Quantcast
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



older | 1 | .... | 47 | 48 | (Page 49) | 50 | 51 | .... | 86 | newer

    0 0






    (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 thangka with a maroon and gold silk edge, specially for the weekend’s activities, which are also scheduled to include an Akshobhya empowerment and teaching.
    His Holiness began by noting that when one teaches the dharma, one should either have so much experience that one is able to teach spontaneously, or else engage in careful preparation. Since he did not feel that he had either experience or preparation, His Holiness the Karmapa commented that he did not feel confident that his teaching on the four dharmas of Gampopa would be of much value.
    He went on to explain that the four dharmas of Gampopa primarily explain the gradual path to enlightenment for the three different types of individual. His Holiness would teach on just the first two of these dharmas: ‘the mind going to the dharma,’ and ‘the dharma becoming the path.’
    The first of these, the mind going to the dharma, mainly concerns the path of the lesser individual, though it can also be applied to the person of medium scope. His Holiness then noted that traditionally, the lesser individual is understood to be one motivated by concern for future lives, but observed that nowadays many people do not look beyond this life. Therefore, he said he felt that there must be ways to present the Dharma such that it is also relevant for those whose concerns do not go beyond the boundaries of this life.
    Training in the first Dharma of Gampopa means learning to truly believe in future lives, and as a result of this conviction developing genuine concern with the type of rebirth we will have. The Karmapa drew on his ongoing concern with the world’s environmental crisis as an everyday way to train in this dharma.
    “In this twenty-first century, because of our tremendous material progress, we have come to depend more and more on external or material things for happiness,” he said. “However, while human desire or greed is unending and limitless, the external resources that we use to satisfy that desire, including natural resources, are limited. It is impossible to have unlimited use of limited resources.
    “The problem is that in our consumerism—in our endless craving for external pleasures—we lose track of the difference between what we want and what we need. We never think about this difference anymore and finally we become slaves of our possessions and lose our independence.”
    His Holiness emphasized he was not saying that this life is unimportant. Some people mistakenly interpret this point to mean that we must give up all concern with this life. But rather, he clarified, it means the exact opposite.
    “If we are really concerned with future lives, we must be all the more concerned with what we do in this life,” he said. “I think the most important thing therefore is that we carefully consider how not to waste this human life, this freedom and these resources. I think this consideration is the basis or starting point of training in the mind going to the dharma.”
    The Karmapa next explained that the second of the four dharmas, the dharma becoming the path, is the path of the greater individual and concerns the six perfections. We practice this path not just to receive a higher rebirth but to achieve perfect and omniscient buddhahood. In order to do this we must enter the Mahayana path.
    Returning once more to the difference between what we want and what we need, His Holiness drew a distinction between our immediate and ultimate needs. Of these, our ultimate need is more important, and this is the achievement of perfect and final happiness, or buddhahood. Furthermore, our ultimate goal is not just our own happiness but that of all beings.
    With compassion and bodhicitta being hallmarks of greater individuals, His Holiness described how our lack of these qualities is having a real impact on the state of the world.
    “As everyone knows, nowadays there is a lot of war and a great deal of violence in this world. Millions of people are being displaced, thousands of people are being killed, parents are being separated from children and spouses are being separated from each other as well. None of us wants to experience war or violence. We fear these things and are rightly saddened by them.
    “A funny thing about the human brain, however, is that we ignore anything unless it is right in front of us. To use the environmental situation as an example, many people remain uninterested in climate change because they do not see it directly. But we should fear things that are happening even if we cannot see them right in front of us.
    “The weakness of our compassion, and the weakness or outright lack of our bodhicitta has placed this world in grave danger. We know this, it is all around us and we are responsible for it. And yet we lack enough compassion to care. We lack enough bodhicitta to do anything about it. We need to work on that.”
    At one point during his talk the Karmapa stopped and considered whether being a Buddhist actually made him a good person.
    “If someone were to ask me whether I consider myself a Buddhist, I would automatically say yes,” he explained. “But if someone asked the followup question whether I think I am a good person, I would not be able to answer on the spot. I think sometimes I am a good person, and sometimes I am not a good person. This is a contradiction. If I am sure I am Buddhist but not sure whether I am a good person, that is a bit funny!
    “The point of Buddhist practice is to be a better person. If you are unsure whether you are a good person or not then your identification of yourself as a Buddhist is very questionable.”











     Photography by Lama Sam and Filip Wolak.


    0 0





    (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 floated high off 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. For the Fair, the globe represented the theme of global interdependence, a favorite topic of the Karmapa’s.
    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 subject of the morning teachings, which served as a prelude to the Akshobhya empowerment in the afternoon.
    The Karmapa began by saying that he would first talk about his reasons for doing this practice. “When I was young, I used to lose my temper. Usually I was alright but from time to time I would get quite angry, which we all have the capacity to do. Then I noticed that when I went to India, these incidents began to increase since I faced many difficult challenges. Afterward I felt great regret and realized that getting angry was wrong, yet while I was angry, I had little control over it.”
    Later when the Karmapa was working on texts related to Akshobhya, he looked into the meaning of the practice and discovered that one had to be very careful about not getting angry. He began to develop “a special feeling in relation to Akshobhya, and once it began to arise within me, I noticed that I became able to control my temper.” Inspired by this teaching, he began to explore texts to learn more about Akshobhya. The Karmapa said that he felt that the most important among all the Buddha Akshobhya’s numerous aspiration prayers was the commitment: “Now that I have become a bodhisattva, I will never allow myself to get angry at any living being.”
    The Sanskrit name Akshobhya was translated into Tibetan by Mitrukpa, which means “imperturbable” or “immoveable” because his mind was not disturbed by any of the afflicting emotions. “This is an amazing feat,” His Holiness said, “yet in the beginning he was just an ordinary person. We ourselves would find it difficult to refrain from anger for just one day to say nothing of not getting angry throughout the whole path to enlightenment.”
    The Karmapa disclosed, “Akshobhya’s great courage moved me and made me feel that maybe I could make a promise not to get angry—perhaps not until Buddhahood since I don’t know what my next lives will be—but at least never to get angry to the end of this life.”
    The Karmapa then gave a precise definition of what real practice is. Supplicating Akshobhya as a deity is fine, he said, but did not constitute true practice. “Akshobhya is the embodiment of the courage to overcome anger, which up to now, we have probably not tried to do; he encourages us to overcome it, and doing that is the true practice of Akshobhya.”
    How does he give practitioners strength? He gives the courage to become warriors who wear the armor of patience. When shielded by armor, we are fearless in battle because we are protected. The Karmapa stated, “Up to now, we have feared to fight with our anger, to tackle it head on, and that’s why we’ve never dealt with it. Akshobhya gives us the courage to take on our anger, to develop a warriorship of the mind, which is quite different from the military warriorship of defeating others.”
    The Karmapa mentioned that he usually encourages the practice of Akshobhya by citing three reasons for doing this practice. The first reason is that “due to technological progress, our actions are thousands of times more powerful than they were in the past to the point that our destruction of the environment and the harm we have done other species is literally inconceivable: we cannot hold it all in our minds.” He gave the examples of killing animals, which people have always done, but these days mechanization has increased exponentially the destruction we can do. The number of animals killed in one year for our consumption is virtually inconceivable, he said. We have also caused terrible degradation of the environment. This, therefore, is the first reason for the practice of Akshobhya: the power of our actions and the negative karma we have accumulated.
    The second reason is that though we are fairly sure we could solve the problems we have created, “our understanding alone is not sufficient to actually make the changes that will enable us to heal the environment. We need to feel these sad situations very strongly in our hearts, which will bring us the resolution to solve the problems.” For this reason. he said, we begin with looking at our minds, for the principle of the Buddha’s teachings is to change and improve them: we should become like Akshobhya who is not disturbed by anger.
    This is important since our violence, directed towards others and fueled by anger, is an even greater challenge than environmental destruction. The Karmapa advised, “We need to achieve a state without agitation, which does not respond to violence with violence. Meditation must not be just seeking protection for ourselves, but finding the courage it takes to respond without anger to the violence in this world.”
    The Karmapa remarked that the third reason is easy to explain. “There are ways to purify our negative karma but we need to learn and apply them,” he said. “The value of the tradition of Buddhism in Tibet is that over thousands of years, the Tibetans have not emphasized technological but spiritual development.” Preserved in Tibet are “the instructions of a lineage of experience and realization that allow us to overcome our problems and improve ourselves.”
    The wisdom from this long lineage counsels that we should not see Akshobhya and ourselves as separate. “We want to become Akshobhya and that does not mean wearing robes like his and walking around with our hands in his mudra. We want to become the absolute Akshobhya, which is a state of realization and freedom from the agitation caused by the afflictive emotions.” To achieve this, we begin by thinking of ourselves as Akshobhya and embodying his courageous state of mind. This allows us to develop real positive qualities and that is the real point of practice.
    “Our biggest problem,” the Karmapa explained, “is that we need to let go of the afflicting emotions, thinking ‘I can live without you. I’ve got something better than you.’ The only way we can have the courage to say that is if we have actually discovered something better in our minds, such as bodhichitta, love and compassion. We need to find the resources in our mind that can deal with situations more effectively than the afflictive emotions can. Without these resources, we do not dare renounce the afflictive emotions because they will seem to be our best resource in times of difficulty.”
    In order that we see how harmful the afflicting emotions are and bid them farewell, the Karmapa encouraged us to develop “amazing qualities” in our mind through practicing Akshobhya. On this positive note, the Karmapa concluded his introduction to the deity for whom he would give the empowerment a few hours later.

