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“Environmental Conservation Must Be the Essence of Our Spiritual Practice”: Gyalwang Karmapa

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12 November 2013 – India International Centre, New Delhi

On the final day of the 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection being held in New Delhi the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke passionately about the environmental emergency facing the world, and pointed to our individual personal consumption choices as one way to make a difference.

“Because of the sheer numbers of the human population and because of modern technology, we are having a horrific impact on our environment,” he told the 60 monastic delegates gathered from across the Himalayan region. “And we’ve become so jaded about this on the whole that it is as if we are asleep in the sleep of ignorance about what we are doing to the environment.”

“Each and every one of the more than 7 billion people on this planet has a brain. We’re all capable of understanding this, and yet our ignorance about our misuse of the environment is shocking. We need to wake up from this ignorance, especially those who wish to practice spirituality. This is perhaps our greatest Read the rest of this article

Khoryug Conference: Gyalwang Karmapa Blesses the Yamuna River

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11 November 2013 – Yamuna River, New Delhi

On the 4th day of the Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection the Gyalwang Karmapa, together with 60 monastic representatives from across the Himalayan region, left the conference table and headed out into the field.

After spending the previous three days training in a range of water problems and their practical solutions relating to the conference theme of ‘Conservation of Freshwater Resources in the Himalayas’, the participants were then exposed to examples of such water problems and solutions in the real world.

Heading over to a site on the Yamuna River in east Delhi, the Gyalwang Karmapa joined the monastics for a short river-blessing ceremony in the afternoon.

The Yamuna River is considered sacred, with its source at Yamunotri in the Himalayas being one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimage sites. And yet, paradoxically, the river is also ecologically considered a ‘dead’ river, heavily polluted and in some places barely flowing due to human interruption of its natural Read the rest of this article

5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection Begins

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8 November 2013 – India International Centre, New Delhi

Today the Gyalwang Karmapa launched the 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries in the Himalayas.

Khoryug, which means ‘environment’ in Tibetan, is a network of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries working under the guidance of the Gyalwang Karmapa, and in association with the World Wildlife Fund Sacred Earth program, to protect the fragile Himalayan environment.

Around 60 monks and nuns representing 50 Himalayan monasteries and nunneries in India, Nepal and Bhutan are participating in the five-day Khoryug Conference at the India International Centre, with theme of ‘Conservation of Freshwater Resources in the Himalayas.’ Throughout the week the monastics will be educated on all the various aspects of water systems and their preservation, ready to return as environmental leaders to their respective communities.

On his arrival at the conference the Gyalwang Karmapa first lit the customary lamp, and then Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Launches Major New Book on Tibet

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6 November 2013 – Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Speaking at the launch of a major new book titled ‘Tibet: Perspectives and Prospects’, edited by Prabhat P. Shukla, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke of the profound and important relationship between the Tibetan and Indian nations.

“Because Tibetan dharma and Tibetan culture both come from India, it is important for us as Tibetans to appreciate what we have received from India and our tremendous and long-standing debt, both spiritual and cultural, to this country,” he said. “It is important for us to recognize that as Tibetans partaking of Tibetan dharma and culture, we are in a sense the children of India—that India is the mother of Tibetan culture and dharma.”

“The relationship between India and Tibet is not recent, and it is not temporary. It is a very profound relationship, more than one thousand years old. It is not merely political, it is not expedient, and it is not merely economic. It is the deepest possible Read the rest of this article

Teaching the Path to Enlightenment at the Habitat Centre

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1-2 November 2013 – Habitat Centre, New Delhi

At the invitation of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on 1 November 2013 the Gyalwang Karmapa began two-day teachings at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

The Gyalwang Karmapa offers these teachings annually to a small group of students, comprised mostly of his local Indian devotees. Teaching this year on Je Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim text ‘The Three Principal Aspects of the Path,’ he guided those gathered through the essential aspects of the Mahayana path to enlightenment – renunciation, bodhicitta, and wisdom.

With almost 300 people in attendance at the Silver Oak room, many of whom were seated on soft cushions at the Gyalwang Karmapa’s feet, the close and intimate atmosphere of the teachings resembled a gathering of family and friends. Registration to attend was booked out weeks in advance with a long wait-list, so this year the teachings were also broadcast live via webcast. Over 1300 viewers from across the world tuned into the live webcast, Read the rest of this article