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    Lalit Mohan
    Tribune News Service
    Dharamsala, July 12




    Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the 17th Karmapa, has been running into controversies since his recognition as the head of the Kagyu Sect and his mysterious escape from Chinese controlled Tibet to India.
    Row over recognition

    Ogyen Trinley Dorjee was born on June 26, 1985, in a nomad community of Bakor in Eastern Tibet. He was recognised as reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa by Dalai Lama in June 1992.
    However, one of the prominent teachers of Kagyu, Shamar Rinpoche, refused to recognise Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa. He instead claimed that Thaye Trinley Dorjee was the real 17th Karmapa.
    In May 2012, the Himachal government issued directions against referring Ogyen \Trinley Dorjee as Karmapa in an official communcation. The directions were issued in response to a communication by the Una administration in which it had referred to Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa. Shamar Rinpoche had also raised objections.
    Later, a third candidate, Dava Sangpo Dorjee, also claimed for the office and title. At present, he is in Nepal. The situation has split up Kagyu followers all over the world.
    However, despite repeated pleas from Shamar Rinpoche, Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration recognised Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa.
    Controversy surrounding escape from China
    Ogyen Trinley Dorjee escaped Tsurphu monastery in Tibet on December 28,1999. He arrived at Dharamsala on January 5, 2000, after trekking about 1,100 kilometres escaping the Chinese Army. Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of the teachers of Kagyu school, reportedly managed the escape of Ogyen Trinley Dorjee from China. He wanted to take him to Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim that is the traditional seat of Karmapas or the Black Hat Lamas in India. The assets of monastery are pegged at Rs 1,500 crore. However, the Union government did not allow Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to move to Rumtek allegedly under the influence of Shamar Rinpoche.
    At Dharamsala, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee was kept in Gyoto Tantric Monastery under the vigil of intelligence and security agencies. He was not allowed to move to other parts of the country and foreign countries for many years.
    Many doubted that Ogyen Trinley Dorjee could escape from Tibet with the knowledge of the authorities who were keeping an eye on him.
    It was only in the last few years that the Indian government allowed Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to travel to other parts of the country and abroad. He still can’t visit Rumtek Monastery.
    The cash controversy

    In January 2011, the Una police caught the driver of a Dharamsala-based businessman with Rs 1 crore. The cash pertained to a land deal between the Karma Garchen Trust headed by Ogyen Trinley Dorjee and the businessman. Following the seizure, the Una police raided the Gyoto Tantric Monastery where the 17th Karmapa had been staying since his escape from China in 1999.
    During the raids, the police recovered Rs 6 crore in 26 currencies and Rs 53 lakh in Indian currency from the Gyoto Tantric monastery.

    http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/17th-karmapa-s-brush-with-controversies-continues/105755.html

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    BY  

    Right: Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche. Photo via maitripacenter.org. Left: The tenth Traleg Rinpoche. Photo via Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on Facebook


    Following the passing of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche in July 2012, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, this spring issued a letter received by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche that indicated that Traleg Rinpoche’s successor had been born and would be found in Zama Village in Batong, Tibet.
    That successor, Traleg Yangse Rinpoche, has now been officially recognized by Thrangu Monastery Tibet, under the guidance of the Karmapa and Thrangu Rinpoche.
    According to a statement released today via E-Vam Institute, “On 13 July 2015, Lodro Nyima Rinpoche and Drupon Rinchen Tseling-la led the chief committee members of Thrangu Monastery Tibet to Zama Village in Batong where they found Traleg Yangse Rinpoche’s family waiting outside their home.”
    Until the young Rinpoche’s enthronement takes place, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, head of Thrangu Monastery, recommends students continue to recite swift return prayers for Traleg Rinpoche.
    You can read the full announcement on E-Vam Institute’s Facebook page.


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    April 18, 2015
    Kingston, New York

    This is a transcript of HH 17th Gyalwang Karma's teaching at Kingston, New York, in April 2015. 






    I'd now like to introduce the mayor of Kingston, The Honorable Shane Gallow, who has consented to come give a welcome to His Holiness.

    [The Honorable Shane Gallow]

    Good wishes.

    Good wishes and welcome to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, and to all.

    Today is an auspicious day for all and a blessing for the city I serve. In all of Buddhism, the core values of family and community are necessary for any meaningful transformation and full change that benefits all sentient beings. Thank you for being a part of our community today, Karmapa. 

    Thank you to His Holiness for coming to the city I serve, to reiterate your message of love, compassion, and peace, which only come from change within all of us. As His Holiness makes unequivocally clear, change within is necessary for true loving, meaningful, productive transformation of not only the community I serve, but our world. 

    From His Holiness's message of transformational change within comes a responsibility of service and commitment to use our blessings, be such personal and or from science and technology, to use as offering in service for all sentient beings in our community and on our planet. 

    His Holiness the Karmapa's message is explicit. We must use our blessings constructively, and with compassion to empower and facilitate enlightenment for all sentient beings and life on our planet.

    Thank you to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, for your offering and blessing upon our city. Karmapa chenno - Karmapa, hear us all. 

    Thank you.

    =============

    [HH the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje]

    To begin with, I want to welcome all of you who have come here and offer you my most heart felt Tashi Delek.

    Next I want to say that, on this third visit of mine to America, I'm especially delighted to have the opportunity to return to the seat established, the North American seat established by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. And I'm equally delighted to meet with all of you, my many friends.

    One thing I should tell you before going further, before arriving at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, I've been touring a number of universities, at each of which I have had to give many lectures. So I have been busy speaking. And for the last few days, I have been equally busy in DC. 

    So last night I began to feel so exhausted that I actually felt a little unwell, a little weak. So although I'm going to be teaching, starting this morning, for the next three days, I think it is rather unlikely that I will be doing so with the energy I would have hoped.

    The schedule indicated that this morning I am to present the vow of refuge and then in the afternoon talk about the development of genuine compassion. However, I think it would be better if I were to introduce the refuge vow this morning and then confer it this afternoon.

    I expect that many of you are already somewhat well educated in the Dharma, but that there are also people here who are fairly new to it. So let me begin by saying that the Vow of Refuge is a gateway or doorway to all of the Buddhadharma. And in going for refuge as a practice is not only the root of all Buddhist practice, but also includes the essence of all Buddhist practice.

    In exploring the Refuge Vow, we first need to inquire into the cause of it. In other words, what are the reasons for which we might take refuge? What are the conditions under which we might take refuge? The reason why we must begin our exploration with this is that in the study of any aspect of Buddhadharma, it is essential that one understand the reason for doing anything.