     



     Photography by Lama Sam.


    0 0



    World Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:50am EDT

    BEIJING






    (Reuters) - It is up to the Dalai Lama to decide whether he will be reborn, Tibetan Buddhism's third highest religious leader has said, after Chinese officials repeatedly said the exiled Dalai Lama had no right to abandon reincarnation.
    Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who holds the title of Karmapa Lama and lives in exile in India, told Radio Free Asia in an interview in Washington that he had "complete belief" in the ability of the Dalai Lama to decide his fate after death.
    "In Tibetan traditions, we don't talk much about the reincarnation of a living master," he said late on Wednesday.
    "However, now many questions are being generated. In my view, it is only the Dalai Lama himself who should decide about his future reincarnation. So I am confident and have full trust in his decision. There are many presumptive statements and guess works, but I am not worried," he said.
    The Karmapa is close to the Dalai Lama and after him is the most eminent Lama to have fled Chinese rule of Tibet, which Communist forces "peacefully liberated" in 1950.
    Despite his escape across the Himalayas in 2000, the Karmapa remains recognized by Beijing as the 17th incarnation of his spiritual lineage.
    Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. China says the tradition must continue and it must approve the next Dalai Lama.
    However the Nobel peace laureate, who fled his homeland in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, has said he thinks the title could end when he dies.
    Tibet's China-appointed governor last month accused the Dalai Lama of blasphemy for doubting reincarnation.
    Tibetans fear that China will use the issue of the Dalai Lama's religious succession to split Tibetan Buddhism, with one new Dalai Lama named by exiles and one by China after his death.
    In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put the boy under house arrest and installed another in his place. Many Tibetans spurn the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama as a fake.

    (Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry and Paul Tait)


    0 0



    16 APR 2015: INTERVIEW


    Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images


    As a Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Karmapa is promoting green practices in monasteries in the Himalayan region. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about how the world needs both religion and science in tackling the “environmental emergency” of climate change.
    by roger cohn

    Ogyen Trinley Dorje, spiritual head of a 900-year-old lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, says his deep concern for environmental issues comes naturally. As a boy on the Tibetan plateau, he lived close to the land, so, as he notes, “My views on the need for environmental stewardship did not come from artificial or theoretical knowledge but from early experience.” 

    Now living in northern India (near his mentor, the Dalai Lama), His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is promoting a program that seeks to instill good environmental practices in Buddhist monasteries and in local communities across the Himalayan region. 

    While on his current U.S. tour, the 29-year-old Karmapa sat down with Yale Environment 360 editor Roger Cohn and discussed how environmental awareness fits with the Buddhist concept of interdependence, why the impacts of climate change in the Himalaya are so significant, and what role religion can play in helping meet the world’s environmental challenges.

    “The environmental emergency that we face is not just a scientific issue, nor is it just a political issue,” he said. “It is also a moral issue.” 

    Yale Environment 360: I wanted to start by asking about the programs you’ve launched in monasteries in the Himalaya to foster environmental protection and environmental stewardship. What is the goal of those programs, and how do they work?

    The Karmapa: The work is primarily concerned with the protection of the forests, water sources, and wildlife, as well as the reduction and proper disposal of garbage. We’ve tried to introduce these topics and motivate the monasteries by bringing their representatives to conferences and motivating them to actively take up environmental stewardship. Also to introduce them to the necessary technical aspects of these best environmental practices, and to emphasize respect and conservation of the environments of each of these monasteries. 
    I was brought up to experience the natural environment as fundamentally sacred.’

    e360: Can you give a specific example or two of work or activities that are being done by the monks in the monasteries? 

    Karmapa: In each monastery, we’ve introduced tree planting, so thousands of trees have been planted — also the preservation of the natural mandala, or natural environment, that is already there, and the creation of functioning small farm gardens, or vegetable gardens sustained and cultivated without the use of artificial fertilizers. The influence of this goes beyond the monasteries themselves, because the monasteries then spread this work to the adjacent villages and towns. 

    e360: The Himalayan region has seen some of the most profound effects of climate change in recent years. Was that part of the motivation for this program? 

    Karmapa: Very much so. Because of what you mentioned — that climate change is directly observable in the Himalayan region: the delays of the monsoon, increased rainfall, flooding, and other changes — many people who live in these areas, when you mention climate change, feel immediately inspired to do something about it because they have felt the effects already. They have observed them directly and therefore it’s very easy to communicate to these people that this is an emergency because they are witnessing it. 

    e360: You yourself grew up in a relatively pristine area of the Himalaya. How do you think that affected your view of the natural world and the importance you are putting on the environment in your teachings? 

    Karmapa: As you said, I was born in the Tibetan wilderness, which means that I was fortunate enough to witness the natural or even pristine — to use your words — environment before it was subject to any significant modernization. I was brought up to experience the natural environment as fundamentally sacred and therefore the conservation of it as of tremendous importance. That instilled in me a very good habit, a habit of looking at the environment in a healthy way. And so as a result of that I have a particularly strong — I would say, heartfelt — love for nature, for the natural environment. My views on the need for environmental stewardship do not come from artificial or theoretical knowledge but from early experience. 

    e360: You’ve talked about the Buddhist idea of interdependence and oneness. How does that fit into your view of humans and their relationship with the natural world? 

    Karmapa: The implications of interdependence for us are many. As human beings we depend on one another. We also depend on other species and other species depend on one another as well. And all of us, as inhabitants of this world, depend on the environment in which we live. Sometimes when I am speaking about this, I use the image of this planet, this world, as a container, and all of the living beings that inhabit it as contents. In a very real sense this planet holds us and supports us, and it also sustains us. So without this planet, there would be no way for any of us, any of the species that inhabit it, to survive. 

    What I am addressing here is the selfish thinking that imagines that each of us is an independent entity. None of us are truly independent. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, even the air we breathe, all come from the environment 
    There need be no contradiction between science and religion. They are concerned with different questions.’
    and also from the hard work and kindness of other beings. If we can learn to think not so much about I, or me, as an independent entity, but regard ourselves as parts of an interdependent system, our thinking will become more realistic and useful. 

    e360: What impacts of climate change are you seeing in the Himalayan region? 

