Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center

Washington, New Jersey, United States

  • Last updated: January 29, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Guiding Principles
To provide an education in the Buddha’s teachings to interested students.
To provide the facilities for the study and practice of the Buddha’s teachings.
To engage in activities that help preserve the Buddha’s teachings.

Community Description

The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC), Labsum Shedrub Ling, was founded through the great efforts of Geshe Wangyal, a Kalmyk-Mongolian lama who received his Buddhist training in Kalmykia and in Tibet. The center was founded in 1958. Over the years, Geshe-la took on Western students who had developed an interest in learning about Tibetan Buddhism. Before Geshe-la passed away on January 30, 1983, he appointed Joshua W.C. Cutler as director of the activities of the center. In the following year, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, always revered by Geshe-la as the spiritual head of the center, advised that the English name be changed to the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center to clearly reflect that its main activity is teaching Tibetan Buddhism.

In summer, fall, and spring, TBLC gives weekend seminars intended as intensive instructions on specific topics for beginners and advanced students alike. Our primary aim is to develop a Buddhism that is culturally American and, at its heart, not different from the Buddhism that traveled from India through Tibet to TBLC’s Tibetan monk, scholars and students in the United States.

TBLC also has a limited number of resident students who study Tibetan language and Buddhist philosophy for extended periods of time. Living in this Buddhist contemplative community gives them a unique opportunity to apply the Buddhist teachings in a practical way.

The Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center holds a Monthly prayer and meditation session every first Sunday of every month from 11 AM-12:30 PM in the main temple followed by a class in the School House from 2-3:30 PM on the first Sunday of the month. This class is LIVESTREAMING. Check website for info: www.labsum.org.

Every Saturday from 10:30 AM-noon we have a class with our Resident monk-scholar, Geshe Lobsang Sopa, who is visiting for 2 years from Ganden Shartse Monastery in India to study the English Language and give classes in Buddhist Philosophy.

We have a Prayer and Meditation Session on the first Sunday of every Month in our Main Temple. Followed by a Class from 1:30-3 pm in the School House on Buddhist Philosophy given by our Teacher, the Venerable Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe, Professor Emeritus of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath India during July through November. We also have classes given by the Resident American Teachers and Co-Directors: Joshua & Diana Cutler. The Classes on the monthly Sundays are Livestreamed, so check out the website: www.labsum.org for how to link up.

On Tuesday and Thursday Evenings there are SKYPE Classes with Joshua & Diana Cutler.
For more information, email: [email protected] to sign up and get the reading assignments.

In March, we have the Annual Founder’s Day.
In August, we have the Annual Maitreya Festival, as well as Weekend Learning Intensives.

All these are Listed on the Events Page.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1958
  • Start Living Together: 1958
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://www.labsum.org
  • Contact Name: Joshua W.C. Cutler
  • Phone: 908-689-6080
  • Community Address:
    93 Angen Rd
    Washington, New Jersey, 07882-4318
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: Organization, Resource, or Network
  • Location: Rural


  • Area: 32 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 3
  • Land owned by: TBLC
  • Additional Comments:

    We have 5 buildings:
    Director’s Home
    Temple Complex
    School Complex
    Garage & Tool Shed


  • Adult Members: 3
  • Non-member Residents: 3
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Percent Transgender: 1-10%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    It is best to visit during the First Sunday of the Month when we are OPEN to the Public
    otherwise one has to call: (908) 689-6080 and make an appointment
    or email: [email protected]

    we have to go out to do errands so it is best that someone is home to greet you.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    There is No membership requirements & there are NO Fees.
    we are a complete non-profit, tax-exempt, religious organization
    we were incorporated in 1958.


  • Decision Making: By a board, council, group of elders, or leadership group
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    TBLC is run only on donations, students are asked to pay a fee for room and board and make a donation for classes. All work at the Center is done on a voluntary basis.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Energy sources: Biofuel
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Planned food produced: Up to 25%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Vehicle Share, Library, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 150 miles)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Buddhist
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: Yes
  • Education Style(s): Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Community Plan