About our center

Our purpose: Karuna Buddhist Center, Karma Shenphen Nyingtse Ling, presents the authentic, traditional teachings of Buddhism in a way that is relevant to our modern world and its rampant problems of distraction, isolation, meaninglessness, and addiction, with their underlying issues of fear, insecurity, and anger. While our roots are deeply in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, we value the wisdom and teachings of all genuine Buddhist traditions, and indeed of all the other great spiritual paths established on our earth for the benefit of all its inhabitants. What these paths have in common is the wish to relieve suffering and bring about true and lasting joy.

Free programs: All of our regular weekly meetings are open to the general public at no cost–though donations are always  appreciated! A suggested donation amount may be listed for special programs, such as advanced teachings, retreats, or other special events, but it is our policy not to turn anyone away for lack of funds. If you have any questions before attending, please email us. New programs are being planned all the time, so return to this website for further announcements, and follow Karuna Buddhist Center on Facebook.

About our name

Our name represents many things about the center. We were first given our Tibetan name—Karma Shenphen Nyingtse Ling—by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in 2019 when he gave us permission to start the center. Roughly translated as “The place where altruism and compassion are taught according to the Karma Kagyu Lineage,” or, more poetically, “The Karmapa’s garden of compassion for the benefit of beings,” this is our “blessing name,” though we’ve decided to use the simpler, more accessible working title “Karuna Buddhist Center.”

Karuna means “compassion” in Sanskrit, Hindi, Pali, Thai, and other languages and is the equivalent of the Tibetan word “nyingtse.” It is an essential quality to be developed in Hinduism and Jainism as well as in Buddhism. It is only through nurturing our inherent compassion that we free ourselves from the limits of our individual egos as we follow the path to enlightenment.

His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje gave us permission to start Karuna Buddhist Center in this letter.

About  our logo

We have chosen the umbrella to represent Karuna Buddhist Center because of its rich and fitting symbolism. The precious umbrella, one of the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism which denote the noble eightfold path, symbolizes protection: When we take refuge in the Three Jewels—Buddha, Dharma and Sangha—we are protected from adversity. And because our center is committed to an ecumenical or rimé approach, we welcome all Buddhist traditions under our canopy.

Our logo was designed by Khenpo Tshering Chophel. Here, the umbrella represents altruism which cares for all sentient beings without prejudice, and the nurturing hands represent compassion which holds their suffering. The three circles on top of the umbrella stand for the Three Jewels and the six tassels for the six perfections. The handle of the umbrella signifies the spiritual path, while the two hands represent wisdom and method, both of which we need to develop as we progress toward our goal. Finally, blue and yellow stand for the sky and earth—or emptiness and Buddha nature.

Board of Directors

Khenpo Tshering Chophel, Spiritual Director

Lama Nancy Burks, President

Joe Myers, Treasurer 

William Tseten Dorjé Soergel, Secretary

Jack Huynh

Matt Willis