    Karmapa: The Himalayan region, with its glaciers and the Tibetan snow mass, is a storehouse of water. It’s the source of the great rivers of Asia, and therefore all of the lives of all of the species that inhabit that continent really depend upon it. ... When people talk about the Tibetan issue, the issue of Tibet, many people think it is a political issue. But I think it is fundamentally an environmental issue — because the Tibetan situation does not only affect people in Tibet or even people throughout China, it affects all of Asia, because Tibet is a storehouse for water. So this is something with which we all, especially everyone in Asia, need to be concerned. 

    As for what observable results of climate change one can see in the region, primarily the melting of the ice and snow and a marked increase in temperature. For example, I live in Dharamsala, which is [in India] adjacent to the Himalayan region, and the temperature in Dharamsala has increased now, steadily, to the point where for the first time, only in the last less than ten years we’ve started to rely on air conditioning. We’ve never had to before. 

    e360: Why do you think it has been so difficult to get the world community to take real action on climate change? Is it because there is some difficulty communicating the science, or is it because people don’t face up to a problem that is long-term? 

    Karmapa: I think there are several reasons for this. One is that in developing nations there is still a great reliance on the increase of factories and other aspects of industry, so there may be the feeling that they have to ignore the impact this may have on the environment. But I think many people regard climate change — to the extent that they think about it at all — as some kind of natural disaster and are unaware or are in denial of the fact that it is a man-made problem. Some people seem to think that the natural environment of this planet is so vast that nothing we do as a single species will really affect it. 

    While scientists have given us and continue to give us a great deal of information about climate change and about the dangers it poses, people often place themselves at some distance from scientific information. They think about it as some kind of general knowledge, but because they don’t feel the emergency of climate change, they don’t take the additional step of being inspired by this information to change their day-to-day behavior and way of life. Also, some people ignore climate change intentionally for political reasons and are unwilling to admit that it exists. 

    e360: You speak of the science. How do you view the relationship between science and religion? Do you see it as contradictory, as an antithetical relationship, or do you see it as complementary? 

    Karmapa: I think there is no fundamental contradiction between science and religion, because the scientific approach and the religious or spiritual approach are fundamentally different in the sense that their goals are different and their methodologies are different. That being the case, there need be no contradiction, because it’s not like they are two contradictory
    The benefit to the environment through the sustainability of the vegetarian diet is undeniable.’
    answers to the same question — they are really concerned with different questions. 

    However, the environmental emergency that we face is not just a scientific issue, nor is it just a political issue, it is also a moral issue. And therefore all of us approaching this issue have to pick up our share of the responsibility to find and implement solutions. The scientific aspect of it, of course, is the supply of information — the creation of models and predictions and the introduction of techniques that we can use to remedy this. But our share of this responsibility is to take what scientists teach us to heart, so we actually transform our way of life into one that is sustainable. And I think it is in this regard that religious leaders, who have so much influence over their followers, can assist. Bluntly put, the only solution is if we all work together. 

    e360: You yourself are vegetarian, but only became a vegetarian in your adult life, and I believe you are encouraging Buddhist monks to do the same. What are your reasons for that? Is it primarily religious reasons, or is it a mixture of religious and environmental reasons? 

    Karmapa: I was a meat eater as a child and then as an adult I gave up meat. I wouldn’t call my reason for doing so religious. My reason for doing so, I would call it compassion for the animals. The horrific situation, the imprisonment, mistreatment, and the death of animals for the purpose of people eating meat is not a religious doctrine, it is an observable reality. So I would say I stopped eating meat out of love for the animals. Of course I can’t stop other people from eating meat, but I can use my influence to inspire others to become vegetarian. There are definite environmental implications to this. But in my own case it was simply that I couldn’t bear to cause that kind of suffering out of my love for animals. 

    I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have become vegetarian as an indirect result of my doing so. It’s far more than I ever hoped or thought would make such a change. People’s motivation for becoming vegetarian may differ. Some people are motivated by simple compassion for the animals. Other people are motivated by concern for the unsustainability, the environmental unsustainability, of meat consumption. In a sense, it doesn’t matter because in either case people becoming vegetarian is going to help the animals and is going to help the environment. The environmental implications, the benefit to the environment through the sustainability of the vegetarian diet, is undeniable. 

    e360: You’ve been traveling in the United States for the last recent weeks. What differences do you see between the way Americans seem to view the natural world and the environment and the way people in the Himalayan region do? 

    Karmapa: I can’t really give you too clear an answer to this, as in this country I have been moving from place to place and have not had the opportunity to remain in one place long enough to really get to know how people think about this. But I would say in a general sense that Himalayans have a natural appreciation for, or an innate appreciation for, the natural environment. They don’t need to be told the environment is important. They have, in general, less scientific knowledge about the causes of climate change, but they feel a natural concern for their environment. In America, many people, hopefully most people, know about climate change. But they learn about it through study, through information. Himalayans learn about it through experience. 



    POSTED ON 16 APR 2015 IN CLIMATE CLIMATE OCEANS POLICY & POLITICS POLLUTION & HEALTH SUSTAINABILITY WATER ANTARCTICA AND THE ARCTIC ASIA 



    0 0






    (April 10, 2015 – New York, New York) On his first day in New York City, His Holiness the Karmapa devoted time to meeting with the area’s substantial Tibetan community. The Tibetan Community of New York and New Jerseybooked Hunter College’s 2,000-seat Assembly Hall and filled it to capacity, as Tibetan families from around the region gathered to catch a glimpse of the Gyalwang Karmapa and hear him speak. Outdoors, a troupe of masked “tashi shokpa” dancers turned heads on the gritty streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as they waited on the sidewalk to welcome him in the traditionally auspicious way. Indoors, twenty lamas and members of the ordained sangha stood on the stage, holding khatas to receive him.
    “I am honored that you have undertaken such efforts to come see me,” the Karmapa told the audience. He commented that since Tibetans living in the New York metropolitan area have the invaluable opportunity to receive advice from His Holiness the Dalai Lama virtually every year, he himself could offer nothing further of value. Nevertheless, the Gyalwang Karmapa said, it was important to him personally to reach out and connect with his fellow Tibetans wherever he traveled, and therefore he was happy to have the chance to spend time with them.
    The Gyalwang Karmapa spoke movingly of the emotional toll taken by leaving their homeland and coming into diaspora. “We share the same origins. We come from the same place. We know each other’s suffering,” he said.
    He went on to reflect on Tibetan history from the time of the Dharma kings in the 7th to 9th centuries, and commented that since that era, Tibetans had never been as united as they were today. The Gyalwang Karmapa recollected that where he was born in the region of Kham in eastern Tibet, they referred to people living in U and Tsang in central Tibet as ‘Tibetans’, and by contrast, referred to themselves as ‘Khampas’. Tibetans have long been pulled apart by sectarian identities as well as geographical identities, he noted.
    “If one person had set about to unite us intentionally, I doubt that anyone could have managed to do so,” he said. Yet today the sense of a shared identity as Tibetans has become vivid and clear.
    “How were we able to pull together and join forces despite this tremendous diversity and the lack of a self-understanding as Tibetans?” he asked. The force that brought them together, the Gyalwang Karmapa indicated, is none other than the unifying leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
    The Gyalwang Karmapa reflected on the conditions of democracy that opened the path for greater independence of thought within Tibetan society. As do the teachings of the Buddha himself, democracy encourages people to think for themselves, he said. It is important that one not simply blindly follow whichever leader happens to have the reins, but to analyze and reflect more deeply on the qualities that make a leader such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama truly worth following.
    His Holiness the Karmapa further encouraged his audience to be more proactive in preserving Tibetan culture and language. “Do not just leave this task to the associations,” he said. “We all have a part to play in carrying this responsibility.”
    At the same time, he particularly encouraged Tibetans to look for ways to keep their Tibetan identify alive in a way that is compatible with the context in which they are now living. He also spoke strongly in favor of Tibetans gaining higher education and professional expertise.
    He devoted his remaining time to the topic of sectarianism and rivalry within the Tibetan community. He spoke bluntly and forcefully of the historical conflicts that Tibet had seen, and asked them to take special efforts to ensure that the harm done by sectarian rivalry remains a thing of the past. The Gyalwang Karmapa reminded his audience of the prediction made by Buddha Shakyamuni himself that it would be intersectarian fighting that would bring about the destruction of the Dharma, rather than any external foe.
    “Take care not to become a cause for the destruction of Lord Buddha’s teachings through your attitude and speech towards other schools,” he said.
    He used the analogy of the statements made during some empowerments to the effect that a certain deity is superior to all other deities in point of compassion or wisdom and so forth. The aim of such statements is to inspire faith, and is not at all meant to imply that other deities are somehow inferior. Similarly, if at times, some texts or teachers praise their own lineage, this is in order to enhance the disciple’s appreciation of the practices of that lineage and not in order to disparage other lineages. Each of the distinct schools and lineages within Tibetan Buddhism is valuable and forms a part of what all must work together to preserve.
    Finally, he observed that in some refugee communities, there can be a tendency to feel envy when people see one member of the community prospering, and to want to bring them down. This sort of personal jealousy is harmful to the community as a whole, he said. “In fact, whenever we see a member of our Tibetan community doing well, this is a cause for us all to celebrate.”
    As the moment drew near for His Holiness the Karmapa to depart, he descended the throne and stood gazing one moment more out at his fellow countrymen, before leaving the stage for the next step on his journey.






