TRTCC Upcoming Practices, December 8 – 15

Dear Dharma Friends,

We received word today that Lama Kalsang has safely arrived in Nepal and will be heading to the monastery in a few days. This is fantastic news!

Sunday, December 12th:  TRTCC will hold its Annual Meeting at 11:30am, following morning practice.  At this meeting the board will discuss what we have accomplished over the last very challenging year and what we hope to accomplish in the times to come.  There will then be an opportunity for feedback from attendees and general discussion. Everyone is welcome, so please attend if you are able.  Your feedback matters to us and will help to set the direction for the future of our center. Please join on Zoom:

Tuesday, December 14, 7pm, Introduction to Practice. Tuesday practice will resume next week, December 7.  This informal class offers an introduction to Buddhist practice in our lineage, including the invocations common to all of our practices and their meaning, and also an introduction to meditation practice in our lineage.  It would be helpful to read this short introduction to Tibetan Buddhism before class. Online only. To join our Tuesday Zoom:

Saturday, December 11, 10am. Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study. Online only. Study of The Four Noble Truths continues. To join our Saturday Zoom:

Sunday, December 12, 10 am. Sunday practice. Online only. Practice will include recitation of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, Om Ah Hung practice, and meditation. To join our Sunday Zoom:


Tibetan Nuns Project 2022

The Tibetan Nuns Calendars 2022

Three Rivers Tibetan Cultural Center has again ordered The Tibetan Nuns calendars 2022 as our way to continue supporting nuns’ education in the Himalayan regions. The sale of these calendars is Tibetan Nuns Project’s major annual fundraiser.  The calendar contains both the Western and Tibetan lunar calendars with special Buddhist ritual dates listed. Each month shows a photo of nuns’ activities from various nunneries taken by the nuns, with inspirational quotes included. You can find out more at:

These calendars are great gifts for your friends and family.  If you would like to contribute to this effort please reply to   and let us know how many you would like to have. We can either mail the calendar to you, or put them on our center’s front porch for you to pick up at a designated time.  If you want it to be mailed to you please add $2 for postage. The calendars cost $12 each and 100% goes to support Tibetan Nuns Project.

Options for payment: 

  • Make a check out to our center, TRTCC, and send it to 7313 Florence Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15218. Please write “Nuns calendar” on the memo line.
  • Use PayPal (click on the “donate” button on the sidebar) to pay; please add a dollar to cover their fees. Add a note to designate this as payment for a calendar.
  • Put cash or check in an envelope that says “Nuns calendar” and put this in our mailbox when you pick it up.

We hope you can support the Tibetan Nuns Project to help empower nuns to become future teachers and leaders.



TRTCC Upcoming Practices, November 10 – 14

Lama Kalsang continues his work with Lama Sonam on the new center and other events through the month of November. Our Wednesday and Sunday practices will take place online only this week. Details for each are below:


Wednesday, November 10, 7pm. Chenrezig PracticeOnline only. To join our Wednesday Zoom:


Sunday, November 14, 10 am. Achi Chokyi Drolma practice. Online only. Practice will include recitation of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, Om Ah Hung practice and meditation, and Achi Chokyi Drolma practice. To join our Sunday Zoom:



Tuesday, 7pm, Introduction to Buddhism. This class will resume in December.

Saturday, 10am. Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study. Saturday practice will resume in December.


About our center’s finances and a request for supports

September 29, 2021

A Request For Supports

We wanted to give you an update on the center’s finances:  Over the past year and a half of this pandemic we lost several income streams, including the donation box at the center, which was regularly used by people who attended practices throughout the week, and also donations that came with teachings and special events. But our monthly expenses stayed the same.  Thanks to the support of our sangha, we had been meeting those expenses every month.

But in the second quarter this year things finally started catching up with us, and we were in the red for two of the three months of that quarter.  Part of that is that we simply have no cushion in our operating income to meet extra expenses,  like the medical exam and tests needed to finish Lama’s green card.  The other part is that monthly donations have not always been enough to cover even our fixed operating expenses.  We’re in the process of switching to a new energy provider in an effort to lower our monthly bill and also connect us to more sustainable energy sources.  But we haven’t found other places to make cuts.

The center is such a precious place. You can know that just from the experience of practice there. It was also a memorable thing to hear Lho Ontul Rinpoche’s attendant say very quietly as he was preparing the shrine before a teaching that, “this is special place”. And now it’s facing some challenges. We still have a dedicated capital fund for improvements and repairs. But to protect the center’s future, we need to gain more financial stability to meet regular operating expenses.

In our tradition the six paramitas — generosity, moral and ethical discipline, patience, joyful effort, meditation, and wisdom — represent the six dimensions of a bodhisattva’s conduct, and practice of the paramitas is part of the two accumulations’ great sphere. If you are able, please consider including the center in your practice of generosity. Where generosity has already arisen, thank you.

Please know that no amount is too small. Your intention to help is the most important part.

You can either make a donation through PayPal or by sending checks directly to Three Rivers Tibetan Cultural Center, (7313 Florence Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15218). On PayPal you can also set up a regular monthly donation.  Thank you for your support, whatever its form.

The TRTCC Board
Jonnie, Eva, Paul, David and Ralph

Support Us



October 2021 Schedules:

October 2021 schedules:

Tuesdays at 7 p.m. This class is currently between sessions.


