Karuna Buddhist Center—Karma Shenphen Nyingtse Ling in Tibetan—was started for the study and practice of the Buddha’s teachings in a way that is accessible in modern America while maintaining the integrity of authentic lineage.

Modern Buddhism: What do Buddhist practices have to offer us today in our busy, often stressful lives? How can they help those who have not connected with organized religion, yet have deep questions about life? Or who feel drawn to a spiritual path, but are wary of anything that seems cultish or weird?

An independent center: It is such questions that inspired us to open an independent Buddhist center. Our main teachers, Khenpo Tshering Chophel and Lama Nancy Burks, have trained for decades in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, while also studying and practicing in other lineages and traditions. They hope to create a rimé or nonsectarian environment where we can explore all of the Buddha’s teachings as well as their current manifestations throughout the world without any sense of “our” way being superior.

Practices for daily life: We have a major focus on integrating our spiritual practice into everyday life. While there is much to be gained from retreats and practice intensives, they are often not feasible due to the demands of work, family, finances, health, and the other logistics of life in the world today. There are many Buddhist techniques that can carry our practice beyond formal meditation sessions, helping us work with our thoughts, feelings, and actions at any time of the day or night.

Personal guidance: It’s also important to address the many obstacles that arise in our practice–both the common ones like physical discomfort and maintaining a regular practice schedule, and the ones that are specific to you. Developing the enlightened qualities of our Buddha nature–our inherent compassion and wisdom–is well within our capabilities, but we can all use some guidance along the way. Therefore our teachers are available to provide free, individual guidance for those seeking to map out their own personal spiritual path. To this end, Khenpo Chophel has regular office hours every Friday, and both he and Lama Nancy are available for individual discussion by appointment.

Weekly schedule: Khenpo Chophel leads an ongoing meditation workshop every Saturday, 10:30-11:30am, which includes learning and practice of a variety of different meditation techniques. He aims to address both new and experienced meditators in his presentation, which is followed by informal discussion and tea. Then from 12-1pm, Khenpo gives a Dharma teaching which may include group discussion.  We are always developing new programs, which will be posted on this website as soon as they are scheduled. View our programs or get directions to our center. Currently, all of our regular weekly events are free, and newcomers are always welcome. Donations are appreciated.


Location: Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 423 S. 4th Avenue, Upper Room, Ann Arbor, 48104. Use the Fifth Avenue entrance, take elevator to top floor, turn left.

NOTE: If the outside door is locked, please text the number listed on the sign and someone will come to let you in.

About our Center

About Khenpo

Featured Programs


Meditate in Nature

Date: August 18th (Rain date August 25thx) , Time: 1:00-2:30pm , Location: Nichols Arboretum Learn how to use your senses to deepen your meditation practice. Khenpo Chophel will lead this walk and provide instructions.


Karuna Journey, Level 1: Finding Stillness and Clarity

Tuesday evenings 7:00-8:15pm, June 11, 18 & 25, July 2, 9, 16 & 23, course leader Khenpo Chophel will teach the first 3 stages of Shamatha meditation. Suitable for beginning as well as experienced meditators. Practitioners of other meditation styles can benefit from this course by understanding the nuances of the stages to deepen their practice.

Regular Schedule

Our regular schedule shows our weekly events as well as upcoming programs. If you would like to attend an event via zoom, please use this link to request zoom. 

July 23, 2024
July 26, 2024
  • Office Hours (11am-5pm)

    July 26, 2024
    Karuna Buddhist Center, Upper Room, 423 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

    Khenpo will be available for in person interviews on Fridays 11:00am to 5:00pm. Please contact him or the secretary ([email protected]) to schedule. All are welcome to attend!

    See more details

  • Morning Puja: 11:00am

    July 26, 2024  11:00 am - 12:30 pm

    This morning puja alternates weekly between Amitabha and Green Tara pujas.

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  • Mahakala Puja: 4:00pm (restricted)

    July 26, 2024  4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    This puja to the protectors of our lineage is restricted to members who have met the appropriate Vajrayana requirements, but this is also an appropriate time for others to do their own practice, such as ngondro.

    See more details

July 27, 2024
  • Meditation Workshop: 10:30am

    July 27, 2024  10:30 am - 11:30 am

    Morning meditation includes Khenpo Chophel's instruction on shamatha (calm-abiding) meditation and experiential practice.

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  • Dharma talks, courses, and more: Noon

    July 27, 2024  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    Karuna Buddhist Center, Upper Room, 423 S 4th Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

    This session features Dharma talks, newcomer-friendly courses, and more. Topics vary weekly but include:
    Power of Habit: a workshop using Buddhist and secular techniques for change
    Karuna Journey: a holistic course teaching meditation and fundamental Buddhist topics

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