The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) is a cultural center in Bloomington that is dedicated to the people of Tibet and their religion of Buddhism. Set on more than 100 acres of beautiful landscapes, which offer tranquil surroundings for meditation and reflection, the TMBCC provides a quiet locale for a variety of events, including initiations, workshops, seminars, retreats and ceremonies relating to the Mongolian and Tibetan cultures.

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© Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

Established in 1979 by Professor Emeritus Thubten J. Norbu from the University of Indiana, the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center was founded to introduce and acquaint the community with the with the history and culture of Tibet and Mongolia.

The mission of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center is to foster and preserve the cultures of Tibet and Mongolia in the United States, as well as preserve the ancient culture and traditions of Buddhism among the Tibetan exile communities, and the Mongolians of Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuvia. Other primary goals of the TMBCC are to provide education in Tibetan and Mongolian cultures within the local community and to foster cultural exchange between Tibetans around the world.

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2.Building and Grounds

Building and Grounds
© Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

Resting on 108 acres of well-maintained landscapes in the southeast corner of Bloomington, the TMBCC is home to the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Monastery, two traditional stupas, a teaching pavilion and a cultural building, four retreat cottages and two private residences.

The two traditional stupas at the TMBCC are called the Jangchub Chorten, and the Kalachakra stupas are authentic Buddhist monuments built in honor of the Enlightened Mind of the Buddha. The two stupas were dedicated to the faith by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his visitors to the Cultural Center.

The TMBCC is also home to a Cultural Building, which features a main room that houses traditional Tibetan Butter Sculpture, Tibetan paintings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and an extensive research library with an array of books and materials on Buddhism and the Tibetan and Mongolian cultures. The Cultural Building has four retreat cottages on the upper level and a Happy Yak gift shop with books, objects, and other traditional Tibetan items for sale.

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3.Programs and Activities

Programs and Activities
© Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (TMBCC) offers a variety of programs and activities related to the ancient religion of Buddhism and the cultures and traditions of Tibet and Mongolia. Weekly Dharma teachings are offered every Sunday at the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple by Spiritual Teacher, Geshe Kunga, followed by tea and snacks. Other weekly lessons include Meditation Instruction on Monday evenings, Sitting/Walking Meditation on Thursday nights, and Puja Performances each Saturday, including Dug-kar (White Umbrella Deity recitation), Do (Sutra recitation), and Gya-shi (Four Hundredfold offering).

Sand Mandalas can also be created on request by monks at the TMBCC. The ancient and sacred Tibetan art of building sand mandalas are the creation and representation of Buddhist spiritual symbols, which are used as a tool to bless the earth and its inhabitants. Mandalas that can be created include the Mandala of the Medicine Buddha, the Mandala of the Buddha of Compassion, the Mandala of Yamantaka (Wrathful Manifestation of the Buddha of Wisdom), the Mandala of Ghuyasamaja, and the Mandala of Amatayus.

Butter Sculptures are also an important part of the Tibetan Buddhist culture and offered as a part of a sacred religious ceremony. Buddhist Ritual Cakes include Torma – beautiful cakes made from Tsampa roasted barley flour and other unique ingredients. These exquisite butter sculptures can be kept as an original item of arts after the ceremony.

Other exclusive activities at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center include raising prayer flags with the recitation of required prayers in accordance to Tibetan traditions, and consecration and blessings with dharma objects in the temple.

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4.Retreat Cottages

Retreat Cottages
© Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center has cottages and retreat rooms that can be rented for periods of up to one month. Set in the heart of the 108-acre site, cabins are designed to resemble traditional Mongolian yurts and are fully equipped with electricity, plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning, as well as fridges, burner stoves, sinks and microwave ovens.

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5.Visitor Information

Visitor Information
© Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center

The Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center is located at 3655 S Snoddy Road in Bloomington, and guided tours of the buildings and grounds are available for individuals and groups for a modest fee. Visitors can participate in a variety of programs at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple, including attending teachings, enjoying yoga classes, and taking part in monthly Guru Tsok pujas and special events. Visitors can also donate to the Arjia Rinpoche's Mongolian Children's Cancer Treatment Center and sponsor the buildings, grounds, and activities of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center.

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3655 S Snoddy Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401, Phone: 812-336-6807

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Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana