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    (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 the theme of ‘Caring Connections: Compassion, Technology and the Environment’ was co-hosted by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.
    Dr. James Doty, Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford, set the context for the evening by describing the scientific research that links compassionate behavior with profound physiological effects, such as lower blood pressure, boosted immune system, and increased longevity and calmness.
    Next, Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, founder and director of the Dalai Lama Centre for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, gave a brief biography of His Holiness the Karmapa, before inviting him to the stage as “a teacher to the world.”
    “Although this is my third visit to the USA,” the Karmapa began, “it’s my first opportunity to have an extended visit to any foreign country, and I feel this is a special opportunity for me in my life. At the beginning of this tour I have an appreciation of great freedom, and I feel that this tour marks a significant step into the future for me.”
    His Holiness then began to explore the term ‘compassion’ and what it means on a personal level. The Karmapa shared some of his treasured childhood memories with the audience, showing just how deeply compassion was woven into his own Tibetan upbringing.
    “I think the environment I was raised in by my parents was an environment of great compassion. Part of this was just the closeness we all shared with each other in our physical space. My whole family lived inside a tent made of yak hair, all in the same room together. You could call it the living room, you could call it the kitchen—it was just one room,” he described.
    “What I remember in that very close space together with my family is the sound, every morning, of my parents making prayers, expressing sentiments such as may all sentient beings be happy, may all sentient beings be free of suffering. Then again I would fall asleep to the sounds of similar aspirations in the evening. In this way I really feel that I was raised in a mandala or a circle of compassion and love.”
    The Karmapa then explained that compassion is tightly woven with the reality of interdependence that we all share.
    “I think all of us have our own individual understanding of what the term ‘compassion’ means. But I think if we called compassion by another name, we could say it’s all about developing a sense of responsibility in relation to the reality of interdependence,” he said.
    “When we look at the way things happen in real life, we can see that many problems arise in the context of issues such as the environment, gender inequality, and so on, because we don’t have an appreciation of the interdependent nature of reality. Instead, perhaps unknowingly, we adopt a default attitude of selfishness, basically only cherishing our own concerns. We can see that this is the root of many of these problems.”
    The Karmapa drew examples from everyday life to demonstrate the powerful reality of interdependence between beings and the natural world we depend on.
    “We can especially see how this phenomenon of interdependence plays out in the context of technology. We’re seeing rapid advancements in technology, and as humans we’re also coming to depend more on technological advancements and placing even more of our hopes in technology. But technology is something that constantly requires updates and improvements, and that constant flow of updates and improvements in turn depends on a great array of natural resources,” the Karmapa pointed out.
    “But we only see what we have in our hands when it comes to technology. We only see, for example, the new iPhone that we’ve acquired or that we want to acquire—we don’t see directly with our own eyes all the natural resources and all the human hardships that went into the production of that iPhone. Our attention tends to remain just at the surface with what we can see with our own eyes, even though all the information about what went into the production of the iPhone is available to us. We’re not looking at the longer or larger picture of where this is all coming from.”
    His Holiness used another powerful, everyday example to illustrate our interconnectedness and the common ground we all share of wanting to be happy and not wanting to suffer.
    “We may wear clothes here in the US, but most of those clothes aren’t made in the US,” he said. “They’re made in other countries, often developing countries. So developing compassion might involve giving rise to greater awareness of the conditions in the factories where our clothes are made and the hardships the people who work at those factories might endure. Compassion might involve giving rise to greater awareness about their difficult situation, in contrast to the pleasant situation we enjoy. With the purchase of clothing it seems that we get the good stuff, and they get the bad stuff. We get the good times, and they get the hard times.”
    Rather than merely sitting back and observing the situation, the Karmapa explained that our compassion also needs to be active and involved.
    “We can also see how sometimes we separate ourselves from the suffering of the world by regarding it as a show that we’re sitting back and watching,” he said. “For example, we might become aware of the suffering and difficulties that are happening in the Middle East. But we’re just kind of sitting back and observing as if it were a show to take in, not really involving ourselves by taking action or becoming more dedicated toward that situation.
    “Compassion means becoming more involved, taking more action, developing more dedication. And that means we need to take more risks. But our habit as human beings is that very few people seem to enjoy taking risks. We tend to be more comfortable in our habitual zone of having things be easy and smooth for us.
    “Although we appear to be separate from others, we’re actually very close,” the Karmapa said. “The modern world is bringing that reality even more into the fore – our world is becoming smaller and we’re becoming even closer to everyone else we share the planet with. We’re sharing others’ experiences of happiness and suffering even more.”
    Dr. Doty then returned to the stage prepared with several important and topical questions, eager to seek His Holiness’s insight. He began by asking the Karmapa when he had realized the critical urgency of protecting the environment.
    The Karmapa explained that his deep appreciation for the environment began in his early childhood in an isolated part of Tibet, where people lived a traditional lifestyle very close to nature.
    “At that time the area where we lived was very pristine, unpolluted, not affected by a lot of development at all,” he related. “So I feel that was a precious opportunity for me to make a very direct and immediate connection with how beautiful the natural world is and to really appreciate it. It’s now been 15 years or so since I left Tibet and I’ve learned more about what’s happening to the environment there. For example, the ice and snow are rapidly melting with big impacts on the environment. So that was really what gave rise to a natural desire to help. Sometimes the sad thought occurs to me that if I were to return to Tibet maybe things would no longer be as beautiful as I remember.”
    When Dr. Doty then asked him how to positively influence the growth of our children with environmental awareness and developing compassion in an age of technology, the Karmapa shared his own parents’ wisdom.
    “When I was young of course there was not much technology to partake of, and most of my toys were made of either dust or stone or wood. We didn’t have these devices with keyboards that you play with your thumbs. But the one thing that I do remember is the example my parents set, particularly with regard to the lives of other creatures. They really regarded every life as significant and precious and we were taught to protect even little insects, and to be careful when we were walking around so that we wouldn’t squish them. I feel that that was a very positive influence,” he shared.
    “So regarding children today, I feel that one of the most important things is for the parents themselves to try to practice compassion, and to improve their compassion. And if they’re able to do that then this will definitely have a natural, strong and positive influence on their children. I think it is very important if those of us who are parents can take an attitude of responsibility for future generations as part of our reason for developing compassion.”
    Dr. Doty then returned to the theme of active compassion, and the fear that prevents many people from standing up for others who are suffering. Asking His Holiness the Karmapa’s advice, he lamented that many people don’t act because they are afraid of what might happen to themselves—which is a great difficulty witnessed throughout human history.
    “A good example of what your question points to is the oppression that many Tibetans are facing and enduring,” the Karmapa responded. “A lot of people don’t want to get involved with that issue and they kind of shove it off to the side because they feel it would be so difficult for them to become involved—very difficult politics, it’s a very difficult situation, which seems intractable, and so forth.
    “But I think that if we approach it from the point of view of skillful means and really think about what methods are most skillful for us to engage with, then more avenues of becoming involved can open up for us. Some people might say, I don’t want to be political and that’s a political issue. But actually it’s not just a political issue. It’s a spiritual issue, it’s a cultural issue, and it’s an environmental issue as well.”
    Thanking His Holiness for his comments, Dr. Doty then gifted the Karmapa a Stanford T-shirt and pendant, among other gifts, while His Holiness in return presented him a personally signed Chenrezig thangka.
    By the end of the lecture, this Silicon Valley-crowd had generated a steady stream of joyful tweets with photos of His Holiness the Karmapa. Even after he had exited the stage, the audience lingered on, reconnecting with friends an clearly reluctant to admit that the evening with the Karmapa was truly ending.
    For those who were not present at the lecture, Stanford will be uploading the video on its page, and a link will be provided here once it does.

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    THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2015

    Sensitively-placed American government advisors and employees close to the matter are reporting, "... a bright, green light," for the Seventeenth Karmapa's return to Rumtek. His Holiness is presently in the United States, and was just warmly received at Stanford University (above).

    In an after-hours meeting proximate to Stanford's Hoover Institution, a top analyst who asked not to be named, explained the situation in this way:

    "As far as the American government is concerned? We love this Karmapa, but we couldn't show it before now. We had an institutional duty, you could say it was an inherited obligation, to respect the Indian intelligence community's expressed wishes. You had Sharmapa managing relations with the Indian intelligence community as the legacy of the Sixteenth Karmapa. Everybody understood he held that portfolio. With Sharmapa's death, all of those old obligations are no longer an obstacle."

    Asked, specifically, what impact this might have on the Karmapa's return to Rumtek, a source replied, "He has a bright, green light as far as we are concerned. We would prefer to see him there because it lends long-term stability. It would be difficult to start trouble on the Karmapa's doorstep, because this would be known all over the world in a matter of seconds. The Indians are smart enough to know what would make [the U.S. government] happy, so this is bound to happen."

    The meeting referred to above was not attended by His Holiness, and took place after he left the campus.

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    Photo by Christopher Wesselman

    Now 29, he certainly attracted many “friends” Tuesday; fans and followers packed Stanford’s sizable Memorial Hall for the evening talk. Though his English is quite good, His Holiness used an interpreter to tell tales of his childhood and escape to India at age 14 and to share his thoughts on the nature of compassion and hopes for the protection of the environment.

    He told the audience that he learned about compassion early, while living with his parents and siblings in a one-room tent made of yak hair. Every morning, his parents prayed — “May all sentient beings be happy” — again in the evening, they prayed. And they taught him about the interdependence of all beings — even insects could not be smashed. “I really feel I was raised in a mandala, or circle, of compassion and love,” he said.

    Even the way his parents gave him up, letting him leave to pursue his future as a spiritual leader, was altruistic, His Holiness said. “They embraced the idea the Karmapa would accomplish great, excellent benefits for the world.”

    His Holiness said he has come to learn that compassion is all about thinking about the feelings, and interests, of others. “It’s all about developing a sense of responsibility in relation to the reality of interdependence,” he said, before elaborating:
    I think what compassion involves is not just looking at our own situation, but considering  the state or reality of other sentient beings, those similar to us and those dissimilar to us… and developing a concern for those people.
    Compassion involves realizing that our experience of happiness and suffering is the same as everyone else’s. Compassion has this component of awareness to it and knowledge that everyone is wanting to be happy and free of suffering.
    For example, His Holiness said he is hoping to teach others in Himalayan monasteries about the importance of caring for the environment. “Compassion means becoming more involved,” he said.

    He explained that his passion for the environment stems from his experience growing up in rural Tibet, which he said was beautiful and unaffected by development or pollution. “If I were to return to Tibet, the sad thought occurs to me that maybe things wouldn’t be as beautiful as I remember,” he said.

    Though there’s much work to do to protect the environment, and “the actions of one individual are not going to be enough,” he said he still believes “it’s really important for individuals to take up the cause.”

    The event was sponsored by the Center for Compassion and Altrusim Research at Stanford and was followed by a Q&A session with James Doty, MD, center founder and director.

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    As Dharma communities and university students on the West Coast make the most of each moment of their time with His Holiness, back on the east coast, people are scrambling to use every remaining moment to have every last piece in place to receive His Holiness the Karmapa when their turn comes to do so.
    In Manhattan, Jane Kolleeny and her team are busily pulling together all the conditions needed for the talk in Manhattan on April 14th, organized by Karmapa Foundation, with all proceedings going to support this two-month trip. Here is a report from the KF team in New York.
    “Anticipation is building as we prepare for His Holiness’s only appearance in Manhattan, at the New York Ethical Culture Society on April 14th. It’s a beautiful space with a great history. We recently were went on a team walkthrough through the dark-wooden hall, getting ready to welcome the Karmapa. The staff of the venue was very excited as well!
    “The next day, we visited ABC Carpet & Home, the legendary store off Union Square, to pick out furnishings and carpets to transform and uplift the space and welcome His Holiness back to New York.”

