American Religious Sounds Project

Peace circle - prayer


The Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling Center (KTC), a Buddhist community in the Tibetan Karma Kagyu tradition, has experienced a period of re-creation and migration since early 2016. The KTC was formerly based in the West Columbus neighborhood of Franklinton. In January 2016, their dharma center building burned due to arson. Faith leaders from other traditions collaborated with the KTC’s teachers and lay leaders to help in the immediate aftermath and with long-term recovery.

The community has since been housed in shared spaces and houses of worship around the city, most consistently Congregation Tifereth Israel, a synagogue near downtown. Tifereth Israel provides space for the KTC’s shrine, composed of recovered and donated art and objects, and regular meditation practices on Sundays and Tuesdays. When interviewed in spring 2017, KTC Resident Teacher Lama Kathy Wesley noted that the synagogue community and local Jewish leaders see taking in the KTC as tied to their religious identity: “I received a letter from the local federation of rabbis and they said ‘we know how it feels to be without a home, and we know how it feels to be singled out because of your faith’.” While based at Congregation Tifereth Israel, the KTC also collaborates with Trinity Episcopal Church and the Center for Pragmatic Buddhism to offer programs. They continue to fundraise and plan for the rebuilding of their dharma center in Franklinton.

The week of the fire in 2016, KTC members, along with Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh leaders, neighbors, and city politicians, gathered behind the burned building for a Peace Circle to support the community. Huddled against frigid weather and shouting over the noise of traffic from the nearby freeway, attendees prayed for the arsonist and the future of the KTC. In this clip, made at the Peace Circle, Lama Tom Broadwater leads those prayers. (Caroline Toy)

Peace circle - prayer
Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling Center
Columbus Karma Thegsum Chöling Center
City / State
Columbus, OH
Caroline Toy
Recorded On
Religious Tradition
Buddhist, Interfaith
Types of Sounds
ambient, multiple voices, speaking
Types of Space
outdoors, streets
Research Team
Ohio State
Day of Week
Time of Day
Peace circle - prayer