Columbus KTC will be “On the Road” 10/2 – 10/11

Mark your calendars. Columbus KTC will be holding its programs at different locations Sunday, October 2nd through Tuesday, October 11th.
  • On Sundays 10/2 & 10/9, we will be at The Thurber Center (91 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215). *Same fall schedule: 8:30am-1pm*
During this time, we will be wishing our friends at Tifereth a Happy Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which they will be celebrating at their center. 

Special Announcement: New SUNDAY Hours for KTC for the Summer!

Dear Dharma Friends,

Columbus KTC needs to trim its Sunday schedule for the Summer to save money on security costs.

Columbus KTC currently is charged $30 per hour for security at Tifereth Israel when security is needed outside the regular Tifereth Israel school or event schedule.

Tifereth Israel’s Hebrew School (which meets on Sunday mornings) is out for the summer, and during this time, we now will be expected to pay all Sunday security costs. If we do not scale back our Sunday schedule, we’d be paying in excess of $1,000 per month to Tifereth Israel for security.

In order to save money, we have created the following Summer Sunday Schedule, starting Sunday June 12 (after Lama Karma’s visit) and continuing through Sunday Sept. 4:

Summer Sunday Schedule
June 12th–September 4th

9:30 a.m. Doors open at Tifereth Israel.
10 a.m. Open Meditation (Lower Social Hall)
10 a.m. Introduction to Meditation (Room 204)
10 a.m. Pujas (First Floor Nursery, off the Main Atrium – EXCEPT for June 12, when Pujas will meet in Classroom 206)

  • First Sunday: Chenrezig sadhana
  • Second Sunday: Green Tara sadhana
  • Third Sunday: Mahakala sadhana
  • Fourth Sunday: Medicine Buddha sadhana
  • Fifth Sunday: (July only): Chenrezig sadhana

11 a.m. Tea Time
11:30 a.m. Dharma Talk (Lower Social Hall)
11:30 a.m. Introduction to Buddhism (Room 204)
1 p.m. Last person should be out of Tifereth by 1 p.m.

Tuesday Chenrezig will continue as usual Tuesday nights at 7pm at Tifereth.

We’ll also be organizing a special all day retreat for Ngondro practitioners this summer. Details to follow soon!

If you have any comments, please feel free to reach out to our Member-at-Large, Eric Weinberg, at

All the best,

The Columbus KTC Board
Kim, Tanya, Steve, Justin, Eric and Lama Kathy

Saka Dawa DuChen: Observance of the Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment, and Death

Fifteenth Day of the Fourth Tibetan Lunar Month

(Quoted from A Yearbook of Buddhist Wisdom by Norma Levine)

On the Full moon day of the Fourth Tibetan Lunar month, three great events in the life of the Buddha are observed.

The birth of Prince Siddhartha, who later became the Buddha, was wondrous. His mother, Queen Mahamaya, had a dream prior to the birth – a dream of a magnificent white elephant that descended from the heavens. Celestial music sounding praises filed the sky. The elephant held a brilliant pink lotus flower in its trunk, placed it within the queen’s body, and then entered inside her effortlessly. She awoke filled with sensations of pure bliss and joy. Ten months later, on the way to her parents’ home, she stopped to rest in the garden of Lumbini, and there, holding the branch of an ashok tree for support the queen gave birth to a radiant boy.

“When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, two jets of water appeared to pour from the sky, one cool and one warm for bathing the Bodhisattva and his mother. As soon as the Bodhisattva was born, he stood firmly with his feet on the ground, then he took seven steps to the north, and with a white sunshade held over him, he surveyed each quarter. He uttered the words,  “I am supreme in this world. This is the last birth.”

The enlightenment of Prince Siddhartha came “after years of practicing unimaginable austeries so that “all my limbs became like the knotted joints of withered creepers,” and “the skin of my belly and back met,” the monk Gautama — as Prince Siddhartha was then called — was near extinction but no closer to enlightenment. A young village girl, Sujata, with caring prepared a bowl of fresh milk with rice and graciously offered it to the emaciated ascetic. His senses immediately became alert.

