NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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Buddhism and the Environment: Being Content to Live With Less

2016.05.29
May 29, 2016 – Bulach, Switzerland
The Karmapa sat on stage in a comfortable armchair covered in red and gold brocade for this final session, held on his last afternoon in Switzerland.

He began by recollecting his own childhood in a remote area of Tibet, devoid of modern technology and other aspects of the contemporary world. Within this very traditional culture, the natural world was viewed as sacred and treated with great respect. People thought the mountains and other places were living systems and home to many deities. There was no plastic garbage and no need for rubbish bins as everything was organic and biodegradable. Consequently, when plastic wrappings finally arrived, the people would just throw them away because they were unaware that plastic did not biodegrade. Home life was simple. Everything they owned had a use in daily life Read the rest of this article

A Medicine Buddha Empowerment

2016.05.22
22nd May 2016 -Geneva, Switzerland
The Medicine Buddha tradition was brought to Tibet from India in the 8th century by the great Indian Buddhist master, the abbot Shantarakshita of Nalanda (725–788), who gave the teachings to the Tibetan king Trisong Deutsen. The abbot’s aim was to increase the welfare of Tibet: to improve health, prevent disease, give protection against black magic, and protect the ecological system from natural disasters.

Today, the Geneva Theatre next to its famous lake was filled with people eager to receive the empowerment. To the right and above His Holiness’ throne, a huge thangka depicted the Medicine Buddha, who embodies the healing energy of all enlightened beings. He is a dark blue, the colour of lapis lazuli, and wears monastic robes while sitting on a lion throne. In his left hand he holds a begging bowl Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Continues His Teaching on Meditation

2016.05.21iii
May 21, 2016 -Geneva, Switzerland
In the morning session, the Gyalwang Karmapa had focused on the need to turn our minds inwards in order to find contentment and peace and had suggested that meditation was a tool for achieving this. In the afternoon session, His Holiness used his own life story as an illustration of the dangers inherent when we focus our happiness on the fulfilment of our desires and expectations; we end up being controlled by the events in our lives. What is necessary is to develop inner peace and contentment.

As a young boy he lived in Kham “as an ordinary child, nothing very special,” he explained. “When I was seven years old, a search party came looking for the Karmapa. They concealed their purpose at first and pretended to be searching for a relative, asking the names of my father and mother. Then Read the rest of this article

Press Release

20th March, 2016 – Sarnath: His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje will convene the 7th Khoryug Conference for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries on the topic of Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction tomorrow.

Lasting from the 21st of March to the 24th of March, the conference will be held at Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath, and will be facilitated in partnership with the National Institute of Disaster Management of the Government of India. The conference will be attended by over 50 monastic representatives from over 25 monasteries and nunneries.

In organizing this 4-day conference, His Holiness the Karmapa is acting on his resolve to prepare monasteries and nunneries for potential disasters and to train monks and nuns to become first responders and risk reduction educators for local communities. The Himalayan region has seen three severe earthquakes just in the past five years: Sikkim 6.9 on the Richter scale in 2011, Nepal 7.3 in 2015, and Manipur 6.7 in January of 2016. Disaster management experts and seismologists have issued several warnings that these earthquakes have re-ruptured tectonic plates that were already cracked and increased the likelihood of more severe earthquakes to hit the Himalayan region.

Over the weeks that followed the Read the rest of this article

Winter Debates End with an Historic Announcement and Great Gratitude

2016.03.10
10 March, 2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, India
This year the Winter Debates lasted for fifteen days and encompassed a wonderful variety of ways to train the mind and deepen understanding. In addition to daily meditation, there were traditional debates on the philosophical positions of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika Schools as well as the yearly debates on Collected Topics, Types of Evidence, and Types of Minds. Papers were presented on Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation covering the second chapter on the spiritual friend up to the eighth chapter on refuge, and western-style discussions on two topics: 1) Can blind faith be considered faith? and 2) Are the Dharma and the secular world opposed or not?

Starting at 8 p.m. on March 9, the final debate went into late hours and began with the topic of what it Read the rest of this article