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The Importance of Retreat

Karma Tekchen Yi Ong Ling Retreat Centre Halscheid – 2nd September, 2015

On Wednesday afternoon, the 17th Karmapa made his first visit to Halscheid to bless Karma Tekchen Yi Ong Ling retreat centre. Situated just outside the small village of Halscheid in the Windeck region of Germany, the centre is run by the German Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft under the spiritual guidance of the Karmapa’s senior tutor, the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Although two traditional three-year retreats have been completed at Halscheid, the main focus of the centre’s work these days is to offer a variety of short and long-term retreats, so that laypeople with work and family responsibilities may benefit.

In readiness, the centre had been decorated with newly-hung prayer flags and the eight auspicious symbols had been painted on the gravel path. As His Holiness’ car approached, Lama Kunga Dorje, the Retreat Master, stepped forward to welcome him.

Sixty people, retreatants past and present, sponsors and friends of the centre, had gathered in the Read the rest of this article

Never Forget Tibet: Karmapa Tells Tibetans

2015.08.29 tibetan audience
Bonn, Germany – 29th August, 2015
After a full day of teachings, His Holiness the Karmapa set aside time to meet with Tibetans living in Europe. During a special audience organized by the Association of Tibetans in Germany, the Karmapa reflected on their shared condition as refugees and offered individual blessings to all those who had traveled from across Europe to meet him. As the Karmapa explained to them, he seeks out opportunities to connect with Tibetan as well as Himalayan communities wherever he goes. “I consider this important,” he told them, “and when we are able to meet, I feel I have accomplished an important responsibility and this inspires and encourages me.”

The evening began with a brief introduction to the history and activities of the association by its chairperson, Lobsang Phuntsok. He explained that among the 150 Tibetans and Himalayans in attendance, while many live in Germany, others had come from France, Switzerland, Belgium and other surrounding Read the rest of this article

Message Regarding 30th Birthday

This year marks my 30th birthday. Time has passed very quickly. This year is also the 15th year since I left Tibet and came to India. This 30th birthday is considered to mark a special milestone, and many people have been requesting me to celebrate this birthday extensively. However, I have decided not to celebrate my birthday for several reasons that I would like to share with you here.

In all these years since leaving Tibet, I have never seen my parents again, and now they have grown old. This body was created and nurtured by my parents, and therefore my birthday is a day in which I feel their absence keenly.

In these 15 years since I arrived in India, I have been living in a temporary residence at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala. Even though Gyuto Monastery has been an exceptionally kind and hospitable host, it is unseemly for a guest to cause such unnecessary inconvenience over their birthday year after year.

Furthermore, each year on my birthday, I recall not only my parents, but also the sparkling beauty of the pristine natural environment in which I was born and raised. This intensifies my sense of urgency for the protection of the fragile ecosystems of the Tibetan plateau as well as the Himalayas. As I have said, the area’s glaciers make it the source of most of 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 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