Sitting under the massive branches of a bodhi tree, in what is now Bodh Gaya, Gautama began the world-shattering seven-day meditative insight that resulted in complete enlightenment. Here are the first words he spoke as the Buddha:

Seeking but not finding the house-builder,
I traveled through the round of countless births;
O painful is birth ever and again.
House-builder, you have now been seen;
You shall not build the house again.
Your rafters have been broken down;
Your ridge pole is demolished, too.
My mind has now attained the unformed nirvana
And reached the end of every kind of craving.

(quote from Bhikku Nanamoli, translator of The Life of the Buddha.)

There was a terrifying thunderstorm in the second watch of the night. When the third watch of the night had passed, the Buddha looked up and saw the morning star dazzling bright as a diamond in the dawn sky. To seal his enlightenment, he touched his hand to the ground and said, “The earth is my witness.”

The Buddha’s death is called Parinirvana – passing into nirvana – because there is no death for the enlightened. The container dissolves and the great expanse of space merges with itself. Parinirvana is the third observance of this special day.

“Knowing the body is like foam, realizing its mirage-like nature, cutting off the flower-tipped sensual realm, one goes unseen by the King of Death.”

On the full moon day nearly fifty years after his enlightenment, the Buddha and his disciples walked to the little mud-walled town of Kushinigar near the modern-day Nepalese boarder. He placed himself on his side, facing north, with one foot overlapping the other, mindful and fully aware. Twin sal trees shed blossoms out of season to cover him, sandalwood powder fell from the sky, and celestial music resounded. His beloved attendant Ananda wept. “I declare this to you,” the Buddha said. “It is in the natural of all formations to dissolve. Attain perfection through diligence.”

Ashvaghosha writes that the last words of the Buddha’s were these:

” Everything comes to an end, though it may last for an eon … I have done what I could do both for myself and for others … I have disciplined in heaven and on earth, all those whom I could discipline … Hereafter … my dharma … shall abide for generations … among living beings. Therefore, recognize the true nature of the living world and do not be anxious; for separation cannot possibly be avoided … When the light of wisdom has dispelled the darkness of ignorance, when all existence has been seen as without substance, peace ensues [at life’s end]. which seems to cure a long sickness at last … the time for my entry into nirvana has arrived. These are my last words.”

Here is a simple Meditation on the Buddha Shakyamuni, that Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche taught us years ago. You can do this meditation on Saka Dawa, or anytime you need the blessing of the Buddha to manifest in your life.

A Short Meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha

(By Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche; edited by Lama Kathy Wesley. From an oral teaching at Columbus KTC in 1978.)

Imagine that the Buddha Shakyamuni is seated on a lotus and flat moon disk seat in the sky in front of you. He is facing you, and is a little above you in space. He is made of golden light – his entire body is insubstantial, and he is made of golden light.

Place your hands together at your heart, and pray to the Buddha, asking him to remove your obstacles and obscurations, and grant you wisdom and compassion. You may use your own words.

Then, imagine that golden light streams out from the Buddha’s form and touches you, cleansing you of all obstacles and obscurations: illnesses, mental afflictions, problems, difficulties, habits, etc. Next, imagine that the golden light gives you everything you need: healing, inner stability, wisdom, compassion, and so forth.

Finally, think that the Buddha dissolves into light, and merges with you, blessing your stream of being. Rest for a moment in the confidence that your mind and the Buddha’s mind have merged inseparably, and that you have received the Buddha’s blessing.

Dedicate the merit of your practice to yourself and all sentient beings.

This practice is good to do when you are not feeling well, or when you feel depressed or uncertain. It’s also good to do daily before you do your regular meditation or prayer practices.

KTC Pledge Drive Inspires a Challenge – Giving 1 Percent!

KTC supporters, friends, and members have begun responding to our 2016 Spring Pledge Drive, pledging their monthly support for Columbus KTC.

On March 22, we began a four-week campaign to increase monthly contributions for Columbus KTC in advance of looking for a new KTC Center. The campaign ends April 24–three weeks from today.

