Ann Arbor

Welcome to the Jewel Heart Ann Arbor chapter webpage! Please scroll further below for all local Ann Arbor programs and sangha activities in detail.

Upcoming Onsite Programs & Sangha Activities Highlights – Scroll further below for details

  • Ancient Wisdom. Modern Times. by Demo Rinpoche, Free Sunday Talks weekly, 11:00am, followed by tea/snacks and discussion. All welcome. No session October 8, resumes October 15. 
  • Diamond Cutter Sutra online with Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe in October is also available for onsite participation by registrants. Click to register.
  • Sundays weekly, 4:00 – 5:00pm – Tai Chi. No session October 8
  • Thursdays weekly, 9:15 – 10:15am – Hatha Yoga with Sam Lieberman 
  • Thursdays weekly, 6:00 – 6:45pm – Open Meditation
  • Sunday, October 15, 1:00pm – Loving Kindness Crafters
  • Saturday, October 21, 1:30 – 3:30pm – Dharma Disc’er Disc Golf at Mary Doyle Park
  • Friday, November 10, 7:00pm – Free Film & Discussion: Legend of Bagger Vance. No Film night in October
  • Sunday, November 12, 7:00 – 8:30pm, online only – Jewel Heart Readers
  • Friday, November 24,  6:30pm – Lama Chopa & Tsoh
  • Saturday, December 16, 10:00am – Happy Hikers. No hikes October and November


Ann Arbor Sangha Council meetings meet onsite monthly on Tuesdays, 5:45pm. All are welcome.
Dates: May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 5, October 3, November 7, December 5.

Next Ann Arbor All Sangha Meeting will be on Sunday, November 5, approximately 12:30pm – following the morning talk by Demo Rinpoche and a short coffee, tea and snack break. All are invited to join!

Please check here for onsite cancellations during inclement weather.

For questions about local programming, write or call 734 994 3387.

Covid Guidelines

Jewel Heart was founded in Ann Arbor in 1988. We were privileged to receive the late Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche’s teachings on a regular basis, and the privilege continues with Jewel Heart’s Spiritual Director, Demo Rinpoche. Jewel Heart also hosts many other preeminent teachers and scholars in Tibetan Buddhism.

Read More about the Ann Arbor Chapter…

In 2008, we were honored when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama accepted Jewel Heart’s invitation to teach in Ann Arbor and inaugurated our spacious new location at 1129 Oak Valley Drive.

Throughout the year, we offer retreats, courses, guest speakers, workshops, and talks geared to help individuals bring peace, joy, and understanding into their lives and the lives of others. Jewel Heart offerings are based on the authentic and accessible teachings of Demo Rinpoche, Jewel Heart’s Resident Spiritual Advisor and the late Kyabje Gelek Rimpoche, founder of Jewel Heart.

When fully open for onsite participation, we hold film nights, a book group, a knitting group, tai chi classes, and community events, such as potlucks, a community garden, and fun-raisers. We are also involved in outreach activities, providing classes in mindfulness meditation to prisoners and living will workshops offered by Jewel Heart Health Center and Community Hospice.

The Jewel Heart Store, located at Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, sells books, transcripts, Tibetan rugs, and dharma objects. Jewel Heart Ann Arbor also has a main assembly hall, multiple rooms for courses, kitchen and dining facilities, and green space with a pond.

If you have questions about local programming, please email annarbor@jewelheart.orgor call 734 994 3387.

Don’t forget to do your grocery shopping at Arbor Farms and 3% will be donated to Jewel Heart.
Arbor Farms

Facebook Chapter Link

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(734) 994-3387

Ann Arbor Special Events Sept – Dec 2023


TAI CHI – Sundays Weekly, 4:00 – 5:00pm ET 
Learn and practice Wu Style Tai Chi Chan with instructor Marilyn Feingold.

DATES:  No Sessions June 11, 25, and July 30, September 24, October 8
COST: Drop-in, $5 per session at the door.

HATHA YOGA WITH SAMANTHA LIEBERMAN – Thursdays Weekly, 9:15 – 10:15am ET

DATES: August/September/October/November/December: Thursdays, 9:15 – 10:15am

August 3, 17, 24 31, September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 30, December 7, 14, 21, 28. No Session August 10, November 23

COST: Drop-in $15 per session – First visit FREE! Cash or Venmo at door. Seniors receive 10% discount. Discounted packages available. Bring your own mats.

