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Urban Dharma | Buddhist Community in Asheville, North Carolina
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Changing Minds. Transforming Cities.

Our motto expresses the vision of living the transformative teachings of the Buddha in a contemporary context. At Urban Dharma, we strive to integrate rather than compartmentalize, engage rather than retreat, commune rather than isolate.

We believe that Buddhist teachings have much to offer—not only to those who self-identify as Buddhist, but more fundamentally to all who seek to live intentional, compassionate, and balanced lives. And we believe that we can do this best when we have a community that is welcoming, open, and supportive.

Stay tuned as Urban Dharma offers a number of special programs throughout the year. We regularly host visiting teachers, offer short multi-week courses on special topics, celebrate Buddhist holy days, and organize educational, artistic, and cultural programs that resonate with our vision and mission.

The best way to keep abreast of Urban Dharma events is to visit our Facebook page.

Regular Dharma

Urban Dharma hosts a number of special programs throughout the year. Some of these feature visiting teachers, some are multi-part, short-courses on special topics, celebrations of Buddhist holy days, and sometimes educational, art and cultural programs that resonate with the vision and mission of Urban Dharma.

To find out about special events,
follow our Facebook page or subscribe to our mailing list.

Tuesday 7:30-8:30 pm
Guided Calm-abiding Meditation
(secular, non-religious)

Wednesday 7:00-9:00 pm
Drikung Dharmakirti International Sangha
(A practice group  focused on the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.)

Thursday 7:30-9:00 pm
Urban Dharma Open Sangha Night
(guided meditation & open discussion on Buddhist teachings)

COVID-19 Policy
  1.  We welcome all fully vaccinated people (and at least 3 weeks have passed since you’ve been fully vaccinated) to all our indoor programs.
  2. If you are not comfortable with indoor public events or if you remain unvaccinated, please join us on the Internet. We will continue to make our programs available via Zoom and/or Facebook Live as Dr. Lye has been doing throughout the pandemic.
  3. If you feel under the weather—or at all ill—please do not come to the temple. If you know you have recently been exposed to COVID, also please do not come until you have tested negative.
  4. When attending programs at the temple, please assume that other persons are continuing to prefer some physical distancing unless otherwise stated clearly. Please do not take offense if someone prefers to keep a polite distance still.
  5. For fully vaccinated people, masks will be optional as per CDC guidelines. We do recognize that some of us even when fully vaccinated will choose to continue wearing a mask while indoors in a small space.
  6. At this time we will not be providing hot water, drinks or snacks yet. If you would like to have something to drink, please bring your own beverage in a spill-proof thermos or cup.

How we serve the community

Learn & Practice

Urban Dharma is focused on providing educational and spiritual support and training for those interested in the teachings of the Buddha. Although our spiritual director is grounded in the Tibetan tradition, Urban Dharma is home to several different practice groups and we host teachers and programs from various Buddhist traditions. We believe that Buddhist teachings have much to offer—not only to those who self-identify as Buddhist, but more fundamentally to all who seek to live intentional, compassionate, and balanced lives.

Temple & Sanctuary

Conveniently located in the center of downtown Asheville, our temple is a sanctuary and sacred space for all those seeking silence, inspiration, or solace. We offer a meditation space to rest the body and mind, a consecrated Buddhist shrine to experience the sacred and be blessed, and an extensive library (in the back) for studying Dharma.

Gifts, Books & Art

Our temple shop offers a small quality gifts with hints of the exotic East, meditation-related items, sacred art and decor and a selection of books on Buddhism, spirituality and holistic living. Our offerings are specially selected from a much larger range of items that we offer at our online store Tibetan Spirit – a popular, online Buddhist practice supplies store, offering high-quality, yet affordable, Dharma supplies to practitioners and communities that do not have easy access to such items.

  • Small Rituals (Brian L.)

    For a Buddhist, it can be disconcerting to walk through the Asian art wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. Eighth-century Bodhisattva statues flank the entrance to exhibition spaces filled with artifacts. Museum visitors stream by on the search for a famous Van Gogh or Matisse, barely turning their

  • Big Ideas (Ian P.)

    One of the ways humans make sense of the world is by telling stories—to ourselves, about ourselves, about others. About where we came from and where we’re going. All too often, our focus on story—our insistence that there is one and that it go a certain way—interferes with our ability to exp

  • Uncertainty (Joel Q.)

    The future is full of uncertainty. I have studied both law and natural systems and think often about the limits of what society will tolerate, of physics, of our biology. Given this preparation, my career will involve working with a series of uncertain outcomes....

  • Finding a Fresh Start (Aaron B.)

    This of course is no easy task. I can moan about my apartment’s lousy Internet and I can worry that I’m not being social enough with my classmates. I have plenty of materials to craft a mundane life. But the truth is I came to Nepal to pursue the Buddhadharma; I came to pursue a change.