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The Heart Essence of Dharma: Become a Catalyst for Good in the World

Bodhicharya Centre,
Berlin, Germany–September, 2015

More than 350 people comprising representatives of Bodhicharya centres across Europe, members and supporters of the Berlin centre, and invited guests crowded into the main shrine room to greet the 17th Karmapa on this his final teaching engagement during his second visit to Europe. A distant sound of Tibetan gyalin announced his arrival at the centre. His Holiness was greeted at the gates to the centre by its founder Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, who escorted him along the brick path through the buildings, preceded by a boy and a girl scattering flower petals. After planting a tree in the garden, His Holiness made his way to the shrine room.

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche welcomed the 17th Karmapa once more to Bodhicharya Berlin and confessed, “We didn’t make any progress with the building, but,” he continued, “we are determined to work for the people here and for the Dharma.” He highlighted in particular the programme of hospice training and the volunteers who cared for the Read the rest of this article

The Commonality of Human Beings: 17th Karmapa Visits Karma Tengyal Ling

Menz, Germany–5th September, 2015

Prior to his first journey to Europe in May 2014, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje expressed his aspiration that he could continue the work begun by his predecessor, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. On Friday, during his second journey to Europe, the Karmapa was finally able to visit a Karma Kagyu Buddhist centre 70 km northwest of Berlin, Karma Tengyal Ling, which was given its name by the 16th Karmapa in 1977. The Karmapa, who first heard of the centre while he was still a young boy in Tibet, spent several hours there.

He first visited members and supporters in the shrine room and then had a tour of the site before enjoying a specially prepared lunch. There was a humorous moment when he mounted the throne and, because of the lower ceiling, his head touched the frieze parasol. The Karmapa laughed, sat down and began to lead the prayers. Horst Brumm, the director and founder of Karma Tengyal Ling, welcomed him and formally offered him the centre. “This is yours and we will do what you Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Thanks Kamalashila Institute

Kamalashila Institute, Langenfeld–4th September, 2015
In a short farewell ceremony for staff and volunteers in the shrine room at the Kamalashila Institute, the 17th Karmapa thanked everybody on behalf of himself and his entourage. Christof, the German translator, was ready and waiting, but His Holiness light-heartedly grabbed both microphones in his hands and began speaking directly in English.

“On the last day here at Kamalashila, I want to say to the lamas, the staff and the volunteers, I deeply appreciate your hard work, and your sincere motivation. We all feel very happy and have enjoyed being in Kamalashila, and we look forward to seeing you again.”

The resident lama, Lama Kelsang, and Horst Rauprich, President of the German Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft, also gave short speeches of thanks to His Holiness and his staff.

“Please come again and again. Please come every year if possible,” was their heartfelt request.
Afterwards, there was a small party on the patio outside the centre’s cafeteria: a buffet of Read the rest of this article

The Importance of Retreat

Karma Tekchen Yi Ong Ling Retreat Centre Halscheid – 2nd September, 2015

On Wednesday afternoon, the 17th Karmapa made his first visit to Halscheid to bless Karma Tekchen Yi Ong Ling retreat centre. Situated just outside the small village of Halscheid in the Windeck region of Germany, the centre is run by the German Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft under the spiritual guidance of the Karmapa’s senior tutor, the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Although two traditional three-year retreats have been completed at Halscheid, the main focus of the centre’s work these days is to offer a variety of short and long-term retreats, so that laypeople with work and family responsibilities may benefit.

In readiness, the centre had been decorated with newly-hung prayer flags and the eight auspicious symbols had been painted on the gravel path. As His Holiness’ car approached, Lama Kunga Dorje, the Retreat Master, stepped forward to welcome him.

Sixty people, retreatants past and present, sponsors and friends of the centre, had gathered in the Read the rest of this article

The Role of Religion in the 21st Century: The 17th Karmapa Engages in Inter-Faith Dialogue and Prayer for World Peace

St. Quirinus, Langenfeld–1st September, 2015
On 30th August in the evening, the 17th Karmapa left Bonn and returned to the Kamalashila Institute in Langenfeld. The following evening he joined the villagers for a special event at the parish church of St. Quirinus. This was his second visit to Langenfeld parish church. He first visited the church in May 2014, and at that time promised the priest, Monsignore Schrupp, that he would return. As Monsignore Schrupp remarked in his welcome speech, “I did not expect him to come back so soon!” The event, organised jointly by Kamalashila Institute, the church of St. Quirinus and the people of Langenfeld, drew more than 500 people. There were no empty spaces in the pews.

This imposing church with its high vaulted ceiling, known as the ‘Dom’ or cathedral, was filled with the warmth exuded by the local people and their obvious delight that His Holiness had come to spend an evening with them.

The Karmapa and Monsignore Schrupp, walked into the church together like old friends, and when Read the rest of this article