Sam Lieberman has been practicing yoga since 1988. She received teacher trainings in Yoga Fit and Yoga Medics.  Yoga Medics is a medical model approach with emphasis on alignment and therapeutic needs.

JEWEL HEART READERS – 2nd Sunday Monthly online only,  7:00 – 8:30pm ET  –  New Sunday schedule began September 10.

DATES: September 10, October 1 (Adjusted date due to Fall Seminar), November 12, December 10. No Session June, July, August

Book Selection: Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman.  Click for the zoom registration link.

Contact or check out the Ann Arbor calendar for more information.

FREE FILM AND DISCUSSION – Fridays Monthly,  7:00pm ET 

Bring friends and enjoy a free film and follow up group discussion onsite. Free concessions available.

LOCATION: 1129 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor 48108

DATES: August 11, September 8, November 10, December 8. No session October 13

August 11: TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS (2005) – A universal tale of a young man with big dreams and no real plan to achieve them, linking how we live our lives and how we imagine our lives should be. Filmed entirely in Bhutan, directed by Khyentse Norbu

September 8: HEAL – (2017) A documentary film that takes us on a scientific journey where we discover that by changing one’s perceptions, our thoughts, beliefs and emotion, the human body can heal itself from dis-ease. The fact is we have more control over our health and life then we have been taught to believe.

November 10: LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE (2000) – A story about finding your true self, people see similarities between how this story is told and the Bhagavad Gita. Directed by Robert Redford starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron

December 8: THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)   – The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn

   HAPPY HIKERS – 3rd Saturday Monthly hikes at various Ann Arbor parks, 10:00 – 11:00am ET  

NEXT DATE & LOCATION: December 16 – Location to be announced

Dates: January 28, February 18, March 18,  April 15, May 20, June 17,  September 16, December 16. No hikes  July, August, October, November.

Contact Heather MacKenzie at for information.

DHARMA DISC’ERS DISC GOLF – Saturday Afternoons Monthly, 1:00pm – 3:00pm ET 

New and experienced players welcome!

LOCATION: Mary Beth Doyle Park, 3500 Birch Hollow Drive, Ann Arbor 48108
Meet in the parking lot adjacent to the swing set.

Dates: April 22, May 13, July 22, August 26 cancelled, September 30, October 28

Instructions – Time of play is usually 1-3 hours, depending on number in group and how many holes we play. Typically, 18 holes  but you can also play 9 or however many you like.

Wear good hiking shoes with a good gripping sole as ground may be muddy.  Discs will be available to use for the day.  If you have your own discs (or plan to purchase a starter set), please bring your own.  You might also want to bring a small bag or backpack to carry your discs.

Note: Play is weather permitting so please check this webpage first.


BLISSFUL BIRDERS – Saturday, September 2, 8:00 ~ 10:00am ET

Colorful warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, and flycatchers are exiting Michigan on migration farther south during early September. We’ll visit Matthaei Botanical Gardens, one of the best Ann Arbor birding hotspots for fall migrants.

Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA (map) We will meet on the steps of the Conservatory building, then walk the nearby trails for at least two hours.

Cost: Free. Parking at Matthaei costs $2.20 per hour, with a $6 daily maximum charge, so please consider carpooling with fellow sangha members.

Instructions: Bring binoculars, dress appropriately, and wear sensible shoes because trails can be wet with morning dew. Please, no strollers or dogs.

Guide: Karen Markey is a long-time field trip leader for Washtenaw Audubon Society, route leader for the Kirtland’s Warbler Survey for the U.S. Forest Service, and founder of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary Breeding Birds Survey for the Arc of Appalachia.

Contact:  Send an email message to with your questions or concerns.

LOVING KINDNESS CRAFTERS –  Sundays Monthly, 1:00 pm ET

Interested in knitting, sewing, quilting, baking or other crafts? No knowledge necessary. Beginners and experts and all in between are welcome. Onsite.

DATES: January 22, March 12, April 16, September 17, October 15 – No sessions May – August, November – December

Beginning in September, we will be knitting/crocheting chemo caps. Materials available or bring your own. Instructions available.

Note: Collecting care package items for the Delonis Homeless Shelter continues. Donations for kits can be placed in the box marked. Items needed follow:

Toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, chapstick, bar soap, washrags & hand towels, travel size Kleenex, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body lotion, hand shavers, men’s shaving cream, women’s tampons & panty liners, Q-tips, shower caddies.

