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Buddhism and the Environment: Living in Harmony with the Planet

June 6, 2014, the Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany

Lively conversations in the Estrel Convention Hall subsided as the Karmapa entered and walked onto the stage, his red and golden robes blending perfectly with the rich hues of the immense images of the Buddha and Guru Rinpoche arrayed behind him.

The Karmapa began his talk on the environment, one of his major interests, by saying that it is the “biggest challenge,” the essential question for the 21st century.

In the past, he said, he has talked a lot about the environment, about protecting forests, animals, and plants, and about how our motivation shapes the way we relate to the natural world around us. He has taken a personal interest in the environment, studying it and expressing his ideas about what needs to be done at conferences. He has also engaged in various activities, such as planting trees, protecting wild animals, encouraging people to be vegetarian, and especially, supporting Khoryug (“Environment” in Tibetan). [Please insert here the web address:], an umbrella organization of fifty-five monasteries and nunneries, which belong not only to the Read the rest of this article

The Empowerment of the Eighty-Four Mahasiddhas

May 30, 2014, afternoon

On the morning of the 30th, a double-tiered shrine was set up next to the Karmapa’s throne. On the top level, the central focus was the image of a deep blue Vajradhara (Dorjechang),surrounded by the powerful eighty-four mahasiddhas. It is flanked by two vases with their curving spouts and peacock feathers. Infront of Vajradhara is placed a metal mandala plate with heaped rice and next to it, a glistening long life vase. On the level below are the seven traditional offering bowls, one of which has a tall sculpted torma, an offering of nourishment, which is decorated with two circular flower ornaments in red and blue. All these blessed objects on the shrine are the basis for a vast mental offering that fills space.

This empowerment of the eighty-four mahasiddhas is the first one the Karmapa will give in Europe. The Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Tilokpur Nunnery

May 5th-7th, Tilokpur

The Gyalwang Karmapa arrived at Drubten Pemo Jalpay Gatsal, 40 kilometers from Gyuto monastery, a new nunnery set among fields of wheat and flowering trees in the foothills of the Himalayas for a three day visit. The nearby Karma Drubgyu Thargay Ling is one of the oldest Kagyu nunnery outside of Tibet and has grown to such a size that new facilities were created to accommodate the large number of female practitioners. Great efforts have been made to give nuns a place to practice the dharma, hear the instructions and do the trainings; that they have these wonderful opportunities – where they may not have in the past – is a sign that the teachings of the Buddha are flourishing.

On his arrival, he first consecrated the new Mahakala Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Offers Medicine Buddha Empowerment and Teachings to Tibetans and Himalayan Region People in Delhi

9 February 2014 – Buddha Jayanti Park, New Delhi

The sun shone in a clear blue sky as many from New Delhi’s Tibetan and Himalayan communities gathered in the lush grounds of the Buddha Jayanti Park.

In the crisp winter morning they followed winding pathways over green fields and small streams to cross the park—which was created in celebration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s Indian birth—towards a special outdoor arena, beside the park’s iconic golden Buddha statue. A stage was set with the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne, while a translucent red silk canopy floated in the gentle breeze overhead.

The Gyalwang Karmapa was once more requested by the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Association to offer empowerment and teachings, in an annual gathering of Delhi’s Tibetan and Himalayan peoples that has taken place for the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching During the 1st Arya Kshema Nuns’ Gathering – Why Bhikshuni Ordination is Important

21-24 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

Women monastics are indispensible

During the historic first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu nuns the Gyalwang Karmapa offered eight days of dharma discourses, interspersing his teachings with frank and well-researched advice on the important issue of full-nun’s ordination in Tibet (known in Sanskrit as ‘Bhikshuni’ ordination and in Tibetan as ‘Gelongma’ ordination).

Citing little-known textual descriptions, the Gyalwang Karmapa related accounts of thriving nuns’ communities—including many fully ordained nuns—in central areas of Tibet several centuries ago. However, such communities have disappeared and today there is no full ordination offered to nuns within the Tibetan tradition.

It is important for us to once again have a community of fully ordained nuns now, the Gyalwang Karmapa unequivocally said, stressing that only with the presence of fully ordained women is the Buddhist community complete.

Teaching primarily to around 207 nuns from six Kagyu nunneries who took part in the Arya Kshema Gathering, Read the rest of this article