    In the Sanskrit source for the Tibetan translation, there is a verse in which the Buddha is quoted as saying "Examine my teachings as carefully as you would gold before purchasing it." And this is only one stanza, four lines, given in the Sanskrit source, and in the equivalent Pali source, the explanation is much more extensive and goes on to say "do not take anything on the authority of a teacher nor engage in the teachings out of family tradition. Only engage in them after having understood the valid reasons for doing so."

    In a way, I'm embarrassed to talk about the difference between English words, because my English, in my own opinion, seems to be somewhat lacking. But there seems to be a difference between the words spiritual tradition and religious tradition as commonly used in the English language. And I think that the difference is that a religion or religious tradition is a handed down set of beliefs, a tradition, a set of customs. Whereas a spiritual tradition, spirituality is a matter of personal exploration and experience.

    I think that every religious tradition in this world began as a spiritual tradition. Each religion began when the founding teacher of that religion shared their realization, their experience, with their followers. But then beginning with their followers, what began as a spiritual tradition gradually became a religion, in which people follow based on the faithful acceptance of what is taught. And so their basing their following the religion on faith and the following of custom.

    The problem when spirituality becomes religion is that what began as the sharing by the founding teacher of his or her own experience and realization, pointing that out to students and enabling them to practice in such a way that they might achieve it, over time, starts to become, based on tradition and mere custom, something that must remain, even when it is pointed out, a matter of individual or personal discovery and recognition, lest that becomes less important than mere conformance with tradition and custom.

    So because, finally, spirituality must be a journey of personal discovery, it is for that reason that it is important to understand the reasons for conditions under which one goes for refuge.

    In this, as in all things, we must respect the basic principle, we must emphasize the essence of Dharma. Sometimes we make the mistake of casting aside the essence, and overemphasizing unimportant, even extraneous details. We reject the root, and cling to the branches. 

    I'll give you an analogy for this.

    The darkness in this hall will help those of you who wish to sleep. Westerners may be slightly better off because they are used to paying attention in these circumstances. Tibetans are used to falling asleep as soon as the Dharma lecture starts, and only waking up when it ends.

    I'm going to give you an analogy for this. And remember that this analogy is made up, it is imaginary, and it is like any analogy, it is not exact. But basically imagine that the Buddha taught in a very large room. That room only had one door, which was to the Buddha's right. So at the end of the teaching, after teaching the Dharma, the Buddha indicated the door, pointed to the door, and said "this is how we shall all leave this room." And then the Buddha left the room. And his disciples remained in the room, which represents the Buddhist tradition, teaching, after the Buddha has left the room, which indicates his parinirvana. Now, the disciples continue teaching others in that large room; but over time, there come to be two doors, one to their right, and one to their left. So there are two doors through which people can leave. But because the Buddha said leave through that door to his right, they make up a rule, a tradition, that one can only leave the room through the right door, and never through the left door. 

    Gradually, it becomes a custom, then a tradition, and finally a rule, only use the right door. In which case, the reason why the Buddha pointed to that right door has been lost. The reason why the Buddha pointed to the right door is because that was the only door there was when the Buddha was in the room. He wasn't saying never go out left doors. He was pointing to the door there was.  If there had been two doors there, he might have pointed to both. But that point has been obscured by the fact that is now has become customary only to use the right door.

    And in a sense, the disciples have now forgotten what the Buddha intended in pointing out that right door. The mere custom of only using that right door has become more important. This type of customization or making a tradition out of things and losing the reason has caused us to use the English words "a lot of problems". Consider gender issues, and the plight of female monastics, nuns, in Buddhism. People will quote the Buddha's statements without any understanding of the principle, the reason on which they were based. 

    It's taught that we go for refuge for two reasons. One is fear, and the other is faith. Fear arises within us in consideration of that from which we seek refuge, and it inpires us to search for a refuge. Faith also arises within us, and gives us the momentum or impetus to rely fully upon a source of refuge once we have found it.

    Of these two, fear and faith, I'm going to begin by talking a little bit about fear. Fear is an emotion that we all feel. But fear in this case is more than simply a feeling or emotion, more than an instinctive reaction to danger. It is a fear based on careful examination, or to use the English word, analysis of our circumstances. In this case, fear is the reasoned understanding of the difference between what could harm us, what is a problem, and what could help us, what is a good quality that we wish to achieve. And through that analysis, the correct identification of problems as problems or dangers as dangers.

    The human brain has evolved to include a fear because fear serves to protect us from danger. However, our fear is limited to a fear of what poses an immediate danger. We only feel fear instinctively when something dangerous is right in front of us. For example, if a tiger jumped right in front of any one of us, we would feel fear, and we would seek a way to flee or avoid the tiger. In that way, we've developed fear, we've been designed to possess fear in order that we be protected from danger. The problem is, that because our instinctive, emotional fear is limited to fear of immediate dangers, if something is not right in front of us, if it is a not a immediate danger, even though it might be a great danger, but an indirect one, we feel no fear. 

    The best example of this is climate change. People don't feel fear when they contemplate climate change, even though it is incredibly dangerous to us, because it is a distant danger. It is so vast, and so gradual an ongoing event, that we don't feel fear. To return to the tiger analogy, our lack of fear of climate change is very much like if someone were to say to us, "In three months a tiger will be right in front of where you are now", we wouldn't feel fear. So our instinctive emotional fear does protect us from danger, but only immediate danger. And in order to be protected from indirect or eventual danger, even grave or disastrous eventual danger, we need to think carefully, to analyze. Emotional, instinctive fear will not do it.

    Somehow we fail to fear dangers that are invisible to us, that we cannot feel. So in order to assess the danger of invisible or imperceptible situations, we need to analyze them, we need to look at a situation and ask does this pose a danger to us, and if so, what. 

    We easily identify many of the dangers that the people in this world face. Warfare, violence, millions of people suffer from that. Sickness, famine, millions more suffer from those. 

    But there is a danger even graver than those that we remain largely unaware of. And that is either a total lack of love, or our insufficiency of love. Because it is our insufficiency of love that leaves so many without protection, without refuge, to causes and conditions of terrible suffering. These are forms of suffering from which they could be protected if we had enough love to protect them. But we don't recognize this gravest of all dangers, because it is not external. It is within us. In fact, it is inseparable from us, it is part of us, but yet is is our gravest danger. And we need to recognize it, through careful analysis, because it is a source of eventual disaster, for even us as individuals.

    In order to protect ourselves and others from this gravest of all dangers, our lack of love, our insufficiency of love, we need to increase our love. Now it is not truly the case that we lack love all together. We all feel love. But our love is limited. It is limited in that we love some, but not all. We may love our friends, we may love our families, but we don't love everyone. Our love is not unlimited. And that is why we say things like "it's not my business. I'm not involved. That's not my responsibility." When we say things like that, what we are saying is that there is a boundary between self and other, and we may be willing to include some others, our friends, our families as part of ourselves, but we are ignorant of the profound connection we share with all of those whom we may not know.

