Charleston Tibetan Society (CTS) is a non-profit religious and educational organization with 501(c)(3) status. CTS was founded in 1994 with three missions: to increase the awareness of Tibet and its unique culture; to bring the major world religions together to make a more effective contribution to humanity and world peace; and to raise funds to help Tibetan refugees living in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Under the auspices of CTS, we established a Dharma Center in 1998 and our sister Dharma Center in Columbia, SC in 2002. The purpose of opening the Dharma Centers is to meet the needs of the community for their fulfillment, growth, and emotional and psychological well-being. Interest in Buddhism has grown in the past several years as those interested see the need to balance their life between spiritual awareness and external material sustenance. 

CTS and the Columbia Dharma Center offer teachings on Buddhist meditation, Psychology, Cosmology, Metaphysics, Emptiness, and the Lam-Rim, the most concise introduction to Buddhism, as well as chanting and prayers. In addition, we currently hold four formal retreats per year at our Radiant Mind Retreat Center. This is to improve the quality of group practice and is a skillful way to learn and share among Sangha members.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama openly suggested that the Buddhist teachings must not only be concentrated in the monastic community, but must also reach into the lay world. The reason is that Buddhism is a way of life and is the inner means to become a good human being. This is gained through the practice, which is designed for self correction. The practice constitutes ethical discipline, meditation, and discerning wisdom. These three principles are the essence of the Buddha's teaching and the core of the Buddhist practice. 

At CTS, Geshe Dakpa Topgyal teaches both beginner and advanced courses in meditation, Buddhist philosophy and science in the same tradition as the Dalai Lama, on a weekly basis. Our teachings page has a complete listing of classes offered.

spiritual director & current board members

Spiritual Director

Geshe Dakpa Topgyal, Drepung Loseling Monastery and the Charleston Tibetan Society

Board Members

Cathy Funderburk, 1st Vice President

Jeanne Welsh, 2nd Vice President

Sonja Howe, Treasurer

Kristin Hess, Secretary

Justin Yeh, Trustee

Please E-mail the board at any time if you have any questions or concerns. All of the board members are here to help and serve the Charleston Tibetan Society; its current, old, and prospective members; and the community at large.