June 18, 2015 -Dharamsala, India
On this radiant summer day, crowds of tourists were moving up and down the narrow roads of McLeod Ganj, while slightly off the beaten path, the elegant Surya Hotel was hosting the Twelfth Religious Conference of the Four Major Schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Tradition. The three-day gathering was organized by the Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Religion and Culture. Today its director, Kalön Pema Chinjor, waited with a long white scarf at the steps of the hotel to receive HH the Karmapa. The minister escorted the Karmapa inside the grand hall where the leaders of the four main Buddhist lineages and the Bon tradition had gathered along with representatives from all the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries, including tulkus, khenpos, and lamas. In addition to the Karmapa, the important spiritual leaders who addressed the conference included Sakya Tridzin Rinpoche, Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche, and representatives of Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche and Drukchen Rinpoche. Read the rest of this article
This year marks my 30th birthday. Time has passed very quickly. This year is also the 15th year since I left Tibet and came to India. This 30th birthday is considered to mark a special milestone, and many people have been requesting me to celebrate this birthday extensively. However, I have decided not to celebrate my birthday for several reasons that I would like to share with you here.
In all these years since leaving Tibet, I have never seen my parents again, and now they have grown old. This body was created and nurtured by my parents, and therefore my birthday is a day in which I feel their absence keenly.
In these 15 years since I arrived in India, I have been living in a temporary residence at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala. Even though Gyuto Monastery has been an exceptionally kind and hospitable host, it is unseemly for a guest to cause such unnecessary inconvenience over their birthday year after year.
Furthermore, each year on my birthday, I recall not only my parents, but also the sparkling beauty of the pristine natural environment in which I was born and raised. This intensifies my sense of urgency for the protection of the fragile ecosystems of the Tibetan plateau as well as the Himalayas. As I have said, the area’s glaciers make it the source of most of Read the rest of this article
(29 May – 16 June, 2015 – Dharmasala, India) For the first two weeks of June, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is engaging in dialogue with Tibetan doctoral and masters students from universities across India. The sustained interaction is focused on a wide variety of topics ranging from identity to poverty to women’s empowerment.
The programme is organized by Kun Kyong Charitable Trust at the request of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. It follows on his meeting on youth leadership in November of last year with over 100 Tibetan university students in Delhi, where the Gyalwang Karmapa committed to engage in continued interactions with Tibetan university students. This is the first programme of its sort, linking Tibetan university students with a Buddhist spiritual leader for such a sustained dialogue regarding topics of broad social concern.
The interactions continue the Karmapa’s emphasis on working with youth to address major issues facing 21st-century society, and to inspire them to take greater responsibility for Read the rest of this article
Since this has been designated the World Environment Day, many people today are acting and thinking of ways to conserve and protect our shared planet. This is a positive step in addressing the environmental crisis, which in my view is the greatest challenge facing 21st-century society. It gives hope for the future when special efforts are made to turn our attention to the state of our world’s natural environment.
As a Tibetan, I have a particular connection to the natural environment of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas. However, The Himalayas and Tibetan plateau constitute a part of our shared planet that has an importance that extends far beyond their own part of the world. The glaciers and ice of the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau serve as the source of such a large portion of Asia’s rivers that it is known as Asia’s water tower. More widely, the Tibetan plateau has come to be known as the world’s Third Pole, reflecting its global importance. The issue of the Tibetan environment is Read the rest of this article
(April 19, 2015 – Woodstock, New York) Long-time members of the KTD community had the opportunity to spend the day with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa in the shrine that is both the heart of their practice community and His Holiness’s own North American seat. The 17th Karmapa taught in the morning and in the afternoon, taking as his topic the four dharmas of Gampopa, which he described as containing the entire teachings of the Buddha.
As explained in the opening address by KTD President Tenzin Chonyi, the KTD community had grown far beyond what the main shrine room could hold. As a result, His Holiness had agreed to offer two separate days of teachings at KTD, to allow all those who have been members of KTD for the past three years or longer to have the opportunity to receive teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa directly in their Dharma home. In order to share the teachings with all those not present due to space restrictions, the teachings were webcast live with translation into English, Chinese and Read the rest of this article