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    March 20, 2015

    Spiritual leader, social and environmental activist, and artist, His Holiness the 17thKarmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will present the Chubb Fellowship Lecture on Tuesday, April 7.
    The Karmapa will give a talk at 4 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, 500 College St. Titled “Compassion in Action — Buddhism and the Environment: A Conversation with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje,” the lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available to the Yale community beginning on Monday, March 23 and to the public on Tuesday, March 24. A link to the ticketing site will be posted on the Chubb Fellowship website. The lecture is sponsored by Timothy Dwight College, the Yale Himalaya Initiative, and the Department of Religious Studies.
    The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and is regarded as an influential leader on social and environmental issues. Since his escape from Tibet to India in 2000, the Karmapa has played a key role in preserving Tibetan religion and culture. At the age of 29, the Karmapa’s message has particularly resonated with young people, whom he encourages to take responsibility to create a more compassionate future for the planet.
    In addition to his public conversation on Tuesday, the Karmapa’s four-day visit to Yale will include private events jointly hosted by the Yale Himalaya Initiative, the Department of Religious Studies, and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He will meet with President Peter Salovey and participate in a variety of student-life activities.
    The Chubb Fellowship was founded with a gift from Yale alumnus Hendon Chubb, and since 1949 has been one of Yale’s most prestigious honors conferred on visiting speakers. The master of Timothy Dwight College, currently Jeffrey Brenzel, administers the fellowship. The Chubb Fellowship is devoted to encouraging interest in public service. Chubb Fellows spend their time at Yale in close, informal contact with students and make an appearance open to the public. Former Chubb Fellows include Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Harry Truman. Recent fellows include Ambassador Samantha Power, author Wendell Berry, and Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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    (March 16 & 17, 2015 – Palo Alto, California USA) Right from the first day of his stay at Stanford University, His Holiness the Karmapa began working to fulfill two major aims of this tour and its focus on universities—connecting with young people and interacting with important thinkers on topics of mutual concern.
    His first major meeting took the form of an informal lunchtime exchange with seven faculty members from the neuroscience and psychology departments of various universities in the Bay Area. The conversation ranged from emotional intelligence to neurological research to the methods for measuring whether or not compassion was increasing in an individual. Participating in the discussions were Dr. Philip Zimbardo, psychologist and renowned creator of the Stanford Prison ExperimentDr. Erika Rosenberg, Consulting Scientist and the Center for Mind and Brain, UC-Davis, Dr. Philippe Goldin, Assistant Professor at UC-Davis School of Nursing, Dr. Yotam Heineberg, Clinical Instructor and founder of the Compassion Training Initiative at Palo Alto University, Dr. Brian Knutson, Associate Professor, Stanford Psychology & Neuroscience, Dr. Jeanne Tsai, Associate Professor, Stanford Psychology and Dr. Daniel Martin, Associate Professor, California State University – East Bay. Most are collaborators in the research and training offered by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), which hosted the lunch.
    One question posed by the Karmapa—which emotion was considered most harmful or negative in psychological thinking—led to a lively debate among the faculty present, with some arguing that shame was most harmful and others favoring jealousy or anger. This led to a discussion of the role of cultural differences in the experience and manifestation of emotional states.
    Throughout, His Holiness the Karmapa stressed that he saw himself as a student in the interactions, and indeed more often posed questions than fielded them. Nevertheless, it was clear that the 17th Karmapa is ready to lend his voice to significant conversations taking place in scholarly communities of the West, and to join forces in order to further mutual research interests.
    In the afternoon of March 16th, His Holiness had a private meeting with Dr. Paul Harrison, George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University and co-director of its Ho Center for Buddhist Studies.  With the aim of encouraging and facilitating deeper study of the Tibetan canonical collection of the Buddha’s discourses (Tibetan: Kangyur), His Holiness the Karmapa has created a long-term project to make that collection available electronically. Under his direction, a large team of learned monks, or khenpos, have been inputting and ensuring data quality, while software engineers have been designing the database and applications to make that access to that data most useful for scholars.
    During their meeting, His Holiness the Karmapa demonstrated the application, called Adarsha, to Professor Harrison and solicited his suggestions for improvement or for additional functionality that he would find useful as a scholar.
    “The CBETA [Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association] revolutionized study of the Chinese canon,” said Professor Harrison, “and I believe that this [Adarsha] project will revolutionize our study of the Tibetan canon.”
    The shared passion for canonical research was palpable as the two exchanged copies of rare texts and research articles and enthusiastically shared ideas for manuscript collections to be explored. The 17th Karmapa and Professor Harrison discussed the history of the canon collections and identified recensions of Kangyur editions that should be integrated into subsequent phases of the Adarsha project.
    Later, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies hosted a farewell reception for His Holiness the Karmapa at the conclusion of his visit to the university. During the reception, His Holiness spoke to those assembled, which included Professor Harrison as well as Dr. John Kieschnick who shares with the 17th Karmapa a research interest in the history of monastic robe designs.
    “I firmly believe that collaboration between scholars of Buddhists studies and leaders of Buddhist communities will bring forth strong positive results for Buddhism in the future,” the Karmapa told them. “I feel that we are taking an important joint step here. I hope that we can continue meeting to explore the possibilities for working together. You have accomplished wonderful things already and are continuing to do wonderful work, and I really rejoice in that.”

