Bodhi Tree Dhamma Center is a suburban meditation center in Pinellas County, on Florida's central gulf coast. Our grounds feature a meditation hall and bookstore, areas for outdoor walking meditation, and a specimen of the Bodhi tree, Ficus religiosa.

BTDC opened in 1985 as a meeting place for the Florida West Coast Buddhist Society, a non-denominational Buddhist study group. It was founded in its present form with the help of the internationally recognized meditation teachers Venerable U Silananda (from Burma) and Venerable H. Gunaratana (from Sri Lanka). BTDC maintains a relationship with Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, in northern California. In 1993, a fund was established for the eventual purchase of land for a rural retreat center in west central Florida.

The purpose of BTDC is the alleviation of suffering through the spread of the Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha as preserved in the Pali canon and the Theravada traditions of southern Asia. Intensive retreats and classes are offered periodically, and regular meetings are held that include periods of Vipassana meditation and a talk on some aspect of Buddhism. The bookstore is open following scheduled events, and a mail order catalog is available on request. Although primarily Theravada in orientation, BTDC also hosts visits by teachers from other Buddhist traditions.

Members of Bodhi Tree Dhamma Center come from many different backgrounds. Their involvement with Buddhism ranges from a casual interest to a wholehearted commitment to follow a traditional path. All are welcome. The Buddha stressed that people must realize the truth of his teachings for themselves -- they must "come and see".

a quote from the Dhammapada