Dear Kadampa Center Family and Friends,

2021 comes to a close, and we want to express great gratitude and appreciation as we celebrate each and every precious member of our community. Heartfelt gifts of money, time, and talent have made a world of difference for Kadampa Center. It has been a tough year, but we can still rejoice.

The Dharma is flourishing at Kadampa Center, and we are reaching farther across the globe than ever before.

Whether giving once or becoming a Monthly Sustainer, we’ve made it easier than ever to give! There is no need to fill out a separate pledge form. Simply fill out the online giving form and choose your Sustainer gift amount and frequency.

With deep appreciation for your support!

Spiritual Programs continued working to bring the most meaningful teachings and practices possible to our Kadampa Community: Sunday teachings, Discovering Buddhism classes, lamrim teachings, visiting teachers, introductory classes (Meditation 101 and Buddhism in a Nutshell), meditations, pujas, and our new Exploring Buddhism class. IT IS AMAZING!! All of this is possible because of the generosity of our community. 

Our Outreach Program gave out hundreds of handmade masks to children at our local schools, and thousands of love notes written and shared with organizations such as Meals on Wheels, and installed our own Free Little Pantry – such an immense amount of kindness and compassion. Our Pen Pal Program continues, where inmates can reach out to a practicing Buddhist to explore an unfamiliar path, how wonderful!! 

The Family Program put hundreds of hours into creative projects, including a graphic novel of our Geshes’ lives. They are taking a much-deserved break now from both virtual and in-person activities.

Kadampa Center is blessed with the wisdom, patience, and loving-kindness of our two resident teachers, Geshe Gelek and Geshe Sangpo. We have the great fortune to have the technology that has enabled us to receive precious teachings online from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, our resident geshes, as well as many virtual visiting teachers. 

We can rejoice in the in-person gatherings offered at the center this year, including the special Refuge Ceremony with Geshe Gelek on Lama Tsongkhapa Day, Outreach’s Compassion for Animals events, morning meditation, the Dorje Khadro Fire Puja on New Year’s Eve, and monthly circumambulating with Geshe Sangpo. We continue to plan additional in-person events at the center, always keeping the safety of our Sangha, volunteers and community as our highest priority. 

Even with our blessings, we remain in the real world. We still need to maintain our building and grounds, pay the utilities and insurance, and support our precious geshes and other teachers. We reduced our spending in 2021 to focus on those key priorities, spending 20% less than we spent in 2020, achieving a “break even” budget (donations and spending were approximately equal). 

While 2021 was full of stops and starts, we believe that 2022 is a year of great potential.
Though plans for future spending continue to be mindful of the uncertainties of samsara, we aspire to rebuild our in-person programs and opportunities for us to practice at the center. Your generosity allowed Kadampa Center to operate during two difficult years, and we rely on your giving not only to continue, but enable us to add staff, expand operations, and support our visiting teachers and classes.

Please take a few moments in this holiday season to renew (or boost!) your sustainer giving or make a one-time donation in support of Kadampa Center.  If you do not give monthly, please consider signing up. Our online donation process is easier than ever, and it is no longer necessary to fill out a separate pledge with your donation. 

From the hearts of the people of Kadampa Center comes amazing generosity that supports our precious resident geshes, all of our programs, and has made it possible to continue to fulfill the wishes of our teachers. Without you, none of this would be possible.

With much love and deep appreciation,

Robbie Watkins,

Center Director

Sandy Carlson,

President of the Board of Directors


(use the arrows to scroll through highlights of 2021)


We are so blessed to have the technology to receive online teachings with highly qualified FPMT teachers virtually visiting our community.

Venerable George Churinoff, Venerable Robina Courtin, and Gen Don Hendrick are all frequent visiting teachers at Kadampa Center. 


Geshe Sangpo returned to Elon University for the seventh year to create a sand mandala for peace and healing. Last year, Geshe Sangpo was unable to visit campus due to the pandemic.

“When people come here to view and experience the creation of this mandala, which represents the calling together of all the positive, peaceful energy, they are each bringing a little piece of that energy with them, and they all leave with the collective energy they’ve generated,” said Elise Strevel, Kadampa Center’s Outreach Coordinator.


