On this brilliant and crisp autumn day, the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to be the chief guest at the 11th Thanksgiving Day of Tong-len Charitable Trust and also to inaugurate its new building. Situated on the forested ridge of a valley below Dharamsala, the Trust’s major project is to provide health care and education to the children of the nearby Charan slum camp. Tong-len (tong meaning “to give to others” and len, the empathy that wishes to alleviate their suffering) was started in 2004 by Lobsang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk who felt a special sympathy for the young children of the camp, who affectionately call him Guruji. He started out helping 10 children and now their number has grown to 250.
When the Karmapa arrived at Tong-len, he was greeted with the traditional white scarves and escorted to the new building that houses dormitories, a leadership training space, and an interfaith room. Inaugurating Read the rest of this article