    We habitually think that we are unconnected to others, and therefore whatever happens to them, happens to them, but it is not our problem. It doesn't affect us. We need to apply all of our intelligence to this, and ask ourselves the difficult question: Is it not the case that we are actually connected to everyone else? 

    We think to ourselves, this has nothing to do with me. When we think about or read about anything that happens to anyone else. And we keep on thinking that this has nothing to do with me until this, that, happens to us, or happens to someone we regard as a brother, and so forth. And we think - of course, I don't care what happens to him or her, because they wouldn't care if it happened to me. So we don't care what happens to them, and they don't care what happens to us, and through this, we have created a world without love, a world that lacks warmth. And this is the gravest danger posed by our insufficiency of love.

    The first inspiration, the first reason to go for refuge to the three jewels is the recognition of that danger, and the wish to be protected from that danger by developing the type and degree of love and compassion taught in the dharma.

    Faith is very difficult from one point of view. Many Westerners I know say to me that faith is very difficult. especially devotion for the guru is particularly difficult. 

    Faith, to use the English word, fundamentally has to be a trust in one's self, trust in one's self and one's actions, so a type of self-confidence. To use my own life as an example, I left Tibet for India when I was 14. And I did that based on the fact that I had sufficient self-confidence to make that journey. If I had thought very carefully about everything that could have happened, I probably wouldn't have dared to do it. I would have been caught up thinking 'well this might go wrong or that might go wrong'. Preparation for anything is not enough. We have to have self confidence. And it was self confidence that enabled me to take that daring step and make that daring journey. So in my experience, our actual ability, whatever ability we have to do anything, comes from self-confidence. 

    When we describe the qualities of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, sometimes it seems that we are describing something that couldn't possibly exist in reality because they are literally described as being beyond what we can conceive of or even think about. They sound almost made up. But I think that this is very significant, because through such descriptions, we are actually stating  what a high level of faith is really needed. We need that type of faith that is invulnerable to adversity, difficulty, and harm. That no matter what, there will be no hesitation. And so I think the inconceivable, the ascription of inconceivable qualities to the Three Jewels is an accurate depiction and an important depiction of the degree of faith that we need.

    So I think this points out the importance of immeasurable faith on our part as individuals; immeasurable confidence, immeasurable hope and immeasurable aspirations.

    And I also think that this points out the need for us as individuals to have a one pointed focus in our minds on our goal or aim.

    I therefore think that faith is not limited to faith in other persons, or other beings. It must also include self-confidence and hope in one's self. If our faith is based on desperation, on a sense of our lacking any  means whatsoever ourselves, and desperately appealing only to others, I think that is not true or authentic faith, because authentic faith is joyous and courageous and brave. 

    So that is an explanation of the two reasons for which we go for refuge, fear and faith. Although in this sense, it might be better instead of fear to say 'sense of danger'; the word actually means danger, so it means a recognition of danger. These are the reasons for which we go for refuge, and I think it is important that we do so based on our own experience and analysis leading to an understanding of these reasons. 

    So looking at the schedule, this seems to be the time at which I'm allowed to stop for the morning, so I am going to stop, and I'll see you all this afternoon.

    Thank you.




    Source: http://pgdharmageek.net/whats-happening/hhkarmapakingstonteaching2015


    ************************************************


    It begins with people taking the Vow of refuge.

    Those of you who wish to receive the vow of refuge, having now repeated it three times, when I, in a moment say, that is the method, in response say Leh-so or Excellent, and with that you will receive the vow.

    Wow!

    One thing that I forgot to mention, as I said earlier there is, there must be a definite duration of the vow in mind when you take it. For it to be a vow, you have to think I am going to take refuge until such-and-such time.

    Usually, people when they take the vow of refuge for the first time, take it for the duration of this life. And the reason for that is that the duration of this life, the remaining duration of this life, is the longest period for which you can take a pratimoksa or individual liberation vow.

    So when the vow of refuge is administered in the format of the preliminary ordination of an upasaka or a lay disciple who holds the three refuges, then it can only be given for the duration of this life, according to the common vehicle.

    However, when it is given in the context of the Mahayana, one takes the vow of refuge until one achieves buddhahood, so not only for this life.

    And now I'll tell you the rules. (Laughter from the audience.)

    The real rule here, first of all, these are not my rules. The real rule here is your commitment to taking refuge, if you have taken the vow. So the idea of the trainings or the commitments are how to keep that rule, by avoiding all that is contradictory to that commitment, because contradictions of any commitment will automatically weaken that commitment.

    And how to reinforce it positively, because reinforcement of a commitment will obviously increase that commitment.

    In a sense, these trainings or commitments are the answer to the question - having taken refuge, and having committed myself and my mind to continuing to take refuge, how can I keep this commitment, how can I protect it from impairment? How can I keep it unimpaired, and how can I cause this commitment to deepen or increase?

    There are many aspects of this training or these commitments. One could divide them into what must be avoided - that is, all those things that are contradictory to going for refuge, and what needs to be cultivated or practiced, that is, all that facilitates or increase or strengthens the vow of refuge.

    There are two ways that the vow of refuge, the commitments of the vow of refuge have been described traditionally. In any case, in general they are divided into restrictions and observances, but there are two ways these can be categorized or subdivided. One is called the Shastra tradition, because it is based on the Shastras on this matter, composed by many eminent scholars of Buddhist India. The other is called the Upadesha, or Special Instruction tradition, because it is based on the oral instructions of Lord Atisha's Kadampa tradition who emphasize the vow of refuge not only as a vow you take, but as the essence of your ensuing practice.

    Most commonly, in Tibetan Buddhism, the explanations of the commitments of the vow of refuge are given following the Upadesha tradition of Lord Atisha and the Kadampas. And that is the tradition I will follow today in my explanation.

    The first category in this explanation of the commitments are the restrictions. The restrictions or avoidances are things that you should not do after having taken refuge.

    These correspond to the three sources of refuge. The first is, having gone to the Buddha for refuge, or having taken refuge in the Buddha, do not seek refuge from mundane gods or spirits. The second is, having taken refuge in the Dharma, do not engage in anything that is harmful to other beings. And the third is, having taken refuge in the Sangha, avoid the company and especially the influence of evil companions.

    There are many other commitments associated with the vow of refuge, but I usually emphasize these three, the three restrictions. And the reason is that these restrictions protect us from all that is adverse to or contradictory to our vow of refuge. And since there are far more adverse conditions than there are conducive conditions in going for refuge, I emphasize in my explanation of the commitments, those restrictions that protect us from those many adverse conditions.

