In September 2020 the Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling will observe its 43rd Anniversary. In September 1977, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche visited Central Ohio for the first time with translator Ngodrup Burkhar and gave a series of talks in Columbus and Newark, Ohio, speaking on “The Thought of Enlightenment.” He also gave the Refuge Vow to a group of Western disciples, who then formed the nucleus of the dharma center that would become Columbus KTC.
Tibetan masters – such as His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche – had only left Tibet 18 years before, escaping over the Himalayan mountains after a failed Tibetan uprising prompted a violent government crackdown on Buddhist temples and monasteries.
From their new homes in exile in India, Tibetan teachers such as Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche eventually traveled to all the continents of the world, teaching Buddhism to all who had the karma to see and hear them.
Columbus was the first major city Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche visited outside the West and East coasts; His Holiness Karmapa was said to have been delighted after hearing the name of the city, remarking, “isn’t Columbus the name of the person who is supposed to have ‘discovered’ America? Ah, this is auspicious!”
Three years after the founding of Columbus KTC, His Holiness visited Ohio’s capital city, meeting Mayor Tom Moody and giving the Vajra Crown Ceremony in the East Ballroom of the former student union at The Ohio State University. Hundreds of people saw and heard His Holiness.
As His Holiness prepared to leave Columbus on the final day of his 1980 visit, he gave an interesting prophesy to the assembled dharma students.
It was surprising to His Holiness that in a city of Columbus’ size, the KTC had more members than centers that had been around a lot longer. In the future, His Holiness said, “Columbus KTC will be very large.”
With the Columbus KTC rebuilding project beginning this summer, we hope you will donate to help us create a new home for KTC’s future meditation, dharma practice, and growth. Every dollar you invest will provide a refuge for future meditators and those seeking dharma wisdom.