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    (March 18, 2015 – San Jose, California) At the conclusion of the reception that marked the conclusion of his visit to Stanford University, His Holiness the Karmapa shifted his attention to Buddhist communities. In what was 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 Lungtok 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 Buddhism welcome well adapted to its northern California setting. The auspicious signs had been drawn 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 the altar and proceeded to ascend the high golden throne readied for his presence. After opening prayers, tea-and-rice offering and formal mandala procession, center founder and director Stanley Wang delivered a welcome speech. He described the gift that center members had designed and made themselves by hand. The gift featured a large silicone wafer, a token of the location of the center in California’s Silicon Valley, as well as the word “love” in large letters.
    His Holiness the Karmapa himself then addressed the gathering. He observed how few Dharma centers in the United States enjoy the same fullness of ritual objects, with a large central image and a thousand Buddha statues in elegant niches along the wall. He expressed his appreciation and urged those present to recognize how fortunate they were in that regard. He then delivered a brief Dharma discourse.
    “In the context of the Dagpo Kagyu lineage in general and very much so in the Karma Kagyu,” His Holiness told them, “faith and devotion have a special role to play. It is known as the lineage of devotion. It is likewise the lineage of blessings.
    “The sacred bond that connects lama and disciple is of paramount importance,” the 17th Karmapa tod the members of Palpung Lungtok Choling. “It is this bond and the disciple’s faith, that enables us to receive blessings in our mindstream. It is faith and the sacred bond of samaya that enables realizations to arise in our mindstream.”
    Stressing the crucial importance of undertaking every effort to ensure that the sacred bond with their lama remains pure and strong, His Holiness the Karmapa then directed his comments to the relationship among the members of the practice community. “Similarly, it is also important to keep pure the relationships among the members of the Dharma center,” he added.
    His Holiness the Karmapa then descended the throne to stand facing the altar, surrounded by the Palpung lamas and gathered sangha, and performed a consecration ceremony. Before departing for San Francisco—the next stop on this extended Dharma journey around the country—His Holiness the Karmapa then conferred individual blessings on each and every member of this San Jose practice community.

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    (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 putting the final touches on the stage setting. The Karmapa Foundation webcast team was busily testing equipment so that those not present could also participate, with simultaneous translation into Spanish and Chinese. The Dharma center’s founder and resident teacher, Lama Lodro, himself stood calmly greeting guests and answering his staff’s strong 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 him there was no particular topic but rather they would be happy to hear whatever came to his mind to say. Unlike the sea of college students that had stretched out before him at Stanford University, at this Dharma teaching His Holiness the Karmapa was faced with many a grey head. He noted that he recognized many students of the 16th Karmapa in the audience. Since so many of those present were long-term Buddhist practitioners, he said, he would make some comments on practicing the Dharma, and proceeded to offer them a powerful teaching on working skillfully with some of our most negative states of mind.
    The Karmapa acknowledged that it is indeed very important to set aside some time each day, whether in the morning or afternoon, for our formal practice.
    “Formal practice is like a time of the day when we recharge our batteries,” he explained. “Throughout the day we have many things to do and sometimes our minds become quite disturbed. It’s very helpful to set aside some time where we’re only concentrating on relaxing our body and mind. This helps to pacify and tame our mind.
    “However, our practice should not be simply for the sake of relaxing,” he continued. “Relaxing and pacifying the mind is of course one component, but we need to accomplish an aim superior to that.”
    Our practice ought to yield greater skill in dealing with our emotions, and train us to apply antidotes to our mental afflictions, or disturbing emotions, known in Sanskrit as ‘kleshas’.
    The Karmapa pointed out that sometimes these days meditation and spirituality are used for commercial purposes. We might go to a spiritual resort for a weekend, where we might have the chance to do some meditation, some yoga, relax a bit, have a ‘spiritual massage’ and feel refreshed and pleasant, he said.
    “But actually there is no guarantee that true dharma practice will feel refreshing,” the Karmapa said. “In fact, sometimes dharma practice can be rather unpleasant and uncomfortable. It involves intensive exercise for our mind.
    “It’s not easy,” he cautioned. “This is because dharma practice involves changing our old habits and replacing them with new habits. We need to learn how to let go of our destructive emotions and mental afflictions and then instill new habits of loving-kindness and compassion. Dharma practice is about transforming our character, our personality, our own personal nature, and that can be difficult.
    “If our character involves flaws that are harmful, then the dharma says this is what needs to be transformed,” the Karmapa pointed out. “For example, if we are someone who has a strong character that involves a great deal of anger or jealousy, then this needs to be transformed. By changing our mind, we change our personality, and by changing our personality, we change our life.”
    The Karmapa explained that if we are able to relate to our emotions skillfully, it is also possible to use them to progress on our spiritual path.
    “Usually it is the kleshas controlling us and not us controlling the kleshas,” he stated. “If we are completely overwhelmed and governed by our mental afflictions, then it will be very difficult for us to take them as the path. In order for us to be able to do that, we need to have some control over our disturbing mental events. This is something that comes about through a gradual process; it is very difficult to gain this ability from the very beginning.”
    Next His Holiness described two stages of relating to our kleshas. First comes what he said can be described as the outer stage, where we engage in the formal aspects of meditation, study and contemplation, thereby collecting methods or tools that can serve as antidotes. At the second stage, the inner stage, change takes place on a more internal level, where we recognize the mental afflictions that are present within our own minds and directly work with them.
    “It is very important that our practice create some distance between our mind and the mental afflictions,” the Karmapa instructed. “If we practice and practice, but still end up in a place where there is no separation between our mind and the mental afflictions at all, this is a sign that our practice really is not penetrating through to the key point.
    “We need some attitude of disgust or revulsion toward our mental afflictions and a desire to part from them. If we do not have that revulsion, then it is going to be difficult for us to get past the mere outer stage of just going through the forms of meditation. We are unlikely to arrive at the ultimate purpose of meditation, which is to part from our afflictive mental states.”
    His Holiness explained that when the force of our mental afflictions begins to lessen, it becomes increasingly easy for positive qualities such as loving-kindness and compassion to flourish in their place.
    “Compassion is not just the mind or heart that understands the suffering of others or has warm sentiments toward others. Rather, compassion is the mind that realizes that the sufferings of others are actually a part of oneself. Compassion is the heart that bears unbearable love for sentient beings.”
    The Karmapa finished by reflecting on his own, long journey to arrive where he was then.
    “It has been more than 15 years now since I escaped Tibet for India,” he said. “When I did that, I left a note on my table in Tibet with my reason for leaving.
    “What I wrote is that a main reason why I left Tibet was because I was not receiving the opportunity to meet with the many friends and disciples I have in foreign countries. And my thought at that time was if I could go to the noble land of India—which is a free country—then I would have many more opportunities to see my friends throughout the world.
    “I really feel that maybe now I am getting closer to fulfilling the hopes and aspirations that I made 15 years ago. I have great trust in this.”
    On that hopeful note, His Holiness the Karmapa closed the session and departed to visit the Dharma center that was hosting this morning teaching. (See separate report on that visit.)