    The first of these, as I said, is having taken refuge in the Buddha, do not seek refuge from mundane gods. And this means, do not engage in the worship of mundane gods. And there are many issues that ensue from this commitment, such as the question as to whether there is some kind of creator god or deity. And there are many other implications as well. But let's leave those troublesome side issues alone, I want to talk about the essential meaning of this restriction or rule.

    I think that Buddhists, and in particular, Vajrayana practitioners can be in some danger of violating this restriction.

    I say this because among other things, many practitioners of Vajrayana emphasize this customs and ritual.

    [As the translator listens to what His Holiness is saying, he starts laughing, somewhat uncontrollably. Then he says "Sorry. The worst thing is it won't be funny when I say it."]

    One thing is that Dharma practice cannot be something that we do only in our meditation room, or in the shrine room. We have to bring it out of the shrine room and the meditation room into all of our daily life. But some people think that ritual practice alone is enough, and they get so into ritual that they collect all sorts of grisly... items such as skulls and skull malas and things like that. And they actually frighten their families, who will say things like "he went to Tibet [translator starts laughing uncontrollably] and he came back with all these horrible things, [translator starts laughing uncontrollably] horrible objects." 

    Where I think that this becomes an overt contradiction to the vow of refuge is when someone has the idea of a yidam deity as an external god of some kind to whom they make offerings. By making offerings to them they please them, and in return, the yidam, the god is supposed to give them whatever they want. And give them whatever they want, no matter what they do or how they behave. And people who have that type of attitude will think "I can do anything I want, whatever I want to do, whether it's good or bad, the yidam will fix it and give me whatever I want." That type of attitude is in contradiction to the vow of refuge.

    The problem here is that you are relating to a yidam deity as you would relate to a mundane god, which is unfitting.

    Now I'm not saying, I'm not commenting on the nature of mundane gods themselves. I'm not saying that they are good or bad. What I'm commenting on here is that we relate to wisdom deities as if they were mundane gods and that is a mistake.

    The idea in the worship of mundane gods is that we worship them because they are all powerful, they are omnipotent, they can control everything. And therefore all we need to do in order to get whatever we want is please that god or those gods because we believe that they can give us everything we want. And this has led to customs such as animal sacrifice and other things that we see in some traditions.



    By the same token, those that believe that also believe if we displease the mundane god or gods being worshiped, they will cause us things that we don't want, because they are omnipotent. Now we cannot ask the gods themselves what they want. We cannot speak to these mundane gods and say "Do you really want this stuff, or would you really like a cup of tea, what would you like?"

    The Buddha's intention in forbidding taking refuge in mundane gods was that if we do that, then we ignore developing or changing ourselves for the better, because we think that the god being worshipped will take care of all of 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. This is therefore much harder than merely worshiping a mundane god that might give you what you want. Only by being willing to change, by being willing to improve ourselves can we take refuge, become sources of refuge, and eventually protect others.

    We find in many Buddhists, in many Buddhist countries, who regard taking refuge in the Buddha as an act of worship, worshipping the Buddha. And it is not easy to change this, because this externalization of the Buddha,  as an external object of worship is based fundamentally on a lack of confidence, a lack of courage.

    Therefore I think that the Buddha's instruction, having taken refuge in the Buddha, do not take refuge in mundane gods, was not pointing at other gods or deities that we might chose to worship. The Buddha was pointing at himself and saying don't make a mundane god out of me. When you take refuge in me, don't do so in that way.

    The second restriction is, having taken refuge in the Dharma, don't harm other beings. The message of that is very, very clear, but it is not easy to fulfill.

    The problem we face in attempting to fulfill this is that not harming beings means more than simply stopping actively harming them directly. If you were to ask someone, do you hurt other beings, most people would say no, because they are appraising hurt as open or obvious acts of direct harm. And because they think “I've never killed anything, and I don't beat humans or animals, I therefore am not hurting beings.”


    But in a sense, what harms other beings is more than that. We can harm beings with two gates or faculties, our bodies and our speech.  We cannot directly harm beings with our mind alone.

    However, even though our minds cannot directly harm others, we certainly harm ourselves with our minds, and further, the harm that we bring other beings with our bodies and speech is always inspired by a state of mind such as malice or greed.

    And also, the grave danger that I mentioned this morning, our lack of love, our apathy, is in a sense harmful to other beings, because it places beings in a danger of disaster.

    While apathy, a lack of compassion, does not, in and of itself, directly harm a being in the sense of actually beating them or hurting them physically,  it harms them indirectly and much more. So we need to widen and deepen our idea about what avoiding harming others really entails. And this is why we need, in order to avoid or abstain from harming others, to develop love and compassion.

    HAVING TAKEN REFUGE IN THE SANGHA, WE ARE TAUGHT TO AVOID THE COMPANY OF EVIL COMPANIONS. I DON'T REALLY HAVE TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT AVOIDING EVIL COMPANIONS EXCEPT THAT WE NEED TO QUESTION WHETHER EVIL COMPANIONS ARE ALWAYS OUTSIDE OURSELVES. SOMETIMES OUR EVIL COMPANIONS ARE A PART OF US. FOR EXAMPLE, SPIDERMAN, THERE ARE TWO - ONE OF THEM IS RED, AND THEN THERE IS ANOTHER ONE THAT HAS A BLACK COSTUME AND IS BAD. AND SO, JUST AS THERE ARE TWO SPIDERMEN, THERE ARE... AT THIS POINT HH INTERJECTS: "WE HAVE TWO INNER SPIDERMEN ALWAYS FIGHTING EACH OTHER." AUDIENCE LAUGHS.

    When we have a good attitude, good intentions and good thoughts,  we become like the good Spiderman, and when we have negative intentions, negative motivation, we become like the evil Spiderman, So I think in a sense, it is more important that we take control, and observe our own thoughts than it is to worry about who our external companions are.

    So that was a brief explanation of the commitments of the refuge vow.





    Source: http://pgdharmageek.net/whats-happening/hhkarmapa-teaching-at-kingston-part-2



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    BY  



    “Time is running out. Earthquake, fire, flood, armed conflict, and political upheaval threaten Buddhist sacred art in monasteries,” says the new website of Treasure Caretaker Training, a registered non-profit is dedicated to saving endangered sacred art.
    Launched in 2014 by Ann Shaftel, an art conservator, the project trains “treasure caretakers” such as monks and nuns in techniques such as digital documentation of precious objects, video interviews of elders, risk assessment and disaster management.
    The project works with monasteries, museums, and universities in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Europe, and North America to help protect Buddhist art such as paintings, statuary, costumes, instruments, and other sacred objects. Participants are also trained to use smartphones and tablets to interview elders.
    “Elders hold the history of the object in the oral history tradition. If an elder dies and their story is not recorded, then the history of that object can be lost to future generations,” says Ann Shaftel, the Project Director.
    His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the project’s advisors and mentors, along with Pema Chödrön, spoke of the need to preserve and protect sacred Buddhist art. “It is of great concern to me that over the last sixty years so much of the priceless heritage of Tibetan Buddhism has vanished, not just through theft and deterioration, but because of lack of knowledge and skill in preservation. Over the last twenty years alone far too many irreplaceable works of art such as thangkas, statues, dance costumes, texts, and other sacred artifacts have been lost to future generations.”