     
     





     Photography by Lama Sam.



    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0





    (April 12, 2015 – Flushing, New York) During the long lunch break after the morning’s Akshobhya teaching, many of the 2,000 attendees took advantage of the warm spring weather to wander through the spacious park adjoining the teaching venue. While His Holiness the Karmapa privately conducted the preparatory rituals for the empowerment, the public strolled through the grounds or relaxed on the grass under a stainless, deep blue sky.
    After chanting the opening invocations of the empowerment, His Holiness began by commenting that he felt he might have a special karmic connection with the Buddha Akshobhya, and in fact, successive Karmapa reincarnations have been seen as none other than Akshobhya himself. He explained that out of the five tantric Buddha families, most of the yidams of the great Kagyu forefathers have also been from the Akshobhya or vajra family.
    “As a sign of this family affiliation, the uncommon crown of the Karmapa is the Black Crown of the vajra family,” His Holiness said. “Though we normally refer to the Karmapa’s crown as the Black Crown, really it is very dark blue. In the Vajrayana this color represents the dharmata, which is the unchanging nature of the mind of all buddhas.
    “Buddhas possess what is called body secret, speech secret and mind secret. The mind secret is an utterly unchanging wisdom. In order to depict that we use the metaphor of the sky or space, and therefore the color dark blue is used to represent this wisdom. So the color of the Karmapa’s crown represents the unchanging dharmata.”
    In the morning’s teaching, His Holiness had taught that even though we may go through the external rituals of practice such as putting an image of the deity in front of us, lighting incense and repeating some mantras, the essence of Akshobhya practice is the courage to overcome anger, and to develop an immoveable stability of mind that is beyond agitation.
    During the afternoon’s empowerment the Karmapa emphasized that the significance of the Akshobhya empowerment and its related practice is too great to explain in just a few minutes. Though he teaches on the Akshobhya practice for one full month during the annual Akshobhya retreat in Bodhgaya, even this amount of time was not enough, he said.
    “Strictly speaking,” the Karmapa said, “authentic empowerment is an introduction producing a recognition of the mind’s nature. But let’s consider this a transmission of blessing here today.”
    As the empowerment ritual wound through its stages, His Holiness directly conferred the blessings on the crowns of a group of lamas led by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, who moved forward to represent all those in attendance.
    By receiving the blessings of the body, speech, mind and activity of Akshobhya, those in attendance were empowered to practice the non-dual and immoveable mind of Akshobhya, free from the stains of anger and other kleshas.
    At the conclusion of the empowerment a mandala of thanks was offered by Lama Tsewang Rinpoche, founder of the Danang Foundation that organized the weekend’s teachings and empowerment. He headed a large line of disciples, who came forward bearing the eight auspicious symbols and other offerings. Next the Karmapa gave the reading transmission for the daily practice of Akshobhya, before offering his heartfelt aspirations that the lives of each and every person be happy and the whole world be filled with goodness.
    With the close connection between the successive Karmapas and Buddha Akshobhya clearly evident, those gathered were all the more fortunate to receive the Akshobhya empowerment directly from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, while a glorious deep blue New York sky—the color of the dharmata—radiated outside.












     Photography by Lama Sam.


    0 0



    Buddhistdoor International   Dorje Kirsten 
    2015-04-09





    His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is continuing his tour of the United States, which includes visits to six universities. He addresses topics such as gender equality, the environment, vegetarianism, and social activism. His first stop was at Stanford, on the west coast. He received his first honorary degree at the University of Redlands on 24 March. He gave a lecture at Harvard on 26 March, and at Princeton on 1 April. He will also visit Yale and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    At Princeton, His Holiness said that he was inspired to visit the universities because of his interactions with American students who have visited him in India. He originally intended to visit the universities as a student to get a taste of what it is like to study at one of these universities. During the early part of the Princeton lecture, each of the universities extended an invitation for him to give a talk, which he accepted.

    At Princeton he gave a lecture titled, “A Buddhist Perspective: The Environment, Gender and Activism,” which included questions from the audience. He spoke about the need for reestablishing full ordination for women in Tibetan Buddhism, which he said is at the core of fostering women’s rights, and their innate leadership abilities. He noted that just changing legislation is not enough to create gender equality. He said that real understanding of equality must come from love and concern for each other.

    As part of his visit to Harvard on 26 March, the Karmapa gave a talk to faculty and students at the university’s Memorial Church on “Caring for Life on Earth in the Twenty-first Century.” This talk was hosted by Harvard Divinity School, where his predecessor, the 16th Karmapa, had visited in 1976. In his talk His Holiness emphasized the need for an experiential understanding of interdependence, and our innate compassion, which he said gets obscured in us as adults. He went on to say that one source of disaster that is overlooked is “lack of love” and that “the most dangerous thing in this world is apathy” (Karmapa America 2015).

    The Karmapa was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Redlands on 24 March. It was presented by university president Dr. Ralph Kuncl in front of 1,700 people. Dr. Kuncl said, “We were thrilled to gather . . . with our University community, special friends and family members, many new visitors to our campus . . . 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.”

    Dr. Karen Derris, Professor of Religious Studies read out a proclamation commending the Karmapa for his leadership qualities in environmental sustainability, gender equality, and the humane treatment of animals. The presentation was followed by an address given by the Karmapa, called “Living Interdependence.”

