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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

Escaping from the prison of self-centredness


Estrel Convention Centre,
6th June, 2014

For the second day’s teaching in Berlin, the venue had changed into a bigger auditorium which seats 1600 people.

His Holiness took time at the beginning to reiterate his great delight in finally achieving his wish to visit Europe, after three failed attempts. However, now that he was here in Berlin, it was “like a dream that fills me with great joy” and he thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart. In fact, he added, the stage set was so beautifully decorated by the Berlin Rigpa Center, that he would have preferred to sit facing it with the audience, “So that I could see it all.”

The stage set was indeed even more impressive than that in the smaller auditorium. Oblong tubs of marigolds edged the front of the stage, two large vases of flowers graced the back, and the pot of white orchids still stood on the table beside His Holiness’ chair. Two trees in tubs had been added to the front corners of the stage, lit to reflect the colours of the seasons: the bright, luscious green of spring and early summer, the red of late summer and autumn, and the soft yellows of leaf fall. The larger stage Read the rest of this article

The Karmapa Visits the Bodhicharya Center

2014.06.06i
June 5, 2014 Berlin, Germany

On this sunny morning, the Karmapa and his entourage drove down Kintzigstrasse in the former East Berlin to pay a visit to the Bodhicarya center, founded by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. The wood fence lining the street outside the center is decorated with colorful drawings of the eight auspicious symbols, which lead up to the main gate. Its doors are opened wide to reveal a vista of the countryside hidden in this corner of Berlin. Winding paths lined with grasses and flowers wend their way past red brick, single-story buildings to the tall meditation hall at the back of the property. On top are special rooms for the Karmapa including a balcony with a view of the gardens and the surrounding area.

The architect Inka Drohn tells the history of this place:

“The land is protected as an historical site because it testifies to the shift from rural to urban architecture. The surrounding buildings are tall with many stories, but these are very small buildings, collected like a loose settlement with a lot of Read the rest of this article