Hay River KTC

Visitor’s Guide

The Hay River KTC 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 or when you can visit?

Best Times to Visit:

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

11:00 a.m. Sundays – usually a teaching by Lama Yeshe. Check the calendar to confirm there is a teaching when you want to come.

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 Meditation Center is located in Ridgeleand, Wisconsin.    Directions here.


The Hay River KTC 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!



Click on each of the calendar boxes for detailed descriptions of events.  More details about the events may be found in the EVENT section, under the calendar.


welcome to 2018!!
febrUARY 11  mahamudra practice part 2
Details from shrine room at KTD Monastery, Woodstock, NY
febrUARY 11  mahamudra practice part 2

Lama Yeshe will  present part 2 of the Mahamudra teachings.  These are the most profound of the Kagyu lineage practices.  Practicing Mahamudra quickly leads to recognizing the fundamental nature of the mind.  This is a continuation of a teaching given last fall and will focus on great practitioners of the past.

The group will do Shamatha Meditation (Calm Abiding Meditation) from 10 am to 11 am with the teaching to follow.

febrUARY 18 The heart of Buddhism
Lama Yeshe teaching at KTD Monastery
febrUARY 18 The heart of Buddhism

The teaching of the Buddha are vast and can at times seem complicated.  Fortunately, all of the different teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism agree on one point, the need to reduce and eventually eliminate self cherishing. Lama Yeshe will talk about the practices done at the Hay River KTC and how they all help loosen up our self grasping.   As we alter our relationship with the self, we will have less unnecessary suffering.  We have the opportunity to develop more contentment, become kinder, and experiencing more delight in life.  This teaching is meant for beginners and advanced practitioners as well.  All are welcome.

The group will do the practice of Chenrezig from 10 am to 11 am with the teaching to follow.

febrUARY 18, 25 & March 4  shamatha meditation practice
febrUARY 18, 25 & March 4  shamatha meditation practice

The group will sit together doing the practice of Shamatha (Calm Abiding) Meditation.  Instruction will be give to those who may be new to the practice.  The practice will be held from 10 to 11 am each of these three Sundays.

in THE region
febrUARY 9  Basic wisdom in buddhism in St Paul, MN
Wall painting detail at KTD Monastery
febrUARY 9  Basic wisdom in buddhism

Lama Yeshe will be giving a talk on the basic wisdom teachings of Buddhism.  The talk will be from 7:30 to 9 pm with a period of meditation starting at 7 pm. There is a $20 suggested donation and events will take place at Lexington Kids, 701 Lexington Pkwy North in St Paul.  See link in February 10 event listing below for additional event location specifics.

febrUARY 10  Emotional Healing Using Buddhist Wisdom. (th event will be held in St Paul, MN)
Lama Yeshe
febrUARY 10  Emotional Healing Using Buddhist Wisdom

The Buddha’s teachings are primarily concerned with the mind, what it actually is and how it operates.  By 500 CE a highly developed psychology developed in Buddhism including recognition of the role of the subconscious and unconscious mind.  You could say the Buddha made a religion out of mental health.  Our minds naturally turn toward healing and health just like our bodies do when sick or injured.  This program will help us encourage the natural healing process and develop healthier ways of looking at ourselves and the world around us.  Happiness, inner peace, and contentment are experiences of a healthy mind.

This program is sponsored by the Spirit United Community and will be held at Lexington Kids at 701 Lexington Pkwy North in St Paul, MN from 10 am to 4 pm.  A vegetarian lunch will be served and there is  a suggested donation of $30.   Click here for event details


Tuesday Night Classes
Eau Claire Dharma Book Study

Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Eau Claire, WI

The Eau Claire book class with Lama Yeshe continues. The Tuesday night classes are held in the lower level of the UU Congregational Building located at 421 Farwell Street in Eau Claire. The text is  The Three Vehicles of Buddhist Practice by Thrangu Rinpoche.  There is a suggested donation of $25 a month, but no one will be turned away if unable to pay.


“Buddhism for Inmates”

Lama Yeshe in front of the Jackson Correctional Institution.

Lama Yeshe  teaches and offers meditation instruction two or three times per month at the prison,  Jackson Correctional Institution, where he spent eight years as a chaplain.   Closed teaching for inmates only.

Ongoing Sunday Schedule

The Hay River KTC has a regular Sunday Practice schedule with Lama Tsultrim Yeshe.  We alternate between Shamata (Calm Abiding Meditation) and the deity practices of White Tara and Chenrezig.

White Tara

Lama 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 108yeshe@gmail.com.

Our Sunday programs start at 10am.  On the Sundays when Lama Yeshe is in residence there is usually a talk or a book chat following from 11:30-12:30.   Lama Yeshe will present a series of teachings after practice this fall with a focus on deity practice.  He will cover why they are done and where they fit on the Buddhist path.  He will give practice instruction on both White Tara & Amitabha.  These are two of the deity practices done regularly at the center. Consult the calendar above for more specific information.

Hay River KTC is also one of the few Dharma Centers in the US that offers the Nyungne fasting and purification practice on a regular basis. This is entirely due to Lama Tsultrim Yeshe, who makes this amazing practice available to us.

More about the Nyungne practice at Hay River KTC here.

Lama Tsultrim Yeshe

About 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 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 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 108yeshe@gmail.com.


About the video
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

About the video

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).


Visit Us!

Visit us at Hay River Karma Thegsum Choling

N14085 Ct. Rd. V V Ridgeland, WI 54763   Phone: 715-949-1407

Hay River Karma Thegsum Choling
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