    His Holiness the Karmapa’s tour is about connecting with the students and teachers of as many American universities as possible, and planting seeds of the Buddha’s teachings with lectures on compassion and interdependence.


    http://enews.buddhistdoor.com/en/news/d/56365

    0 0


    Date

     Apr,10, 2015 

    About

    Organized by the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey









    0 0






    (April 13, 2015 – Queens, New York) At the request of the Karmapa Service Society, His Holiness the Karmapa offered a long-life Amitayus empowerment to several thousand members of the Tibetan and Himalayan community in New York.
    Several hours before the Karmapa’s arrival a long queue of people had already formed outside the venue, everyone eager for the chance to see His Holiness. The hall quickly filled with the more than 2,000 who had secured tickets, yet the queue outside showed no signs of abating. An overflow room for the many who spontaneously turned up without tickets soon also filled… and still the people came.
    An atmosphere of palpable anticipation and mounting excitement built inside the hall and the familiar chant of Karmapa Khyenno spread among the thousands gathered as they eagerly awaited the Karmapa’s arrival. Nearly everyone in attendance was dressed in their finest silken Tibetan chubas, or other styles of traditional Bhutanese, Nepali or Indian Himalayan dress, ready to spend an afternoon in the presence of the Gyalwang Karmapa.
    In anticipation of His Holiness’s arrival, a full procession had lined up on the sidewalk, complete with drums, horns, victory banners, flags and a colorful array of symbolic costumes, plus two resplendent dancing snow lions. Many passersby on this Queens street paused to take in the unusual sight. Cars ground to a halt on the road as people stopped to take photos or simply to watch, curious about what was causing such evident excitement.
    As His Holiness the Karmapa entered the hall, the crowd exploded in joyous cheers and applause, in an audible demonstration of their intense affection and veneration for the Karmapa. When His Holiness was seated on stage, several young Tibetan children first approached to offer him khatas in welcome, each receiving a blessing and cord from the Gyalwang Karmapa in return.
    Next came joyful offerings of song and dance, including a retelling in dance of the story of King Gesar of Ling, known as the Ling Dru. Adorned in elaborate costumes, headpieces and ornaments, the dancers slowly swirled at the Karmapa’s feet and enacted King Gesar’s victory over both inner and outer enemies. The vibrant flags and banners clasped in the dancers’ hands and adorning their headpieces represented the vanquishing of all enemies and obstacles, while the hats they wore were in the style of Gesar of Ling, who is also considered to be an emanation of Guru Rinpoche.
    Several traditional Tibetan songs and dances followed, with male and female performers representing eight dakas and eight dakinis arrayed before the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne. The audience urged the dancers on with bursts of applause, lending a joyful, festive atmosphere to the largely Himalayan gathering.
    After this grand welcome, which served as a powerful display of both the richness of Tibetan and Himalayan cultures as well as the high esteem with which the Gyalwang Karmapa is held, His Holiness launched straight into the opening liturgies of the long-life empowerment. The atmosphere in the room shifted tangibly as he invoked the blessings of the stainless mind of Amitayus and then conferred the long-life empowerment and blessings upon all.
    As members of the audience stood to take photos or to catch a better view, and the sound of children’s calls threatened to drown out his voice, His Holiness joked, “This really is very much like being in India. I am beginning to doubt whether I actually came to the US or not!”
    “This event was arranged by Tibetans and people of Himalayan origin, and I must say it really shows,” the Karmapa commented with a broad smile. “It is very nice that you are maintaining the traditions exactly as you did back home!”
    After the laughter had died down he continued, “The people of the Himalayan region have tremendous devotion to the Buddha’s teachings and a special connection with the Vajrayana in particular. Many people of Himalayan origin have gathered together here, including people from the Kingdom of Bhutan, many regions of Nepal and the Himalayan parts of India, and I am very delighted to have this opportunity to meet with all of you. We all have the same fundamental origins and culture and we must work together in harmony. We are all one family.”
    “I think the point I want to leave you with,” he said in conclusion, “is that while each and every one of us has our own individual lives and work, we nevertheless each have the innate ability to help transform this world. Since we have that ability we therefore also have the responsibility to do so. I think it is very important that each of us takes on this responsibility for the healing of the entire world. By doing so our life will become meaningful and fruitful. So please make the best use of your lives, your bodies and your minds.”
    After the Karmapa had departed, the huge crowd spontaneously formed a long line stretching down the central aisle. Teenagers, elderly woman and young men all patiently waited their turn to place a khata on his throne or to simply touch their heads to the place he had been seated. Nearly an hour after his departure, many still waited their turn to slowly come forward and make their offerings, reluctant to leave this very Himalayan space they had shared with the object of their devotion.

























     Photography by Lama Sam and Filip Wolak.


    0 0





    (April 14, 2015 – New York, New York) In his last event in New York City for this trip, His Holiness the Karmapa taught on the key issue of how we make true connections between the emotions of our hearts and the abstractions of our mind. The evening event was organized by the Karmapa Foundation, and took place at the New York Society for an Ethical Culture, whose mission closely parallels the Karmapa’s in a commitment to ethical relationships with others, social justice and stewardship of the environment. With its soaring arches and warm wood interior, the Society’s hall has a spacious yet intimate feeling.
    The Karmapa was introduced by Daniel Goleman, the science writer famous for developing the term emotional intelligence and all that it implies. He noted how important it is that the Karmapa has been meeting with university students, “because these are the people of the 21st century who will shape the future, and hopefully it will be the compassionate world we are going to hear about tonight.” Goleman also took the occasion to thank the Government of India for its support in allowing the Karmapa to make this tour and expressed the hope that the Karmapa would return for many more visits.
    The Karmapa approached tonight’s topic by discussing his traditional education, which emphasized listening, reflecting and meditating on Buddhist teachings. “The first two are rather artificial,” he noted, “involving the mind and thinking, while the third of meditating brings the direct experience of what we have studied. This unmediated experience and our growing familiarization with it is the purpose of training our minds. When we say the word ‘meditation’, many think that it has to do with learning to sharply focus our minds or with teaching ourselves to relax. But actually it means a lot more. It is the process of bringing something into deeply felt experience so that it becomes an object of feeling, something we can actually apply to how we are.” Meditation will change our entire life and shape our path into the future, he said.
    Drawing out the implications of this statement, the Karmapa explained: “Our spiritual practice, therefore, cannot be limited to our place of formal meditation. It must go beyond this enclosure and come out into our daily lives and work places; it must come to our aid when we are faced with problems. Practice generates the courage to deal with the challenges of our life.”
    He then showed what takes us out of our cocoon: “The most important form of spiritual practice is the cultivation of love and compassion. There is no time restriction on the practice of love and compassion, for they are always needed and always applicable.”
    How to meditate on love and compassion? The Karmapa clarified: “The practice of love and compassion consists of closing the gap between the practitioner and the practice. As long as there is a great distance between the two, meditation has not been very successful. We need to steadily close the gap so there is no difference between the person meditating and the love and compassion they are cultivating. In the end, this distance completely disappears so that the practitioner becomes the very nature of love and compassion.”
    Having described the goal of meditation, the Karmapa turned to a discussion of what prevents us from achieving it. “Usually we are inextricably stuck in our fixation on ourselves,” he said. “We need to replace this identifying with our self with identifying with others. We should exchange our selfishness for altruism and seek to benefit others.”
    Looking more into what this so-called self is, the Karmapa explained, “Our selfishness is based upon the misconception that this ‘I’ or ‘me’ has an independent existence; in fact, however, no one exists independently of others. It would be more accurate to say, ‘I exist in such dependence on others, that I am actually a part of them.’ We need not only to understand this connectedness but to really experience it.”
    If one would wish for logical arguments to support the rationality of benefitting others, the Karmapa provided these as well. “It is obvious that it is worthwhile to cherish others for their benefit; it is less obvious but equally true that we must cherish others if we cherish ourselves. None of us can survive alone, for we survive in dependence on others. It is only by serving others that we can serve our own needs.” The Karmapa gave the example of going to a restaurant. “When we think of eating out, what usually comes to mind is the food we will enjoy, not the one who prepared it. Without the cook, however, there would be nothing to eat. It is the cook we depend upon for our nourishment. We do not see this because we usually ignore what does not relate to our immediate self-interest. If suddenly all the cooks disappeared, we would be concerned, but otherwise probably not.”
    For those who wish to help others and move along a genuine path of practice, the downside of an obsession with the self is clear. The Karmapa advised: “It is often not obvious to us how connected we are to others. We do not see this because our self-interest creates a barrier. We need to extend ourselves and move beyond this block. This is the only way we can interact with others and benefit them.” An important step in this process is to recognize “the big difference between the apparent self or ‘I’ and what is actually there. We must learn to recognize the difference.”
    The Karmapa concluded his talk with a call for action. In this prosperous country with so many resources and luxuries, we should be aware of how dependent and connected we are to others, he said. For example, the clothes we wear are made in distant factories where people toil in harsh conditions to make a bare living. “We need to become aware of these global realities,” he counseled, “and become responsible citizens of the world. A healthy sense of responsibility,” he added, “is grounded in compassion. We do not undertake responsibilities because we should, but because we want to. And along with our compassion comes joy.”
    Lest we misunderstand what compassion really is, His Holiness defined it: “Compassion is more than mere
    sympathy or feeling something about another’s suffering. It is more involved—a willingness to undertake something and make changes. It is an active dedication based on the feeling that others are a part of you and you are part of them. This innate feeling, accompanied by the courage to joyously bear responsibility for others, is the root of compassion.”
    Having illustrated how to connect with our deeper selves and to the interconnected global society of people on whom we depend, the Karmapa closed his formal talk, which was followed by a lively question and answer period.

















