Introduction to Tranquillity Meditation Sunday, October 30

Whether you are interested in meditation as a spiritual path, or simply for its benefits as a way to reduce tension, cope with stress, and gain a more positive outlook, this class will provide everything you need to start and maintain a regular sitting practice.  This will be a great opportunity to bring along friends and family who are curious about meditation!

Led by Lama Nancy, resident teacher at the Ann Arbor KTC, the session will include instruction, meditation practice, and discussion.

Sunday October 30, 10 AM – 12 Noon.

No prior meditation experience needed.

Movie night October 19 at 7:30PM

This month’s movie is The Cup.

The Cup was directed by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, an important Tibetan Lama in the Nyingma tradition. The story brings Buddhist teachings while telling the story of young monks in rural India and their attempts to be able to view the soccer 1998 World Cup finals.

Free, Donations welcome

Meditation Workshop: Training the Mind in Compassion Oct 15.

Learn and practice meditation techniques aimed at helping us develop our own inherent compassion at this free workshop.  The day will include training in tonglen or “sending and taking” meditation in which we will learn to increase our compassion for others (ranging from our nearest and dearest to those who annoy or even harm us) while decreasing our attachment to our own self-image.   We will also learn to use slogans to extend our practice from formal sitting sessions to the remainder of our lives.  By increasing our compassion for others, we simultaneously decrease our own ego-clinging and the pain it causes us.

Led by Lama Nancy, resident teacher at the Ann Arbor KTC Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, the day will alternate instruction with periods of practice and discussion.

Some prior experience in meditation recommended but not required.  Please register by emailing Lama Nancy at  For further information, call Pat Forsberg-Smith at 734-678-7549 or see our website:

Schedule:  10:00-12:30    Morning session
12:30-1:30      Lunch break (bring a vegetarian lunch if you wish)
1:30-4:00        Afternoon session

Location: Ann Arbor KTC Buddhist Meditation Center, 614 Miner St., Ann Arbor 48103
Free; donations welcome.

Lama Nancy Burks has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1978.  In February 2000, she completed a traditional 3-year, 3-month meditation retreat under his guidance at Karme Ling Retreat Center in upstate New York.  In addition to teaching and leading meditation practices at the Ann Arbor KTC, she is available for individual instruction and guidance.

“Look at all experience as a dream. . . .  Be grateful to everyone. . . .  When misfortune fills the world and its inhabitants, Make adversity the path of awakening.”
–From “The Seven Points of Mind Training” in The Great Path of Awakening: The Classic Guide to Lojong, a Tibetan Buddhist Practice for Cultivating the Heart of Compassion by Jamgon Kongtrul, Translated by Ken McLeod, Shambhala, 2005

Meditation Workshop: Tranquillity Meditation Saturday Aug. 20

In our busy, complicated lives, we focus most of our attention outward as we constantly interact with the complex world around us.   Much of the time, we leave our minds on automatic pilot and take their inner workings for granted.  Meditation allows us to turn our attention inward and gain perspective on our lives and priorities.

Spend a Saturday learning and practicing shamatha meditation, also known as “tranquillity meditation” or “calm abiding” in the Buddhist tradition.  Shamatha promotes mindfulness, stability, and calmness, helps reduce both physical and mental stress, and lays a foundation for more advanced meditation practices such as vipassana or “insight meditation.”

Led by Lama Nancy, resident teacher at the Ann Arbor KTC Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, the day will alternate instruction with periods of practice and discussion.  Participants will learn basic methods of shamatha meditation, techniques to deepen the meditation experience, and tips for overcoming various obstacles that might arise.

Suitable for those who have not meditated before as well as experienced meditators seeking to deepen their practice.  Bring your own vegetarian lunch if you wish.  Please register by emailing Lama Nancy at

Schedule:  10:00-12:30    Morning session
12:30-1:30      Lunch break
1:30-4:00        Afternoon session

Free; donations welcomed.

Movie Night for August

On the third Wednesday of the month it’s movie night, when we view films with themes connected to Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhist teachers. Check our Events page for upcoming titles.

This month’s movie is Blindsight, An award-winning documentary about six blind Tibetan teenagers who are saved from being social outcasts at the first school for the blind in Lhasa, Tibet.
When they meet the famous blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer they are inspired to to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Everest.

Buddhist Refuge Ceremony Sunday, July 17

Dear Friends,

I will be performing the Buddhist Refuge Ceremony on Sunday, July 17 at 2:00 pm at the Ann Arbor KTC, 614 Miner St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103.  If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking Refuge, you are welcome to participate.

