About Us

Karma Thegsum Chöling New Jersey (KTC-NJ) is a Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist Center and a residence in the U.S. of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. KTC-NJ was established in 2001, when Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lin generously offered their property to His Holiness and he accepted. The beautiful, peaceful, and secluded estate located in the New Jersey pinelands is comprised of a dwelling on 150 acres of verdant lawn, farm and forested areas, bordering New Jersey's Wharton State Forest.

Housed inside the two-story western style mansion is a traditional Tibetan shrine room, replete with a 2-foot tall Shakyamuni Buddha statue, a Karma Kagyu protector – Mahakala – shrine, and many statues, prayer texts and thangkas. Complete collections of Kangyur and Tengyur scriptures in Tibetan and Chinese languages can be found here.

Adjacent to the main shrine room is KTC-NJ's Medicine Buddha shrine room, containing a complete set of eight Medicine Buddha statues – very rare in North America. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Bardo Tulku Rinpoche, and the center's Resident Lama, Lama Tsultrim, imbued the Medicine Buddha statues with over 60 different blessed treasures, including herbs from Guru Rinpoche and previous Karmapas, big black pills, long life pills, the 16th Karmapa’s blood pills, radical of the 16th Karmapa, soil, precious gems, herbs and minerals from holy sites in Tibet and India.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa paid a very special visit to KTC-NJ in 2008. In addition, many venerable masters have traveled to KTC-NJ and have given their blessings and priceless support, including Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, Her Eminence Khandro Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, and Bardor Tulku Rinpoche. These teachers from around the world have imparted their wisdom and Karma Kagyu tradition at teachings sponsored by KTC-NJ in South Jersey and Philadelphia.

Life-sustaining, environmentally-sensitive practices are practiced at KTC-NJ. The building is equipped with a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses renewable energy and conserves natural resources. Pesticide use is avoided on the premises, and only vegetarian, mostly organic food is served. As well as promoting Tibetan Buddhism, the center encourages wellness through healthy eating and yoga asana practice.

KTC-NJ provides financial support to many worthy charities including the Animal Welfare Institute, the Himalayan Cataract project, an animal shelter, and natural disaster relief foundations that aid people in Indonesia, Haiti, Taiwan and China who have experienced devastation from floods, earthquakes or a tsunami. Donations have been made to rebuild monasteries, to have prayers recited for those affected by natural disasters, and to sponsor animal life-release projects in Taiwan and Tibet. Through these charitable contributions, KTC-NJ seeks to improve the quality of life for sentient beings in the wider world.

Resident Lama – Lama Tsultrim

Lama Tsultrim was born in 1968 in Central Tibet. He became a monk at age 18 at Tsurphu Monastery, the main seat of the Karmapa. There Lama studied the main treatises of Tibetan Buddhism and traditional tantric monastic practices. Lama Tsultrim completed a three-year intensive meditation retreat in the Tsurphu Samtan Yiwong Retreat Center in Tibet. Besides studying the Kagyu treatises, he received extensive training in the Six Yogas of Naropa.

After completing his three-year retreat, Lama Tsultrim became the Shrine Master at Tsurphu Monastery, maintaining the shrine in the personal quarters of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. At the request of the Karmapa and Kyabje Drupon Dechen Rinpoche, he also went on extensive tours within Tibet and throughout Asia to impart Dharma teachings and to bestow empowerments. Lama Tsultrim served for two years as an assistant to His Holiness in India. Then, in 2002, at the request of His Holiness, he came to the United States to take the position of Resident Lama of KTC-NJ.

Lama Tsultrim and his assistant, Lama Tenzin, are available for consultation. Lamp offerings and prayer services can be arranged.

Assistant Lama – Lama Tenzin

Lama Tenzin, born in 1984, entered Tsurphu Monastery at age 11. At age 18 he left Tibet for India where he studied the English language and Buddhism at a Tibetan Children's Village school. After his graduation in 2006, Lama Tenzin served as an attendant for His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala. Then in December 2006, Lama Tenzin relocated to the U.S. after accepting Lama Tsultrim's invitation to become an assistant Lama at KTC-NJ. Lama Tenzin has been continuing his education and knowledge of English by taking college level classes.