     Photography by Lama Sam and Filip Wolak.






    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0





    (April 10, 2015 – New York, New York) For his very first outing on this stop in New York City, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa made an impromptu visit to the Rubin Museum of Art today. Himself an avid painter and scholar of Tibetan art, the Karmapa toured the Rubin’s current installations and was invited to a private viewing of select statues and paintings from the museum’s holdings that were not exhibited publicly, including works attributed to the 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje.
    The Rubin houses one of the most extensive collections of Tibetan art in the world, and has particularly rich holdings in thangkas painted in the Karma Gardri style associated with the Karmapa lineage. One of the major styles of Tibetan painting, the Karma Gardri style evolved out of the Great Encampment of the Karmapa (Tibetan: Karma Garchen) as its very name reflects.
    Historically, the Karmapas have been accomplished artists and connoisseurs of art, and the 17th is no exception. The museum visit included two long stops to discuss questionable identifications of artists and figures depicted in various works of art.
    His Holiness was escorted on his visit by Rubin Museum’s chief curator Jan van Alphen, as well as Karl Debreczeny, senior curator, and Elena Pakhoutova, curator for Himalayan art. Initially the curatorial staff guided the 17th Karmapa on a walking tour through the installations. His Holiness and the curators soon began trading references to other works of art and textual citations. By the end of the excursion, they were seeking His Holiness’s assessment as to the potential originator of certain paintings, while His Holiness asked them to provide high-resolution files of some of the images they had discussed, so that he could continue his study of them later.





     Photography by Armen Elliott.


    0 0






    (April 10, 2015 – New York, New York) After exploring Tibet’s pre-modern art at the Rubin, His Holiness the Karmapa turned his attention several centuries forward, attending an exhibition of modern Tibetan art by artists working both inside Tibet and in diaspora.
    Co-sponsored by the Trace Foundation and Arthub, the exhibition is called “Transcending Tibet” and features 30 newly commissioned works of art by many of the best-known artists in the field today, including BenchungGade,Gonkar GyatsoJhamsangKesang LamdarkTashi Norbu and Tenzing Rigdrol, along with many other important voices. Several of the artists, including Nyima Dhondup, SodhonTenzin Phakmo and Tulku Jamyang, were present to discuss their work with His Holiness.
    Art has emerged as an important site for the negotiation of Tibetan identity during this tumultuous phase of Tibetan history. As such, the Gyalwang Karmapa’s viewing of the exhibition stemmed not only from his avid interest in art per se, but also reflected a concern voiced by him in his talks to Tibetan communities across the United States. His Holiness has consistently urged Tibetan audiences to find ways to articulate a Tibetan identity that can be compatible with the identity of the new contexts in which they are living, rather than rigidly preserving old ways.







     Photography by Mingyur Koblensky.


    0 0






    (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 from the front, a succession of regional accents, themes and poetic styles provided a demonstration of the tremendous diversity and vibrancy of Tibet’s poetic culture.  Several poems composed by Tibetans directly in English gave an added glimpse of the extension of Tibetan ways of being into their new local contexts.
    At the conclusion of the event, the hosts printed one of His Holiness the Karmapa’s poems and handed it to him with a sincere request that he read it. After commenting that although he hardly merited the name “poet,” they had made it hard to deny that he had written something along the lines of poetry, His Holiness read one of his own poems, composed in free verse: Anniversary Poem, which he wrote in honor of the 900th anniversary of the birth of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa.
    The Karmapa shared a meal with his fellow poets following the experiences of reading and hearing poetry together, and then left to share the remainder of his evening with an audience of 2,000 Tibetans living in the greater New York area. When he met the Tibetan community, he did so directly following today’s series of excursions around Manhattan to view traditional as well as modern Tibetan art and to listen to fellow practitioners of poetry. When he urged the Tibetan community members to each play a part in not only preserving Tibetan language and culture, but also keeping it relevant to today’s context, it was clear he spoke from the freshness of today’s experiences, and was lending his own voice to the collective project of bringing Tibetan art, language and culture fully into the 21st century.




    Photography by Mingyur Koblensky.


    0 0



    April 18, 2015




    During His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Rinpoche's visit to Washington, DC, he addressed a gathering of around three hundred local Tibetans and friends of Tibet. In the afternoon of April 16, the Karmapa Rinpoche was welcomed by the Representative Kaydor la, Capital Area Tibetan Association's board members, and local children in traditional dress holding ceremonial offerings. 

    The Karmapa Rinpoche spoke for around thirty minutes and he streesed Tibetans to follow the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the importance of Tibetan unity. He told anedotes about his experience listening radio broadcast in Tibetan from Washington, DC when he was in Tibet, and how a particular braodcast made him think about visiting Washington, DC one day. This was his second visit to the capital area. For many Tibetans it was their first time being in the presence of the Karmapa and many felt deeply moved by his speech, which was puntuated often by expertly delivered jokes. 

    At the end of the speech, Gyalwang Karmapa blessed the audience one by one and gave Gyal-du, blessed red thread. 












    0 0






    (April 15 & 16 – Washington, DC) During his two-day visit to Washington DC,  His Holiness the 17th Karmapa granted interviews to Tibetan press, had several private meetings, gave an audience to the Tibetan community of Washington, participated in a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace  and spent time at the Library of Congress.
    Among those the Karmapa met on this short stop in the nation’s capital were Senator Dianne Feinstein and Under Secretary of the State Department Sarah Sewall. During his visit to the State Department, His Holiness met with officials to discuss environmental protection, Tibetan culture and women in faith.
    He joined a routable discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where he spoke of efforts to redress  gender inequality within Tibetan Buddhism, the relationship between peace-building and the recognition of interdependence and explored the causes that lead people to join terrorist movements.
    As he has done everywhere else on this two-month trip, His Holiness the Karmapa also made time to meet with the local Tibetan community. Several hundred Tibetans from the Washington area attended an audience at which the Gyalwang Karmapa offered words of encouragement and support to them.
    A visit to the Library of Congress may not top most leaders’ list of important places to visit while in Washington DC, but for those with a deep appreciation for the preservation of Tibet’s rich textual tradition, the US Library of Congress is akin to a pilgrimage place. For two and a half decades beginning in 1968, the US Library of Congress ran a program to reprint Tibetan books brought out of Tibet by refugees or collected from across the Himalayas. Masterminded by the exemplary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, the innovative program sought out, catalogued, preserved and reproduced thousands of Tibetan texts, some of which His Holiness the Karmapa viewed during his visit to the Library of Congress.








