Special Events at Kagyu Thubten Chöling

In addition to special events, Kagyu Thubten Chöling also hosts an ongoing program of classes and events.

I'm Funny, But Looks Aren't Everything: Humor's Role in Coping with Adversity and Maintaining Mental and Societal Health

September 2, 2017 (Saturday) at 2:30 pm

JeffColombeResized03Mar2017 1We are pleased to welcome back Jeff Colombe, Ph.D, as part of an occasional series of supplementary talks regarding mind in the modern world.

Smiling and laughing may have evolved from primate grimacing and shrieking to express anxiety and warn off aggressors. Stimuli that people find humorous are often incongruous, with something not quite right, and usually involve someone getting into trouble, experiencing misfortune, or being shamed or embarrassed because of their poor character traits. Aristotle and Freud proposed that humor involves a pleasurable release from socially censored thoughts, like seeing someone else in an unflattering light. Humor has been shown to allow people to process information in their lives about adversity and its negative emotional effects, lessening and even reversing these effects. It gives people a safe space to do a self-deprecating moral inventory of their own faults, and a safe space to criticize the traits and behaviors of others. It gives social groups a way to cleanse negative traits through exposure. It also gives people a way to openly deprecate themselves in order to show humility and gain acceptance by others. It provides a way for people to bond and develop social cohesion. The positive emotions triggered by humor allow increased awareness and broadened attention, and more fluency and variety of exploratory thoughts, increasing intelligence and creativity. Brain networks involved in experiences of humor involve measuring and resolving incongruities, processing reward and value, and taking another person's perspective.

Jeff Colombe has a B.S. in biomedical engineering and a Ph.D. in neurobiology, and works for a not-for-profit advising the federal government in science and technology issues in the public interest. He has over 20 years of study under teachers of Kashmir Shaivism and Dzogchen meditation.

Admission is free


Reservations (1 week in advance) are required if you plan to join us for meals and/or need overnight accommodations.  Please see General Information about Events at KTC below for details.  Please send an email to reservations@kagyu.com if you are joining us for meals only.


Commemoration of Buddha Joyful Day

September 3, 2017 (Sunday)

AmitabhaKuanYinTaiShihChihResizedOn the occasion of Buddha Joyful Day, KTC will be making prayers and offerings for our parents, ancestors, and the deceased through a special recitation of the Amitabha sadhana with tsok offerings, a fire puja for the deceased, and aspiration prayers for the well being of us and all other beings, especially those to whom we dedicate the practice by name, both living and deceased.

The practice entitled 'Jangchok' will be included within the chanting of the Amitabha sadhana.  Jangchok is done for the benefit of the recently deceased to achieve liberation.  For persons who may have passed away a long time ago the Jangchok practice will still bring great blessings to the deceased and create the causes and conditions for the liberation of the person.  For the living, it is said that once their karmic debtors are liberated through this practice, the person will have less obstacles.  For all beings, this practice will help to create favorable conditions and enhance their well-being.

It is said that, "no matter how long ago your deceased dear ones or relatives have passed away, it is still very vital to make prayers and offerings for them to increase their merit."

You may donate any amount and provide us with the names for dedication (both living and deceased).  To make these dedications, download the Amitabha Sadhana Dedication Form in Chinese and English (coming soon).

11:00 am | Lighting of 500 butter lamps with the chanting of Chenrezig Sadhana

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
| Chanting of Long Amitabha Sadhana with Tsok, Jangchok Sadhana, and Sür (special fire offering ceremony)

During the chanting of the Long Amitabha and Jangchok sadhanas all the names of the deceased will be blessed and burned to symbolize purification of their defilements, obscurities and negative karma by the fire of wisdom, ripening their merit to be reborn in Amitabha’s pureland of Dewachen. Also included will be a dedication of merit to all sponsors and their designated names for blessing.  

There is no charge for attending the chanting but reservations are required one week in advance if you plan to join us for meals and/or need overnight accommodations. Please see General Information about Events at KTC for details. Please send an email to reservations@kagyu.com if you are joining us for meals only.