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    (March 19, 2015 – San Francisco, California) After giving a two-hour Dharma teaching on transforming difficult emotions, His Holiness the Karmapa left to pay a private visit to the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center.
    As His Holiness the Karmapa had noted during the morning teaching hosted by KDK, that public event had to be held offsite, since not even the center’s own members all fit in the intimate space of the Dharma center in downtown San Francisco.
    After the traditional tea-and-rice welcome, the center hosted a meal for His Holiness the Karmapa and his staff. The narrow corridors filled with members of the local Tibetan community, on hand to prepare the lavish meal, support with the organization of the visit and receive the Karmapa’s blessing.
    Following the meal, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa conferred refuge vows in a small ceremony, to twenty members of the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center. Those taking the vows consisted primarily of Tibetans and their children, along with a number of American Dharma disciples.

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    (March 18, 2015 – Menlo Park, California) His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, paid a visit today 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 relationships.
    Participating in that discussion was Facebook’s own Arturo Bejar, who heads the 80-person Protect and Care team at Facebook, a team devoted to countering cyberbullying, and creating a climate of greater empathy and respect online. Many other major figures in the Silicon Valley kindness movement joined as well, includingEmiliana R. Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science Center and Rich Fernandez, founder of the Wisdom Labs, a think tank devoted to wellbeing and mindfulness. Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s own wellness advocate, and James Doty, director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford lent their voices to the roundtable discussion as well.
    One interlocutor described the reasons she generally gives in her presentations to promote compassion, which focus on biological and neurological benefits, such as the fact that humans have evolved to care for their young, and that neurological pleasure systems are stimulated when one offers support to others. She then asked what other reasons His Holiness the Karmapa suggests when he is teaching on the cultivation of compassion.
    In response, His Holiness highly commended the research being done to identify and acknowledge the biological and neurological benefits of compassion, but stressed that it was also important to look beyond such physical effects. He further cautioned that one should consider not only the benefits to oneself but also the central benefit to others when one acts with greater compassion. The two need to be complementary, he said. “It is important that our motivation in cultivating compassion not be limited to the benefits that has just for us.”
    “Our own feelings of compassion do have practical effects on others,” he said. “For example, there are many people who suffer and act in unskillful ways due to not being loved or not being extended care and concern. Thus we can contemplate how much our development of compassion can help others.” As our development of compassion progresses, the aim is to reach the point where we do not miss opportunities to be of practical service to others as well.
    Another question raised was what His Holiness the Karmapa feels about using the Internet and mobile apps to make meditation instructions more readily available to a greater number of people.
    “In general, I think there is a potential for technology to be of great benefit as a means of disseminating basic information on meditation or other teachings about spiritual practices,” the Karmapa said. “Yet I also think we need greater mindfulness as to how we are making this information available.”
    He went on to note that, “people have different dispositions. Some tend more toward anger, others toward other habitual emotional states. The traditional Buddhist analogy describes the spiritual teachings as medicine and the teacher as the doctor who administers the medicine based on their examination and diagnosis of the patient. But if you are getting all of your information from the Internet, it is as if the patient is making a self-diagnosis. I am not sure what we should be doing to account for this fact, because it means that you cannot simply upload something for everyone to download to self-medicate themselves. Not everyone should be taking the same dose of medicine at the same time. Therefore there should be some sort of relationship between instructor and instructee.”
    Another participant described discussions to help factor in the individual diversity of those seeing meditation tools online. Method considered include combining questionnaires with analytical tools from gaming technology to create customized “spiritual workouts.”
    The Karmapa was also asked what fundamental ways he sees for Facebook to shape how people interact with each other for the better. In response, His Holiness stressed the opportunity that social media affords us to come to see how interdependent we are upon one another, and to recognize our fundamental shared longing to be happy and to stop suffering. Facebook could become a place where our basic connectedness and our deep equality is made more palpable.
    Arturo Bejar commented that too often opinions expressed in social media end up wounding others and tearing people apart. He asked what Facebook could do to help heal those wounded relationships. His Holiness expressed his appreciation for the question, and acknowledged it was too weighty a question to be answered in one brief response. However, he could share some observations.
    “Most of the people who come to meet with me are going through hard times,” he reflected. “What I often see is that they come to identify with the difficult situations they are in and forget who they themselves are. It is as if they lose sight of their own personal identity in their focus on the situation that is troubling them. I think it is important to find ways to call ourselves back to who we are, beyond and apart from the painful situation we find ourselves in.”
    The 17th Karmapa explained that Facebook has become so much a part of the fabric of our daily lives that their efforts to be a force for conflict resolution, compassion- and harmony-building are truly worthy of praise and rejoicing.

