Year in Review 2020 Letter

Dear Dharma Friends:

Hope this letter finds you and your family staying safe and well. 

The Year 2020 will go down in history as a time of trial and challenge for humanity. But here at Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling, it also will be remembered as the year we started construction on our new home.

In observance of this extraordinary year, we at Columbus KTC wish to take a moment to say “thank you” to our many volunteers and donors, who have made our construction project – and our online outreach – possible. 

We started the year in difficulty – just weeks after we celebrated Tibetan New Year, Ohio was put under stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, and financially we were $525,000 short of funds to complete Basic Construction on our new home.

However, as they have in the past during difficult times, Columbus KTC’s volunteers swung into action, bringing enthusiasm and energy to both of these challenges.

KTC Goes Virtual

The day the COVID-19 shutdown began, our volunteers quickly learned the ropes of web-streaming and moved KTC to an online Dharma Talk format three days later. Within two weeks, all of our regular programs moved to the Zoom conferencing platform. We didn’t miss a single day of serving our sangha – and that meant a lot to us.

But there’s more. By going “virtual,” Columbus KTC found a new audience beyond Central Ohio, who needed the comfort and insight of meditation and Buddhist teachings.  Our programs attracted participants – and new sangha volunteers – from England, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, and even Australia!

KTC’s New Lamas 

During the summer, we also welcomed two new assistant Lamas to help Lama Kathy guide our programs. Lama Adam Berner and Lama Tom Broadwater are now sharing dharma at KTC, and this year’s online KTC Fall Retreat attracted dozens of people from around the country for a “three-lama” teaching weekend on Zoom.

The Biggest News: KTC’s New Building!

However, the biggest news of the year is that on Tuesday Sept. 8, 2020, we began construction on our new meditation center and dharma home. 

Nearly five years after an arson fire destroyed our meditation center, the Hanlin-Rainaldi Construction Company dug the foundation and began pouring concrete on our new 10,000-square foot meditation center.

How did we get there? With the help of all our friends!

At the start of summer, we realized that although we had raised more than $2 million for our project, we were still $525,000 short of our Basic Construction goal.

But with the encouragement of KTD President Lama Karma Drodhul, KTC volunteers rolled up their sleeves and unleashed a whirlwind of fundraisers: the Columbus Foundation’s “Big Give” in June; an online auction in summer; a matching grant fundraiser; and our first “Meditation Marathon” event in November. We also secured a $200,000 loan at Heartland Bank.

And then … several unexpected BIG gifts came our way in November, and …

We are delighted to tell you that we’ve raised the entire $325,000!

But Wait – There’s MORE! (And You Can Help!)

Now that we’ve made our $325,000 goal, we’re turning our attention to that $200,000 loan. If we can raise enough money to pay off that loan NOW, we will be able to start in our new building debt-free.

That’s why we’re having a year-end fundraising push to raise $50,000 to start whittling down that mortgage.

Here’s how it works: with the BIG gifts of November came another offer of $25,000 in MATCHING FUNDS.  Every dollar you give between now and Dec. 31 will be doubled up to $25,000. Even small gifts of $10 and $25 will help us make the match and raise those funds.

Prayers also are welcome; please consider saying some OM MANI PADME HUM compassion mantras and dedicating them to Columbus KTC. We’re convinced that prayers, as well as the blessings from His Holiness Karmapa and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche have helped us get this far.

As Always, We Thank You …

This year has helped us realize our strength and resilience as a dharma community. We are so grateful to all of you and hope you will join us in dedicating all of our dharma virtue and goodness to the cause of liberating all beings from suffering.

Wherever you are and however you celebrate the Winter holidays, we hope you will stay safe and well and feel blessed in your life and dharma practice. May all beings be free from suffering, and may all beings be happy and liberated!

Sincerely yours in dharma,

Lama Kathy, Lama Tom and Lama Adam and the Columbus KTC Board:

Kim Miracle, Director
Chuck Drake, Assistant Director
Lance Moyer, Treasurer
Marjorie Hill Langston, Secretary
Eric Weinberg, Member-at-Large

See our first time-lapse construction video HERE:

Two months of construction in about 2 minutes! 

The second floor is going up! This photo shows the steel beams that form the East Wall of the shrine room from the east looking west. Our shrine will be on that wall. May all beings benefit!