Lama Karma Drodhul — March 24-26, 2023

Former KTD President Lama Karma Drodhul visited Ann Arbor from 24 to 26 March to give teachings, Refuge, and a Chenrezik empowerment.

Lama Karma taught on the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, a poetic text written by Tibetan Monk and Scholar Gyalse Tokme Zangpo in the 14th century. It outlines the practices of an enlightened being committed to helping all beings (Bodhisattva).

For those of us who are not Bodhisattvas, the verses offer a lot of good advice for how to live a meaningful life.

Sorry we only recorded the Sunday afternoon Zoom sessions. The links to the recordings (which are posted on DropBox) are below.

On Sunday afternoon Lama Karma sang the Impermanence Song by Milarepa (near the beginning) and later (at 1:07:45 in the recording) chanted the 37 Practices with a traditional melody that they used in his Dharma School in Tibet.

Sunday Morning

Sunday Afternoon

Amitabha Practice Weekend

Lama Tsultrim Gyaltsen, retreat master for the men’s retreat at our parent monastery’s retreat center, visited last weekend to practice with the members and visit his home town. Lama Tsultrim was a member of Ann Arbor KTC for several years.

One of the last acts of our founder Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was to help prepare a set of images and practice materials to encourage his dharma centers to do Amitabha practice. While Lama Tsultrim was here we requested that he help us with all the details of the long Amitabha sadhana, and how to properly use the practice materials.

Lama Tsultrim, in front of the image of Amitabha and his attendants, Chenrezik and Vajrapani, painted by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje on the left. On the right is an image of Dewachen, the pureland of Amitabha, based on a thangka commissioned by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche to honor his late parents.
A special shrine setup, that includes permanent tormas and images specific to the Amitabha practice. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche helped with consecrating the tormas.
The sadhana includes a tsok feast which is done every afternoon.
Lama Nancy, our resident lama, is on the left.
The sadhana includes traditional music.

In Loving Memory: The Passing of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved teacher and guru, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, on April 1, 2021, at the age of 72. Born in Kham, eastern Tibet, he was recognized at a young age by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. In 1977, His Holiness asked Bardor Rinpoche to help establish his new monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) in Woodstock, New York. 

Bardor Rinpoche served KTD for over 30 years, providing inspiration as he worked side-by-side with the volunteer construction crew that built the main monastery building.  Later he began teaching at KTD and its affiliate Karma Thegsum Choling centers (KTC’s), and was the main teacher traveling to the Ann Arbor KTC for many years. In 2003, Rinpoche established his own center, Kunzang Palchen Ling (KPL) in Red Hook, New York, to help preserve teachings from all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, including his own tradition. In 2020, he completed construction of KPL’s monastery building. 

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche and his wife, Sonam Chotso Lama, raised three daughters in Woodstock. He is also survived by his son-in-law and two young granddaughters, as well as a large extended family and a community of devoted students. 

More information, including a full biography,  can be found on the KPL website,

Double Dorje in the clouds

On the day of Rinpoche’s cremation, a cloud in the shape of a double dorje appeared above his cremation stupa in the morning:

Khenpo Karma Tenkyong Visit 2019

Khenpo Tenkyong

Khenpo Karma Tenkyong visited the Ann Arbor KTC, June 5-10, 2019. His program included two public talks as well as a weekend seminar on Manjushri, the embodiment of wisdom.

He also did a special blessing and prayers to the Nagas at the Huron River. He has done this at other centers including several around the Great Lakes.

Karma Sonam
Karma Sonam is Khenpo Tenkyong’s brother.

Sent to the United States by the 17th Karmapa, Khenpo Tenkyong is a dynamic teacher committed to protecting nature and spreading Dharma to people everywhere. He served as president of our parent organization, KTD, from 2015-2018.

Khenpo Ten visited Ann Arbor KTC in 2015, just before he took over as KTD president.

Read his full bio:

Khenpo-La and Sonam also helped us with the garden and the outdoor Buddhas.

1000-Armed Chenrezig Retreat Nov. 16-19

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe

Ann Arbor KTC will be hosting a Nyungne (nyoong nay) retreat at our center from Friday, November 16 to Monday, November 19.  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 at the center during the Nyungne if desired for a small charge (bring your own bedding).

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

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