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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

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(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

In Visit to Facebook, Karmapa Encourages a More Compassionate Internet Culture

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(March 18, 2015 – Menlo Park, California) Today His Holiness the Karmapa paid a visit to the global headquarters of Facebook. During this visit, the 29-year-old Buddhist leader was not merely exploring an important presence within today’s global society and popular culture. He was primarily connecting with leaders of a growing emphasis within American technology companies centered in Silicon Valley, who are working to find ways to make the Internet a kinder place. This emerging movement has roots in the mindfulness movement sweeping the United States, but also extends to efforts to foment greater empathy and compassion in society.

Although His Holiness the Karmapa did tour Facebook’s facilities, the bulk of the visit was given over to a roundtable discussion. Participants posed one question after another to the Karmapa, eliciting his counsel on methodology for cultivating compassion and his views on the use of the Internet in spreading meditation advice and his suggestions for how Facebook could be a force for healing broken Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Speaks to Students, Faculty at Stanford University

2015.03.18stanford talk
(March 17, 2015 – Palo Alto, California, USA) After spending the day at Stanford campus, meeting with both students and faculty, His Holiness the Karmapa delivered a lecture on the theme of ‘Caring Connections: Compassion, Technology and the Environment.’

Hours before his arrival, devotes fortunate enough to have obtained one of the tickets set aside for the general public were lined up outside, hopeful of securing a favorable seat in the auditorium. Members of the local Tibetan community stood outside in anticipation of his arrival, eager to catch a glimpse of His Holiness as he arrived.

Stanford had released tickets without prior announcement, yet even so within a single day all had been distributed to the public. The lecture was held at the university’s Memorial Hall to a sold-out gathering of 1,700 students, faculty and alumni. The event was livestreamed by Stanford University, and another 3,000 people watched online. Simultaneous translation was provided.

The Karmapa’s talk on Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Gives Talk to Google Employees

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March 15, 2015 – Googleplex, California, USA

After several hours touring the sprawling campus of Google in Mountain View, California, a state-of-the-art driverless car delivered His Holiness the Karmapa to a building where Google staff had assembled for a talk on “Inner Connection and Meditation: Changing the World from the Inside Out.” The talk was structured as a dialogue—or self-styled Fireside Chat—with Chade-Meng Tan, who leads Google’s personal growth and wellness services.

The 17th Karmapa’s talk at Google was prefaced with opening comments by Google’s only Tibetan employee, Sonam, who brought many members of the audience to tears with her personal reflections. After speaking movingly in Tibetan to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, she translated her comments into English for the audience. “Your presence here is like a dream for me,” she said. “As a young child I remember my parents taking me to your monastery in Rumtek, Sikkim, in India. The event was the famous Kagyu Black Hat dance performed by the monks. Read the rest of this article