Tibetan Culture and Events in Bozeman, Montana

Tibetan culture is alive and well in Bozeman, Montana to a great extent through the efforts of Tsering Lodoe, a Tibetan opera singer and instrumentalist. Lodoe’s music is featured on the soundtrack of Seven Years in Tibet and the movie Himalaya.

The 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt tells the story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, whose attempt to scale a Himalayan peak was interrupted by the Second World War. Himalaya is a 2001 movie telling the story of the dangerous caravans that carry rock salt from high plateaus down to the lowlands to trade. 

Celebration of Tibetan Culture Tsering Lodoe
Tsering Lodoe, Tibetan Opera Singer

Lodoe is based in Bozeman and has been performing throughout Montana for several years. Originally from from Dharamsala, India, Lodoe is classically trained in many Tibetan arts including opera singing, dancing and acting. Lodoe also plays several instruments. 

Musicians at the Celebration of Tibetan Culture
Mayela Koster, Kathleen karlsen, Michael Koster and Marius Michael-George

Lodoe travels regularly around the country and the world performing at festivals and gatherings honoring Tibetan culture. His performances in the local area often involve supporting musicians including Kathleen Karlsen, Michael Koster, Eduardo Rodarte and others. 

Final-Audience Celebration of Tibetan Culture
Audience at the Celebration of Tibetan Culture

Celebration of Tibetan Culture

A Celebration of Tibetan Culture was held in Bozeman, Montana on March 10, 2022 in honor of the 63rd Tibetan Uprising Day. This day commemorates the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the presence of the People’s Republic of China in Tibet. The failure of this uprising resulted in the escape of the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. A government in exile was established in Dharamsala, India.

Tsering Lodoe performing a traditional Tibetan opera song.

The celebration included a Tibetan Opera Mask Dance by Tsering Lodoe, an introductory talk by Karma Tensum, and Buddhist mantras and songs for peace led by Michael Koster, Eduardo Rodarte and Kathleen Karlsen. Additional musicians included Mayela Koster, Andrew Karlsen and Marius Michael-George. The evening concluded with refreshments provided by the family of Karma Tensum.

Tibetan Culture Celebration with Karma Tensum
Karma Tensum, Founder of the Tibetan Children's Educational Foundation

Karma Tensum is the Executive Director of the Tibetan Children’s Educational Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture. Karma escaped from Tibet at the age of two when the Chinese occupation took place. He received his early education in Dharamsala, India, eventually coming to America and earning a Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Tibetan National Anthem
Lodoe Leads the Tibetan National Anthem

The celebration was open to the public, held at the Bozeman Teaching Center at 2308 Durston Road. The Teaching Center is a branch of the Summit Lighthouse, a non-profit spiritual organization dedicated to accelerating the soul’s reunion with God through the study of many religious traditions.

The event also served as a building expansion fund-raiser to create additional areas for public events. The property has also been used in past years for outdoor kirtan events. Additional events are planned for the future. SUBSCRIBE to be notified of upcoming events. More info about Lodoe on Tsering Lodoe’s Facebook page.

Multi-instrumentalist Tsering Lodoe opening the celebration.

OM MANI PADME HUM - One Mantra Event

The mantra below was part of a worldwide online event focused on chanting the well-known Buddhist mantra OM MANI PADME HUM. This event was a fundraiser for the Tibetan Settlements in India and Nepal suffering from COVID. The all-day event held on May 28, 2021.

This mantra is sometimes referred to as the Jewel in the Lotus. “Mani” means “jewel” and “padme” means lotus. This mantra literally means “Hail to the jewel in the lotus” or “Hail to the precious truth within”. This honors the deepest part of the heart and being where truth always resides.

The mantra references the voice within, the conscience or gnosis. The meaning of this single phrase encompasses all of the teachings of the Buddha. Original music by Kathleen Karlsen performed with Tsering Lodoe and Michael Richard Koster. Additional contributions by Mayela Koster and Andrew Karlsen. 

"Thank you so much for this lovely video! I know it took you a lot of work to prepare for the event and also for the video. I love it and have listened to it a bunch of times already! May God bless you for your sacred labor of sharing sacred chants with the world."

Fundraisers for Tsering Lodoe

A celebration of Tibetan culture and fundraiser for Tsering Lodoe was held in Bozeman at the Unity Church on December 10, 2023. Lodoe is a graduate of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. He currently lives in Montana, but is returning to India to teach at TIPA in early 2023.

At this event, Lodoe is joined by Kathleen Karlsen, Marius Michael-George and Mayela Koster. This video clip includes the mantra “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha” lead by Lodoe and “The Medicine Buddha Mantra” led by Kathleen Karlsen. Percussion is provided by Marius Michael-George with kartals (tingshas) and vocals by Mayela Koster.

The female Buddha Tara is the focus of the mantra “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha.” Tara is a Buddhist deity known as the goddess of liberation. In the Tibetan pantheon of deities, Tara is the consort of the Dhyani Buddha Amogasiddhi.

The name Tara means “star.” The word-name Tara is variously interpreted as Shining Star, Liberator, Savior, or One Who Ferries Across. Tara is the most powerful female deity in the Buddhist pantheon.

Tara exists as a goddess in many other traditions and countries, including Hinduism, Polynesian mythology, Druidism, Finland (Tar, Woman of Wisdom), Roman mythology (Terra, Earth Mother), and South America (the goddess Tarahumara). Read a full article and hear other Buddhist mantras in Five Female Buddha Mantras and Stories.

The Medicine Buddha Mantra comes from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. The oldest known references to the Medicine Buddha are texts from the seventh century. The Medicine Buddha is one of eight healing Buddhas. Healing has been a significant part of some Buddhist sects.

The central Medicine Buddha is also known as the Bhaisajya Guru, Master of Healing, Supreme Physician, Supreme Healer and the Healing Buddha. He is also called the “King of Vaidurya Light.” Learn more in Medicine Buddha Mantra: Music, Symbols & History.

A second fundraiser was held for Lodoe’s travels and teaching in a private home in Helena, Montana on Saturday, December 17th. This two hour program included a Tibetan dance, flute and horn playing by Lodoe and a selection of mantras from sacred traditions around the world.

Tibetan Culture and Kirtan Event

Max Milton, Marius Michael-George, Tsering Lodoe, Kathleen Karlsen, Andrew Karlsen,
Mayela Koster and Michael Richard Koster

Kathleen Karlsen Video Resources Thumbnail

Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

Share with a friend today!