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Gyalwang Karmapa Celebrates World Environment Day

June 5th, 2009 – Gyuto/Dharamsala

With day-time temperatures soaring to more than 100 F, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa waited until the early evening before taking part in a tree planting ceremony. The ceremony took place on the grounds of Gyuto Tantric University, His Holiness’s temporary home near Dharamsala.

Accompanied by the Abbot of Gyuto and other senior Gyuto monks, Gyalwang Karmapa supervised the planting of ten saplings, various shrubs and a multitude of flowers. Read more

A Message from the Gyalwang Karmapa: 108 Things You Can Do

April 22, 2009

I am happy to release the 108 Things You Can Do today on Earth Day (April 22nd) and hope that this auspicious act has far-reaching benefits for the Earth.

Our world is facing an environmental crisis which is complex, overwhelming and affects us all, but it is difficult to know where to begin and what we can do.

It is very important for all of us to change our behavior and we need to start taking practical steps. These 108 Things You Can Do are a path that everyone can follow in order to make a difference.

This list of 108 Things You Can Do was produced during the First Kagyu Conference on Environmental Protection held in Saranath, Varanasi in March 2009. These practical solutions were developed under the leadership of His Holiness with the help of the representatives from the participating monasteries and nunneries. Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Inaugurates the 10th Religious Conference of Tibetan Buddhism

March 6, 2009

His Holiness inaugurated the 10th Religious Conference of Tibetan Buddhism at Thekchen Choling in Dharamsala. The heads of all the major Tibetan Buddhism sects including the Bon participated the conference.

The Religion and Cultural department of Tibetan Government in exile requested His Holiness to inaugurate and to lead the conference. Read more

Gyalwang Karmapa Launches His Booklet: Environmental Guidelines for Karma Kagyu Buddhist Monasteries, Centers and Community

Gyalwang Karmapa’s booklet, Environmental Guidelines for Karma Kagyu Buddhist Monasteries, Centres and Community went on sale at the end of Kagyu Monlam. So far the booklet has been published in English and Chinese; the Tibetan edition should be available in February/March 2009. His Holiness briefly described the booklet and his own deep concerns about the environment on the second day of the Western teaching.
He explained how he had first spoken about environmental concerns at the end of the 25th Kagyu Monlam. He had mentioned his worries again in his concluding speech at the 26th Kagyu Monlam. He then detailed the five sections of the booklet, by highlighting the destruction of forests in India and Tibet, the danger to water supplies, the protection of wildlife, the need for waste management, and the threat of global warming and climate change.
He admitted the culpability of some monasteries in cutting down trees to be sold as timber. This had to be stopped and those forests replanted.
Glaciers and snow melt in the Himalayan region are the source of water and thereby the source of life for millions of people throughout Asia, rivers from Tibet flow to China, Burma, India and Pakistan, so it was essential to both protect the source and prevent the Read the rest of this article

Kagyu Monlam: His Holiness Continues the Story of Milarepa

January 07, 2009

His Holiness drew several lessons from Milarepa’s story to illustrate how we should practice. The first concerned our commitment or rather lack of it, and our inability to tolerate hardship.

Like all the great masters in the lineage, Milarepa renounced the world, expressed his disgust with samsara, and had a fierce determination to practice the Dharma. He knew that this was the only way to bring benefit both to him and to others, including his dead parents. We, on the other hand, relax and enjoy good food.

The great translator, Marpa Lotsawa, endured many difficulties on his journey to India. He had to trudge across the never-ending Indian plains, and yet he translated all those texts! These days we get tired when we travel by train or plane!

Milarepa demonstrated immense commitment. Marpa set him to build four houses – not small but big ones – and then he had to take them down again, stone by stone. He was even made to build a house with nine storeys, which His Holiness had had chance to visit. His Holiness commented that the house looked like it had been built by one person – the pillars were unfinished wood and the construction generally was very rough. When Marpa threw him out of teachings or beat him, Milarepa still Read the rest of this article