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In Kingston, Karmapa Offers Refuge to those Seeking Refuge

2015.04.18 Kingston 2(April 18, 2015 – Kingston, New York) Many of the 1,500 attending the afternoon teachings today had been waiting a long time to gather all the causes and conditions to be able to receive the precious refuge vow from His Holiness the Karmapa on their home soil. After a morning session in which His Holiness had given just the sort of teaching needed to prepare their minds to receive the vows, they returned enthusiastically to the auditorium, their much-longed-for opportunity finally at hand.

Before he conferred the refuge vow itself, His Holiness first continued the explanation begun in the morning, drawing a distinction between simply going for refuge, and actually taking the refuge vow. He explained that when we are in a situation of immediate danger we may call upon the Three Jewels to regard us with their compassion as a child might spontaneously call upon its mother. This instance of Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Teaches New Ways to Understand Refuge

2015.04.18 UPAC teaching
(April 18, 2015 – Kingston, New York) Well before His Holiness’s lecture started, a long line stretched down the block and around the corner with people waiting to enter the Ulster Performing Arts Center. This elegant space filled to its capacity of 1,500. Among those attending the talk were students from an older generation who had seen the Karmapa in his previous incarnation. Beginning in 1974, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, had come to the United States three times and founded his main seat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, just a few miles away in Woodstock, New York.

The Mayor of Kingston, Shayne Gallo, welcomed the Karmapa to the city announcing that it was an auspicious day for all and a blessing to the city he serves. Mayor Gallo thanked the Karmapa for bringing the message of love, compassion and peace, which comes through individuals changing. Echoing the Karmapa, he said that we have the responsibility to serve others and facilitate Read the rest of this article

Why Practice Akshobhya? Karmapa Shares Thoughts Before Empowerment

2015.04.12 Danag emp
(April 12, 2015, Queens, New York) On his third day in New York, His Holiness came to Flushing Meadow Park, the site of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, whose theme was “Peace through Understanding.” His teaching took place in the circular conference hall of Terrace on the Park, which seemed to float high above the ground like a huge mandala suspended over the meadows. The Karmapa’s throne faced panoramic views that opened out to vistas of the city, an immense globe of stainless steel and the light blue sky beyond.

The circular hall was filled to its outer circumference with over 2,000 people, each of whom had received a blue envelope containing a booklet with the daily practice of Akshobhya in Tibetan, Chinese and English. This Buddha was the subject of the morning teachings, which served as a prelude to the Akshobhya empowerment in the afternoon. Like the teachings of the previous day, Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Teaches on the Four Dharmas of Gampopa in New York

2015.04.11 Danang
(April 11, 2015 – Flushing, New York) On a sunny, spring Saturday morning in New York, His Holiness the Karmapa gave his second scheduled dharma talk for the tour, teaching to a sold-out audience on the “Four Dharmas of Gampopa.” The teaching came at the request of the Danang Foundation, headed by Lama Tsewang Rinpoche, who was one of the small group to escort the fourteen-year-old Karmapa over the Himalayas at the turn of the century on his flight out of Tibet and into exile in India.

Around 1,000 people gathered in an upstairs conference room at New York’s Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, which was filled to capacity with those fortunate enough to secure tickets. Tickets for the event had sold out rapidly and many who missed out waited hopefully outside the teaching venue for a last-minute space to open up. Inside the room an image of the Buddha Akshobhya hung above the stage. The image was painted by His Holiness and reproduced in the style of a large Read the rest of this article

Karmapa in Manhattan: Poetry Reading at Latse Library

2015.04.11 Poetry at Lhatse(April 10, 2015 – New York, New York) Like many other aspects of Tibetan art and culture, Tibetan poetry has undergone significant shifts in content, form and contexts of practice since 1959. Latse Library this evening hosted an event that very much belongs to the post-1959 practice of poetry in Tibetan: a poetry reading. Tonight’s reading of Tibetan poems was only the second such event to take place in North America, although the practice is now better established in other Tibetan communities.

Many luminaries of the modern poetry movement in Tibetan were present at Latse Library this evening to read their verse before a rapt audience in this research library devoted to modern Tibetan studies. Among the eight poets reading their verse was Jangbu, a poet living in France who pioneered the use of free verse in Tibetan. With His Holiness the Karmapa listening attentively to the poets’ oral renditions of their verse, a succession of Read the rest of this article