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Encounter with Europe’s Youth Concludes Karmapa’s German Tour


8 June 2014, Berlin

The final public activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s historic first trip to Europe was an encounter with young people from around the world. His Holiness is the youngest religious world leader today and fittingly, the organizers had created a program where young people were able to ask him questions directly about concerns that they had living in today’s world.

Tickets were free of charge but admission was limited to people 29 years of age and younger. The audience ranged from toddlers who were accompanied by their parents to young adults. As the hall filled up, a music video of the rap song Karmapa Khyenno played on the screens, and young volunteers draped the stage with hand-drawn flags that were created by children and sent from all over the world. Everything from handprints to aspiration prayers were displayed on the flags.

His Holiness entered the stage lightly and settled himself in an armchair. The Karmapa reached out to the audience and described himself as a “strange kind of young guy.” He explained that although he was in his twenties, he had assumed responsibilities so young in life and had such varied experiences Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Gives a Karma Pakshi Empowerment


June 8, 2014, The Estrel Convention Center

The stage has been transformed into a radiant platform, the setting for an impressive throne of gilded, carved wood and an elegant pavilion whose four corners are marked with slender columns and brocade victory banners. Its fluted, double roofs are decorated with a frieze of Dharma wheels and banners; beneath them is the space of the main altar that holds a large Karmapa Pakshi torma flanked by two offering vases. On a brocade-covered table in front are the seven offering bowls and smaller tormas. A Japanese shoji screen is set up in front to shield His Holiness as he makes his preparations for the empowerment. Floating above this area, suspended from the ceiling is a stunning painting of Karma Pakshi, a vajra in his right hand and a dagger in the left, surrounded by the main deities of this practice, including Dorje Pakmo, Hayagriva, Rechungpa, and Mahakala. Copies of a Karma Pakshi thangka had been available for days before the initiation so people could become familiar with it.

After finishing the preparation, the Karmapa left briefly as the shrine was rearranged. He then returned to begin the empowerment and soon Read the rest of this article

Developing Inner Peace


Estrel Convention Center,Berlin
7th June, 2014

The programme this evening included a reflection on developing inner peace by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and three performances from very different musical genres.

The evening began with a performance of four pieces by the celebrated Chinese dissident, Liao Yiwu. He spent four years in prison, where he was tortured and physically abused. He was finally able to escape to the West in 2011 and now lives in Berlin.

Liao used a combination of vocals, bamboo flute, wooden abacus and metal bowl-shaped temple bells to improvise. The first and last pieces were interpretations of the 17th Karmapa’s ‘Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration’, a long poem which His Holiness composed during his escape from Tibet to India. The first piece was a wordless composition called ‘The Song of Hope’. Liao combined the chanting and howling of ‘Ho’ associated with Chinese religious ritual, while strumming the beads of a wooden abacus, which he held like a guitar, and was accompanied by Marcus Hagerman on the cello. The second piece, called ‘The Seesaw of Breathing’ began with a melodious solo on the bamboo Read the rest of this article

Changing the World from the Inside Out: Love and Compassion for a Globalised World.

June 7, 2014, the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany

Coming on to the stage this afternoon, the Karmapa briefly disappeared behind a brilliantly colored tree set near the top of the stairs. He reemerged looking out at the crowd as he walked over to take his seat.

He began on a light note, “I’ve been talking for some days now and maybe I don’t have anything new to say. The topic of today’s talk is about the same as the previous one. It’s as if you’ve bought an extra ticket.”
He began his talk by saying that this world where we live is the only place found so far that supports life. And they have a great number of different forms; for example, just one tree is home to a wide variety of insects. Human beings are another form of life, and among them is a great variety of people. Each person is different as their fingerprints show.People also have different ways of acting, of looking, of living their lives, and so forth. We exist within this complex variety of individual beings, and yet from another perspective,all of our lives are interconnected and dependent one on the other. An elephant is a huge and valued Read the rest of this article

Buddhism and the Environment: Living in Harmony with the Planet


June 6, 2014, the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany

Lively conversations in the Estrel Convention Hall subsided as the Karmapa entered and walked onto the stage, his red and golden robes blending perfectly with the rich hues of the immense images of the Buddha and Guru Rinpoche arrayed behind him.

The Karmapa began his talk on the environment, one of his major interests, by saying that it is the “biggest challenge,” the essential question for the 21st century.

In the past, he said, he has talked a lot about the environment, about protecting forests, animals, and plants, and about how our motivation shapes the way we relate to the natural world around us. He has taken a personal interest in the environment, studying it and expressing his ideas about what needs to be done at conferences. He has also engaged in various activities, such as planting trees, protecting wild animals, encouraging people to be vegetarian, and especially, supporting Khoryug (“Environment” in Tibetan). [Please insert here the web address: www.khoryug.info], an umbrella organization of fifty-five monasteries and nunneries, which belong not only to the Read the rest of this article