Potluck Lunch, Teaching and Meet & Greet with Lama Tsering Dakpa, Retreat Master at KTC

September 10, 2017 (Sunday)

LamaTseringDakpaResizedThe sangha of Kagyu Thubten Chöling invites you to join us for an informal potluck lunch to meet and welcome Lama Tsering Dakpa, the new retreat master at KTC. Lama Tsering is a respected senior Lama from Palpung Sherabling, and was appointed to be KTCʼs retreat master by Guru Vajradhara the 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa.

After lunch, Lama Tsering will begin a series of teachings on Patrul Rinpoche’s The Words of My Perfect Teacher.  A favorite of Tibetans—and of the Dalai Lama himself— The Words of My Perfect Teacher is a practical guide to the spiritual practices common to all Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Patrul Rinpoche makes his subject accessible through a wealth of stories, quotations, and references to everyday life.

You are welcome to attend the lunch with or without a vegetarian dish, but please RSVP by September 6 by contacting  Lama Yeshe Rabsal.


12 noon
  Potluck Lunch

1:30 pm |  Teaching on The Words of My Perfect Teacher

(1 week in advance) are required if you need overnight accommodations.  Please see General Information about Events at KTC below for details.


Letter to a Friend, A 10 Session Teaching Series by Katrin Querl

2017 (Saturdays):
September 16; Oct 14, 21, 28; Nov 18; Dec 2, 9, 23

2018 (Saturdays):
January 6, 13 

Katrin Resized

We are delighted and honored to announce that Ms. Katrin Querl will be in residence at KTC this Fall and Winter. Ms. Querl, a teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism, has achieved the exceedingly rare combination of advanced degrees from both premiere Western Universities and from the traditional, Tibetan Buddhist Monastic system. Ms. Querl combines her extraordinary academic achievements with a long-standing and fervent dharma practice.

Katrin took refuge and lay vows in 2005. From 2006 to 2011, she lived and practiced at the Drikung Garchen Institute, a Tibetan Buddhist center in the Drikung Kagyu tradition.

In 2011, Katrin received her Master’s degree in Tibetan, Indian and Religious Studies from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.  Her areas of concentration included:  Classical Tibetan Language;  Modern Tibetan Language; Sanksrit; Tibetan History and Tibetan Buddhism. She augmented her studies of the Tibetan language with private teachers in Kathmandu, Nepal, and of Buddhist studies under the guidance of several Tibetan Buddhist lamas.

From 2011 to 2017, Katrin undertook extensive studies of Tibetan Buddhist scriptural texts at Kagyu College in Dehradun, India. 

As an expert in the Tibetan language, Katrin has served as a lecturer in Tibetan language courses at Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich and at the Drikung Garchen Institute.  In addition, she has served as a translator in meditation seminars and workshops for several Tibetan Buddhist lamas, khenpos and geshes.

Letter to a Friend

Ms. Querl is will be teaching on Letter to a Friend (Skt. suhrllekka; Tib. bshes pa'i spring yig) written by the famous Indian scholar Nagarjuna (1st-2nd century) and is included in his Collection of Advice.

Nagarjuna composed Letter to a Friend as a poem and letter of advice to his friend King Gautamiputra of the Satavahana dynasty. This advice contains indispensable instructions for both ordained and lay-practitioners on how to follow the Mahayana path within day-to-day life and at the same time, gives a complete introduction to the entire path leading to liberation and buddhahood.

To promote deep understanding of the text, the course will be a class with active participation rather than a formal teaching. The full course will take place over ten Saturdays. Participation in all ten sessions is strongly encouraged. The course will also be live streamed, and recorded video of the classes will be available online to view any missed sessions.


2:30 pm | Letter to a Friend


  • Full Course (10 Saturdays): $225 Non-members | $180 Members
  • Per session: $25 Non-members | $20 Members

Fees do not include charges for meals or accommodations.  Please arrive 20 minutes early to allow for registration.

Reservations (1 week in advance) are required if you need overnight accommodations.  Rates for accommodations & individual meals are available on our visitor information page. Please send an email to reservations@kagyu.com if you are joining us for meals only.

Please note:
 When arriving by train, please make pick-up arrangements in advance. Click here for information on taxis.