NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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The Gyalwang Karmapa Arrives in Berlin

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June 4, 2014,Dharma Mati, the Rigpa Center in Berlin, Germany

His Holiness’ black Mercedes drove slowly down the tree-lined Soor Street to a welcoming crowd waiting in front of the German Rigpa Center, Dharma Mati. Colorful katas added a brightness to the greenery and the traditional red brick, arched façade of the elegant building. His Holiness stopped to greet a few people on his way in to the place where he will stay during his visit to Berlin.

The center’s spacious shrine hall was brilliant with huge gold brocaded images of the Buddha’s life and also of Guru Rinpoche, the central figure for the Nyingma and also key to the Kagyu. Actually, the Karmapa is known as an emanation of Guru Rinpoche, a truth which was abundantly clear during the Kagyu Monlam this year in Bodhgaya which focused on Guru Rinpoche. The Karmapa embodied him during the lama dancing, a Guru Rinpoche practice was performed for four days, and the Karmapa gave two Guru Rinpoche empowerments. Today, after entering the shrine room, the Karmapa must Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Arrives in Berlin on First European Tour

2014.06.04
4 June, 2014 – Berlin

Tibetan Buddhist leader, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrives today in Berlin on his first European visit. The Karmapa will meet this week with members of the Jewish community in Berlin, and visit the Holocaust Museum and the Berlin Wall. On a stop in Cologne, he was specially invited by the Archdiocese of Cologne to address faculty and students at the Katholische Fachhochshule NRW and was offered a private tour of the Cologne Cathedral.

Although this is only the Karmapa’s third trip outside his dramatic escape from Tibet to India, he enjoys a wide following in the West, where his message of social responsibility and environmental sustainability has been warmly embraced. At the age of 29, he is the head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the largest schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The five-day visit to Berlin marks the second stage of this Tibetan Buddhist leader’s European visit, centred on Germany. From 5-8 June, the Karmapa will be teaching daily to a sold-out hall at Read the rest of this article

Kamalashila Institute bids farewell to the 17th Karmapa

Kamalashila Institute,
2nd June, 2014

At 8.30am, the two resident lamas, Lama Kelzang Wangdi and Lama Sonam Rabgye, the Chöpon, and Kamalashila Institute staff gathered in the shrine room for a final audience with His Holiness, in order to say goodbye. Everyone had worked so hard to make this visit successful, and it was obvious from His Holiness’ encouraging smiles, that he too greatly appreciated their efforts.

The simple farewell ceremony opened with a short recitation of prayers from the daily liturgy, followed by a mandala offering. Speaking on behalf of everyone, Tobias Roeder described the previous twelve weeks as “the most bumpy and blissful ride we’ve ever had in our lives”, and yet everything had fallen into place in the end. He spoke of His Holiness’ presence in Kamalashila as “a great, great blessing”, and, supported by all those there, made the heartfelt request, “Please come again and again!”

Stefan Storm came forward to offer His Holiness a unique memento from Kamalashila Institute to commemorate the visit–a gold and silver handcrafted watchcase. Wrought by gold and silversmiths in Hamburg, this ‘watch’ had been designed as a mandala of the universe, and not for telling the time. Inside, what would have been the watch Read the rest of this article

A gift for the future: The 17th Karmapa plants a tree at Kamalashila

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Kamalashila Institute
1st June, 2014

On several occasions during the first part of his teachings in Germany, the 17th Karmapa has emphasised the personal responsibility we all share for protecting and preserving the natural environment. In 2009 he founded Khoryug, an organisation of Buddhist monasteries, nunneries and centres dedicated to protecting the fragile environment of the Himalayan region. In addition, the Karmapa has sponsored five conferences with training workshops to ensure that his own monks and nuns are fully briefed on environmental matters. Faced with worldwide deforestation, his active concern has led him to urge all monasteries and Dharma centres in the Karma Kagyu tradition, to plant as many trees as possible, and he has made it his own practice to plant trees wherever he goes.

His environmental commitment marries well with German tradition, where planting a tree is a particularly significant gesture. Germans love to quote Martin Luther: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I Read the rest of this article

Source of peace and blessings: His Holiness inaugurates the stupa at Kamalashila

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1st June, 2014
Kamalashila Institute

More than five hundred people, invited guests, volunteers and staff, gathered in the grounds of Kamalashila in front of the stupa for its inauguration by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. After several days of cloud and some rain, the weather had cleared and the brilliant -white stupa with its gold-plated copper pinnacle stood proud against a bright blue sky.

The stupa – chorten in Tibetan –is a unique religious architectural form, representing the physical presence of Lord Buddha, and of great significance in several Buddhist traditions, including Tibetan Buddhism. There are eight designs of stupa, each symbolising an important event during the Buddha’s lifetime. The stupa at Kamalashila celebrates the Buddha’s Enlightenment. A niche in the upper section of the central shrine contains an image of Lord Buddha with his right hand in the bhumisparsa mudra. Translated as ‘touching the earth’, it is the hand position which signifies the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment. His Read the rest of this article