Ithaca's Buddhist Monastery Unique in U.S.

March 29, 2008

Author: Parveen Talpur

Source: Star-Gazette/Gannett News Service

Tucked inside a turn-of-the-century Victorian house at 412 Aurora St. in Ithaca is a well-known Buddhist monastery that draws in students and visitors from all over North America.

"From the outside, you couldn't tell it is a temple because it is a house in a downtown neighborhood, except for the gold and brown colors, typical of a Buddhist temple," says Mary Soong of Ithaca, who passes by it frequently.

The Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies was established in 1992 by the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, so that Tibetans could have a religious and cultural sanctuary. It also was created so that Western students could have the opportunity to study authentic Tibetan Buddhism in a monastic setting.