(March 19, 2015 –San Francisco, California) In the early hours of this Thursday morning, as commuters sped past intent on reaching their workplace, the sidewalks of 19th Avenue in San Francisco outside the teachings site took on the atmosphere of a street festival. Long-lost Dharma friends embraced, joyful to share the anticipation of the morning with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. When the doors opened at 8 am, the party moved indoors. A Who’s Who of the California Dharma scene could be compiled by listing all those who stood greeting one another in the aisles, as members of the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center bustled around putting the final touches on the stage setting. The Dharma center’s founder and Read the rest of this article
(March 19, 2015, San Francisco, California) After delivering a public teaching in the morning and visiting the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center and American Himalayans Foundation in the afternoon, His Holiness the Karmapa continued devoting time to connecting with Tibetans. At the invitation of the Tibetan Association of Northern California, in the evening His Holiness the Karmapa proceeded across the bay to Richmond to deliver an address to over 1,300 Tibetans from around the region.
The event took place in a warehouse space on the waterfront. The setting was reminiscent of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s first major Dharma activity in San Francisco in 1974. At that time, thousands of people had crowded into a harborside hangar in Fort Mason, right across the water from where the 17th Karmapa addressed the Tibetan Read the rest of this article
(March 18, 2015 – San Jose, California) At the conclusion of the reception that marked the end of his visit to Stanford University, His Holiness the Karmapa shifted his attention to Buddhist communities. In his first visit to a Dharma center on this long trip, he traveled to San Jose where he was joyfully received by the Dharma friends of Palpung Longtok Choling.
Although this Karma Kagyu dharma center is located physically far from the ancestral homeland of its lineage, the resident lamas and students had prepared a traditional Tibetan Buddhist welcome, well adapted to its northern California setting. The auspicious signs had been drawn on the road with the familiar colored chalk used by American schoolchildren to draw on their own sidewalks. The sound of gyalings—unusual for this suburban neighborhood—was muted, yet gently filled the Read the rest of this article
(March 18, 2015 – Menlo Park, California) Today His Holiness the Karmapa paid a visit to the global headquarters of Facebook. During this visit, the 29-year-old Buddhist leader was not merely exploring an important presence within today’s global society and popular culture. He was primarily connecting with leaders of a growing emphasis within American technology companies centered in Silicon Valley, who are working to find ways to make the Internet a kinder place. This emerging movement has roots in the mindfulness movement sweeping the United States, but also extends to efforts to foment greater empathy and compassion in society.
Although His Holiness the Karmapa did tour Facebook’s facilities, the bulk of the visit was given over to a roundtable discussion. Participants posed one question after another to the Karmapa, eliciting his Read the rest of this article
(March 16 & 17, 2015 – Palo Alto, California USA) Right from the first day of his stay at Stanford University, His Holiness the Karmapa began working to fulfill two major aims of this tour and its focus on universities—connecting with young people and interacting with important thinkers on topics of mutual concern.
His first major meeting took the form of an informal lunchtime exchange with seven faculty members from the neuroscience and psychology departments of various universities in the Bay Area. The conversation ranged from emotional intelligence to neurological research to the methods for measuring whether or not compassion was increasing in an individual. Participating in the discussions were Dr. Philip Zimbardo, psychologist and renowned creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Dr. Erika Rosenberg, Consulting Scientist and the Read the rest of this article