The Padmasambhava Meditation Center of the Rockies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and practice of meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, will celebrate its grand opening March 16 in Denver.

The 9,500-square-foot center, located in a former church near Denver University, will be the North American seat of the Venerable Chhoje Rinpoche, the center's founder and leader. In addition to teachings by the Rinpoche, the center will host talks by visiting scholars and religious leaders. Evening and weekend meditation classes and at least one annual weeklong retreat are also planned.

The center includes a large, light-filled shrine room, a Dharma shop and reception area. Phase two of the project, which includes the completion of office space, a dining area and meeting rooms, will get underway once funding thresholds are reached.

The center is seeking monetary donations as well as volunteers to help with maintenance.

Grand opening day events, free to the public, begin at 5 a.m. with a traditional Vajrayana ceremony. At 11 a.m., the Rinpoche will give a talk and lead meditation, followed by a buffet lunch, music and refreshments. The event ends at 3 p.m.

The center is located at 1900 South Cook St. in Denver. For more information, call 1-720-353-4419 or go online to padmasambhavameditation