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    Monday, March 23, 2015

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 4:30 p.m. · University Chapel 

    His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa will give the lecture "A Buddhist Perspective: Gender, the Environment and Activism" at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in the Princeton University Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

    Tickets will be available at the Frist Campus Center Ticketing Office for Princeton University students beginning at noon Wednesday, March 25, and for Princeton faculty and staff beginning at noon Thursday, March 26. Tickets for the general public will be available online beginning at noon Friday, March 27.

    The event is sponsored by the Office of Religious Life and the Princeton Environmental Institute. For more information, email HHK@princeton.edu.

    Karmapa means “the one who carries out Buddha-activity” or “the embodiment of all the activities of the Buddhas”. In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously control their rebirth in order to continue their activity for the benefit of all sentient beings.

    Born in Tibet and currently residing as a refugee in India, His Holiness has continued his traditional monastic training and philosophical education, but has also begun studying more modern subjects such as science and the English language.

    As a scholar and meditation master, as well as painter, poet, songwriter and playwright, the Gyalwang Karmapa embodies a wide range of the activities that Karmapas have engaged in over the centuries. As an environmental activist, computer enthusiast and world spiritual leader whose teachings are often webcast live, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa has brought the Karmapa lineage’s activities fully into the 21st century.

    The Princeton University talk also will be live streamed on the Karmapa’s official webcast page.


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    By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts

    REDLANDS>> A spiritual leader is continuing to forge bonds with University of Redlands students.
    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, met with University of Redlands students and officials Monday, as part of his two-day visit to the campus and his two-month tour of the United States.
    Dorje, 29, is a Buddhist spiritual leader at the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. During the first day of his visit at the university, Dorje met with University President Ralph Kuncl, visited with Thurber - the school’s mascot - and toured the campus with students who studied with him in India in 2011 and 2013. He also viewed the Peace Tree, which was planted on campus in his honor.
    It was Dorje’s first time visiting the campus after several of the univerity’s students visited him in India in 2011 and 2013.
    “He had a huge impact on all our lives,” said Karen Derris, professor of religion at the university. “To be able to reconnect with him here is really fabulous.”
    Derris also co-edited Dorje’s book, “The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside and Out,” which is based on his teaching to the university’s students during their visit in 2011. They are working on a second book about the 2013 trip.
    About 20 of the 28 students who had visited with him were able to return to the university, Derris said.
    The tour, which started with a meet-and-greet with Thurber, took Dorje, students and university officials throughout the campus, including the dining hall, dorms and offices.
    “This is a pretty amazing inclusion of worlds,” said Elena Cannon, who graduated from the university in 2011. She studied with Dorje when she was a senior during the trip taken in 2011.
    On Tuesday, Dorje will meet with first-generation immigrant students.
    At 7 p.m., he will accept an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree before giving a public lecture, “Living Interdepedence,” in the university’s Chapel to an estimated 1,700 guests.

    The lecture will be live streamed kagyuoffice.org

    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a Buddhist spiritual leader at the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, tours the University of Redlands, CA, Monday, March 23, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Redlands Daily Facts)
    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a Buddhist spiritual leader at the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, tours the University of Redlands, CA, Monday, March 23, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Redlands Daily Facts)
    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a Buddhist spiritual leader at the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, tours the University of Redlands, CA, Monday, March 23, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Redlands Daily Facts)
    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a Buddhist spiritual leader at the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, pets "Thurber," the school mascot, before touring the University of Redlands, CA, Monday, March 23, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Redlands Daily Facts)
    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, a Buddhist spiritual leader at the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, tours the University of Redlands, CA, Monday, March 23, 2015. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Redlands Daily Facts)

    See larger or additional photos here

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    A Buddhist leader will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Redlands on Tuesday; on Monday, he toured the campus


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    March 24, 2015

    Harvard Divinity School is honored to host "Caring for Life on Earth in the Twenty-first Century," a talk presented by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
    The talk, which is sponsored by HDS, the Harvard College Freshman Dean's Office, and the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, will take place Thursday, March 26, at 4 pm, in Harvard's Memorial Church.
    His Holiness the 17th Karmapa heads the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. He guides millions of Buddhists around the world. At the age of 14, he made a dramatic escape from Tibet to India to be near His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his own lineage teachers. Currently 29 years old, the Karmapa created an eco-monastic movement with over 55 monasteries across the Himalayas acting as centers of green activism.
    He recently announced plans to establish full ordination for women, a step that will change the future of Tibetan Buddhism. His latest book, The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out, is based on his interactions with American university students.
    All available tickets have been distributed at this point. The event will be streamed live at http://kagyuoffice.org/webcast/.
    There will be a stand-by line on the day of the event at the Memorial Church starting at 3:30 pm. However, because of the large interest, we are unable to guarantee admission for anyone waiting in line.
    Any interested media members should contact Michael Naughton, media relations coordinator.

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    Associated Press

    One of the world's most prominent Buddhist spiritual leaders met with immigrant students in California and shared his own story of fleeing his birth country.
    The 29-year-old Karmapa is seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama as head of the Tibetan freedom movement in exile. He left Tibet in 2000 and has since been living at a monastery in India. He is the current head of the 900-year-old Karma Kaguy school of Tibetan Buddhism.
    On Tuesday, the Karmapa visited the University of Redlands as part of his two-month visit to the United States.
    He met with 15 students who listened to him speak and shared their own stories of immigration.
    Students from the university traveled to Indian in 2011 and in 2013 to study with the Karmapa.