    “At our monastery we monks take turns to look after our valuable things,” said Venerable Khenrab Senge, a Tibetan monk who took part in a training session in Sikkim, India in 2014. “Because of this training I learned that there are many modern and easy ways to protect our monasteries’ valuable treasures which can reduce the risk of damage, loss and theft, and keep our treasures protected and safe for many years.”


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    The nature of all sentient beings from ants on up is pure, in terms of the ground. In essence it is pure, but in appearance it is obscured or contaminated.

    But the appernace of being obscured or contaminated does not harm the pure ground even the slightest. That, in any case, is present in a pure manner. Thus we can place our hopes in and believe in that.

    What we can believe is that no matter how many wrongs and misdeeds we have done, at all times our nature is present in a stainless manner. It cannot ever be blackened or contaminated by our wrongs. Thus all the wrongs we have done and mistakes we have made in this life can be repaired, and we have at any moment the opportunity to become a good person. This is what I understand it to teach.

    Therefore I would like to ask you to take this opportunity you have now and make the effort to become a good person and bring meaning to your life.





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    July 27, 2015 – Sidhbari, India
    From July 1 to August 7, 2015, the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) is providing a summer school program to enable Tibetan children living abroad to learn Tibetan language, culture, and history along with the basic principles of Buddhism. Through visits and interaction with TCV children, the program allows Tibetan youth from abroad to experience firsthand the Tibetan exile community in India. These five weeks enable the children to get a feel for the Tibetan spirit, and this helps them to maintain their identity in exile. They can also come to a better understanding and appreciation for the Tibetan cause and aspirations. On the morning of July 27, the students from the summer school came to Sidhbari where the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke with them.
    “I am delighted that you, who belong to this new generation of Tibetans, have come to study in Dharamshala our Tibetan language in its spoken and written forms. I’m also very happy that along with your studies, you have come here to visit me, and I extend to you my heartfelt thanks.
    “Recently I went to the United States and traveled there for some two months. During that time, I had the chance to meet with many Tibetans who are living in America. I advised them that the most important thing is to preserve the Tibetan language in both its written and spoken forms. This is especially important for Tibetans who were born in America and now live there. Why is that so? Our Tibetan identity relies mainly on our language, and therefore, it is extremely important to keep it alive. If we lose our language, there is no way to learn about Tibetan culture and no way to study the Buddhist teachings of Tibet. Without Tibetan it’s as if the Tibetan people have disappeared―that’s the danger.
    “Further it’s important that parents take an interest in their children studying Tibetan. The local Welfare Committees are creating a good environment so that the younger generation of Tibetans take up the study of their own language. They can also pursue many interesting activities related to these studies.
    “You now have come to stay in Dharamshala for many weeks, and during this time, you can learn about the Tibetan world here. Especially from the students born in Tibet, who live in the Tibetan Children’s Villages, you can learn about their situation and take an interest in their lives. You have a wonderful opportunity to study Tibetan and develop your ability to speak and read it.
    “I would like to specially thank all those who are giving their support to these studies―your parents, the sponsors, and the teachers and staff of the Tibetan Children’s Village.
    “It is key for you to remember that although you were born and grew up in a foreign country, your flesh and bones come from Tibetan parents. Likewise, in order to preserve the essence of who you are, which is so important, you need to know your Tibetan language; therefore, you should do all you can to preserve and sustain it. This is something you should keep in mind.
    “Especially the Tibetans living in Tibet have sacrificed their precious lives and valuable resources for the sake of the truth about Tibet and its future. We should take as a role model their example of great efforts and inspired courage.” With this praise the Karmapa closed his talk.



    http://kagyuoffice.org/the-gyalwang-karmapa-talks-with-tibetan-youth/

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    Bonn 27 – 30 August


    On behalf of Kamalashila Institut® für Buddhistische Studien und Meditation and the Karma Kagyü Gemeinschaft Deutschland e. V., we are pleased to welcome all friends, students and interested guests to the events accompanying H.H. the XVII. Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s second visit to Europe in August and September 2015.

    Love, Compassion, Rejoicing, Equanimity. Without Limit. 

    The Main Message of Karmapa’s journey to Europe in 2015 is how to integrate spirituality in everyday life. Since we are living in a world that is becoming smaller while our lives become more and more interconnected, we have to find ways to take more responsibility for our surroundings and create better conditions in general for a peaceful and harmonious co-existence. This is a universal task which is based on the cultivation of a clear vision and a good heart.

    Love, Compassion, Rejoicing and Equanimity. Without Limit. The motto of the journey manifests four positive mental attitudes, known as “The Four Immeasurables” within the Buddhist context. They are an essential Buddhist teaching and provide a common basis within all Buddhist traditions. From the Buddhist point of view, all living beings without exception are mutually dependent. Therefore, even in our own interest it makes sense to wish for the happiness and freedom from suffering of everybody living in this world – no matter how close or distant they seem to us from our own personal perspective.

    Our Website is online now!


    The official Website is www.karmapa-europe.eu There you have access to all important information, news and changes.

    Additionally we will inform you via Newsletter and Facebook as well!

    Information Office


    We established an Information-Office for the Karmapa Visit.
    Please use our official website as well to gather the information requested.
     

    Tickets


    The ticket sales for the Events with H.H. Karmapa in Bonn will start on
     

    Monday August 3rd at 10 pm CET
    on our official website


    Standard tickets are valid for all four days for the events of Kamalashila Institute at the Maritim Hotel. They include entry on all four days of the teachings and empowerments by His Holiness the Karmapa at the Maritim Bonn. The tickets cost € 150 to € 399 for all four days depending on the seat location.

    All practical details you find here: www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/practical

    Benefactor-Tickets | Karmapa in Europe 2015


    Like any event of a non-profit association Karmapas journey is borne by supporters and their donations. Every kind of support of H.H.the XVII. Karmapas activities is heartfelt appreciated.
    Thus the 2nd tour of the XVII. Karmapa to Europe can become as touching and inspiring as it was in 2014. For the well-being of the individual and for the well-being of all.

    The benefactor tickets are available in 3 categories:More details about the Tickets and the services included you can find here:www.karmapa-europe.eu/tickets

    You have questions or want to learn more about the options for donations?