Our guiding teacher, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, has asked Columbus KTC to seek a larger building than its last one, which was destroyed by fire on Jan. 31, 2016, and has suggested that we work on raising “as much money as possible” to both obtain the space and pay our new monthly costs, which might include a monthly mortgage payment.

Well, the campaign is only a little over a week old and in that week, we have received a challenge.

Marcus Casey, who grew up the son of a Christian minister, said he wanted to introduce the idea of donating a percentage of monthly income to his Buddhist temple. Although Christians, in observance of a passage in the Bible, give 10 percent of their monthly income to their church, Marcus says he wants to start small – he and Jessika want to give 1 percent of their monthly income to the KTC. So they renewed their membership and are giving 1 percent of their income to the KTC each month.

He told the Columbus KTC Board about his idea, and immediately, several KTC sangha took up the idea and followed suit. Steve Phallen and Justin Fitch have pledged 1 percent of their monthly income.

If anyone would like to join the “1 Percent Giving” challenge, contact Steve Phallen at

In addition to seeking new members, we are asking all existing members to take a close look at what they are able to give. Some may only be able to increase their giving by a few dollars a month: others will take the 1 Percent Giving challenge; and others may find that they can give more than 1% each month.

Whether you’re taking the 1 Percent Challenge or not, your monthly pledge of support – of any amount! – is appreciated. You can write checks monthly, use a credit card, or have your bank send a check monthly. There are lots of ways to give.

Want to get started? To view and print off a copy of this membership drive letter, please click here.

To view and print off our new pledge form, please click here.

Once you’ve reviewed the information on our new pledge form and know how you would like to give, you can mail your completed form to our new mailing address:

Columbus KTC
PO Box 14946
Columbus, Ohio 43214

or, if you would prefer to set up your monthly donations online, you can use our new online donation tool by clicking here.

You can also set-up or continue automated payments through your bank by simply indicating to them the current or new monthly pledge amount you would like to give and also updating them with Columbus KTC’s new mailing address as indicated above.

Please send questions you might have about setting up your monthly donation to our treasurer, Steve Phallen, at

We’re so delighted at the response of our sangha to the Columbus KTC’s need; may your merit and virtue grow and flourish, and may the KTC rebuild one day soon!

Sincerely yours in the dharma,

The Columbus KTC Board
Kim Miracle
Tanya Schroeder
Steve Phallen
Justin Fitch
Eric Weinberg

Columbus KTC: Post-Fire Update — 3/31/16

Dear Dharma Friends:

It’s been a busy few weeks for us at Columbus KTC. We’re getting ready to host Lama Dudjom Dorjee in April, and we’ve just learned that Lama Karma Drodhul will be bringing us blessings from Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche in June. We’ll be back serving supper to homeless families at the YWCA Family Shelter in May – and gathering strength for our annual Comfest appearance at the end of June. Meanwhile, our weekly pujas and instructions continue at Congregation Tifereth Israel. So much to be grateful for!

On the “Rebuild KTC” project, we’ve had some developments to share. Here we go!

– Building Surveys. The two building surveys gave the KTC sangha a chance to provide design specifications for our new future KTC home. We know how many rooms we want and need, and how large they should be. And the location survey gave us an idea where we might re-locate if we are unable to rebuild on our current property.

Links to both surveys are here:
Room and Use Survey: please click here.
Location Survey: please click here.

– Reviewing our options. As you know, we have identified three basic option for a future KTC home:

Option 1 – Rebuild on our current lot
Option 2 – Rebuild on a different lot
Option 3 – Buy an existing building and remodel

We’re researching all three options at once, so there’s a lot going on. Here’s what’s happening:

– Option 1: Rebuilding on our current lot. With the help of a pro-bono (no cost) attorney, we are preparing to meet with the East Franklinton Review Board to see if rebuilding on our South Grubb Street lot is possible under city zoning rules. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche urged us to build a larger building, and the sangha survey showed agreement with his suggestion. We’re working with another pro-bono professional, an architect, to develop conceptual drawings for a building that would reflect the size of building suggested by the sangha. Our meeting with the EFRB will tell us whether a larger building on the Grubb Street lot is possible.

