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Encounter with Europe’s Youth Concludes Karmapa’s German Tour


8 June 2014, Berlin

The final public activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s historic first trip to Europe was an encounter with young people from around the world. His Holiness is the youngest religious world leader today and fittingly, the organizers had created a program where young people were able to ask him questions directly about concerns that they had living in today’s world.

Tickets were free of charge but admission was limited to people 29 years of age and younger. The audience ranged from toddlers who were accompanied by their parents to young adults. As the hall filled up, a music video of the rap song Karmapa Khyenno played on the screens, and young volunteers draped the stage with hand-drawn flags that were created by children and sent from all over the world. Everything from handprints to aspiration prayers were displayed on the flags.

His Holiness entered the stage lightly and settled himself in an armchair. The Karmapa reached out to the audience and described himself as a “strange kind of young guy.” He explained that although he was in his twenties, he had assumed responsibilities so young in life and had such varied experiences Read the rest of this article

Developing Inner Peace


Estrel Convention Center,Berlin
7th June, 2014

The programme this evening included a reflection on developing inner peace by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and three performances from very different musical genres.

The evening began with a performance of four pieces by the celebrated Chinese dissident, Liao Yiwu. He spent four years in prison, where he was tortured and physically abused. He was finally able to escape to the West in 2011 and now lives in Berlin.

Liao used a combination of vocals, bamboo flute, wooden abacus and metal bowl-shaped temple bells to improvise. The first and last pieces were interpretations of the 17th Karmapa’s ‘Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration’, a long poem which His Holiness composed during his escape from Tibet to India. The first piece was a wordless composition called ‘The Song of Hope’. Liao combined the chanting and howling of ‘Ho’ associated with Chinese religious ritual, while strumming the beads of a wooden abacus, which he held like a guitar, and was accompanied by Marcus Hagerman on the cello. The second piece, called ‘The Seesaw of Breathing’ began with a melodious solo on the bamboo Read the rest of this article

Escaping from the prison of self-centredness


Estrel Convention Centre,
6th June, 2014

For the second day’s teaching in Berlin, the venue had changed into a bigger auditorium which seats 1600 people.

His Holiness took time at the beginning to reiterate his great delight in finally achieving his wish to visit Europe, after three failed attempts. However, now that he was here in Berlin, it was “like a dream that fills me with great joy” and he thanked everyone from the bottom of his heart. In fact, he added, the stage set was so beautifully decorated by the Berlin Rigpa Center, that he would have preferred to sit facing it with the audience, “So that I could see it all.”

The stage set was indeed even more impressive than that in the smaller auditorium. Oblong tubs of marigolds edged the front of the stage, two large vases of flowers graced the back, and the pot of white orchids still stood on the table beside His Holiness’ chair. Two trees in tubs had been added to the front corners of the stage, lit to reflect the colours of the seasons: the bright, luscious green of spring and early summer, the red of late summer and autumn, and the soft yellows of leaf fall. The larger stage Read the rest of this article

The 17th Karmapa’s heart advice for a meaningful life


Estrel Convention Centre, Berlin
7.30pm, 5th June, 2014

A crowded hall greeted the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, when he arrived shortly after 7.30pm this evening to deliver his first public address here in Berlin at the Estrel Convention Center. A few minutes earlier, Ringu Tulku, the 17th Karmapa’s Representative in Europe, had taken the stage in order to quieten the excited hubbub in the hall. For the majority of European disciples awaiting his arrival, this was their first opportunity to see him in the flesh. Only twenty-eight years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje heads the 900 year old Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and is already viewed as an authoritative spiritual leader for the 21st century.

The Karmapa’s first ever trip to Europe coincides with Sagadawa, the holiest month in the Tibetan calendar, when Buddhists commemorate and honour the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. As Buddha’s birthday fell on 5th June this year in some traditions, Ringu Tulku reminded everyone that the first day of the teaching in Berlin was particularly auspicious. Tibetans believe that the merit of any good deeds that you perform during this month is Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Arrives in Berlin

2014.06.04r
June 4, 2014,Dharma Mati, the Rigpa Center in Berlin, Germany

His Holiness’ black Mercedes drove slowly down the tree-lined Soor Street to a welcoming crowd waiting in front of the German Rigpa Center, Dharma Mati. Colorful katas added a brightness to the greenery and the traditional red brick, arched façade of the elegant building. His Holiness stopped to greet a few people on his way in to the place where he will stay during his visit to Berlin.

The center’s spacious shrine hall was brilliant with huge gold brocaded images of the Buddha’s life and also of Guru Rinpoche, the central figure for the Nyingma and also key to the Kagyu. Actually, the Karmapa is known as an emanation of Guru Rinpoche, a truth which was abundantly clear during the Kagyu Monlam this year in Bodhgaya which focused on Guru Rinpoche. The Karmapa embodied him during the lama dancing, a Guru Rinpoche practice was performed for four days, and the Karmapa gave two Guru Rinpoche empowerments. Today, after entering the shrine room, the Karmapa must Read the rest of this article