    Don`t hesitate to contact Simone Dorau-Schweika, she is our Sponsoring commissioner. She will be happy to hear from you and will gladly answer your questions about a sponsorship.

    Emaildonate@karmapa-europe.eu
    Telefon: +49 (0)176  845 10 300

    Volunteers


    As it is the case for many charitable events, the Karmapa’s visit is only possible througt the support of many volunteers actively engaged prior to the event as well as during the event. Your charitable contribution helps to maintain moderate admission prices and preserves the spiritual nature of this non-profit event.

    If you are interested in volunteering, please consider the following informationYou can register as a volunteer by filling out our registration questionnaire.

    Volunteer Accommodation - A call to the people of Bonn


    The Volunteers of the Karmapa event in Maritim Hotel are looking for accommodation in Bonn - many of our volunteers come from far away in order to help realizing the event for all of us.

    Time Period: Wednesday 26.08. (arrival) until Monday, 01.09. (departure)

    If you want to offer accommodation for one or more volunteers, please contact our volunteer organiser for more info:

    Anette Christl | Mobile +49 172  82 940 49 | Mail: volunteer@karmapa-europe.eu

    Donate now!


    The visit of H.H. 17th Karmapa brings along significant costs for transport, security, travel, accommodations, catering, technics and administration.

    Ticket Sales alone don't cover the costs alone. Therefore we are dependent on donations. Please donate today and join us in supporting this visit of H.H. the XVII. Karmapa to Europe.
    Any amount is gratefully received.
     
    Donate now !


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    Karmapa in Europe 2015

    Good News from the Ticket Shop!


    As of now, a limited amount of price-reduced tickets is available in our ticket shop!
    All info about it in this newsletter and on www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/tickets

    Donations received for Karmapa in Europe 2015 enable price-reduced tickets!


    Already received donations for Karmapa's this years visit enable a limited amount of tickets Category Blue reduced by 100€
    • Category Blau 350,52€ | 250€

    The reduced price is available as of now for a limited amount of tickets.

    Special thanks goes to all donors and benefactors that with their generous contribution made this offer possible - For the well-being of the individual and for the well-being of all of us.

    Info about tickets and our ticket shop on www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/tickets

    Support Karmapas European Visit 2015


    Like any event of a non-profit association Karmapas journey is borne by supporters and their donations that help us...
    • to keep the tickets at a moderate price level
    • to cover the travelling cost, transport, accommodation and boarding of Karmapa and his attendants
    • to cover costs for security, ticketing, technology, administration of the event.
    You can support Karmapa with making a donation or through purchasing one of our Benefactor TicketsA detailed description of these tickets and the service included you can find on www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/tickets


    http://us3.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e4544856091e72ff25a4b0470&id=1c4fd12649#English

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    Audience with His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje during his European Visit 2015.

    Hotel Maritim, Bonn, Germany, 29 August, 2015, 6 p.m.

    Registration is Required.






    http://www.tibetgermany.de/


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    Karmapa in Europe 2015

    Even more Good News!

    > DAY TICKETS Now available via the official website!
    > ADDITIONAL EVENT on Friday, August 28 | 6pm | Maritim
    > AUDIENCE REGISTRATION now & only via the website!


    Day Tickets available from now on our website!

    As an answer to the many requests - so that, even though on short notice, as many people as possible can meet and experience Karmapa in Bonn. Day Tickets are available only via www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/tickets

    ❖ Day Tickets - A personal message from the organisation team

    Dear Dharma Friends - While planning this years visit of Karmapa, we firmly believed and assumed, that similar to last year, most of the participants of Karmapas teaching would come for the full 4 days and only a small number of participants would have the need for ticket sharing. Since ticket sales started we received much constructive feedback and had fruitful exchange with our dharma friends. As a result we now want to respond to the new situation by providing day tickets!

    For our organisation team, which predominantly consists of volunteers, this means more work in an already very short preparation time! But we are happy if as a result we are able to comply with the capacities of time or finances of all interested parties. May as many people as possible can connect with Karmapa on this years visit to Europe. We are very grateful for your understanding and feedback, that is of great importance for the organisation of all future visits of Karmapa! We are looking forward to see you & Karmapa! Wether Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday!

    ❖ Sincerely Your Organising Team

    Lama Kelzang, Lama Sönam, Horst, Alfred, Dorothea, Reinhard, Stephan, Johannes, Thomas, Anette, Simone, Grace, Judith, Norman, Katja, Hue Ngo, Gabriele, Andrea

    Additional Event* with Karmapa:

    COMPASSIONinACTION
    Environmentalism of the 21st Century
    Friday, August 28,
    6pm, Maritim Hotel
    We are happy that the program with His Holiness is richer by yet another talk - one more opportunity to meet, experience and getting inspired by Karmapa. A detailed description of the topic is available soon on www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/program

    *Entry is possible with a 4-Day-Ticket or with a Day-Ticket "Friday Aug 28"

    Audience Registration now & only via Website

    We are happy, that Karmapa offers time and space for audiences in which we can meet him in a more personal setting. Registration is to be made only our website: www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/karmapa/audience


    In order to organise trouble-free, harmonious audiences we ask you to register until August 19th. In order to enable many people to meet Karmapa in an audience, every person can only register for 1 audience! Multiple registrations will be cancelled!


    We look forward to seeing you!
    We look forward to seeing Karmapa!
      Karmapa in
      Europe 2015
    http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e4544856091e72ff25a4b0470&id=48229377d3#English

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    By Frances McDonald
    Buddhistdoor Global | 2015-08-14




    HH the 16th Karmapa before the Black Crown Ceremony, New Hampshire, 1980. From Ngödup Burkhar


    Ngödup Burkhar has served as translator to His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and other masters in the Karma Kagyu lineage since the early 1970s. Born to a nomadic family near Mount Kailash in Western Tibet in 1953, in 1959 he escaped with his parents and brother to Nepal, where they remained until 1967–68 before moving to Dharamsala in India. There he learned very basic English, and after one year, was sent to an English-medium school in Dehra Dun, graduating at the end of 1972. In early 1973, at a Kalachakra empowerment in Bodh Gaya, he encountered a relative, Lama Drupseng Rinpoche, who suggested that Ngödup go to Rumtek in Sikkim to serve as translator to HH the Karmapa. Shortly thereafter Ngödup received an official letter of invitation from His Holiness, the lama having mentioned the matter on a visit to Rumtek, and Ngödup was on his way. Frances McDonald interviewed Ngödup Burkhar on a recent visit to Hong Kong. 



    HH the 16th Karmapa with translator Ngödup Burkhar (foreground) arriving at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, Woodstock, 1980. From Ngödup Burkhar


    Frances McDonald: How did you feel when Lama Drupseng Rinpoche suggested you go to Rumtek?