Since Option 1 hasn’t been thoroughly researched yet, we won’t need to move on to Option 2 just now.

– Option 3: Buy an existing building and remodel
We’ve met with a commercial realtor in Columbus who has given us a list of properties to view. Over the next few weeks, board members and sangha with building expertise will visit and evaluate the properties.

But there’s even more news – some of it financial!

– GoFundMe. Our online donations have slowed a bit, but we received an unexpected happy donation of $3,555 from KTD to help us reach $65,000 – which will help us pay the demolition bill for the old building. KTD lamas Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen and Lama Lodro Lhamo gave us a combined total of $2,600!

– Namse Bangdzo Bookstore at KTD is giving us 25 new texts for Chenrezig/Amitabha, Medicine Buddha, and Green Tara at no cost. Thank you, Namse Bangdzo!

– We’ve purchased new meditation cushions for the temporary KTC shrine room located in the Lower Social Hall at Congregation Tifereth Israel. They will arrive in a few weeks.

– More meetings ahead: KTC Board members have and will continue to meet with financial advisers at banks and credit unions in the coming weeks to see if a loan is possible. They’ll also meet with experts to learn how to develop a capital fundraising campaign and identify and interview potential building contractors.

That’s the update for today; meanwhile, please keep up your prayers for Columbus KTC. Although Khenpo Rinpoche has told us that “rebuilding the center” is our best prayer, it may be good to recite the Tashi Prayer every day and dedicate it to the center’s re-establishment. We pray to be of benefit to all beings in Columbus and beyond. Karmapa Chenno!

Wishing you all the best,

Your KTC Board
Kim Miracle
Tanya Schroeder
Steve Phallen
Justin Fitch
Eric Weinberg

The board greatly appreciates everyone’s input and feedback.
Thank you!

Columbus KTC: Spring Pledge Drive 2016

Dear Dharma Friends:

Thanks to all who have opened their hearts to the Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling since a devastating fire destroyed our center in the early morning hours of Sunday Jan. 31.

We’ve received cards, letters, donations and many messages of support on social media and elsewhere. Our hearts are full of appreciation for each and every one of you, as each message lets us know that you value Columbus KTC and want to see it continue as a home for the Kagyu dharma of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa in Central Ohio.

The first weeks were a blur of activity as we tallied up what was lost in the fire: statues, scriptures, paintings, books, equipment, recorded teachings and so much more. Forty years of KTC history went up in flames, forcing us to reflect on what is most important to us – our sangha, our community.

The love we have for the dharma and for each other is what buoyed us up in those early days, and made it possible for us to begin our “nomad’s journey” to find a new home.

Our founder and spiritual guide Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche gave us our charge on that very first Sunday: “Do not be sad. Rebuild.” And when we asked him what prayers we should do to benefit the center at this difficult time, he said, “Rebuild the center. That is the best prayer.”

So now we enter the next phase of the journey – seeking the right place for our new home.

We’ve already received clear advice on this matter from Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. He told us, “The new building should be larger than the old one.”

And now, KTC Board members – Director Kim Miracle, Assistant Director Tanya Schroeder, Treasurer Steve Fallen, Secretary Justin Fitch and At-Large Member Eric Weinberg – have taken the first steps toward this goal by seeking input from members and friends about what facilities are needed in our new center.

Next we will analyze the results of the survey and begin to identify options for our members to consider.

But in the meantime, we need to start thinking about how to sustain the new center we obtain.

Fortunately, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche has helped us there, too.

Years ago, when we first started thinking about seeking a larger KTC building, we told Rinpoche we didn’t have enough money to buy or build a larger center. “Start looking at your options,” he said. “And meanwhile, gather money and members, so that when the options are clear, you will be able to choose among them.”

Since then we have undertaken a Membership Drive each autumn to help carry out Rinpoche’s advice. And now, with the 2015 Membership Drive still fresh in our minds, we’re undertaking another drive – to give those who want to help us find a new home a chance to support us as continuing supporters, friends, and members.

