NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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His Holiness Spends his First Day on Redlands Campus

2015.03.23

(March 23, 2015 – Redlands, California) As many a new student had done before him, His Holiness the Karmapa set out today for his first day of college classes, armed with a notebook and pen emblazoned with the name of the university on it. Like any other student at a private liberal arts college, His Holiness was signed up to take classes in various disciplines across the humanities—theatre arts and religious studies on his first day, music on his second.

Most students, however, are not greeted by the president of the university as they take their first step on campus. Most freshmen in their very first class at college do not hear their classmates discuss a play they themselves have written. Nor does the university fly on its campus flagpole a flag associated with their lineage. Very certainly, most incoming students are not about to be granted an honorary doctorate on their second day of class.

Such was the not-so-typical first day of school for the 17th Karmapa today, as he enjoyed his very first university classroom experience. Read the rest of this article

Karmapa in San Francisco: Public Teaching on Transforming Difficult Emotions

2015.03.19 San Francisco- Public Teaching
(March 19, 2015 –San Francisco, California) In the early hours of this Thursday morning, as commuters sped past intent on reaching their workplace, the sidewalks of 19th Avenue in San Francisco outside the teachings site took on the atmosphere of a street festival. Long-lost Dharma friends embraced, joyful to share the anticipation of the morning with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. When the doors opened at 8 am, the party moved indoors. A Who’s Who of the California Dharma scene could be compiled by listing all those who stood greeting one another in the aisles, as members of the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center bustled around putting the final touches on the stage setting. The Dharma center’s founder and resident teacher, Lama Lodro, himself stood calmly greeting guests and answering his staff’s string of final queries.

Once His Holiness the Karmapa had arrived, he joked that although he had been asked by the inviters to give a talk, they had told Read the rest of this article

Palpung Lungtok Choling Center Hosts His Holiness

2015.03.18ii
(March 18, 2015 – San Jose, California) At the conclusion of the reception that marked the end of his visit to Stanford University, His Holiness the Karmapa shifted his attention to Buddhist communities. In his first visit to a Dharma center on this long trip, he traveled to San Jose where he was joyfully received by the Dharma friends of Palpung Longtok Choling.

Although this Karma Kagyu dharma center is located physically far from the ancestral homeland of its lineage, the resident lamas and students had prepared a traditional Tibetan Buddhist welcome, well adapted to its northern California setting. The auspicious signs had been drawn on the road with the familiar colored chalk used by American schoolchildren to draw on their own sidewalks. The sound of gyalings—unusual for this suburban neighborhood—was muted, yet gently filled the air as the 17th Karmapa descended from his vehicle and entered the large building that is home to this Dharma community.

Entering the vast assembly hall, His Holiness first made offerings at Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Bestows Initiations from “Knowing One Frees All”

2014.12.20ii
20 December, 2014 Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
At the request of the Kagyu Monlam Committee, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa is kindly bestowing a special series of initiations, the twenty-four peaceful deities of “Knowing One Frees All”(Chig shes Kun drol), composed by the Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556–1603). Though the Karmapa has given a great number of individual empowerments, this is the first occasion in this lifetime that he has bestowed such a series of initiations. This special program from December 20 to 25 is given in commemoration of the First Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, who passed away twenty-five years ago, and of the Second Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, who passed away ten years ago.What follows below is some background information for “Knowing One Frees All”―its traditions, structure, and the present Karmapa’s connection to it.
Depending on the capacity and inclinations of beings, the Buddha taught various types of dharma, which can be subsumed into two categories, the sutras and the tantras. The key difference Read the rest of this article

Leading the Way: Street Cleaning and Pitching Tents

2014.11.12
12 November, 2014, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa has often quipped that the word ‘Karmapa’ is somewhat equivalent in meaning to “Action Man”. He is now recognised as a leader who ‘does’ as well as ‘says’, and repeatedly urges his followers to transform their Buddhist beliefs into action.

“Because our lives are interdependent, we carry the responsibility for ourselves, for the welfare of our family and friends, and for all living beings in the world. Interdependence is not just a philosophy: it’s a way of life,” he has said.

This morning, reflecting his advice that we should all take individual responsibility for protecting the environment, he met with an enthusiastic group of children from the local Bodhi Tree School and joined them in cleaning the local area.

The school is currently leading a campaign in conjunction with students from Magadh University to clean up the environment. The Karmapa has a long-standing connection with the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation, a non-profit organisation Read the rest of this article