Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 25 March 2013.Phone: 804-272-4625
HistoryEkoji Kagyu Shenpen Tharchin is Richmond's first and only Tibetan Buddhist group. In 1993, Lama Norlha, a teacher with a center in upstate New York, asked several Richmond-area devotees if they would like to set up their own local group. They established a group at Ekoji Buddhist Sangha, where some members were already attending the Pure Land services. The group is lay-led by long-time students of Lama Norlha, who visits Richmond once or twice a year.
Activities and ScheduleEkoji Kagyu Shenpen Tharchin meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on the second floor of the temple, in a special room decorated with vibrant Tibetan motifs. Practice consists of a long series of Tibetan chants, including the Chenrezi and Mahakala sadhanas. These sadhanas incorporate singing, musical instruments, periods of silent meditation, mantras, mudras (symbolic hand gestures), visualizations, and prayer. After the sadhanas members typically hold a book discussion.
DemographicsThe members of Ekoji's Tibetan Buddhist group are all European-Americans, mostly baby boomers. The group has about 15 members and a larger mailing list, but attendance at weekly sadhanas is limited to about five to six people. Although they look to Lama Norlha as their leader, he does not live in Richmond. His semi-annual visits draw a much larger crowd, including not only his formal students but also members from other Ekoji groups and the general community.