Whatever the KTC sangha decides – to build on our current site, buy and build on another site, or buy a building to remodel – money will be needed to support the center on a day-to-day basis.

Our center has operated for the last few years on a “break-even” basis – our donations and event revenues have just matched our expenses, allowing us to protect a small amount in savings for a rainy day.

But when we obtain a new center, we will need to make payments for insurance, for telephone, internet, maintenance, improvements, utilities, (possibly) a mortgage – and we will need to have monthly income we can count on to meet those financial needs.

We will receive many one-time donations in the coming weeks, and those donations will be important. But it will be up to our sustaining donors – the folks who make even a small donation every month – to bring us “home” to a new KTC.

We will need each and every one of our friends to help create the new center. Would you consider a small monthly donation to make the new center a reality?

We have three categories for monthly donors: supporters, friends, and members.

KTC Supporters are just beginning to take on a continuing monthly commitment to the center. They have modest means, but want to make a dedicated monthly contribution. In return, they receive our appreciation and great merit from their gift.

KTC Friends give at a slightly higher level. In return for their gift, they receive our appreciation, great merit and a small discount on KTC programs.

KTC Members take on a larger monthly commitment, and also must have taken the Buddhist Vow of Refuge (or intend to do so at their earliest opportunity). A portion of their membership pledge is contributed to our “home” monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, so they are considered members of both organizations.

As core contributors and members of the KTC, KTC Members may vote for and run for our administrative board positions, and are invited to participate in major decisions for the community.

There are two categories of membership: Sustaining Members and Benefactor Members. Each provides important support for the organization.

Although the amounts for Supporter, Friend, and Member categories reflect minimum contributions, we would like to encourage you to consider giving more than the minimum amount.

And if you currently are a supporter, friend, or member, please consider increasing your monthly pledge.

At this important time, $5 more or $10 more or $20 more or even $50 more per month can make a major difference as we seek to re-manifest our center and bring the congregation “home” again. Please consider giving more each month – your generosity is appreciated!

The donor drive will continue through April 24, 2016.

At the end of the drive, we will offer a drawing among all KTC monthly donors for a beautiful consecrated statue of Chenrezig.

So while our center is at a crossroads, we have strong and clear advice from our founder and spiritual guide: Manifest a new center; make it larger than the old one; and gather money and members to sustain it.

Will you join us in making this new center a reality?

Best Wishes in the Dharma,

Kim Miracle, Tanya Schroeder, Justin Fitch, Eric Weinberg, Steve Phallen, and Lama Kathy Wesley

To Start or Increase Your Pledge

Fill out this pledge form and mail it, along with a check payable to Columbus KTC, to PO Box 14946, Columbus, OH 43214. Click here to set up recurring pledge payments or to make a one time donation. Alternatively, you can set up an automatic payment through your bank to Columbus KTC.

Questions about pledging? Feel free to contact our Member-at-Large, Eric Weinberg at

You may also donate through The Columbus Foundation. Please specify that the gift is for the KTC Rebuilding Fund.

To view a hardcopy of our Spring Pledge Drive letter, please click here.

Lastly, click here to share your thoughts with the CKTC Board.

The Demolition Blues

Donate to the Columbus KTC Rebuilding Fund

It’s been about seven weeks since the KTC fire – 49 days exactly on March 20. Those familiar with Tibetan Buddhism know that the 49th Day after a passing is a special day; the deceased is thought to have traversed the “Bardo,” or intermediate state, during those weeks and is poised and ready for a rebirth.

So we in the KTC Community are looking for a rebirth these next few weeks. We hope you can help out.

This week we received the final bill for demolishing the arson-damaged KTC temple: $75,884.99. This was considerably more than the original estimate of $45,000; because our building was constructed in 1924, it contained lead pipes and asbestos, and special care needed to be taken to bag and carry away the contaminated debris.

And because the fire-damaged building was in danger of collapse, the city issued an emergency demolition order – which meant that even the foundation had to be removed and filled in with dirt.

So the small demolition job got big pretty quickly.

We’ve seen the final bill, and the additional $30,000 was all due to “hazardous materials” demolition and handling. We appreciate the city’s care for the environment, and are happy the asbestos was safely removed.