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    March 24, 2015

    The University of Redlands honored His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in every possible way this evening, awarding him the highest possible academic degree, creating a musical arrangement of his song Aspiration for the World, flying the Dream Flag on the campus flagpole, singing his praises and to end the night, a standing ovation and (since this is, after all, a university campus) Karmapa after-parties!
    Next stop: Harvard University. His Holiness’ lecture there will be webcast live at 4 pm (East Coast time) on March 26, 2015. Please join us there!

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    From left: Dr. Karen Derris, professor of religion; University of Redlands President Dr. Ralph Kuncl; His Holiness the Karmapa; Dr. Kathy Ogren, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

    1,700+ attended ceremony and public address by His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
    More than 1,700 students, faculty, staff, special guests, members of the public and spiritual followers were in attendance Tuesday night as His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was granted an honorary academic degree and gave a live-streamed address, “Living Interdependence.” View event photos.
    University President Dr. Ralph W. Kuncl conferred an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon the Karmapa. Dr. Karen Derris, Professor of Religious Studies and Virginia Hunsaker Chair in Distinguished Teaching, read a proclamation highlighting the Karmapa’s achievements in global communication, teaching, and learning and his close connection with the University’s students.
    President Kuncl said, “We were thrilled to gather last evening with our University community, special friends and family members, many new visitors to our campus, and untold thousands around the world who viewed live on the Web, to present His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, an honorary degree – the first-ever to be conferred upon His Holiness. We thank and honor His Holiness for his kindness to our students who learned from him at his home in India and engaged with him during his visit this week, and for his universal teachings of peace, tolerance and understanding.”
    The Karmapa – a 29-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader who heads the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and guides millions of Buddhists around the world – visited the University Monday and Tuesday during the only Southern California stop of his two-month trip to the United States.

    His Holiness the Karmapa from University of Redlands on Vimeo.

    Hear the music and enjoy photo highlights of the event.
    “I have a very special connection with the University of Redlands,” the Karmapa said. “The two occasions that students came for the courses in India were wonderful experiences for me. Among the many reasons to visit here today, my favorite is to be able to reunite with old friends. Being here feels like coming home.”
    “I can see that many people of today's generation of youth are aware of the responsibility they have for the future of this planet,” he added. “In speaking to them on this trip, I want to encourage them to see that responsibility not as a burden, but as an opportunity.”
    During his visit the Karmapa met with faculty and students, attended a religious studies class, toured the campus, and even visited with the University’s live mascot, a bulldog named Thurber.

    The Karmapa also reunited with 20 former Redlands students who came back to campus just to visit with him again. In 2011 and 2013, students from Derris’ Johnston Center for Integrative Studies seminars traveled to India to learn from the Karmapa. His conversations with the first group of students formed the basis of his book, The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside and Out (Shambala, 2013), which was co-edited by Derris. A second book, also co-edited by Derris, is forthcoming based on the group that traveled in 2013.

    The Karmapa’s address is available for online viewing.  


