The stage of the auditorium had been specially prepared for this morning’s empowerment. On the right-hand side of the stage stood a screened area containing a small altar with offerings placed in front of a thangka of Akshobhya Buddha. In this private space, the Karmapa would perform the preliminary and closing rituals of the empowerment. During the preliminaries, the chant masters led the audience in a deeply felt recitation of the mantra ‘Karmapa Khyenno’, and the steady cadence of the chanting was punctuated at intervals by the ringing of His Holiness’ ritual hand bell from behind the screen. Once the preparations were complete, His Holiness left the stage, to return a few minutes later in procession. Prostrating three times, the Karmapa then took his seat on the throne and the chant masters began Read the rest of this article
Bonn, Germany – 29th August, 2015
After a full day of teachings, His Holiness the Karmapa set aside time to meet with Tibetans living in Europe. During a special audience organized by the Association of Tibetans in Germany, the Karmapa reflected on their shared condition as refugees and offered individual blessings to all those who had traveled from across Europe to meet him. As the Karmapa explained to them, he seeks out opportunities to connect with Tibetan as well as Himalayan communities wherever he goes. “I consider this important,” he told them, “and when we are able to meet, I feel I have accomplished an important responsibility and this inspires and encourages me.”
The evening began with a brief introduction to the history and activities of the Read the rest of this article
Day 3 of the teachings in Bonn | Teachings on Akshobhya
Bonn, Germany – 29th August, 2015 |
Before bestowing the empowerment, the 17th Karmapa gave a two-part introduction to the Buddha Akshobhya, detailing the story, his importance in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and the connection between Akshobhya and the Karmapa lineage.
His Holiness began by clarifying the meaning of the name Akshobhya, explaining that in Tibetan Akshobhya is known as Mitrugpa. It means someone who is undisturbed by aggression and anger, he said, someone who remains unperturbed. The translation into English as ‘immoveable’ did not accurately convey this. Later in the teaching, he explained that within the tantric tradition, a second name Migyurpa was used, and this carried the meaning ‘unmoving’ or ‘undisturbed’.
According to the tradition, Read the rest of this article
In the first public talk of his second visit to Europe, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa began by reiterating his hope that next time he might be able to visit more countries in Europe.
He admitted to growing very fond of Germany, and joked with his audience about the sound of the German language and the German breakfast which is like lunch. On a more serious note, he commented on the lusciousness of the German countryside and rejoiced in the effort Germans put into protecting the environment at all levels. However, he felt that there was a lot more that could still be done, and this would be the main topic for his discourse.
His own passion for helping the environment, he explained, stems from his early childhood experiences in Tibet. In that vast and ancient landscape, with a small Read the rest of this article
Increasing our Compassion: A Meditation Instruction and Transmission of All Pervading Benefit of Beings
A major theme during His Holiness’ second visit to Europe is how spirituality can be integrated into our everyday lives. Yesterday, when speaking of the need to develop empathy and compassion, he used the refugee crisis in Europe as a real-life example. He developed this further this morning when he referred to two recent events: the discovery of the bodies of 71 migrants abandoned in a truck in Austria, and the hundreds of migrants feared drowned when two boats capsized off the coast of Libya. “It is not sufficient to just say, ‘Oh those poor people’, and have sympathy,” he commented. “We should give rise to genuine compassion… genuine involvement, and more action.”
His Holiness acknowledged that, given our relatively comfortable existence, we often find it Read the rest of this article