Local Meditation

Local Theravada Buddhist Temples 

Local Meditation Groups Based In Theravada Techniques

Local Theravada Meditation Retreats

World Wide Listing Of Buddhist & Meditation Centers On DharmaNet.org

Note: This post is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of meditation resources within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. It merely represents what information is known by the Washington D.C. Buddhist Studies Group. Due to time pressures, there will likely be no attempt to gather or maintain information. If you have information about centers you have personal experience with and that you think would be of interest to our group please feel free to send it via the contact form for the web site.

Meditation Sessions At The Maryland Buddhist Vihara


The Maryland Buddhist Vihara  ( also known as the International Buddhist Center ) hosts a meditation class every Wednesday evening at 8pm.   Bhante Uparatana is  a student of the Venerable Henepola Gunaratana ( author of “Mindfulness In Plain English” ) .  Each meditation session begins with a brief pooja ( Buddhist devotions in Pali ), short loving friendliness mediation and meditation instructions in English.   The meditation part of the session is about 45 minutes long and the entire session on Wednesdays is about an hour.   In the past, sutta discussions and even Pali classes have been offered when there was sufficient interest.

The Maryland Buddhist Vihara is located in Silver Spring, Maryland 3 blocks from the Wheaton metro rail stop. The International Buddhist Center is on the corner of Elmont Street & Grainsville Road, immediately behind the IRS bldg ( red brick, modern architecture ) and the Firestone tire center.

People coming by car will want to turn onto Arcola from Georgia Avenue. From there, make an immediate left turn onto Granesville Road and then make a right turn onto Elmont Street.

The Maryland Buddhist Vihara was established to promote Theravada Buddhist teaching and to provide Buddhist information in the United States and around the world. In addition, it provides spiritual guidance, practices, and educational opportunities for Buddhists and others interested in Buddhism. The primary goal of the IBC is to promote Vipassana meditations and Buddhist education.

The Head Monk and Resident Spiritual director is Bhante Katugastota Uparatana Maha Thera. Bhante Uparatana was ordained as a Buddhist monk under the guidance of Bhante Dr. Henapola Gunaratana Maha Nayaka Thera and Murddeniye Sri Ratanapala Maha Thera in 1966 in Ranwalagedara Viharaya, Sri Lanka. Both have served as his teachers, mentors and spiritual guides since that time. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sanskrit, Buddhist Philosophy and Mass communication from the University of the District of Columbia, USA. He has served the Washington DC community since 1982, as a monk, teacher, and Vipassana meditation teacher. Since 1989, he has donated his services as a Buddhist Chaplain at the American University in Washington, DC.

All services of the International Buddhist Center are offered free of charge and are supported by generous donations from the community.

The Maryland Buddhist Vihara, 2600 Elmont Street, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20902-2700. 301-946-9437

Meditation Sessions At The Buddhist Vihara

The The Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara in addition to providing the space for The Washington D.C. Buddhist Studies Group also hosts an impressive number of meditation sessions and related activities conducted by the Venerable Pannawansa:

Monday 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Tuesday 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Wednesday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Hatha Yoga
Wednesday 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Thursday 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Friday 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Saturday 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Meditation (Bhavana)
Sunday 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Guided meditation (meditation instructions given throughout the session ) for 1 hour, followed by a 1 hour discussion


The Washington Mindfulness Community, a separate organization also holds a meditation session and talk at the vihara every Sunday from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

*Bhavana – Buddhist teachings were originally recorded in the ancient language of Pali. While “meditation” is one translation for the word, bhavana more closely means “to bring forth”, “to develop” or “mental cultivation”.

*Please note that the Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara is able to provide these services through the dana ( donations ) given by the community.  The Vihara also changes this schedule without notice and without contacting this site so please call the Vihara to confirm these events.  202-723-0773.

To learn of scheduling changes for meditation sessions at the Vihara you can subscribe to the Google Group (email list) ViharaMeditation or you might try the Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara Facebook Page.

The Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara is located at 5017 16th St. NW, Washington D.C.  202-723-0773

Meditation Sessions At The Silver Spring Retreat Center

The Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara has a day retreat center at

2419 Briggs Chaney Road
Silver Spring, Maryland

more information:  email Parak pweera -AT- comcast -DOT- new

The lay caretaker is currently ( as of 2012 February 05 ) conducting weekly meditation sessions on Sundays from 9am – Noon. Typically there are 3 meditations of an about an hour each, with short breaks in between and a dhamma talk.

People coming north on Colesville Road ( 29 ) will want to take the exit for Briggs Chaney on the right side of Colesville Road. They will then want to take Briggs Chaney Road West. You will pass an intersection with a shopping center on your left, then a large mosque. The meditation center is in a small white house on your left. There will be a white mailbox near the road with the address on it.