“Give what you can, take what you need”—this is the mantra of the Little Free Pantry. Nestled between two bushy evergreen trees, the bright red box at Kadampa Center invites any passerby to open its door and find what they need, whether it’s food, toiletries, or paper goods.

Geshe Sangpo performed a beautiful blessing, painted mantras in the pantry, and donated the very first items of food.

The current pandemic, with the economic stresses that accompany it, inspired members of the Kadampa Center community to create our own Little Free Pantry. Filled with cans, jars, and boxes of food, it not only helps our neighbors, but also allows our members to practice loving kindness, compassion, and generosity.

The story of our Little Free Pantry was also shared in Mandala Magazine as well as FPMT’s Community News


Kadampa Center is part of the pilot program developed by the FPMT – Exploring Buddhism. The program is offered in cooperation with Guhysamamaja Center, Lama Yeshe Ling, Shantideva Center, Thubten Kunga Ling, and Lama Yeshe Ling Study Group.

Kadampa Grounds


Our grounds are looking so beautiful due to the joyful efforts of our community!

Relaying the entryway bricks, planting, mowing, weeding, mulching and so, so much more!


In gratitude for her continuous, caring service during this year, the kids thanked their volunteer teacher, Vivian, with handmade cards, homegrown plants, and a basket of goodies! 

Vivian has been instrumental in leading the Kadampa Kids in the graphic novel based on the lives of our resident teachers.


Volunteer Community in Action!
Our painting team descended on the gompa with brushes, rollers and high spirits, and in short time gave this holy room a fresh, clean new look.

From patching a damaged bit of wall to meticulous preparations for painting the metal outer door, the team worked hard and happily and our gompa looks amazing!


Our Pen Pal letter writing has continued on a limited basis through 2021. While we aren’t able to do our typical meditation classes in person in the NC prisons, the Kadampa Center Prison Project is working with the Edgecombe County Detention Center to establish an ongoing opportunity for jail residents to read and experience the Houses of Healing Curriculum and exercises. We look forward to supporting this effort as best we can remotely!


The Kadampa Center Bookstore had several sales this past summer. We were also able to donate many items to families in need!

We appreciate all the volunteers that have worked so hard on organizing and inventorying everything! Our goal in 2022 will be even more focused on books, holy items, and practice items that support our spiritual practice. 


Our online Zoom presence has enabled people from far-flung areas to hear Geshe-la teach, including Spanish-speaking students, thanks to Ale Almeda’s translation skills on Sunday mornings. People are coming online from Argentina, Mexico, Thailand, and Canada, as well as many other states in the US. 


Many Outreach volunteers pulled together to express a bounty of love and compassion in 2021. Here are a few highlights:

  • Installed the Little Free Food Pantry at Kadampa Center
  • Donated over 200 reusable grocery bags to Urban Ministries and the Food Bank of NC
  • Donated 108 Children’s books to Wake Up and Read
  • Wrote almost 2,500 personal notes for the precious clients of Meals on Wheels
  • Donated 360 reusable face masks for school children
  • Partnered with Triangle Interfaith Alliance for an interfaith presentation and a Gratitude Prayer Service
  • Partnered with Interfaith Creation Care of the Triangle for 5 on-line and in-person events to provide education and support for climate change solutions
  • Provided presentations on Buddhism to 15 local High School students and 3 NCSU graduate students
  • Supported Geshe Sangpo’s 3-day Green Tara Sand Mandala event at Elon University


 SAVE THE DATES! While we’ve been providing programs for our Center community, we’ve also started planning the next Light of the Path retreat, Aug. 14-28 2022, which will be online.


Pema Grows a Happy Heart, a children’s instructional story that explains the meaning of, and a simple visualization for, Chenrezig’s mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum. We’ve created first three e-illustrations and recorded the initial audio scratch track. Final project formats to include audio, eBook and print versions. Efforts continue into 2022. 


Seeds of Compassion, a four-month campaign currently being developed to encourage acts of compassion by providing examples of simple compassionate acts that benefit Self, Family, Community and Planet. Examples to appear in This Week, KC’s weekly newsletter, and on KC FaceBook pages, January through April, 2022.

Kadampa Center Financials