left his home, his Teacher, his family, his culture and everything he knew to go to rural England and share Buddha’s teachings with a group of students in a castle in the Lake District. Over the course of the next few decades, Geshe-la (as he is affectionately called), has worked continuously to help Kadampa Buddhism spread throughout the world for the first time in history.
In 1991, Geshe-la gave his first teachings in the UnitedStates to a group of 50 students in Seattle, Washington. Later, he returned to the US to live as a Resident Teacher in Dallas, Texas, teaching to larger and larger audiences throughout the US and the world. Through Venerable Geshe-la’s dedication and loving kindness, a Kadampa Meditation Center first arose in Los Angeles in 2001. The Temple arose in Los Angeles in 2013.
Los Angeles Temple Project
The search for a new location in Los Angeles began in March 2012. In February 2013, Venerable Geshe-la located the property (online) at 4953 Franklin Avenue, and through the extraordinary kindness of the New Kadampa Tradition’s International Temples Project, the property was purchased and a new meditation center in LA was born.
Originally named Kadampa Meditation Center Hollywood, the Temple opened in November 2013 and opened again in April 2014 after further renovations. It has been in continuous operation since. The name changed to Kadampa Meditation Center Los Angeles in November 2020.
Kadampa Meditation Centers in California
There are many Kadampa Meditation Centers in California. Here’s a brief timeline of the events that led to those Centers:
1977, ENGLAND – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso accepts an invitation to teach at a large, old, majestic castle in Ulverston, England.
1991, SEATTLE – Venerable Geshe-la gives teachings in the United States for the first time at Bliss Hall in Seattle.
1994, LOS ANGELES – Khandakapala Buddhist Center (in LA’s Frogtown neighborhood) is founded by a Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
1995, MONTECITO / SANTA BARBARA – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso finishes writing Essence of Vajrayana in Montecito, and establishes a home for Mahakankala Buddhist Center in nearby Santa Barbara.
1996, CALIFORNIA TEACHINGS – Venerable Geshe-la gives teachings and empowerments in California for the first time in San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.
1999, CALISTOGA – An International Kadampa Buddhist Festival is held with Venerable Geshe-la. Over 800 people attend.
2001-2016 ELYSIAN VALLEY – Khandakapala Center is renamed Kadampa Meditation Center California in 2008. Branch classes are offered throughout Los Angeles.
2002, DOWNTOWN LA – An International Kadampa Festival is held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Over 1700 people attend.
2008, THOUSAND OAKS – Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Center is created, (now in Westlake Village), formerly a branch of Khandakapala Center.
2008, REDONDO BEACH – Mahamudra Kadampa Buddhist Center is created, formerly a branch of Khandakapala Center.
2008 – PRESENT – These Centers and their branches continue to benefit people throughout the Los Angeles region.
“The main function of a Temple is that those who see it or develop faith in it will receive special blessings.
“Whoever sees a Temple or an image of Buddha will receive the blessings of Buddha. There is no difference with regard to Buddhists and non-Buddhists – anyone, whenever they see an image of Buddha, or a Temple, will receive blessings.
“Therefore I can say that from my side, or from our side, this is the best public benefit or public service.”Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation
Kadampa Meditation Center Los Angeles is run entirely by volunteers who are working to help the Center offer peace and happiness to the people of Los Angeles and beyond. Donations made to the Center go to the International Temples Fund, creating meditation centers such as this one throughout the world. Donations also help cover the operating expenses of this Center.
If you wish to make a contribution, please: