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4th Khoryug Conference On Environmental Protection For Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, Nunneries and Dharma Centres – Biodiversity, Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness

5th – 9th June -Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala

First Hand Account

Given the focus of this year’s conference, it seemed appropriate that, as the delegates gathered in the grounds of the Norbulingka Institute to await the arrival of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, the temperature was climbing steadily to 42 degrees. This year, Dharamsala has experienced both unusually severe winter conditions, with snow filling the Kangra Valley for the first time in fifty years, and unusually high summer temperatures. It is a reminder to everyone present that we are now living with climate change impacts.

Celebrating World Environment Day, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and the Honorable Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament launched the 4th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, which will focus on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Natural Disaster Preparedness.

The aims of the conference are to both Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Meets Indian Students From The Western Himalaya Region

21 May,2012 – Dharamsala

The Gyalwang Karmapa held a special audience with more than 200 students, staff and Western volunteers, from the nearby Spiti Hostel, a boarding facility providing accommodation for young men and women from the Himalayan regions of Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh and Zanskar in Jammu-Kashmir. In the main, the young people are post-16 years old students in local schools and colleges.

After welcoming them all warmly, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke of the profound bond of religion, culture and even customs, which links people across the Himalaya.

First of all, he reminded the students that they had the opportunity not only to pursue their own goals and ambitions through higher education but also to make an impact on their own communities as well as society at large. Thus, he warned, they needed to reflect carefully on their motivation at each step of the way, because their motivation would influence both their direction and Read the rest of this article

“Turn Your Worries Into Strength,” Gyalwang Karmapa Tells Students

16 April,2012 – Dharamsala

His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Tibetan Transit School (TTS) in Dharamsala, northern India, on April 16. He inaugurated a giant mani prayer wheel and addressed staff and students.

Speaking at the Tibetan Transit School His Holiness urged the students to turn their “home sickness, worries, and sadness” into strength through hard work and dedication.

“We all are same,” Gyalwang Karmapa told the students, who are recent arrivals from Tibet. “We all came from Tibet. We all have worries, sadness and maybe same aim too. I can understand you all well.”

“You have to turn your worries into your strength. You have to focus on your long term goals and study hard,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said.

Read the rest of this article

The Kangyur Procession at The Mahabodhi Stupa

For five days this year’s Monlam had been held at the Monlam Pavilion, two kilometers from Bodhgaya, so it felt strange on the sixth day to be in Bodhgaya, standing at the entrance to the Mahabodhi stupa grounds at five o’clock in the morning once more.  Strange, but also very comfortable, like coming home. This ancient site radiates a pervasive feeling of sacredness, as if the broken stones themselves are a repository for two thousand years of devotion, hope, and trust in the way of the Buddha. Sitting under the bodhi tree, waiting for the Gyalwang Karmapa to arrive, people commented that they missed being at the stupa. However, for once, laypeople were able to sit where the novice monks and nuns would have been sitting, closer to the shrine, His Holiness and the bodhi tree, rather than crowded into the margins, hidden behind monuments, or perched precariously on the grass banks.  Perhaps they had forgotten the advantages of the pavilion, where everyone is included and can have a clear view of Read the rest of this article

Reading The Kangyur

After the procession and Gyalwang Karmapa’s teaching the final part of the celebration of the Kangyur was the reading session, during which the whole Kangyur was read once. This activity generates tremendous merit.

The 103 novice monks who had been assigned the task of distributing sheets of the Kangyur  busily wove their way between the rows of monks, nuns and laypeople, offering pages to anyone in the congregation who could read Tibetan. The pages came with strict instructions to remember the letter on the monk’s orange badge so that pages could be returned to the correct person. This system has been devised to prevent the problems of earlier years when, following the reading,  texts were found to be missing pages, or pages turned up in the wrong texts.

The Monlam Pavillion filled with the sound of people reading their pages of text in Tibetan chanting style. Within ninety minutes, the task was finished and the monks had collected the texts back in. Let’s hope that this year no pages went missing or were misplaced! Read more