    Ngödup Burkhar: I wanted to go right away. My family had been connected to the Karma Kagyu lineage for generations. But my English was very basic, and I had very little knowledge of Tibetan—it was a secondary language as I went to an English-medium school. I had no honorific Tibetan—the respectful and colloquial are like two different languages. And forget about Dharma! So I said no, I don’t have anything to offer. Then the letter came from the Karmapa saying that the old lama had mentioned me and that His Holiness had “looked into it,” and that if I came it felt like it would be of some benefit, so it was a bit difficult to refuse. I was excited but also nervous. I would be away from my parents and school friends, and wouldn’t know anyone there.


    Arriving at the US Senate building
    and being received by the Sergeant General,
    1980. From Ngödup Burkhar
    FM: When did you arrive?

    NB: In June 1973. I met His Holiness, and it was incredible. But when I got there, he was getting ready to make his first visit to the US at the invitation of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His Holiness told me to study Dharma with Thrangu Rinpoche while he was away—he was the main abbot of HH the Karmapa’s Seat Monastery in Rumtek. So I tried, but not much happened! 

    FM: And when His Holiness came back?

    NB: When he came back I was translating for him, but there wasn’t much to translate—thank goodness! He actually taught very little in the way of words, he taught through his presence and through his actions. Everybody who came to see him was totally overwhelmed by his presence. They were two different people when they were outside his door and with him, whether they were great teachers, politicians . . . As well as being a translator, I was also a tourist guide for groups who came to the monastery. I did anything that needed English. I learned on the job! 


    Official visit at the US Senate,
    with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
    and Senator Pell of Rhode Island.
    Each of the senators and congressmen
    came to greet HH one by one. From Ngödup Burkhar
    FM: Did you accompany His Holiness to the US later on?

    NB: Yes—in August 1977 he sent me to the US to be the main translator for his Seat Monastery in Woodstock, New York, and its affiliate centers in North and South America. I was there on his last tour of North America in 1980.

    FM: What was it like being around him all the time?


    NB: It wasn’t like any other relationship. I wanted to be close to him—I never got tired of looking at him. I never got tired of the Black Crown Ceremony,* I never got tired of his voice. He had the most amazing voice of all the lamas, Rinpoches, that I have ever come across—the Lion’s Roar. It gave me goose pimples. I was so drawn to him that I should have been able to relax in his presence, but no! There was even one time when I thought my feet were not going to support me. I was in the fire all the time.


    HH the 16th Karmapa with bird,
    Rumtek, Sikkim, late 1970s.
    From Ngödup Burkhar
    FM: Was he ever really wrathful?

    NB: Yes, he could be quite wrathful. But there were some moments when I was at ease—two, that I can recall. First, he kept birds. The birds came first—even the chief minister had to wait if His Holiness was attending to the birds! His favorites were finches and canaries. He used to ask me, if I was going anywhere, to get him “pinches”—Tibetans can’t say “f”! He had two aviaries. One was a really big one where the birds could all be free, and the other was on top of the monastery, with many of the birds in cages. One time, he was up there, and I was the only one. He was wearing an apron, and was manicuring and checking them—“I am the best doctor of the birds,” he would tell me proudly. He talked to each one and said the cutest things, like you would say to a baby! But then he asked me if I wanted to help him, and asked me to bring a particular bird cage with “pinches.” So I brought it very respectfully, thinking that the birds were very fortunate—maybe even more fortunate than me! But he said, “Why are you bringing the birds like that? You were supposed to hold them like this!” I had carried the cage by the handle, but I should have held it up, at the same level as my head!


    With Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche
    during the funeral procession
    of Kalu Rinpoche in 1989.
    From Ngödup Burkhar
    FM: So he told you off?

    NB: Yes! His Holiness really loved animals—birds, dogs, snakes. One time we were in Hawaii, and he wanted us to bring birds on the plane. We said, “Look, Your Holiness, it doesn’t work like that!” He wanted them to come with him in the plane. But we couldn’t do it. Another thing he liked to do in his spare time was sewing. One time he was in his room alone, sewing, when I went in. Then he started singing the Song of Gesar, in fact his own composition—he had a beautiful voice. 

    FM: Are there any recordings of him singing?


    NB: One time I heard a little bit of one—he’s singing with the previous Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche.

    FM: Can you recall any times when you ran into difficulties translating for him?


    Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche with
    Ngödup’s daughters, upstate New York, 2014.
    From Ngödup Burkhar
    NB: Yes! With all due respect, His Holiness was completely unpredictable. There was one time when he was going to give a talk at Harvard Divinity School in Boston. All the intellectuals would be coming, there was an incredible banner welcoming him . . . I was very excited about it. I had my best suit on, and thought, “This time these people will know what the real thing is!” But I remember that even before the talk I was a little bit surprised. He asked Jamgön Kongtrul, who was like a son to him, to bring the text, which he did, and opened it in front of His Holiness. And His Holiness maybe looked for two minutes, and said there was a mistake. He also said that he was too old to see anything anyway, and asked Rinpoche to close the text. So there we were in Harvard Divinity School, which was packed. Everyone was in suits and ties, and I was very nervous. And then when His Holiness started talking, it didn’t seem to make much sense! Luckily he didn’t talk very much—if he had gone on longer, I would have collapsed. I felt people looking at me with such disgust. It wasn’t like I was new! Finally it ended. Phew! But now there were questions. The questions made sense, but the answers, no sense! I thought about making it up. But one answer was so out of it I couldn’t even make it up. I thought maybe His Holiness didn’t understand the question, so I thought, either I die or I do this, and so I repeated the question to His Holiness. He said, “You say what I said!” I was really thinking the audience was going to kill me, but I did it.



    With HH the 17th Karmapa at Tsurphu Monastery near Lhasa, 1993. From Ngödup Burkhar

    FM: That must have been challenging for you.


    NB: Then, later, we were in San Francisco and the program was the Black Crown Ceremony, which sows the seed of liberation on sight. It was California, and the people were very laid back. After the ceremony, he started teaching, and it was so easy, so beautiful, so good, and I was happy to interpret. And I wondered why he hadn’t taught like that at Harvard. But years later, there was some feedback that saved my life, sort of thing. It was in Woodstock, and I was translating for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. One comment was something like, “A few years ago, I asked the Karmapa a question. And his answer didn’t make any sense at all. But three years later, it was the best answer!” So I was thinking that it must have been in Boston!


    In front of HH the Dalai Lama’s Residence, 2004. Bokar Rinpoche is on the Dalai Lama’s left. From Ngödup Burkhar


    FM: You also translated for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche for many years.