    Photography by Tsurphu Labrang Media.


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!
    0 0







    (April 17, 2015 – Woodstock, New York) As billowing clouds of juniper smoke mingled with the wobbling sounds of horns and drums to fill the senses, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa arrived at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, the North American seat established by the 16th Karmapa over three decades ago. Although gusting winds made the tall banners a challenge to hold erect, several dozen monastics, Western as well as Asian, formed a colorful yet dignified procession escorting the Gyalwang Karmapa along a walkway recently painted with auspicious signs.
    At the entrance to the shrine hall, the 17th Karmapa was received by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, the 91-year-old abbot who was chosen by the 16th Karmapa to create and oversee this hilltop monastery in the late 1970s.
    Once inside the main assembly hall, His Holiness paid his respect to the sacred images enshrined there, lit a lamp and ascended the steps to the throne that has stood empty, awaiting his presence, since his last visit here in 2011.
    Traditional prayers were recited and salted butter tea was served along with rice, golden with visible strands of saffron. KTD President Tenzin Chonyi uttered warm words of welcome, and His Holiness responded greeting and thanking all those present, including the Mayor of Woodstock and the town board as well as KTD lamas, staff and supporters, for their support and hard work on behalf of KTD. The Karmapa observed that the time that lapsed between his visits served to enhance his appreciation for the time he had at KTD.
    “This has caused me to feel how precious and valuable such opportunities are,” His Holiness said.
    On that note, the crowd joyfully dispersed, looking forward to many more opportunities to receive the Dharma from their spiritual guide in the days to come.










    Photography by Lama Sam.


    0 0



    Submitted by Nancy Thompson on Fri, 4/17/2015, 2:54pm



    On his three-month tour of the U.S., His Holiness the 17th Karmapa has often used the environment -- and the threats it faces from human misuse -- as an avenue for Buddhist teachings.
    At Yale, where his visit was sponsored by a diverse set of programs (Yale Himalaya Initiative, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, the Department of Religious Studies, the School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesYale Divinity School and the Macmillan School for International and Area Studies), he noted that protecting the environment is a moral imperative, not just a scientific issue.
    Conserving the environment is fundamentally a moral issue. Its degradation has been caused by human greed, exacerbated by the media and the advertising industry. As we all know, human desire is limitless and environmental resources are limited. Since we depend on these resources, it is our responsibility to rein in and control our greed. It is essential that religious leaders not only teach about individual moral issues but global issues as well and provide moral guidance on environmental stewardship. Spiritual teachers can evoke an emotional feeling and commitment, encouraging us to change so we come to see that the environment is not external but in our minds as well.
    Karmapa spoke movingly of his own personal relationship to the Earth, which was rooted in his childhood in a remote area of TIbet. He urged audience members to contemplate their own relationship to the environment, to see not only how they connect to the natural world but also how the unnatural things in life -- clothing, cellphones, cars -- all depend on and affect the environment. 
    But knowing intellectually is not enough, he said.
    “We tend to separate ourselves as persons from our knowledge. If we know the need for environmental protection, we should apply it in our daily lives. It has to become so intimate to our being that we feel it in our hearts and it changes our behavior.”
    The change has to start with us before we can go out and try to convince others to change, he added, saying that is "the only solid basis for the type of courage it will take to make these changes. We have to make changes in our life with a courage that can’t be taken away from us and this way we can have a long career. If we have not changed ourselves, we fuel ourselves with expectations and get burned out when others do not change.”
    The photo shows the Karmapa planting a tree in New Haven, Conn., as part of Yale's Urban Resources Initiative. See more here


    0 0






    (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. Attending the talk were students from an older generation who had seen the Karmapa in his previous reincarnation. 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 come through individuals changing. Echoing the Karmapa, he said that we have the responsibility to serve others and facilitate through compassion the awakening of everyone.
    The Karmapa began by explaining the refuge vow as the gateway to the Dharma and its essence. Encouraging people to reflect and find the reasons for taking refuge, he cited the Buddha’s famous lines from the Sanskrit: Examine my teachings as carefully as you would gold before purchasing it. The Pali text adds: Do not take anything just because it comes from a teacher or a family tradition. Engage only when you know the valid reason for doing so.
    The Karmapa then queried the difference between the meaning of “religion” and “spirituality.” “Religion,” he said, “represents a tradition or a belief system that has been handed down whereas spirituality is based on our personal exploration and experience.” In the beginning every major religion was a spiritual tradition, he said: the founder had experience that fostered a profound realization, which was directly pointed out to students. But over time and generations, he observed, this changed so that faith and belief became increasingly important and the transmission of realization based on experience diminished.
    “Spirituality must be a journey of personal discovery,” the Karmapa taught, “so we need to understand the reasons and conditions for taking refuge.” This will lead us to know what is essential to the Dharma and what is secondary, he said. The Karmapa created an example to illustrate his point. Suppose that the Buddha had given a teaching in a hall with only one door on his right. Afterward he would naturally leave through that exit. Later one of his students taught in a hall with doors on the right and left, and since the Buddha had exited on the right, the student did as well. Leaving on the right became an established custom without any real basis in reason. Problems arise when such customs replace reason and prevent us from knowing the Buddha’s true intention and teachings.
    His Holiness explained that we take refuge for two reasons: fear, which relates to what we seek refuge from, and faith, which gives the impetus to fully rely on the sources of refuge, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Fear is an emotion we all feel, but here in the case of refuge, fear refers to an intelligent understanding of what harms or what helps us. Fear can protect us, but the problem with instinctive fear is that our brains have developed to deal with immediate dangers such as a tiger suddenly leaping in front of us. If we were told this would happen in two months, we would not feel the same fear. The Karmapa reflected that the situation with climate change is similar: people do not fear it because it is a distant danger so vast we cannot see it. Therefore, we need to go beyond an emotional or instinctive fear to think carefully about our situation.
    The Karmapa turned to another subtle and invisible danger: the inadequacy of our love. The fear of obvious dangers, such as war, famine or sickness, we can easily identify. Lack of love, however, is another story; it leaves too many people and animals without protection or refuge. Their terrible suffering could be prevented if we had enough love, His Holiness stated. Since this deficit is within us, we can recognize it and change, and change we must as insufficient love poses not only the danger of eventual disaster for others but for ourselves as well.
    Our usual love and compassion is limited to relatives or friends, and beyond them, we set a boundary to our caring that allows us to ignore others. “We need to extend our love,” the Karmapa said, “and come to see that we are connected to everyone.” The Karmapa expanded the usual definition of fear: “When we think about how living beings harm one another, we can see this lack of love clearly. Fearing it within ourselves, we go for refuge to develop the love and compassion that the Dharma teaches.”
    Turning to faith, the second reason for taking refuge, the Karmapa gave the term a creative turn and spoke about the importance of self-confidence: “The foundation of faith is a trust in oneself and one’s actions, a true self-confidence.” He gave the example of his escape to India, which happened due to his confidence that he could do it. Reflecting on our own qualities can inspire us so that we are not deflated by the problems that appear but have the courage and resilience to face them.
    The qualities of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the objects of our faith, seem beyond what we could conceive, and so we need a high level of faith that is not vulnerable to adversity. He observed, “We need immeasurable confidence, immeasurable hope and immeasurable aspiration as well as a one-pointed focus on our goal. Faith is not just faith in others, but faith in ourselves and hope for ourselves. Aspiration alone is not true faith. When faith is authentic, our minds are filled with joy and courage.”
    On this positive note, the Karmapa ended his introduction to taking refuge, which he would give in the afternoon.




     Photography by Lama Sam.


