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The Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind from Samsara

2016.05.28
May 28, 2016 – Bulach, Switzerland
The morning began with a fulsome praise of the Karmapa offered by Namkha Rinpoche, who requested the Karmapa to remain until the end of samsara to benefit living beings. After the accolade, his students presented the supports of body, speech, and mind to the Karmapa thanking him for his teachings and requesting him to remain in the world and live a long life.

The Karmapa began his teaching by naming the Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind from Samsara: (1) the precious human rebirth; (2) death and impermanence; (3) karma as cause and effect; and (4) the defects of samsara. He spoke of the first one, the precious human birth, in terms of the eight freedoms and the ten resources, which he explained in a condensed form. To practice well, he said, we need to the freedom from obstacles, and the main condition, or Read the rest of this article

ROKPA: Helping Where Help Is Needed

2016.05.25 Rokpa
May 25, 2016 – Zurich, Switzerland
Bringing to a close a day of travel outside Zurich, the Karmapa returned to visit the headquarters of ROKPA, which means “help” or “assistance” in Tibetan. Its purpose is to aid people in remote areas of the world, where it participates in more than 100 projects to provide food, health care, and education. Founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Lea Wyler, and Dr. Veit Wyler in 1980, ROKPA has offices in seventeen countries, from Asia through Europe to Africa, while much of its work takes place in the Tibetan areas of China and Nepal.

On this sunny afternoon, the Karmapa climbed the stairs into the elegant building on Boeklinstrasse and was escorted to the main office with its broad antique desk. As he was invited to take a seat there, he joked, “Uh-Oh, now I’m the Read the rest of this article

A Visit to Tibet Institute Rikon

2016.05.24
May 25, 2016 -Rikon, Switzerland
On the way to the Tibetan Institute in Rikon, the Karmapa stopped to have lunch at Junger Farm where he found a familiar sight: two yaks grazing on the hillside. He could also hear the familiar sound of a conch shell but this time playing in fusion with the Swiss Alpenhorn. In this idyllic setting of flowers and rolling hills, many Tibetans came to greet the Karmapa.

After lunch he continue through the gently rolling landscape, to the Tibet Institute, located on a hillside and surrounded by forest. A large group of Tibetans were waiting to meet the Karmapa, sitting in a cascade down the slope. The temple was constructed in a modern style with floor to ceiling windows and light streaming in. The central figure on the shrine was a statue of the Buddha, and in front a tiered table was filled with offerings, topped Read the rest of this article

How Do Ethics Apply to the Practice of Medicine? The Karmapa Dialogues with Students

2016.05.23 lusanne university
May 23, 2016 -Lausanne, Switzerland
As on his previous tours, the Karmapa is reaching out to the younger generation, this time with a visit to the University of Lausanne. In a large amphitheater, a lively dialogue took place between the Karmapa and over 200 first year medical students. The event was part of their course on ethics and medicine and included giving the students a question, which they discussed with their neighbors. After they were invited to give an answer over a mike, and finally the Karmapa was asked for his thoughts.

The first question queried, what does it mean to be in good health? One student responded that it means to be well in physical, socio-cultural, and mental terms. Another student added in spirituality and another said it Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa on the Relationship Between Buddhism and Science

2016.05.22 science and busddhism
May 22, 2106 -Geneva, Switzerland
The Gyalwang Karmapa began this afternoon by referring to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s division of Buddhism into three categories: Buddhism as a science, as a philosophy, and as a religion. When we speak of Buddhism as a science, the Karmapa said, we are considering how it examines exterior phenomena through a process of deduction. The philosophical side refers to the various schools and their views, while the religious aspect includes the meditative and ritual practices, the inner focusing that is special to Buddhism.

If we look at the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, the Karmapa continued, we can see these aspects in play. The Buddha was a prince who lived a long time ago, and following the traditions of Read the rest of this article