Contact Rowena Villarias at for more information.


Local sangha are hosting a food drive for Food Gatherers to fight against hunger right here where we live. When onsite, please see the poster on the Sangha Council bulletin board for needed items or the donation bin in the hallway next to the kitchen. We plan to donate around the holiday timeframe so don’t wait too long to donate!

Click to explore the many Jewel Heart Programs.

Click for Weekly Free Virtual Programs.

Click for Jewel Heart Healing Meditations and Practices.

Ann Arbor Programs Sept – Dec 2023


DEMO RINPOCHE – ANCIENT WISDOM. MODERN TIMES. ~ Sundays Weekly, 11:00am – 12:00pm ET, Onsite and Online

Join Demo Rinpoche for weekly public talks on a variety of topics based on Buddhist wisdom that remains relevant for today’s modern life. Onsite and online facilitated group discussions follow the morning talk.

All are welcome. Sundays serve as a perfect entry for newcomers, a wonderful introduction to Demo Rinpoche and the Jewel Heart community.  Come as you are. Contact

Ancient Wisdom. Modern Times. Zoom Link  for online participation.

No Session October 8 due to Fall Seminar. A Sunday Talk recording will be posted on the homepage.

WHITE TARA GUIDED HEALING MEDITATION ~ Sundays Weekly, 9:30 – 10:30am ET,  Online only No session on October 8 due to Fall Seminar

White Tara Meditation Zoom Link


CREATING SPACE: Clarity and Insight through Meditation – Wednesdays, September 6 – October 25, 7:00 – 8:30pm ET

Meditation provides us with a clear and stable mind, necessary for a happy life and the foundation for deepening our spiritual journey.  This course offers hands-on experience with basic elements of meditation using breath, posture and techniques for coping with distractions and laxity of mind.

Jewel Heart Instructors: John Madison and Wendy Weiner

John Madison has been teaching meditation for over 25 Years. with a Masters degree from University of Michigan, he is Principal Violist of the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra, a regular with the Detroit Symphony, and on Wayne State Faculty.

Wendy Weiner has enjoyed lifelong learning on the spiritual path, growing up Christian, raising a Jewish family while practicing Tibetan Buddhism for the past 15 years. Wendy also has her MBA and gratefully serves as the Jewel Heart Ann Arbor Sangha Council President and a Jewel Heart Board Member.

FREE – Donations welcome.

Questions & Registration – Write The course is held onsite at 1129 Oak Valley Drive.

DELAM: The Smooth Path to Enlightenment – Mondays, September 11 – November 27, 7:00 – 8:30pm ET  

Delam, the Smooth Path to Enlightenment, has a special emphasis on meditation practices. We will study the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist Master Gelek Rimpoche, which provides a contemporary window into the heart of all spiritual practice. This 12 week course will meet on October 9 at 7:00pm after the Fall Seminar has concluded.

Jewel Heart Instructors: Karen Markey and Jack Schramm

Karen Markey has been teaching various Jewel Heart courses and has studied Tibetan Buddhism with Gelek Rimpoche and Demo Rinpoche for many years. She is Professor Emerita at University of Michigan where she taught in the School of Information for over 30 years.

Jack Schramm is a retired scientist interested in energy conversion technologies. He began mediating in 1969, while also studying various philosophies and yogas, East and West. He has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 2006 with Gelek Rimpoche, and now Demo Rinpoche.

Suggested donation – $75. Pay what you can – no one turned away. Jewel Heart Members Free.

To register or for questions: Write The course is held onsite at 1129 Oak Valley Drive.

To purchase and pick up the course paperback transcript, visit the Jewel Heart store onsite or write or call 734 994 3385. To purchase and download a digital version of the course transcript, click here.

OPEN MEDITATION – Thursdays Weekly Onsite, 6:00 – 6:45pm ET 

Facilitators offer lightly guided concentration meditation sessions onsite for all levels of experience.

FREE. Contact for questions. 

LAMA CHOPA & TSOH – Fridays Monthly Onsite, 6:30pm ET 

Lama Chopa is a comprehensive practice to help ground and strengthen our relationship with our spiritual teachers as well as the various activities that support realizing our fullest spiritual potential, to reach enlightenment for the greater benefit of all. More information about Lama Chopa and Tsoh is available here.

All are welcome. Donations for the tsoh welcome.

DATES: August 4, September 22, November 24. No Lama Chopa in October, December.