    0 0





    (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 going for refuge involves a temporary kind of refuge, the Karmapa said, which doesn’t require the commitment of actually taking a vow.
    In contrast, the refuge vow implies an actual promise or commitment to take refuge in the three jewels for a specific period of time, and it requires us to keep certain rules.
    “If you take the vow of refuge based on deep and sincere conviction, then you will automatically or naturally keep its rules or commitments,” the Karmapa said. “You will have a natural enthusiasm for avoiding that which contradicts the vow of refuge and for cultivating that which enhances it. But if you lack such conviction, the commitments may seem an onerous burden,” he advised.
    Although he normally gives the refuge vow in Tibetan, His Holiness explained that when there are few Tibetans present he sometimes also gives it in other languages. Since he had not prepared an English version the Karmapa instead chose to offer the refuge vow to the largely English-speaking audience in the original Sanskrit, creating a karmic link between the ancient Indian origins of the three jewels of refuge and the contemporary American context from which they were now being approached.
    “Giving the refuge vow in Sanskrit has the added benefit that since there are very few people here who speak Sanskrit, if I make any mistakes no one will catch me, and that will make it more comfortable for me!” His Holiness joked, before reciting the vow in precisely articulated Sanskrit.
    The real rules of the refuge vow, His Holiness explained next, lie in the questions of how we can protect our commitment of refuge to the three jewels, and how we can enhance it. We could divide these into what must be avoided, on the one hand, and what must be practiced or cultivated, on the other.
    The Karmapa offered an explanation for the specific restrictions associated with refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the sangha, respectively. Discussing the advice related to taking refuge in the Buddha—that of not taking refuge in mundane gods—he cautioned that Buddhists and especially Vajrayana practitioners might be in danger of violating that restriction.
    “Where I think that there can be an overt contradiction to the vow of refuge,” His Holiness said, “is when someone conceives of a yidam deity as some sort of external god to whom they make offerings in order to please them, with the expectation that the yidam, the god, give them whatever they want, no matter what they do or how they behave. People who have that attitude will think, ‘It does not matter what I do; the yidam will fix it and give me whatever I want.’ That attitude contradicts the vow of refuge. The problem is that you are relating to a yidam deity as you would relate to a mundane god, which is unfitting.
    “The Buddha’s intention in forbidding taking refuge in mundane gods was that when we do so, we are failing to change ourselves for the better, because we think that the god being worshipped will take care of all our needs. The Buddha’s point was that we need to take authentic refuge by gradually becoming sources of refuge unto ourselves, which requires change and development.”
    The message of the second restriction relating to the refuge vow—not to harm other beings—is very clear, the 17th Karmapa said. While we must not harm others or ourselves through our body and speech, we must also not harm them through our apathy.
    “Our lack of love or apathy is harmful to other beings because it places them in danger. While apathy, a lack of compassion, in and of itself may not directly harm a being in the sense of actually beating them or hurting them physically, it does harm them indirectly. Therefore we need to widen and deepen our idea about what avoiding harming others really entails.”
    Turning to the third restriction, that of avoiding evil companions, the Karmapa pointed out that evil companions are not always outside ourselves. Sometimes our evil companions exist within us and form a part of us, such as when we might have two contradictory attitudes and motivations warring within us.
    “I think in a sense it is more important that we take control and observe our own thoughts than it is to worry so much about who our external companions are,” he advised.
    The Karmapa ended the day by answering several questions submitted in advance by the audience, on topics including the difference between self-confidence and pride, the role of neuroscience in meditation and how to overcome irrational fears.
    In response to a question on whether it is more important to spend many hours on formal practice or on helping others, the Karmapa encouraged us to assess for ourselves whether we feel we are lacking in either of these two aspects, and then put efforts into strengthening our area of weakness.
    However, he cautioned, we should not see our practice and our activities to help others as necessarily contradictory.
    “If I may use myself as an example, I do not have much time to engage in formal practice and also I am lazy,” he said. “But I do help others—not so much because I have tremendous resolve to do so, but because I have been given the name Karmapa and therefore I must.
    “While I am actively helping others, something happens in my mind and I find that I am practicing. It actually improves my mental state and brings experience and realization. So when you actively help others, recognize that this is practice because it improves your mind. However, in order for this to work, it is necessary that you be undistracted, and maintain mindfulness and vigilance while you are helping others.”







     Photography by Lama Sam.


    0 0







    (April 12, 2015 – Flushing, New York) During the long lunch break after the morning’s Akshobhya teaching, many of the 2,000 attendees took advantage of the warm spring weather to wander through the spacious park adjoining the teaching venue. While His Holiness the Karmapa privately conducted the preparatory rituals for the empowerment, the public strolled through the grounds or relaxed on the grass under a stainless, deep blue sky.
    After chanting the opening invocations of the empowerment, His Holiness began by commenting that he felt he might have a special karmic connection with the Buddha Akshobhya, and in fact, successive Karmapa reincarnations have been seen as none other than Akshobhya himself. He explained that out of the five tantric Buddha families, most of the yidams of the great Kagyu forefathers have also been from the Akshobhya or vajra family.
    “As a sign of this family affiliation, the uncommon crown of the Karmapa is the Black Crown of the vajra family,” His Holiness said. “Though we normally refer to the Karmapa’s crown as the Black Crown, really it is very dark blue. In the Vajrayana this color represents the dharmata, which is the unchanging nature of the mind of all buddhas.
    “Buddhas possess what is called body secret, speech secret and mind secret. The mind secret is an utterly unchanging wisdom. In order to depict that we use the metaphor of the sky or space, and therefore the color dark blue is used to represent this wisdom. So the color of the Karmapa’s crown represents the unchanging dharmata.”
    In the morning’s teaching, His Holiness had taught that even though we may go through the external rituals of practice such as putting an image of the deity in front of us, lighting incense and repeating some mantras, the essence of Akshobhya practice is the courage to overcome anger, and to develop an immoveable stability of mind that is beyond agitation.
    During the afternoon’s empowerment the Karmapa emphasized that the significance of the Akshobhya empowerment and its related practice is too great to explain in just a few minutes. Though he teaches on the Akshobhya practice for one full month during the annual Akshobhya retreat in Bodhgaya, even this amount of time was not enough, he said.
    “Strictly speaking,” the Karmapa said, “authentic empowerment is an introduction producing a recognition of the mind’s nature. But let’s consider this a transmission of blessing here today.”
    As the empowerment ritual wound through its stages, His Holiness directly conferred the blessings on the crowns of a group of lamas led by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, who moved forward to represent all those in attendance.
    By receiving the blessings of the body, speech, mind and activity of Akshobhya, those in attendance were empowered to practice the non-dual and immoveable mind of Akshobhya, free from the stains of anger and other kleshas.
    At the conclusion of the empowerment a mandala of thanks was offered by Lama Tsewang Rinpoche, founder of the Danang Foundation that organized the weekend’s teachings and empowerment. He headed a large line of disciples, who came forward bearing the eight auspicious symbols and other offerings. Next the Karmapa gave the reading transmission for the daily practice of Akshobhya, before offering his heartfelt aspirations that the lives of each and every person be happy and the whole world be filled with goodness.
    With the close connection between the successive Karmapas and Buddha Akshobhya clearly evident, those gathered were all the more fortunate to receive the Akshobhya empowerment directly from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, while a glorious deep blue New York sky—the color of the dharmata—radiated outside.












     Photography by Lama Sam.


    Warnning: Do NOT Get Caught While Searching!!
    Your IP : - Country : - City:
    Your ISP TRACKS Your Online Activity! Hide your IP ADDRESS with a VPN!
    Before you searching always remember to change your IP adress to not be followed!
    PROTECT YOURSELF & SUPPORT US! Purchase a VPN Today!

older | 1 | .... | 47 | 48 | (Page 49) | 50 | 51 | .... | 86 | newer