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Environmental Change, Spiritually and Practically Based

September 29, 2016 – Sidhbari, HP, India.
Today His Holiness The Gyalwang Karmapa met with young leaders, ages 22 to 30, from the Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship in the United States. They had been chosen for their potential as catalysts for practical change, centered in a spiritual world with sensitivity for the nature. These young people seek to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature.
Their first question for His Holiness was asked by a young woman who had gone in a bicycle pilgrimage in several counties, including the US, Canada, and Iceland. She posed to His Holiness the key question that she had asked on her travels: When and how did you first become passionate about environmental issues?

The Read the rest of this article

Indian Psychology Students Join Karmapa for Week-long Dialogue on Emotions

29 September, 2016 – Dharamsala, India
A group of 20 postgraduate students from the psychology department of Ambedkar University Delhi converged in Dharamsala this week for a series of interactions with His Holiness the Karmapa. Their discussions will explore the ways that Buddhism and modern psychology understand and address various human emotions. The emotions to be discussed over the course of the next 11 days were proposed by the psychology students and include: jealousy and envy; love and attachment; greed, desire and contentment; guilt and shame; stress and anxiety; fear, terror and courage; and, faith and hope.

Over the course of their stay in Dharamsala, the group will spend their days immersed in developing presentations for the Karmapa, meeting with His Holiness in his library at Gyuto Monastery, and then reviewing together what they Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Brings to a Close His Commentary on the Heart Sutra

The final session of the 17th Karmapa’s commentary on the Heart Sutra began with a brief explanation of the differences in the view of emptiness among the Middle Way (Madhyamaka), Mind Only (Chittamātra), and the Buddha Nature (Tathāgatagarbha) schools of Buddhism. The prajna paramita sutras, the Karmapa reminded everyone, are the root of philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism. All of its three main schools have their respective views of the four-fold emptiness and how emptiness and phenomena are related. However, the Karmapa cautioned, since all of them are teachings of the Buddha, it is not appropriate to say that one is superior to another. A variety of explanations are available in order to pacify our different afflictions.

The Middle Way school considers that the four-fold emptiness shows that all phenomena are essentially not truly existent, and Read the rest of this article

The View of Emptiness and the Path to Buddhahood
17 August 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
His Holiness began the fourth session of his commentary on the Heart Sutra by reviewing the topics that had been covered in the previous sessions and then resumed his commentary on Section Five, the question:

    Son of a noble family, how should any son or daughter of noble family train, when they wish to practise the profound transcendent wisdom?

The Karmapa skilfully explained how what appears to be one question actually encompasses all aspects of the practice of the Mahayana from the beginning of the path to the attainment of buddhahood. Shariputra appears to ask how someone who wants to practise diligently should train, but there are in fact five questions embedded in this one question.

The Heart Sutra Session Two: Causes and Conditions

16 August, 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
The session began with an invocation to Incense Cloud Buddha, whose golden image beamed down from the screen above the stage. This is the traditional Chinese way to begin all teachings, because when Incense Cloud Buddha lights his incense all the buddhas are summoned to listen to the teaching. Another feature of these study sessions is the recitation of the Heart Sutra in Chinese, sung to a particular musical style known as the Ocean’s Wave: a rolling, rhythmic chant, with descant and alto harmonies, peaceful and soft like the motion of gentle waves on the surface of the ocean.

Previously, in the opening session, the Karmapa had delineated the eight sections of the sutra and commented on the first three: the prologue, the time and the retinue. He now moved on to explore the section on the Read the rest of this article