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Source of peace and blessings: His Holiness inaugurates the stupa at Kamalashila

2014.06.01s
1st June, 2014
Kamalashila Institute

More than five hundred people, invited guests, volunteers and staff, gathered in the grounds of Kamalashila in front of the stupa for its inauguration by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. After several days of cloud and some rain, the weather had cleared and the brilliant -white stupa with its gold-plated copper pinnacle stood proud against a bright blue sky.

The stupa – chorten in Tibetan –is a unique religious architectural form, representing the physical presence of Lord Buddha, and of great significance in several Buddhist traditions, including Tibetan Buddhism. There are eight designs of stupa, each symbolising an important event during the Buddha’s lifetime. The stupa at Kamalashila celebrates the Buddha’s Enlightenment. A niche in the upper section of the central shrine contains an image of Lord Buddha with his right hand in the bhumisparsa mudra. Translated as ‘touching the earth’, it is the hand position which signifies the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment. His Read the rest of this article

Purifying our negative actions: Vajrasattva Empowerment

2014.05.31.Vj
Nuerburgring, Germany
31st May, 2014

On the final day of the teachings the emphasis turned towards practice requirements for Buddhist practitioners. In keeping with the overarching theme of the ngondro or preliminary practices, the morning session was dedicated to a Vajrasattva empowerment. This is necessary for those who wish to complete the second part of the special Mahamudra preliminaries, the Vajrasattva Purification practice.

Shortly before nine o’clock, His Holiness arrived to perform the preparatory rites of self-initiation. The audience of his devotees supported his activities by softly chanting “Karmapa Khyenno”—“Karmapa, think of me”. After an hour of preparation, His Holiness exited the auditorium and then returned swiftly to take his seat. Joining his palms together in traditional greeting, he stood on the throne smiling warmly. As His Holiness gazed out over the audience, embracing everyone with his love and compassion, his face was reminiscent of the bodhisattva Dorje Sempa [Vajrasattva in Read the rest of this article

Karmapa’s heart advice on Dharma practice


Nuerburgring, 30th May, 2014

Teaching Day 2: Session 1

In the first of two sessions this morning, the 17th Karmapa clarified what it means to really practice Dharma.

First he dealt with some misconceptions. Many people have mistaken expectations about Tibetan Buddhism. They believe that Tibetan Buddhist practices have magical properties or miraculous powers that can solve all problems; if you’re ill, a Lama or prayers will heal you; if you have economic problems you will become rich. Though some advanced practitioners may be able to cure illness and help others, His Holiness warned that this is very unusual. The practice of Dharma is not intended to solve such problems.“The practice of Dharma is there to solve the most fundamental problems in life,” he explained. What are these problems? However healthy we are, however successful or rich, there is no guarantee that we will be happy. We all experience mental suffering, agitation, and negative emotions. How then can we ever find peace of mind and happiness? The answer is that we can only become truly happy by transforming our minds: “The main purpose of Dharma practice is to train and Read the rest of this article

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

2014.05.28i
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