Saturdays at 10 a.m.  Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study. The topic is The Four Noble Truths, the first turning of the wheel of dharma.  To join our Saturday Zoom:



Sundays at 10 a.m.  Achi Chokyi Drolma practice. Practice will include recitation of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, Om Ah Hung practice and meditation, and Achi Chokyi Drolma practice. To join our Sunday Zoom:


Vasudhara Sand Mandala Online, September 13 – 18, 2021

Vasudhara Sand Mandala

with Lama Sonam, Lama Kalsang, and Dr. Hun Lye
September 13 – 18, 2021

Dear Dharma Friends,

Lama Sonam, Lama Kalsang, and Dr. Lye will be creating a Vasudhara Sand Mandala at Randolph College’s Lipscomb Library in Lynchburg, VA beginning on Monday September 13th at 10am, with completion on Saturday September 18th at 10am.

Vasudhara, whose name means “stream of gems”, is a bodhisattva of spiritual and material wealth, prosperity, well-being, and abundance. She is the embodiment of boundless generosity, the first of the six transcendent perfections (paramitas).

The project will be streamed in its entirety on Randolph College’s YouTube channel, with the schedule as follows:

Opening ceremony: Monday, Sept. 13, 10 a.m. EST

Viewers are invited to watch daily (EST):
Mornings: 10 a.m.- Noon
Afternoons: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Closing ceremony: Saturday, Sept. 18, 10 a.m. EST

For more information please visit


Samsara and Nirvana: Teachings by H.E. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Samsara and Nirvana: Two Sides of the
Same Hand
with H.E. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche
July 17, 24, 31 & August 7, 2021

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (EST)

H.E. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche is going to give teachings on Samsara and Nirvana: Two Sides of the Same Handfrom a text he composed in 2009 based on the essence teachings of Kyobypa Jigten Sumgon, founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage.  The teachings will be on  July 17, 24, 31 and August 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Rinpoche has invited our sangha to join these important teachings, and Ven. Lama Kalsang offers encouragement for us to do so if we can.

Rinpoche has given the following requirements to be taken up before the teachings:

  1. Daily practice of Vajrasattva to purify and clear obscurations
  2. Daily practice of Guru Yoga That Brings the Dharmakaya Onto the Path; and
  3. A commitment to attend all of the teachings in full and in real time.
Teachings on the Guru Yoga practice can be found in two parts at and

The text can be found at  You can also do Guru Yoga Vajradhara – Rest The Mind In Its Natural State, if you are already familiar with that practice. The teachings will be on Zoom and on Facebook Live. The login information is on this beautiful flyer. You might recognize The Wheel of Life there on the poster. For those able to participate, may this be a joyful and fruitful experience for the benefit of all beings.

Click Here for the Saturday Zoom teachings



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Achi Chokyi Drolma practice with Ven. Lama Kalsang Sunday 10 am, June 6, 2021

Sunday reopening to regular practices
with Ven. Lama Kalsang
10 am, June 6, 13, 2021


The center happily but mindfully began the initial phase of its reopening for regular practices on June 6. During this initial phase of reopening, attendance at the center is limited to 5 people. For the benefit of others, we ask that only people who are fully vaccinated come in to the center. To attend practice in person, please send an email to indicating the practice or practices you’d like to attend. If there is still an open cushion, you’ll get a confirming email about coming in. If you don’t get that confirmation, please continue to follow the practices online.
For this first Sunday in June, our practice will include the recitation of the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva, the OM AH HUNG visualization and meditation practice which was originally introduced to us by H.E. Khenchen Konchok Gyaltsen Rinpoche, and Achi Chokyi Drolma practice led by Ven. Lama Kalsang.  Achi, which means “Grandmother” in Tibetan, is revered as the great female dharma protector of the Drikung Kagyu lineage and its practitioners.  To join us online:

Saturday, June 5, 12, 10 am. Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study with Lama Kalsang and Jonnie Viakley. The subject of study is The Wheel of Life. Online only. To join our Saturday Zoom:

Wednesday, June 9, 7 pm. Medicine Buddha Practice with Ven. Lama Kalsang. Online and in person. To join our Wednesday Zoom:

Thursday, June 10, 7 pm. 35 Buddhas Purification Practice with Ven. Lama Kalsang at the center only. This is a new moon practice, one of three lunar practices each month.





To receive our weekly updates of upcoming teachings or special events:


8th Annual Drikung Kagyu Ngo Choe Monlam Led by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche Online

8th Annual Drikung Kagyu Ngo Choe Monlam Led by H.E. Garchen Rinpoche Online

Friday, June 4, 11:00am EDT


Hosted by the North American Drikung Kagyu Association

For more information about joining online:


For other Teaching videos hosted by Garchen Buddhist Institue on the YouTube channel:
Garchen Buddhist Institute youtube channel





Sunday, 5/30/2021, Buddha Amitabha Online Practice with Ven. Lama Kalsang

This Sunday, 5/30, at 10am, Ven. Lama Kalsang will lead the Buddha Amitabha Practice online. Amitabha means “Infinite Light”, or “Boundless Illumination”. The chanting of the Amitabha mantras and prayers to help the deceased to swiftly go through bardo to reach the Pure Land of Great Happiness (Sukhavati in Sanskrit, and Dewachen in Tibetan) is practiced by buddhists of many traditions all over the world. May this practice benefit all sentient beings. The sadhana text is linked below and will be made available when you join our Zoom meeting. Please join us:
Saturday at 10 am. Basic Buddhism: Practice and Study  with Lama Kalsang and Jonnie Viakley, The subject of study is The Wheel of Life, an intricate visual images an intricate diagram of visual images representing the Buddha’s teachings on the nature of samsara. The Wheel of Life is at the entrance to almost every Tibetan prayer hall, including ours, where a thangka painting hangs just inside the entry. To join our Saturday Zoom meeting:
Tuesday at 7 pm. Introduction to Practice.  offering an introduction to the center’s practices, just concluded. The next session of this series of classes hasn’t yet been scheduled. For information about this class you can email the center at




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