Maitreya Center


Building a Buddhist Monastery in the West

If you would like to support this virtuous project, please Donate Online.

To receive a Dharma Gift for your contribution please participate in our Dharma Gifts Campaign.   You may also sponsor a Room or Space in the Maitreya Center or one of the 1,000 Buddha Statues.

Click here to see the latest update (video) of this auspicious project.


A Letter from Lama Norlha Rinpoche

"Dear Members, Friends, Dharma Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you very much for your support over the years. I have been in America for 31 years and you have been so kind to both the Dharma Center here and my projects in Tibet. For this I am very happy.

Together we built the Kagyu Thubten Chöling Enlightenment Stupa [pictured top right], dedicated to the vision of world peace. Now, in order to firmly plant the Buddha's teachings in this country with all of its diversity, I would like you to join me in building the Maitreya Center.

The main function of the Maitreya Center will be to bring people together [pictured on right] . In some places there are centers for lay people only. In other places, for ordained sangha only. When all of us, lay practitioners and monks and nuns, practice together, our experience of the depth of the Buddha's teachings is enriched and enhanced. The Maitreya Center will provide the space for this to happen.

Statues for our new meditation hall within the Maitreya Center are underway. Now inside KTC's stupa sits a 10-foot Guru Rinpoche statue which will eventually be placed in the meditation hall [pictured on right]. A 34-foot Maitreya Buddha is nearing completion in Nepal and a 10-foot Buddha Sakyamuni Buddha statue has been commissioned from Thailand. Recently several statues [pictured bottom right] have been acquired for the Center's Amitabha Hall as well.

The project has already begun. We are currently hooking up to town water and sewer, and are laying the pipes for the Center.

With everyone's collective energy and help we can make this possible. The Buddha said that the merit accumulated by contributing at any level to such a virtuous project is inconceivable, like a drop of water joining inseparably with a great ocean. It will bring so much merit to so many beings.

Thank you again everyone for your kindness and I sincerely hope all of us together can make this vision a reality.

Yours in the Dharma,

Lama Norlha Rinpoche

The Importance of Building a Monastery in the West

A Letter of Endorsement from the 17th Karmapa

"Lama Norlha has aspired to construct a Monastery in the United States of America. I feel very pleased about this meritorious activity and would like to encourage everyone to support him in this noble endeavor."

A Letter of Endorsement from His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche

"To Whom It May Concern:

"Kagyu Thubten Chöling monastery, under the guidance of the Venerable Lama Norlha, is building a traditional vajrayana Buddhist monastery in Wappingers Falls, New York, United States of America.

"The Maitreya Center will be a 35,000-square foot monastery, which will bear the unique distinction of including a Mahayana shrine hall with an Amitabha statue, as well as a main shrinehall housing three statues: Shakyamuni Buddha (10 feet) Guru Rinpoche (10 feet) and Maitreya Buddha (32 feet). This center will be a model for bringing together different religious tradtions and cultures to share both their common heritage and their diversity. Inclusive, cooperative projects of this nature are especially important during these times of increasing conflict throughout the world, in order to promote understanding, tolerance, and peace.

"The main focus of the Maitreya Center will be the study and practice of the Buddhadharma according to the unbroken lineage of the Buddha's teachings creating a place where lay people can work with traditional monastics to learn about and practice the sacred Dharma. The center will also serve the wider community. In addition, construction of a monastery promotes a harmonious environment in the country in which it is established and throughout the world. Participating in such a noble project financially or with any other type of support is very meritorious and [a] great honor.

"In accordance with the sincere request of the Venerable Lama Norlha and KTC monastery and its trustees, the Maitreya Center will be a branch of the Palpung Congregation of Vajrayana Buddhism, in New York, USA.

"I encourage everyone to join me in supporting this outstanding endeavor."

Yours in the Holy Dharma

The Twelfth Tai Situpa

About the Maitreya Center

To browse through the architect's drawings of the Maitreya Center, click on either of these images.


The Maitreya Center will be a 35,000 square foot, two-story building with a basement. It will house the Maitreya Hall and the adjoining Amitabha Hall, each dedicated to unique aspects of Buddhist meditation practice. There will also be a meeting room, a kitchen and dining room, and classrooms for art, language, music, dance, and instruction in the various aspects of meditation.

In order to ensure the transmission of Buddhist spiritual practices to Western practitioners, most of whom are lay people, the Center will provide space for members of the ordained Buddhist sangha and the lay sangha to practice together. It is Lama Norlha Rinpoche's conviction that providing a shared practice space of this sort is essential if the spiritual heritage of the East is to transition successfully to the West.

The second floor will include a self-sufficient apartment overlooking the scenic Hudson River, which will serve as private accommodations for His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche Yangsi and other great teachers who visit Kagyu Thubten Chöling. There will also be living quarters for Kagyu Thubten Chöling's abbott, Lama Norlha Rinpoche.

In the basement, a spacious dining room and kitchen have been designed to accommodate the many people who visit Kagyu Thubten Chöling for special events. In compliance with codes governing handicap accessibility, an elevator will be installed, as well as appropriate ramps and doorways, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of the activities taking place at the monastery and at the Maitreya Center.

To view images related to the Maitreya Center, please visit our photo galleries Building the Shell and Creation of Stormwater Sytem.

The Benefits of Contributing to this Virtuous Project

With everyone's collective energy and assistance, we can make the Maitreya Center a reality. Preserving the unique spiritual heritage of the East here in the West will provide countless beings the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom and compassion of great masters of the past and present. The merit of contributing to such a project at any level is inconceivable. It is said that just as a drop of water that enters the ocean becomes part of the entire ocean for as long as the ocean remains, a person who contributes in even a small way to a virtuous project shares the benefits and blessings of the entire project.

If you would like to support this virtuous project, please Donate Online.

Join Our Matching Campaign: Double your donation if you give by June 2!

To receive a Dharma Gift for your contribution please participate in our Dharma Gifts Campaign.   You may also sponsor a Room or Space in the Maitreya Center or one of the 1,000 Buddha Statues.