Welcome to Open Awareness Buddhist Center!

Open Awareness Buddhist Center 250TThe Open Awareness Buddhist Center is a place of refuge and sanctuary for all beings. The Sangha of Open Awareness is a fellowship of practitioners who are committed to ethics, honesty, respect for all, and to providing a welcoming atmosphere with the pure intention of benefiting sentient beings through Dharma activities. These include the gathering of merit and wisdom, sharing the teachings of the Buddhadharma, and meditating – all as taught in the Tibetan traditions.
@ miamibuddhism.org 



Women, Money, and Meditation (Parts 1-3)

Lama Karma Chötso and Susan Howell, the owner of FinReFinFree (Financial Responsibility = Financial Freedom) will be teaching Women, Money, and Meditation, Focus Classes.  On April 27, 2019, a Women, Money, and Meditation overview class was taught by Lama Karma Chötso and Susan.  In this upcoming 3-part series the topics listed below will be covered in more detail, to gain a greater understanding of how money works and how to ease the stress often caused by money-related issues, through meditation, knowledge, and understanding.  One of the first steps to gaining financial freedom is to understand how money works and to not be fearful of money related matters.  Lama Karma Chötso will lead meditation at the start of each class, to bring peace and calmness into our beings- a wonderful way to start the process of learning about money and financial responsibility.  (The April 27th class is not a pre-requisite for the below classes.)
Class Schedule: Morning session 9:45-11:45 AM; Lunch Break; Afternoon session 12:30-2:30 PM

Part 1 – Saturday, June 22:  Morning:  Relationships and Money & Abundance vs. Scarcity Thinking Regarding Money.  Afternoon:  Budgeting.

Part 2 – Saturday, July 13:  Morning:  Credit Score, Types of Income, and Multiple Streams of Income.   Afternoon:  Credit Cards, Spending, and Managing Debt.

Part 3 – Saturday, August 24:  Morning:  Taxes, and Various Loan and Insurances.  Afternoon:  Emergency Fund, Saving, Investing, Compound Interest, and Planning Ahead.

Money and meditation are not mutually exclusive; learn about financial responsibility and how to use meditation to improve your daily relationship with money.  This particular class is for women only and will focus on learning some of the key ways to control your money instead of it controlling you, how money can affect relationships, how to have equanimity regarding money, and how meditation can assist in bringing peace to money-related matters.  The individual classes will focus in more depth on each specified money-related subject.  Lama Karma Chötso will lead us in meditation before each class.  Lama will also provide teachings regarding how people (and woman in particular) attach themselves to certain, often times negative, ideas about money and how we can learn to let go of these preconceived or learned notions that often do not serve us.

Tea, water, and light snacks will be provided along with small notebooks and pens. Please bring your own brown bag lunch.

Recommended Donation:
OABC Members with Advanced Registration – $140 for the 3-part series or $50 per class.
Non-Members – $150 for the 3-part series or $60 per class.
Class size will be limited to 20 students. To register click the Donate button:

More about the teachers:

Lama Karma Chötso has studied and practiced Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition for 37 years and has been teaching for 21 years at the Open Awareness Buddhist Center in Miami, Florida.  Lama also teaches at other US Dharma Centers and in Peru where she and her students have built only the second Tibetan stupa in that country. Her main teachers include His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and T’ai Situ Rinpoche. Lama completed a three-year, three-month meditation retreat in strict seclusion in 1990, traveled on pilgrimages in Asia, and studied in India, Nepal, and Tibet. Lama meditates daily wherever she is but currently she resides in Miami, Florida with her dog and two cats.

Susan Howell worked for the federal government for 26 years, (IRS and the Department of Justice) and spent 22 of those years as a federal agent, often investigating financial-related crimes.  Susan has been practicing financial responsibility for many years and was able to retire at the young age of 50 because of her financial practices.  Upon retiring in 2017, she realized she wanted to make a positive difference in the area of financial literacy in society, so she created FinReFinFree to help fill the financial literacy gap by sharing her knowledge and passion about the subject.

Come join Lama Chötso and Susan on the journey of financial literacy and responsibility, abundance, and meditation.   Learn that money is neutral, it is not good or bad, but sometimes our beliefs and ideas about money give it power and control over us, which causes unnecessary suffering.


