FAQs

We meet in the Heart of the Dove building at 4327 Troost Avenue, just northeast of Country Club Plaza. It’s just 3 blocks north of the intersection of Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Troost.

There’s ample street parking, as well as a gravel lot behind the building, which you can get to using the alley driveway just to the north.

Since we meet at the front of the building on the ground floor, we are completely wheelchair accessible.

Restrooms are in the back of the building and are also handicap accessible. Occasionally, we share the space with another group, in which case we will use the restrooms on the second floor, all the way at the end of the hall and to the left.

Seating is provided in folding chairs (some with padding…). We also have some pillows and rugs, but if you have your own meditation cushion, please bring it!

We always have a table in back with water and snacks, so feel free to bring something for the communal nosh, along with your own water bottle.

Our sangha meets fairly regularly almost every Wednesday from 7-8:30 pm. We gather in the front room of the Heart of the Dove building, 4327 Troost Avenue, KCMO 64110.
All kinds of things! Mostly, though, you’ll find us sitting in quiet meditation. There’s also talks given by our Dharma teachers, followed by a brief Q&A from the sangha regarding the teaching. We have a refuge prayer and a dedication prayer that we say. Sometimes we might even do some chanting. All of it is very accessible for the average Westerner — this is prairie Dharma!
Nope. The Buddhist path draws people from many walks of life. Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, atheist, Wiccan, Hindu — there are many who find this practice helps them be better at whatever they already are. Unlike most world religions, Buddhism is non-theistic and does not require belief in or allegiance to a deity. At IPBC, people are more important than beliefs.
No way! If you are comfortable and prefer sitting on the floor on a cushion with your legs crossed in lotus position — go for it! Otherwise, many sit in chairs or find other alternate meditation positions that work for them. The important thing is to be comfortable and alert, with your spine gently straight.
In the Buddhist tradition, students begin their practice by taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha — the “Three Jewels” or the “Triple Gem.”

– The Buddha refers to not only the historical figure, but all enlightened teachers who lift a lamp along the path.
– The Dharma is the universal truth of how things are, and often refers specifically to the teachings of the Buddha. While study is important and builds a solid foundation, it is also the direct experience of these truths that can truly awaken. Don’t listen to what others say — you must try it out for yourself.
– The Sangha is the gathering of sentient beings setting out on the path of awakening. At IPBC, you are supporting others just by showing up, and they are here supporting you. And we are all in this together.

So this is the Refuge Prayer we say three times:

In Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
We go for refuge until fully awakened.
Through the power of generosity, ethics,
Patience, enthusiastic effort,
Concentration, and wisdom,
For the sake of all beings,
May we realize and demonstrate
Our innate goodness.

Again, in Buddhist tradition, at the conclusion of practice, students dedicate the benefit of whatever they do to the welfare of all beings. The idea is that if any good or helpful thing has come about because of their efforts, that the benefit of these skillful words or actions be spread around to everyone, everywhere. And so we close our practice by saying the Bodhicitta (bodhi meaning ‘awakened’ and citta meaning ‘heart-mind’) Dedication three times:

May the pure brilliant sun of Bodhicitta
Dawn in each and every heart and mind,
Dispelling the darkness of suffering and confusion
Unstoppably, until all are illumined and awakened.

Yes! Our teachers are ordained ministers who perform marriages, baby blessings and funerals. If you would like to talk to any of them to plan your special ceremony, please get in touch personally through this website.
In the West, it’s common to find people using Sanskrit, Pali, or even Tibetan, Korean or Japanese terms, especially for some of the basic Buddhist concepts, or for those terms that don’t easily translate into English. At IPBC, we try to minimize this habit whenever possible (it’s almost always possible) so that the ideas and spirit of the Dharma remain clear and accessible to everyone at all levels. However, you may find that knowing a few key words might come in handy during your practice and study:

Anatta: Not-self; non-existence of a personal, immortal soul; one of the three marks of existence — anicca, anatta, dukkha.

Anicca: Impermanent, subject to change; one of the three marks of existence — anicca, anatta, dukkha.

Bodhi: Enlightenment, awakening.

Bodhicitta: Awakened heart-mind.

Bodhisattva: One who has taken a vow to become fully enlightened, and who, out of compassion, remains in samsara for the sake of all beings.

Brahma-Vihara: Literally, “divine abodes,” or the four sublime mindstates of loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy.

Buddha: One who is awake.

Dana: The practice of generosity.

Dharma: (also Dhamma) The Buddha’s teachings, the fundamental truth of reality.

Dukkha: Dissatisfaction, pain of change, suffering.

Kalyanamitra: Spiritual friend.

Karma: Law of cause and effect; intentional actions that bring about results.

Metta: Loving-kindness.

Nirvana: Extinguishing the fires of attachment, hatred and delusion that cause suffering; liberation from cyclic existence.

Samsara: “Wandering on”; the cycle of life, death and rebirth; the ocean of worldly suffering.

Sangha: The community of practitioners on the Buddhist path.

Sutra: “thread”; a discourse by the Buddha or one of his disciples.