Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin Visit

The Hay River and Twin Cities KTCs will host Visiting teacher Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, Abbot of KTD Monastery in Woodstock, NY, for teachings Tuesday – Thursday, August 6-8.  Teachings will be held at KTC Hay River as well as a Thursday evening teaching at the Stillwater Public Library.  Please save the dates.  Contact us at [email protected] to be added to our newsletter of these upcoming events. 


Developing Peace of Mind

The Hay River  and Twin Cities Karma Thegsum Chöling (KTC) Buddhist Meditation Centers are affiliate centers of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) in Woodstock, NY.  Under the guidance of Lama Tsultrim Yeshe, a fully ordained monk, our purpose is to promote well being, compassion and wisdom through teachings on meditation and the practices of Buddhism.  In particular, our focus is on the teachings of the Karma Kagyu, one of the four Tibetan Buddhist lineages.  This tradition emphasizes meditation practice and putting the teachings into action in our daily life.  In-person meetings take place at the KTC Hay River site near Ridgeland, WI.  See the practice schedule for location details.



Learning to Meditate

Any time is a good time to learn to meditate. Whether you are on top of the world or dealing with a burnout or emotional crisis, everyone can benefit from a daily meditation practice. As you contemplate starting a meditation practice, we suggest you think about when during the day you will carve out time to meditate. Chose a time that will have the least chance of interruption. You should also think about a space in your home that is your “meditation space,” preferably behind a closed door where you can hang a sign that says “Meditating.” Explain to family members what you are doing and why, so they can respect your practice, thus becoming part of your support system.

Thinking these things through before instruction will be helpful in getting started right away.

Weekly Sitting Meditation

Twin Cities and Hay River KTCs in provide several opportunities each week for meditation instruction and sitting meditation sessions.  These sessions take place via Zoom, at the Hay River center near Ridgeland, WI, and at the Stillwater Public Library.   Check the programs and events section of this website for more details.

You can subscribe to our events and meditation calendar by using this feed link in your calendar program:


No event found!
Load More

The Karma Kagyu

The Karma Kagyu tradition emphasizes practice – not only learning about Buddhist concepts, but also putting the teachings into action, both on the cushion and in daily life.


Lama Tsultrim Yeshe

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe (John Samuelson) has been a student of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche since 1989. He completed the first three-year retreat at Karme Ling Under the direction of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche earning the title “Retreat Lama.” He took novice monk vows in 1994 from Tai Situ Rinpoche and fully ordained monastic vows in 2008 from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

Lama Yeshe is the resident Lama at the Hay River Karma Thegsum Choling located in Western Wisconsin. He travels throughout the country to other Buddhist centers to teach and lead retreats, as well as holistic learning centers like the Omega Institute.

He worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for 8 years as a prison Chaplain. He continues to do volunteer work in the prison teaching meditation, Buddhism and giving guidance. He has gained valuable experience working with inmates in a medium security prison. Many of them having difficult and abusive childhoods, anger management problems, and high levels of anxiety and stress.

Lama Yeshe has a BS degree in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and did graduate work in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. He taught Sociology 4 years at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

He has also worked doing construction, building new houses and remodeling, and before that, furniture reupholstery. He likes woodworking, building and working with his hands. The Hay River KTC is in a stone building he built, with some help from friends, in 1977 as a shop. It was later remodeled, with the help of volunteers from the center, and converted into its present form.

Lama Yeshe has lived at his present location, a farmstead built in the 1890’s, near Ridgeland Wisconsin since 1971.

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe is available for meditation instruction and personal consultation.  This can be set up with him personally; the Lama can be reached at (715) 949-1407 by phone, or at [email protected].

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe, second from left, with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, center, and other Lamas with who also did three-year seclusive retreats at Karme Ling Retreat Center in upstate New York. Location of the photo: Namo Buddha, in Nepal.


Lama Yeshe recently presented a weekend program at the Gainesville KTC on The healing Power of Forgiveness, offered in its entirety here.

This series was inspired by his work as a prison chaplain where he would often hear inmates say “I wish I could forgive myself” or “I wish my family would forgive me.” What the inmates usually left out was forgiving those that had hurt them, their enemies.

These three types of forgiveness will be covered during the program: forgiving yourself, having those you have hurt forgive you, and forgiving those toward whom you have anger and resentment.

The sessions include teachings, meditation, and discussion.

The four meditation sessions are Tong Len practice: loving yourself, forgiving yourself, working with people you want to forgive you, forgiving people who have harmed you.

Emotional Healing: A Buddhist Perspective

Lama Yeshe took part in a program in Newtown, Connecticut in March of 2013: Sandy Hook Promise: Violence, Loss and Emotional Healing: A Buddhist Perspective at Congregation Adath Israel.

