Creating The Sacred World: A New Shrine for Columbus KTC

Five years after a devastating arson fire destroyed the Karma Thegsum Chöling Meditation Center in Columbus, Ohio, a brand-new meditation hall is rising from the ashes.  

A two-level 10,000 square-foot meditation hall and sangha activity center – twice the size of the original temple – is being built at the corner of West Rich and South Grubb streets in Columbus’ East Franklinton Neighborhood.

Its creation is a testament to the power of founder Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s wishes for his Columbus sangha – that we rebuild on the site of the arson and that we make the building larger and better than before.

Now that construction is more than half complete, it’s time to turn our attention to creating the “sacred environment” of our KTC shrine room.

To that end, we’re announcing our Shrine Fundraising Campaign. Starting Sunday April 18, all donations to the KTC Rebuilding Fund will be dedicated to the shrine until we reach a goal of $125,000! It’s easy to donate online:…

Here are details about the new KTC’s Shrine:

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche gave us the parameters for the new shrine room before he passed away in 2019. He asked us to create an environment that reflected the main shrine room at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, our “home” monastery in Upstate New York:

  • A flat ceiling with walls at right angles, symbolic of the mandala palaces of Buddhist Meditational deities.
  • Four central pillars, symbolic of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths.
  • Eight ceiling beams, symbolic of the Buddha’s Eightfold Noble Path
  •  A large central Buddha figure, symbolic of our Buddha Nature
  •  Side statues of awakened Bodhisattvas, symbolic of the qualities of wisdom and compassion.
  •  A full set of the Kangyur (Buddhist scriptures), symbolic of the treasury of the Buddha’s instructions.
  • The best available materials, so we have a shrine room that is “built to last 100 years.”

To make these a reality, Khenpo Rinpoche pre-ordered all of the statuary and some of the religious scroll paintings, and arranged for us to have a beautiful set of the Kangyur.

Now it’s up to us to complete the work he started and finish this room that we hope will uplift and support future generations of meditators and Buddhist practitioners.

Using Khenpo Rinpoche’s basic guidelines, a nine-member Shrine Design team – six lamas and three laypersons – has come up with plans for a stunning sacred environment, with all of the qualities Rinpoche envisioned, including:

  • A solid oak hardwood floor
  •  Pillars and beams made of fine wood with gold decorations
  •  Large central throne for the Buddha statue
  • Two side shrines for bodhisattva statues and texts.
  •  Brand-new chairs and meditation cushions

Final figures are not yet complete, but our best estimates say that these items and appointments will cost approximately $125,000. 

This is the initial goal for the “Creating the Sacred World” campaign.

In the last five years, we’ve raised $3 million to help make Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s vision a reality. Friends from all over the world have donated, flooding the world with generosity and merit

The KTC Shrine Room will be a further expression of Khenpo Rinpoche’s wise and loving vision for the expansion of the Dharma in America and a sheltering sanctuary of mindfulness, love and kindness in the center of our city.

Won’t you join us in making this sacred vision a reality?

It is said that the virtue of creating a sacred space for dharma lasts as long as the structures stand; every donation you make will last 100 years or more, and will uplift the hearts of generations of future dharma students, who will meditate there, receive Refuge Vows there, take Bodhisattva Vows there and receive Vajrayana empowerment there. 

All donors’ names will be placed in a Book of Honor in the KTC foyer; those who give $1,000 or more will be memorialized on plaques displayed on the foyer walls.

We look forward to seeing your contributions take share as sacred beauty all around us. May all beings benefit!