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ROKPA: Helping Where Help Is Needed

2016.05.25 Rokpa
May 25, 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland
Bringing to a close a day of travel outside Zurich, the Karmapa returned to visit the headquarters of ROKPA, which means “help” or “assistance” in Tibetan. Its purpose is to aid people in remote areas of the world, where it participates in more than 100 projects to provide food, health care, and education. Founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lea Wyler, and Dr. Veit Wyler in 1980, ROKPA has offices in seventeen countries, from Asia through Europe to Africa, while much of its work takes place in the Tibetan areas of China and Nepal.

On this sunny afternoon, the Karmapa climbed the stairs into the elegant building on Boeklinstrasse and was escorted to the main office with its broad antique desk. As he was invited to take a seat there, he joked, “Uh-Oh, now I’m the Read the rest of this article

A Day of Dance and Meetings with Buddhists from East and West

2016.05.25
May 26, 2106 -Zurich, Switzerland
The Karmapa began this day of a dance performance and audiences by meeting with a group of over ninety Tibetan Kagyu practitioners. He gave them the transmission of Guru Rinpoche’s mantra and that of Avalokiteshvara, the two yidam deities with whom he is most closely associated. After he was offered the supports of body, speech, and mind, and supplicated to live a very long life, the Karmapa gave the group his heartfelt thanks for all the tireless work they did to organize his visit.

The second group to offer their white scarves was students from the University of Zurich. Tashi Dolma, the president of this Students’ Working Group for Tibet, explained that the association of some thirty students had initially started in the 1980s, but had lapsed until last March when they decided to revive it. She said that Read the rest of this article

A Visit to Tibet Institute Rikon

2016.05.24
May 25, 2016 -Rikon, Switzerland
On the way to the Tibetan Institute in Rikon, the Karmapa stopped to have lunch at Junger Farm where he found a familiar sight: two yaks grazing on the hillside. He could also hear the familiar sound of a conch shell but this time playing in fusion with the Swiss Alpenhorn. In this idyllic setting of flowers and rolling hills, many Tibetans came to greet the Karmapa.

After lunch he continue through the gently rolling landscape, to the Tibet Institute, located on a hillside and surrounded by forest. A large group of Tibetans were waiting to meet the Karmapa, sitting in a cascade down the slope. The temple was constructed in a modern style with floor to ceiling windows and light streaming in. The central figure on the shrine was a statue of the Buddha, and in front a tiered table was filled with offerings, topped Read the rest of this article

Tibetan Medicine Finds Success in the West: the Karmapa visits Padma Company

2014.05.24 padma
May 25, 2016 -Wetzikon, Switzerland
This morning the Gyalwang Karmapa traveled to a small town just outside Zurich to visit the offices and production site of Padma Company, which manufactures a variety of Tibetan medicines. The organization will soon celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. The Karmapa first visited the production site, where in an area outside the factory rooms, a brocade-covered chair had been prepared and a thangka of the Medicine Buddha set above and behind it.

After the Karmapa arrived and took his seat, the CEO of Padma, Mr. Herbert Schwabl, introduced the Karmapa to the history and products that Padma makes. He explained that two of the herbs they use are grown in Switzerland and the rest are purchased from all over the world. After so many years, a blend of Swiss and Tibetan medicine is Read the rest of this article

Fostering Interreligious Dialogue: The Gyalwang Karmapa Visits the Rigpe Dorje Center in the House of Religion

2016.05.24 bernMay 24, 2016 -Bern, Switzerland
On his way from Lausanne to Bern, the Karmapa stopped today at Thupten Jamtse Ling Dharma Center to give a blessing to this lovely place of practice. It was founded by Patrick Stillhart, whose generosity has helped centers of different Tibetan Buddhist traditions to find a home in Switzerland.

Afterward the Karmapa traveled north to Bern for lunch with the Mayor of Bern, Alexander Tschäppät. They especially talked about the unique House of Religion in Bern, completed just a year and a half ago, which was financially supported by the city as well as many different religions. The House of Religion is home to a Hindu temple, a Christian church, a Muslim mosque, an intercultural Buddhist shrine hall (for many different Buddhist traditions), and a place of worship for an unusual tradition from Tamil Read the rest of this article