International Buddhist Meditation Center

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The International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles was founded in 1970 by Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An, a scholar and Zen Master from Vietnam. He came to the United States as a visiting professor at UCLA, and at the urging of his students, founded the Center to provide a place for them to practice meditation and the Buddhist Path.

When Dr. Thien-An died in 1980, Ven. Dr. Karuna Dharma, one of the founders of the Center, became the Abbess. Under her direction, the IBMC Monks and Dharma Teachers continue the Center's activities. IBMC was one of four original Zen centers founded in the United States to cater specifically to the needs of Western-born Americans. Over ten other temples have sprung from IBMC, with monks training at the Center until they became qualified to establish their own sites.

IBMC was the first American temple to ordain Westerners as bhikkus and bhikkunis (fully ordained monks and nuns). At the Grand Ordination held in December, 1994, the Center was the first to have a full ordination ceremony presided over by a woman and the first to have Western disciples of Asian masters fully ordain their own disciples. This temple is very unique in that there are monastics from Theravada, Zen, Vajrayana, and Mahayana in residence at the temple. There are practitioners and followers of all forms of Buddhism that come to their religious services.


Programs available at the IBMC include:

  • Meditation instruction, daily practice, weekend retreats, and workshops.
  • Training of monks, dharma teachers, and laypeople.
  • Ceremonies celebrating traditional Buddhist holidays and personal events.
  • Residential program for those who want a peaceful environment and more opportunity to practice.
  • Special Programs include a prison outreach.

External links