Welcome to Aryaloka!

Aryaloka is a place dedicated to the study and practice of Buddhism. We are part of the Triratna Buddhist Community - an international network of public centers, communities and projects. Our mission is to create the best possible conditions in which to explore and practice the Buddhist path. We study and practice meditation and Buddhadharma in a spiritual community based on the ideals of compassion, generosity, and awareness.

Below you'll find information about featured and upcoming events, retreats, and news from our center. Hope to see you soon!

Upcoming Events at Aryaloka:

Open Meditation Sessions

Open Meditation Sessions

Event Dates: Tuesday and Thursday Mornings


Are you looking for more opportunities to meditate with others or for help maintaining a regular meditation practice? Join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for open meditation sessions, followed by time for discussion. Everyone is welcome to attend. Some guidance will be provided for those new to meditation, but anyone looking for an in-depth introduction ... Read more

Monday Morning Open Meditation Practice

Monday Morning Open Meditation Practice

Event Dates: Monday Mornings


Everyone is welcome to join us for Monday morning meditation practice. There are two meditation periods, one from 7:00 a.m. till 8:00 a.m., a great way to start your work week, and another from 8:30 a.m. till 10:00 a.m. The First meditation session includes chanting the refuges and precepts, and a three fold puja. From 8:30 a.m. till 10:00 a.m. we offer a silent open meditation session.

We have added this practice time because our Tuesday and Thursday morning meditations have been well attended and we want to offer supp... Read more

Teen Night

Teen Night

Event Dates: Ongoing, First Tuesday evening of each month


Join Alisha Roberts for Teen Night at Friends Night on the first Tuesday Evening of every month. The teen group will meditate for 40 minutes then come together for discussion.

Friends Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:00 p.m., when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated.

Read more

Friday Practice Evening

Friday Practice Evening

Event Dates: July 1st, Aug. 19th, Sept. 2nd, Sept 30th, Nov. 4th, December 9th, and Dec. 16th


 Join us for a session of collective practice, including meditation, chanting, and a special puja on the Fridays closest to the full moon. Most evenings are from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Evenings that include a full moon puja are from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Each evening includes a combination of meditation (either the Mindfulness of Breathing or Metta Bhavana practices) with some minimal explanation for any newcomers, a short reading, and some chanting... Read more

Sunday Evenings on the Screen Porch with a Poem

Sunday Evenings on the Screen Porch with a Poem

Event Dates: Sundays, July 3rd, July 10th, July 17th, Aug. 7th, Aug. 14th and Sept. 4th


This summer on Sundays from 4:00 p.m. till 5:30 p.m. we will meet to talk about a poem each week, when the center is not in use for a retreat.

A poem can be a powerful thing, sometimes bringing up a memory, or a question, an insight, sometimes confusion or pain, love or joy. And often different people hear different things. We’re hoping we can learn more about ourselves, each other, life, and the Dharma as we do this.

If you have a poem from your past, o... Read more

Vajra Bell – Summer 2016

Vajra Bell – Summer 2016

In this issue:

  • Arts at Aryaloka; Kavyadrishti’s poetry
  • The Path of Practice “Where Love Meets Wisdom”, by Dh. Kamalashila
  • The Path of Practice: “Developing Happiness and Wisdom”, by Dh. Amala
  • “Pilgrimage to Kyoto”, by Neil Harvey
  • Sangha Connections, Bettye Pruitt interviews Dh. Narottama
  • What’s new in Buddhaworks, the Aryaloka bookstore, by Dh. Shantikirika
  • Sangha notes from Aryaloka, M... Read more

Children’s Sangha

Children’s Sangha

Event Dates: Sundays, Nov. 13th, and Dec. 18th


These classes offer a simple introduction to Buddha’s teachings by emphasizing kindness and respect for others. The class is for children ages up to 9. In each class there is a short talk, gentle meditation, and an arts and crafts activity related to a Buddhist theme. Parents must remain on premises and parents of very young children are asked to stay with their child to assist them if needed.

These gatherings are a wonderful way to introduce Buddhism and mindfulness to your young ones. Each month, Alish... Read more

Tuesday Friends’ Night: Late Summer Series

Tuesday Friends’ Night: Late Summer Series

Event Dates: Begins Tuesday August 9, 2016


Friends Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:00 p.m., when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated.

The 40-minute silent meditation in the main shrine room is typically not guided. (If you prefer to have prior instruction, see the Programs section for more information on introductory classes.)

... Read more

Introduction to Noble Silence Weekend Retreat

Introduction to Noble Silence Weekend Retreat

Event Dates:  Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, – Sunday, Aug 28, 2016


On this weekend retreat we will be exploring the practice of Noble Silence – stillness of body, speech, and mind – and learning how to bring stillness into our daily lives. If you are considering attending a longer, multi-day Noble Silence retreat, this event would be an excellent introduction. It will give you an idea of what to expect on the longer retreat and also what you may encounter as you go deeper within your practice.

The Noble Silence retreats are open to people who have al... Read more

Men’s GFR Retreat

Men’s GFR Retreat

Event Dates: Friday, September 9, 2016 – Sunday, September 18, 2016


The 2016 Men’s Going for Refuge Retreat will take place on Friday, Sept. 9th – Sunday, Sept. 18th.

Please Note: This retreat is open only to Men currently in the Ordination Process for the Triratna Buddhist Order.

Payment Instructions:

Deposit: Below please pay $100 to hold your spot for the retreat.

Sliding Scale after deposit is paid:$420/$320/$230
Read more

Friends’ Night At UU Fellowship

Friends’ Night At UU Fellowship

Event Dates: Tuesday, September 13th, October 18th & October 25th


This fall while Aryaloka’s building will be closed for retreats, Tuesday Friends’ Night will take place at the Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Tuesday’s, September 13th, October 18th and October 25th.  All other Tuesday Friends’ Night’s will take place at Aryaloka. 

The Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship h... Read more

Introduction to Meditation Course

Introduction to Meditation Course

Event Dates: Wednesday evenings, September 21, 2016 – October 12, 2016


This four-week course provides a thorough introduction to the fundamentals of sitting meditation practice. During the course, two different meditation practices will be taught: the Mindfulness of Breathing and Meditation on Loving Kindness. These are traditional Buddhist meditation techniques dating back to the time of the Buddha, although one does not need to be a Buddhist or have Buddhist beliefs t... Read more

Sublime Composure: Yoga and Meditation Retreat

Sublime Composure: Yoga and Meditation Retreat

Event Dates: Friday, September 23, 2016 – Sunday, September 25, 2016


With yoga and meditation we can cultivate a beautiful tranquility in the body and heart. We will explore how each practice enriches the other, contributing to a sustained calm that can change the way we live and our perception of the world around us.

Suitable both for beginners and experienced practitioners, the weekend will intertwine periods of Buddhist mindfulness meditation and Ashtanga Yoga. The meditation practices will focus on awareness of the body as a doorway to insig... Read more

The Stitch-fold Path: Coloring the Buddha Quilt Show

The Stitch-fold Path: Coloring the Buddha Quilt Show

Event Dates: Fall 2016


Dh. Akashavanda loves playing with color and texture to translate traditional Buddhist images and symbols into a more contemporary rendering. This show will present a collection of art quilts that celebrate the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha through vibrant color and a bit of sparkle.

The dates and times of public viewing are: Monday – Friday  10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 10/10/16 – 10/14... Read more

Ethics to Insight: Women’s Going For Refuge Retreat

Ethics to Insight: Women’s Going For Refuge Retreat

Event Dates: Friday, October 14, 2016 – Wednesday, October 26, 2016


*Please Note: This retreat is open only to women currently in the Ordination Process for the Triratna Buddhist Order.*

“It is quite important to be sure within oneself whether one is really leading a moral life or just respecting the prejudices of the group within which one happens to be.” (Sangharakshita)

We will explore the relationship between our actions, our speech and our minds, and what it means for us to take on the ten precepts at ordination. We ... Read more

Path of Practice: Life Anew – A Morning With The Buddhas

Path of Practice: Life Anew – A Morning With The Buddhas

Event Dates: Saturday, November 5, 2016


The Triratna Path of Practice offers a framework for the spiritual life, based on Buddhadharma as interpreted by Triratna’s founder, Sangharakshita. The Path consists of five distinct aspects or stages: Peace, Happiness, Wisdom, Freedom of Heart and Mind, and Spontaneous Compassionate Activity. One moves in and through the different aspects in cycles, revisiting each aspect at different times and varying depths.

In 2016 Aryaloka will be delving into the Path of Practice, exploring the Path as a whole, each indi... Read more

Intensive Noble Silence Retreat

Intensive Noble Silence Retreat

Event Dates: Wednesday, November, 16, 2016 – Tuesday, November, 22, 2016


This intensive retreat creates an atmosphere conducive to extended meditation with the fewest external distractions. Retreat participants will have no responsibilities during their time here so they can focus completely on their meditation practice. An emphasis on the collective aspect of practice using the five precepts is woven into the fabric of this retreat.

Participants will have the opportunity for daily, individual conversations with retreat leaders about their meditation... Read more

A Day of Simplicity and Community Pot Luck

A Day of Simplicity and Community Pot Luck

Event Dates: Friday November 25, 2016


Skip the crowds at the mall and the chaos of the Black Friday sales. This year, Aryaloka will be opening its doors the day after Thanksgiving for a day of mindful peace and quiet. Join in on a light schedule of sitting and walking meditation, Dharma and poetry reading, mandala coloring, and mantra chanting. There will be plenty of free time to catch up with friends and a delicious pot luck lunch. The shrine and yoga rooms will be silent zones a... Read more

Exploring Insight: Advanced Meditation Course

Exploring Insight: Advanced Meditation Course

Event Dates: Wednesdays, November 30, 2016 – December 21. 2016


On this four-week course we’ll explore insight meditation: how is it related to and different from calming and concentration approaches to meditation? We will also explore the Three Lakshanas (“marks”) of impermanence, non-self, and unsatisfactoriness. Contemplation of the Three Lakshanas loosens our fixed sense of reality and opens us up to a more fluid sense of ourselves and the world around us.  Prior experience with Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana practice... Read more

Path of Practice: Spontaneous Compassionate You!

Path of Practice: Spontaneous Compassionate You!

Event Dates: Saturday, December 10, 2016


This is a guilt free zone. No martyrdom. No drudgery allowed.

Yes, Spontaneous Compassionate Activity is the final stage of the Path of Practice, the fruit of the Buddha’s Path, and the culmination of all our efforts towards Awakening. All very lofty! But, Surprise! We are already practicing this perfection every time we smile at a stranger, offer a helping hand, a pencil, a kind word.

We do not have to contort ourselves into a different kind of being, morose, determined, doing good because we’ve been... Read more

Winter Meditation Retreat

Winter Meditation Retreat

Event Dates: December 23, 2016 – Saturday, December 31, 2016


Tis the season to be still! Tis the season to reflect!

As we enter the depths of winter we will use the opportunity of this end of year retreat to do two things: We will simply enjoy days of shared stillness, deep silence and meditation, and we will quietly reap the benefits this will inevitably bring.

For those who want to, we will also engage in the practice of some structured reflections that are pertinent to the year’s end. We may, for example, get in touch with what has positi... Read more