Lama Karma Chotso, Resident Teacher at Open Awareness Buddhist Center
Lama Karma Chotso, Resident Teacher at Open Awareness Buddhist Center

A 3-day seminar taught by Lama Karma Chötso

What is death? What does the mind experience when dying? How does one assist another person in their transition from this life? How do we prepare for our own death?

These and other questions on death and dying will be discussed in this seminar. Lama Karma Chötso will teach relevant sections from books such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead (Translation of Tibetan title: The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States), adding from her own experience as a hospice chaplain, and a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism for the past 36 years.

The sessions will include teachings, discussions, meditations, and sessions for practicing dying.

This seminar is open to the public and recommended for anyone concerned with the above questions, who works and/or lives with the terminally ill. The Tibetan Buddhist view on death and dying can add new perspectives and practices that bring support, understanding and compassion to the last actions of this life.

Dates: August 31 – September 2, 2019 – Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Times: Morning 10-12, lunch break, Afternoon 2-5 with a bathroom/tea break

Cost: $180 for the weekend

$150 for Members of OABC

No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


The Venerable Lama Karma Chotso

Lama Karma Chotso, Resident Teacher at Open Awareness Buddhist Center
Lama Karma Chotso

Lama Karma Chötso began to study and practice the Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in March, 1982 after meeting Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche in New York City when he gave the Kalachakra empowerment. She took refuge with him there and 4 years later he ordained her as a novice nun. Lama Karma Chötso entered the three-year, three-month retreat, a meditation retreat held in strict seclusion, in 1986 and completed the retreat in 1990.

Lama Karma Chötso has practiced the Buddhadharma for 35 years. She studied Madhyamaka under the guidance of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche for many years and her teachings reflect this. She also teaches extensively on instructions in Vajrayana practices, Tibetan language, and she is trained in thangka painting.

Continue reading “Lama”


Our Sangha is very active in the South Florida community. Dharma practice at the Residence flourishes as members participate in a variety of programs and activities. The Sangha members provide powerful support to one another on the spiritual path.

Membership dues also provide financial support to Open Awareness Buddhist Center’s ongoing projects and members enjoy discounts to multiple events.

To All Seeking Refuge

Open Awareness Buddhist Center invites every person seeking refuge in the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom and compassion to practice with our Sangha.

You are welcome regardless of racial or ethnic background.
You are welcome regardless of your faith.
You are welcome regardless of your age, education, or preferred language.
You are welcome regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.
You are welcome regardless of your political affiliations.
You are welcome regardless of your abilities or disabilities.

Individually and as a sangha, we vow to respond to ignorance, hatred, and oppression with skillful means and loving kindness in order to end the suffering of all sentient beings.

Stupa Garden of Merit Miami Buddhist Temple El Portal
Stupa Garden of Merit Miami Buddhist Temple El Portal

The garden of the Open Awareness Buddhist Center, called “The Stupa Garden of Merit”, opens onto the Miami Little River that flows with the tides. The garden, with four (4) large stupas, paths for circumambulation, and surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, is a place of tranquility, peace and beauty available to everyone.

Open Awareness continues a 20-year tradition of chanting practices and meditations along with the weekly offering of traditional Tibetan butterlamps. Please see our calendar to choose the events you’d like to attend. You will always be welcome.

PDF – Open Awareness Buddhist Center Ethical Guidelines

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Brendan Kennedy Seminar: January 18th – 20th

Brendan Kennedy has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for over 30 years. His main teachers are: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche, Chatral Rimpoche, Sokste Rimpoche and Lama Surya Das. Drawing on his deep study of Ramana Maharishi and Nisagardatta Maharaji, Brendan illuminates the complementary similarities between Dzogchen and Avaita Vedanta through experiential teaching. …

First Light for the New Year 2019

First Light is a ceremony to welcome in the New Year of 2019 with the lighting of over one hundred traditional Tibetan butterlamps. Chanting will include the practices of Green Tara, Medicine Buddha and Fire Puja along with prayers for peace, harmony and an end to violence. Begins at 9 a.m.