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The Future Has Begun

Kamalashila Institute, 27th May, 2014

On the 25th May 2014, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, boarded an Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi, bound for Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.

This was the moment that his European students had been praying for since 1992. In that year, a seven-year-old nomad boy from Eastern Tibet was recognised as the reincarnation of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who forty years ago first visited Europe. He was one of several highly realized Tibetan Buddhist masters, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who came to Europe during the seventies, bringing the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism to the West.

It was during the seventies and early eighties that the first Tibetan Buddhist centres were established in Europe. The 16th Karmapa’s last visit to Europe was to London in 1980, the year before he passed into parinirvana. Since then, his European devotees have been waiting for his return with great expectation.
Horst Rauprich, Director of the Karma Kagyu Trust, Germany, summed up their feelings:

“We have waited thirty four years for his return. This is the fulfilment of our dreams and aspirations. The whole of Europe has been waiting and now he comes.”

The first leg of the Read the rest of this article

Frankfurt Press Conference

In his first public activity in Europe, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa addressed a press conference this morning in Frankfurt, followed by a brief meeting with members of the local Tibetan community. At an event hosted by Tibethaus Deutschland under the patronage of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Karmapa spoke to a room full of members of the German and international press. He expressed his delight at having arrived in Europe for his first trip, and fielded questions on climate change, the future of Tibetan culture, ordination of women in Tibetan Buddhism and other spiritual questions. Puntsok Tsering, Managing Director of Tibethaus offered an initial welcome, while Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, a highly respected lama who is also the head of Karmapa Foundation Europe, introduced His Holiness and later provided the English translation.

“As a member of the younger generation of Tibetan lamas, I feel responsibility for the future of Tibet,” His Holiness said. “We should not see the Tibetan issue as only a political one. It is an issue deeply linked with culture, religion and the environment. The Tibetan Plateau is so important for all of Asia. At the same time, the preservation of Tibet’s ecology is dependent on the preservation of Tibetan culture, values and way of life,”

Queried Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Tilokpur Nunnery

2014.05.05
May 5th-7th, Tilokpur

The Gyalwang Karmapa arrived at Drubten Pemo Jalpay Gatsal, 40 kilometers from Gyuto monastery, a new nunnery set among fields of wheat and flowering trees in the foothills of the Himalayas for a three day visit. The nearby Karma Drubgyu Thargay Ling is one of the oldest Kagyu nunnery outside of Tibet and has grown to such a size that new facilities were created to accommodate the large number of female practitioners. Great efforts have been made to give nuns a place to practice the dharma, hear the instructions and do the trainings; that they have these wonderful opportunities – where they may not have in the past – is a sign that the teachings of the Buddha are flourishing.

On his arrival, he first consecrated the new Mahakala shrine room set above the temple. After the welcoming ceremony with offerings of ceremonial tea and rice, the Karmapa then presided over a Mahakala puja for the nuns and other international students Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Returns to Gyuto Monastery

2014.04.06 arrival at Gyuto
6 April 2014 – Gyuto Monastery

Returning today to his temporary residence at Gyuto Monastery, close to Dharamsala, the Gyalwang Karmapa successfully ended a period travel in North India where gave many teachings and led various dharma activities, including at some of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world.

Beginning in November 2013 he taught students in Delhi at the request of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and then later presided over the 5th annual Khoryug conference on environmental protection. Moving across to Bodhgaya he then took up residence at Tergar Monastery for over 2 months, where he first led the 17th annual Kagyu Gunchö debates for monks, including daily teachings for several weeks.

For an intense two weeks in early January 2014, still in Bodhgaya, he next led over 10,000 people through the 31st Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, including giving two sets of teachings, and personally performed in an unforgettable Guru Rinpoche lama Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Imparts the Essence of Milarepa’s Life Story

2014.04.06

April 4, 2014 – New Delhi, India
The International Buddhist Confederation invited the Gyalwang Karmapa to give a day of teachings on Milarepa, the great Tibetan yogi, in the lovely and intimate theater of the Sri Sathya Sai International Center. On the stage, a painting of Milarepa hung behind the Karmapa’s chair, flanked by bouquets of lush white flowers. After a welcome by Lochen Tulku, the well-known Buddhist singer, Vidya Rao, sang the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit, the Buddha’s words arising and sinking back into silence, evoking the ancient link of Buddhism and the land of India.

In the beginning, the Karmapa emphasized that since it would be difficult for us to imitate the life style of Milarepa, we can emulate Milarepa’s great qualities of complete renunciation, a sincere motivation, and great determination. We should not leave Milarepa’s life example on the page of a book, but incorporate it in our lives, making it present in our own experience.

Engaging a more scholarly discussion of the dates for Read the rest of this article