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    (March 19, 2015, San Francisco, California) After delivering a public teaching in the morning and visiting the Kagyu Droden Kunchab center and American Himalayan Foundation in the afternoon, His Holiness the Karmapa continued devoting time to connecting with Tibetans At the invitation of the Tibetan Association of Northern California, in the evening His Holiness the Karmapa proceeded across the bay to Richmond to deliver an address to over 1,300 Tibetans from around the region.
    The event took place in a warehouse space on the waterfront. The setting was reminiscent of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s first major Dharma activity in San Francisco in 1974. At that time, thousands of people had crowded into a harborside hangar in Fort Mason, right across the water from where the 17th Karmapa addressed the Tibetan community.
    This time, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa spoke to a gathering of over 1,300 Tibetans, who had assembled from all across northern California and beyond. Addressing this gathering of the Tibetan community in diaspora, His Holiness spoke from the heart, describing how important it was to him to have such opportunities to meet with his fellow Tibetans, and reflecting on ways to address the challenges that Tibetans collectively face as a people in exile.
    “I’m always very happy to meet with members of the Tibetan community wherever I go in the world,” he told the large assembly. “These opportunities to meet together with you are very important to me. This is because we are all the same in terms of being Tibetan. We are all refugees, we have all been separated from our homeland and we all share the same sorrows and joys in connection with our experience as Tibetans.”
    His Holiness the Karmapa commented that since Tibetans living in the United States have the tremendous good fortune of seeing and receiving advice from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama frequently, as well as other great masters of the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, he himself did not come prepared with anything in particular to communicate to them. “Nevertheless,” the 17th Karmapa said, “since we are all Tibetans, we are like one big family, and one does not need to prepare any kind of speech to give when you meet your own family members. Since we’re all family, I feel it would be suitable for me to share some spontaneous thoughts and ideas with you this evening.”
    In perfect keeping with the sense of a family gathering, the ensuing discourse was punctuated by the delighted shrieks of children playing together at the far back of the vast space. Parents had brought their children, and the far end of the hall served as a makeshift playground for them. His Holiness at a certain point quipped that he might need to speak louder to be heard over the children, but this just seemed to make them louder. Old, young and the very young were all turned out in traditional Tibetan attire.
    The Karmapa opened his talk reflecting on the overall state of the Tibetan refugee population worldwide, noting that although Tibetans have scattered to many areas of the globe, those Tibetans living in the United States have many opportunities to come together as a community, since so many important leaders do visit the USA often.
    “It is very important for Tibetans to come together when such occasions arise,” he said, “because when we are scattered, we tend to begin to forget our collective situation and our collective condition, and focus more exclusively on our own individual lives, as opposed to what’s going on with everyone else. These gatherings are an important reminder of what our collective situation is like, how we’re doing as a people in general. It is a chance for us to remind ourselves of this, and refresh our concern for one another and our support and closeness to to one another. I think it is important for us to use these opportunities to try to gain a sense of continuous harmony, cooperation, and friendliness with each other. Harmonious cooperation is actually the most powerful force in any society to bring about positive change.
    He encouraged the Tibetans living in diaspora to make special efforts to ensure that their children grow up knowing not only the Tibetan language but also its culture more broadly.
    “I am not saying this is just your responsibility alone,” the Karmapa said. “We all share this responsibility together, so I think it is very important for us to think together about ways that we can take this seriously and be effective in our goal to share the Tibetan culture, language and so on with our Tibetan children.”
    Even as he stressed the important for young Tibetans to embrace Tibetan culture and language, he continued to reflect on ways to ensure that second- and third-generation Tibetans growing up in diaspora do not come to feel that their identity as a Tibetan is at odds with their identity as a member of whatever community they are living in. “Our project,” he said, “is to figure out ways to make Tibetan culture relevant for them in such a way which it does not force them to struggle against the culture that they’re living in. We need to figure out how to get the Tibetan culture to be a harmonious fit with the culture that surrounds them, so that what we are giving our children in terms of Tibetan culture on the one hand is not in conflict or constantly struggling against the culture that surrounds them. We should try to make these two things harmonious with each other.
    He added, “I am not saying that we should try to get our children to seize and hold to Tibetan culture to the detriment of their learning about the culture that surrounds them. That wouldn’t be skillful. Sometimes what happens is that the Tibetan traditions and cultural habits and so forth that we try to teach our children are seen as just an old way of doing things, an old tradition, whereas our children are surrounded by the culture that they live in which is filled with new ways of doing things.
    “One of our biggest challenges as a community is to figure out how to take away that sense of struggle and teach them Tibetan culture in a way that harmonizes with the culture that surrounds them in a more general way. I think that one key avenue might be some connection with the dharma centers. There are many different dharma centers in the US, and some of these dharma centers are quite well developed in terms of the resources they can bring to bear. Perhaps there be could be a closer interface with the dharma centers, as well as more activity amongst various Tibetan community groups.”
    His Holiness the Karmapa then underscored just how fortunate the Tibetan people are to have as their unifying leader such an extraordinary figure as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not only a great leader for the Tibetan people,” the Karmapa said, “but he is one of the most positive influences in the world in terms of leadership for the improvement of the world and for building a better future for the world.”
    the 17th Karmapa further observed that Tibetan society in exile has come to adopt greater diversity of opinions than had been the case previously in Tibet. Given not only their geographic dispersal but also the acceptance of greater diversity of view, the 17th Karmapa said that it was absolutely crucial that the Tibetan people stand united behind His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership.
    He observed that even around buddhas there may be conflict. Speaking of Tibetan society in general, the Karmapa said, “We do have a few problems here and there, but just think of how many more problems we would have without the unifying leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which brings us all together in a harmonious way. If we proceed in that way it’s no problem at all. There will be diversity of opinions, diversity of thought and diversity of views among us. We can still bring that diversity on the path and use it for the benefit of others. But if we don’t recognize His Holiness’s precious leadership and allow that to unify us and hold us together then I think we are not looking good in terms of where we are heading in our future. Therefore it is very important to appreciate this and move forward together in unity.”

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    (March 20, 2015 – East Richmond Heights, California) As his final activity in the Bay Area, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa was given a ceremonial welcome on a visit this morning to Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in East Richmond Heights, California. Although this center in the Bay Area may be physically far from His Holiness the Karmapa’s residence in India, the two enjoy a close bond. As the 17th Karmapa noted, Gyuto Foundation is also affiliated with Gyuto Tantric College in India, where he has resided for the past 15 years.
    “When I arrived from Tibet,” he said, “the initial plan was that I would stay at the Gyuto Temple for a few months and this opportunity was very graciously provided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, according to his instructions. That plan was that it would be more like a stay at a guesthouse … a brief stay, maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months. Here it is 15 years later, and I’m still living at the Gyuto Tantric College in Sidhbari. This has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I’ve not only been hosted graciously there, but I really have the feeling toward everyone there that they are like members of my family. We are all in the same family.”
    Following on his comments to the larger Tibetan community the night before, His Holiness encouraged the local Tibetans to make full use of the resources made available by Gyuto Foundation for preserving Tibetan culture and language in diaspora, as well as for Dharma study and practice. Gyuto Foundation is active in the Tibetan community, offering Dharma study classes for young Tibetans twice a month, in connection with the Tibetan Association of Northern California.
    “I see this as a very important center,” the Karmapa told them. “Therefore I would encourage you to take great pride and delight in having a center with such a noble purpose. Furthermore, there are many Tibetan people who are members of the community and many in the surrounding areas and I would encourage the Tibetan community to use this center as a gathering place to come and meet with each other, become familiar with each other, support each other and do so in an ongoing way. And I really rejoice in this opportunity.”
    As part of this same visit, His Holiness shared the morning meal with members of the Dharma center community, before proceeding by car to his next destination.
    With the visit to Gyuto Foundation, the 17th Karmapa has completed the northern California stage of his epic journey across the country. We will be reporting soon from southern California, where His Holiness will be making one stop, to visit University of Redlands, a private college that has sent students to study with him at his monastery in India.
    Many thanks to the Stanford University, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Google, Facebook, Palpung Lungtok Choling, Kagyu Droden Kunchab, American Himalayan Foundation, Gyuto Foundation and the Tibetan Association of Northern California for extending such warm welcome to His Holiness the Karmapa during his time in northern California.

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    (March 20, 21 & 22 – Yosemite National Park, California) His Holiness the 17th Karmapa had the opportunity to spend a weekend immersed in California’s redwood forests. A committed environmental activist, the 17th Karmapa often stresses the importance of connecting with nature. He has spoken of his own deep sense of closeness to nature, developed as a child in a remote corner of the high Tibetan plateau and replenished this weekend in the wilderness of California.

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