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The Karmapa Visits the Bodhicharya Center

2014.06.06i
June 5, 2014 Berlin, Germany

On this sunny morning, the Karmapa and his entourage drove down Kintzigstrasse in the former East Berlin to pay a visit to the Bodhicarya center, founded by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. The wood fence lining the street outside the center is decorated with colorful drawings of the eight auspicious symbols, which lead up to the main gate. Its doors are opened wide to reveal a vista of the countryside hidden in this corner of Berlin. Winding paths lined with grasses and flowers wend their way past red brick, single-story buildings to the tall meditation hall at the back of the property. On top are special rooms for the Karmapa including a balcony with a view of the gardens and the surrounding area.

The architect Inka Drohn tells the history of this place:

“The land is protected as an historical site because it testifies to the shift from rural to urban architecture. The surrounding buildings are tall with many stories, but these are very small buildings, collected like a loose settlement with a lot of Read the rest of this article

The 17th Karmapa’s heart advice for a meaningful life


Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin
7.30pm, 5th June, 2014

A crowded hall greeted the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, when he arrived shortly after 7.30pm this evening to deliver his first public address here in Berlin at the Estrel Convention Center. A few minutes earlier, Ringu Tulku, the 17th Karmapa’s Representative in Europe, had taken the stage in order to quieten the excited hubbub in the hall. For the majority of European disciples awaiting his arrival, this was their first opportunity to see him in the flesh. Only twenty-eight years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje heads the 900 year old Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and is already viewed as an authoritative spiritual leader for the 21st century.

The Karmapa’s first ever trip to Europe coincides with Sagadawa, the holiest month in the Tibetan calendar, when Buddhists commemorate and honour the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. As Buddha’s birthday fell on 5th June this year in some traditions, Ringu Tulku reminded everyone that the first day of the teaching in Berlin was particularly auspicious. Tibetans believe that the merit of any good deeds that you perform during this month is Read the rest of this article

The Karmapa Meets the Villagers of Langenfeld

2014.06.01i

June 1, 2014, Kamalashila Institute, Langenfeld, Germany

Kamalashila Institute came to Langenfeld in 1999 when it purchased the monastery of the White Fathers, a Christian order of monks whose mission in Africa was to train their followers in various crafts. Their building had been empty for many years, and the village was concerned to have the right people purchase it. So before approving the sale to Kamalashila, the village council sent members to the Institute’s previous location to speak with its neighbors, who gave favorable feedback, and so the sale went through.

Kamalashila opened with a grand ceremony, presided over by Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, and many lamas; it was made festive by the performance of the Twenty-One Tara Dances and the rich pageantry of the Tibetan Buddhist rituals. On this day, the doors were opened wide to the villagers, who were all invited to come, and this inaugurated a positive relationship with the village that continues to this day.

The citizens of Langenfeld are Rhinelanders, Read the rest of this article

The Healing Continues: The Medicine Buddha Empowerment

May 31, 2014 Nuebergring, Germany

Kamalashila Institute, the Karmapa’s seat in Lagenfeld, Germany, is located in an area connected with healing for hundreds and hundreds of years. In pre-Celtic times, it was a holy place for healers, who gathered here. There are also strong Christian connections. Just three kilometers below the village is a small chapel dedicated to Saint Jodokus (600CE to 668CE), the patron saint of hospitals, hospices, and farming. In a story similar to the Buddha’s, Jodokus was the eldest prince, next in line to rule the kingdom, but he renounced his heritage to live the life of an ascetic in the woods for eight years. Afterward he traveled widely and became famous in his lifetime for healing powers and good works.

Centuries later, a duke from the Lagenfeld area was leaving for the Crusades. He made the commitment that if he came back alive, he would build a chapel for St. Jodokus. The duke did return, and to fulfill his promise, he began to construct a chapel to shelter a relic of the saint. The duke gathered stacks of wood and piles of stones near his castle. One day, a huge flood came Read the rest of this article

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