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Interpreting the Buddha Dharma for the 21st century


Nuerburgring, Germany
29th May, 2014

Teaching Day 1: AM Session 1

The mission of the 17th Karmapa in the 21st century is mainly Dharma activity. However, the Dharma must change in order to suit the time and the needs of society and its people. Itsessence will still be Buddha Dharma but I may give it a new external shape.
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

His Holiness The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, began his first ever European teaching programme with a skilful presentation of a classic Buddhist contemplation, the four thoughts that turn the mind to Dharma. In an address which acknowledged the wide range of interest and experience in the audience of 2000 people, he rewove the ancient philosophy of Tibetan Buddhism in a way which was meaningful and accessible to all.
It was an amazing and moving moment for the Buddhist practitioners present, many of whom could hardly believe that finally their teacher was here in Europe.A feeling, it seemed, that was shared by His Holiness who began his talk by saying how long he had waited for this moment:

“It feels that it’s one of the most Read the rest of this article

His Holiness the Karmapa returns to his European seat

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Kamalashila Institute, Germany,
28th May, 2014

Shortly after four o’clock in the afternoon, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje arrived at his European seat, Kamalashila Buddhist Institute, Langenfeld in western Germany not far from Bonn, ending the thirty-four year wait for his return and fulfilling the hopes and prayers of his European disciples.

The centre was founded at the behest of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who advised his students to establish a shedra where people could study Buddhist philosophy and practice in the Karma Kagyu tradition.
His Holiness’s cavalcade halted outside the village church at the foot of the short hill close by the Institute, enabling himto walk the final hundred or so metres. With great dignity he took his place in the traditional Tibetan ‘golden procession’ reserved for high Lamas. First came a monk bearing a white khata, and then incense bearers. The Karmapa himself came next , under the shade of a golden parasol, signifying both his status as the one to be honoured 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

Frankfurt Press Conference

In his first public activity in Europe, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa addressed a press conference this morning in Frankfurt, followed by a brief meeting with members of the local Tibetan community. At an event hosted by Tibethaus Deutschland under the patronage of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Karmapa spoke to a room full of members of the German and international press. He expressed his delight at having arrived in Europe for his first trip, and fielded questions on climate change, the future of Tibetan culture, ordination of women in Tibetan Buddhism and other spiritual questions. Puntsok Tsering, Managing Director of Tibethaus offered an initial welcome, while Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, a highly respected lama who is also the head of Karmapa Foundation Europe, introduced His Holiness and later provided the English translation.

“As a member of the younger generation of Tibetan lamas, I feel responsibility for the future of Tibet,” His Holiness said. “We should not see the Tibetan issue as only a political one. It is an issue deeply linked with culture, religion and the environment. The Tibetan Plateau is so important for all of Asia. At the same time, the preservation of Tibet’s ecology is dependent on the preservation of Tibetan culture, values and way of life,”

Queried Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Holds Candlelight Vigil for MH370

2014.03.12 MH307

12 March 2014, – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

Four days after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, as so many people wait, distressed and puzzled, to discover the fate of the passengers, His Holiness held a candlelight vigil at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, to make prayers for the missing people, their families and friends. His Holiness was joined by the monks of the Institute, and many foreign students. As we chanted supplications to the protectress Tara and to Guru Rinpoche, some monks began to light butter lamps. As per His Holiness’s instruction, they had written out the flight number with the lamps. Gentle tones echoed through the night, carrying our best wishes and prayers for the well-being of the lost passengers, their loved ones, and indeed all beings in distress. It was a good opportunity to slow down and feel our connections with others. As our leader and guide, His Holiness presided over the entire ceremony, setting a tone of both introspection and compassionate outreach. The vigil Read the rest of this article