The KTC temple was insured, and we will receive a $10,000 demolition allowance; that means the bill actually will be $65,884.99.

We sought help from the state’s Crime Victim’s Assistance program, but discovered that the fund helps individuals who are crime victims (a most worthy endeavor) but not organizations.

So it’s up to KTC to pay the demolition costs.

We are due to receive $443,000 from the insurance company for the loss of our building, but we were hoping to save every penny of that – plus raise hundreds of thousands more – to help us rebuild our temple.

We are looking at all avenues, including rebuilding on our current site, building elsewhere, or buying an existing building and remodeling, Whatever option we choose, money will be required. So we are more motivated than ever to raise the initial $108,000 on this GoFundMe site.

Thanks to all who have given to us, here and elsewhere; we appreciate you more than we can say. You’ve been with us since the beginning of our crisis, and understand how important your support has been to us.

A bit of quick math tells us that if every person who’s given on the site would give another $1, $5, $10, $25 – it would boost our total by another $4,000 to $12,000. And this would help relieve our “demolition blues” and give us a clean slate for raising the money we need to rebuild.

The names of all those who have given to the GoFundMe site are on our KTC shrine; we pray for you every week.

We appreciate all you’ve given, and hope you’ll help us make our way to the $108,000 goal. Forward this message to your friends; tell them that Kagyu dharma in Columbus should survive and thrive, and give them a chance to participate.

The virtue of sponsoring a dharma center is vast, as your gift will connect every person who sees the new KTC to the dharma in a special way.

Wishing you all the best in dharma! OM MANI PEME HUNG 🙂

231 grubb st backfill

Location for the New Columbus KTC Building

Possible Places for a New Columbus KTC Building

Thanks to everyone who completed the recent Columbus KTC Building Requirements Survey. Your feedback is very valuable and appreciated. It will be used to help identify options for a new Columbus KTC home.

Click here to see the results of that first survey here.

For our next step, some more information is needed. In addition to room requirements, we also need your feedback regarding the location of the new center.

As you know, we are considering all options – including building a new KTC center on our Grubb Street site, and finding a building to remodel for our use elsewhere in the city. Before we start looking at the “relocate and remodel” option, we need to know how you feel about the placement of the KTC in various parts of the city.

This survey is very short – just a few questions and a comment box to share any additional suggestions.

We look forward to reading your input and comments, and will report on the survey when it is completed.

To complete the Building Location Survey, please click here.

PLEASE COMPLETE the survey by Wednesday, March. 14, 2016.

Thank you so much – may all beings benefit!

Presentation from Sangha Meeting

Sunday, February 28

On Sunday, February 28th, the Columbus KTC board convened a sangha or community meeting to update everyone on work the CKTC board and community have been doing since the fire on January 31st. The general agenda was as follows:

  • Updates on Activities
  • Results from the Building Survey
  • Next Steps
  • Open Discussion

If you were unable to attend, we invite you to view the Power Point Presentation shown at the meeting here.

Thank you to all who made it out to the meeting and all who filled out the building requirement survey. We look forward to staying in regular contact and dialogue with the CKTC community as we take steps towards finding a new home for Columbus KTC.

Please contact Eric Weinberg with any additional comments or questions.

May all beings benefit.

2016 North American Kagyu Monlam

The Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery and Retreat Center invited our members and friends from Columbus KTC to attend the 17th Annual North American Kagyu Monlam, July 6-10, 2016 in Wappingers Falls, New York.

As His Holiness Karmapa wrote: “Central to Monlam – what gives it power and plants the seeds of future results – is the recitation of aspirations and prayers…May these words and of love and compassion blend with innate goodness of every being and coalesce into one powerful force.”

This five day prayer festival for world peace will be held in Kagyu Thubten Choling Monastery’s newly completed Maitreya Center. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche will preside over the offering of aspiration prayers and will also give teachings and empowerments.

Registration is required and will open on March 1. Information will be made available concerning hotels and lodging in the area. You can check for the launch of registration at Please register as early as possible as space is limited.