The panel consisted of Lama Yeshe, David Kaczynski (brother of the Unabomber), James Knoll IV (forensic psychiatrist) and Lama Kathy Wesley (3-year retreatant).

KTC stands for the Tibetan name for our group “Karma Thegsum (pronounced Tegsum) Chöling” and roughly means “place of dharma teaching.”

We hope you will enjoy our “sangha,” or community of practitioners.


News & Upates

Lama Yeshe on Meaning in Life and the Fear of Death

March 31, 2020 - As part of a weekly series on the book Karma: What it Is, What it Isn't, Why it Matters, by Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe talked about Chapter 6: Meaning in Life and the Fear of Death. View the video on YouTube. The Hay River KTC Buddhist...

Lama Yeshe on Entering the Bodhisattva Path

April 5, 2020 Lama Yeshe gave a teaching on entering the Mahayana Path, the path of the bodhisattva. The path is a progression. As we travel along it, we naturally develop more compassion for others. To listen to the recording, click here. For further reading on this...

Lama Yeshe on the importance of lineage

Saturday, April 4, 2020 3-4 PM: Lama Yeshe gave a teaching on the importance of lineage in Tibetan Buddhism, with a focus on the Kagyu lineage holders named in the beginning of the Mahamudra Lineage Supplication that we do regularly at our center. You can view the...

White Tara Practice online with Lama Yeshe

Tara is a female Bodhisattva. Her Tibetan name, Jetsunma Pakma Drolma, means Exalted Female Liberator. She bestows health and long life and freedom from fear. She represents both an enlightened being and our own enlightened essence and potential. Our precious guru...

Losar 2020 Nyine and 4-in-a-row Nyungne

Saturday Feb. 22 – Sunday March 1: 4-NYUNGNE RETREAT Nyungne is a very powerful purification practice. Doing even one is beneficial. Lama Yeshe hosted and led a 4-Nyungne retreat at Hay River from 2/22 to 3/1. The dates were carefully chosen so that the first nyungne...

January Dharma in Wisconsin

In honor of Khyabje Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche On January 5th, Lama Yeshe led the group in White Tara and then spoke to us on the topic of Renunciation. "The Buddhist path leads us from samsara to the way out. We need to have a desire to reduce our suffering and...

First Light Prayers 2020

Offering Lamps in KTD Shrine Room At the beginning of each year we join to renew our prayers for world peace in the coming year. On January 1st, 2020, we held a First Light Celebration at the Hay River KTC.  After chanting the first light prayers, we performed a fire...

New Beginnings

Sunrise at Hay River KTC On December 28 & 29, Lama Yeshe gave a teaching on New Beginnings. This talk was given at the Hay River KTC and also to the new group forming in Minnesota as the Minneapolis KTC -- another new beginning! "The new year is seen world wide as...

Short Guru Yoga instructions for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

As you may know, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche died early yesterday morning at Karme Ling. The instruction from KTD is to do guru yoga, mixing your mind with his. Below is the Guru Yoga prayer we do when we chant Chenrezig and Amitabha, and a link to instructions from Lama...

NOTE:  Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 and the health of our precious lama, please do not visit the Center if you have any symptoms of illness or any reason to believe you have been exposed to the virus.  Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. Please sign up for the newsletter if you wish to receive Zoom links or updates regarding upcoming programs.

Visitor’s Guide

The Hay River KTC Buddhist Meditation Center loves to welcome new visitors – it’s an important part of our broader mission to be an open and harmonious place for people to make contact with the Dharma.

Wondering what we do at Hay River KTC?  Right here on this website, you can view our recorded teachings, learn to meditate, or view recorded commentaries of excellent dharma books.

Best Times to Visit:

Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 and the health of our precious lama, please do not visit the Center if you have any symptoms of illness or any reason to believe you have been exposed to the virus. 

10 a.m. Sundays – Meditation or Chanting, depending on the week

11:00 a.m. Sundays – usually a teaching by our resident lama, Lama Tsultrim Yeshe.

Check the calendar to confirm there is a group practice or teaching when you want to attend.

What to Wear:

Comfortable clothing that is appropriate for sitting cross-legged on cushions. Short-shorts, short skirts and tank tops are discouraged. Note: We also have chairs for sitting, so feel free to use them during your visit!

Where we are located:

The Hay River KTC Buddhist Meditation Center is located in Ridgeland, Wisconsin.    Directions here.

The Hay River KTC Buddhist Meditation Center was organized in 1997 as an affiliate center of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, KTD (Woodstock, NY). Our purpose is to make available to all who are interested the teachings and practices of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Our main teachers are His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. We are located in rural west central Wisconsin just outside of Ridgeland.

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, right, with translator Jigme.

The property and buildings use environmental best practices and woodland management guidelines in line with the guidance of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa – read about the green initiatives here.

One of the best ways to support our mission is to become a member!