Refuge is a ceremony in which you formally enter the Buddhist path and take the Buddha, his teachings, and his community as your sources of refuge in this endeavor.  It takes about an hour and there is no charge to participate (though it is customary to make a small offering, such as a white scarf or small donation).

If you would like to participate, or have any questions, please email me:

Lama Nancy

Silent Meditation Day Saturday, June 25

Our minds are by nature clear and bright, but we can’t see this inherent clarity while we are involved with the endless barrage of our constant thoughts, feelings and perceptions.   Meditation helps us quiet our minds and cut through our habitual mental habits to facilitate a direct experience of our own mental clarity.  Remaining in silence between meditation sessions helps us maintain this awareness throughout the day.

Lama Nancy Burks will lead this meditation day, giving brief introductory remarks at the beginning of each session, and leading the group in opening and closing chants aimed at aligning our minds and hearts with the Bodhisattva motivation of obtaining enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Please join us for this silent meditation day at the Ann Arbor KTC Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center.  Recommended for those who have some prior experience with meditation.

10:00-12:30 Morning session
12:30-1:30 Lunch break
1:30-4:00 Afternoon session

There will be a short break in the middle of each session.  Bring your own vegetarian lunch; beverages will be provided.

No charge; donations gratefully accepted.  Please register in advance by emailing Lama Nancy at; also email if you have any questions or special needs.

Lama Nancy has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1978, and in 2000, she completed the traditional 3-year, 3-month meditation retreat under his guidance.  In addition to teaching and leading meditation practice at the Ann Arbor KTC, she is available for individual instruction and mentoring.

Movie Night for June

This month’s movie is The Saltmen of Tibet

The film is the story of Tibetan nomads that live on the annual collection of salt. The journey requires difficult travel over scenic and dangerous terrain.
It also is a ritual which has been preserved for many generations. We get a unique glimpse of the lives and culture of traditional Tibetan nomads.

There is no charge. Donations are welcome.

Nyungne 1000-Armed Chenrezig Retreat April 29 – May 2

1000-armed ChenrezikAnn Arbor KTC will be hosting a Nyungne (nyoong nay) retreat at our center from Friday, April 29 to Monday, May 2. The Nyungne is a profound 2 1/2 day fasting practice that purifies negative karma through chanting, mantras and guided visualizations of 1,000-Armed Chenrezig. The Nyungne will be led by Lama Yeshe of the Hay River KTC in Wisconsin.

Requirements: In order to participate in the Nyungne, you must have taken Refuge and received the reading transmission for the Nyungne text. This reading transmission (but not the Refuge) will be given on Friday evening by Lama Yeshe, along with instructions. It is also recommended that participants have some experience chanting in Tibetan.

The practice involves involves early morning, morning, and afternoon sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and an early morning session on Monday. Lunch on Saturday will be provided at the center, followed by a liquid-only fast for the rest of Saturday, and a full fast all day Sunday, broken after early morning practice on Monday. It is also possible to do the practice as a Nyine (partial fast) on one or both days. Participants will be able to sleep on our shrine-room floor during the Nyungne if desired (bring your own bedding).

If you will be attending, or have any questions, please contact Lama Nancy Burks, Please bring your own text if you have one; we have a limited number of texts available for those who don’t have their own.

Suggested donation of $40 includes lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Monday. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Live Webcast with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche April 1-3

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

courtesy KTD

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche will be teaching on “The Teacher and Student Relationship” via live webcast on April 1- April 3. All are welcome to join us at the Ann Arbor KTC for any or all of this event, which will be a great opportunity to experience Rinpoche’s inspirational teaching style on a topic essential to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition: the student’s relationship with the spiritual teacher.

Khenpo Rinpoche has been Abbot of our parent center, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in Woodstock, New York, since its inception in 1978–the same year that he also founded the Ann Arbor KTC. Now well over 90 years old, he continues his Dharma activities with impressive energy, but as he has largely stopped teaching at the regional KTC’s, so this webcast will be a rare chance to see him teaching live.

Last month, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche received singular honors for his lifelong Dharma activities from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa during the annual Kagyu Monlam prayer event in Bodh Gaya, India. Click here for a report on the Karmapa’s web site.

Webcast Schedule:
Friday, April 1–7:00 pm
Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3–10:30 am and 3:30 pm

All sessions will last approximately 90 minutes. After the Saturday morning session, we will have the opportunity to submit questions for Rinpoche, to be answered in the afternoon session.

Suggested donation: $5.00 per session. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.