    NB: Yes, I interpreted for him for 12 years in the US, starting in 1977—I felt we were pioneers. Nowadays, it’s a different thing! I have a lot of respect for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. I’ve also translated many years for Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche (chief meditation master of the Kagyu and Shangpa lineages), and His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, since 2000 . . . Really, I have translated for the best ones—totally pure, spotless, compassionate. Buildings like stupas are shakable—bodhisattvas aren’t shakable! With Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, the consistency in his patience was amazing. The consistency in his generosity, the consistency in his devotion. He’s strong—physically and emotionally. But when he talks about the suffering of sentient beings, he’s ready to shed tears every time. Again, when talking about the lineage masters and the Karmapa, he’s just in tears. There is a Tibetan saying, “Those who have the opportunity to lean against a gold mountain, there’s some possibility a little gold will be rubbed off.” Of course, I am not talking about me!


    HH the 17th Karmapa giving Ngödup cake during a progam at the Norbulingka, Dharamsala, a few years ago. From Ngödup Burkhar



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    Webcast page:

    A Team of volunteers in cooperation with the Kagyu Office of H.H. Karmapa are working on the realization of a webcast in the following languages:


    Tibetan
    Chinese
    English
    German




    European Tour 2015

    Central European Time

    August 27    

      Chenrezig: Viewing The World With Compassion

      16:00 - 17:30

    • Teaching part 1

      18:00 - 19:30

    • Teaching part 2

    August 28

      10:00 - 11:30

    • Chenrezig Empowerment

     18:00

    • Compassion in Action: Environmentalism for 21st Century. 

    new!
    August 29    

       Akshobhya: Patience For A Peaceful World

      10:00 - 12:00

    • Teaching part 1

      16:00 - 18:00

    • Teahing part 2

    August 30

      10:00 - 12:00

    • Akshobhya Empowerment

      16:00 - 18:00

    • Love, Compassion, Rejoicing and Equanimity. Without Limit.



    European Tour 2015

    Indian Time

    August 27    

      Chenrezig: Viewing The World With Compassion

      19:30 - 21:00

    • Teaching part 1

      21:30 - 23:00

    • Teaching part 2

    August 28

      13:30 - 15:00

    • Chenrezig Empowerment

      21:30

    •Compassion in Action: Environmentalism for 21st Century. new!

    August 29    

       Akshobhya: Patience For A Peaceful World

      13:30 - 15:30

    • Teaching part 1

      19:30 - 21:30

    • Teaching part 2

    August 30

      13:30 - 15:30

    • Akshobhya Empowerment

      19:30 - 21:30

    • Love, Compassion, Rejoicing and Equanimity. Without Limit.



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  • 08/23/15--22:37: Welcome to Europe! :)


  • We welcome His Holiness XVII. Karmapa on European ground – Karmapa arrived savely in Germany and was welcomed by Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Horst Rauprich of the Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft Germany and Mr. Ngodup Dorjee (CTA). We are looking forward to meeting him on wednesday in the Kamalashila Institut. Joy!







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  • 08/25/15--23:13: Expanding our compassion





  • If we allow our compassion to remain only inside of ourselves, our compassion will become powerless, without a function. It would become like a vase that despite having the ability to carry water had been placed high upon a shelf and never used.

    To expand our compassion we can apply our imagination to everyday's situations. Sometimes when the wind blows I imagine that my compassion mixes with the wind and is carried in every direction to touch all sentient beings. Sometimes when I see beautiful clouds in the sky I imagine that they carry my compassion and that all beings over whom the clouds hover also experience the feeling of compassion. We can also do contemplation involving our five sense faculties. For example, we continually have objects in our visual field. Having first giving rise to compassion mentally we can then spread that compassion to any sentient being who appears before our eyes and imagine that they experience all of our compassion, love and joy.

    17th Karmapa


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    Posted at: Aug 26 2015 12:35AM

    SC stays Karmapa’s trial in money-laundering case
    Sets aside HP HC’s order, also issues notice to state government





    Legal Correspondent
    New Delhi, August 25

    In a major relief to 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the Supreme Court today stayed the Himachal Pradesh High Court order allowing criminal proceedings against him in a case of money laundering and illegal land deal.

    A Bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and SA Bobde passed the order after the Karmapa’s senior counsel Harish Salve and Siddharth Luthra questioned the motive of the complainant in the case who was from Sikkim. The Bench also issued notice to the state government seeking its response to the Karmapa’s plea for setting aside the HC ruling.

    On July 8, the HC had quashed an order by a trial court in Una to drop charges against 17th Karmapa in the case. A single bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur had directed the state government to go ahead with the trial in accordance with law.

    “The entire episode reeks of money laundering... The impugned order rendered on May 21, 2012, by the judicial magistrate of Una is quashed and set aside,” Justice Thakur had said in a 48-page judgment. The Karmapa along with others was charged under various sections of the IPC following the recovery of unaccounted foreign currency amounting to Rs 1.2 crore from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery in Sidhbari, near Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, on January 28, 2011. The searches were conducted after the seizure of Rs 1 crore from a vehicle in Una on January 26, 2011.

    The 30-year-old Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu School, one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in Tibet, he had made a mysterious escape from the Tsurphu monastery to reach McLeodganj in 2000. He made the Gyuto monastery his abode while continuing the search for land to set up one of his own.

    The currency seized (from the monastery) was reportedly meant for the purchase of 52 canals of land for the monastery in Sidhbari, where he also heads the Karma Garchen Trust. Another charge was the land was being purchased without seeking permission from the government under Section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, mandatory for all non-agriculturists.

    According to the police, the entire money was brought in through 'hawala' channels. They said the 52 canals of land was bought for Rs 5 crore, and not for Rs 2.5 crore, "the amount was underestimated for tax evasion".



    About the case

    • The Himachal HC had on July 8 quashed an order by a trial court in Una to drop charges against 17th Karmapa in the case
    • The Karmapa along with others was charged under various IPC sections following the recovery of unaccounted foreign currency amounting to Rs 1.2 crore
    • The money was seized from Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery in Sidhbari, near Dharamsala, on January 28, 2011
    • The searches were conducted after the seizure of Rs 1 crore from a vehicle in Una on January 26, 2011



    http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/sc-stays-karmapa-s-trial-in-money-laundering-case/124474.html



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    26. August 2015, 22:43


    26th August, 2015 | Mid-afternoon, His Holiness arrived at the Kamalashila Institute in Langenfeld, a small town set in the German countryside of Eifel, south of Cologne. He will spend one night here on his way to Bonn, where he will give Buddhist teachings, empowerments and hold audiences for his European students, in addition to giving two public talks.
    A traditional golden procession, headed by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, the Karmapa’s representative in Europe, received His Holiness and escorted him in his car into the institute. Nuns, monks and laypeople carried auspicious victory banners. Lamas blew Tibetan trumpets and beat their drums, and a monk walked beside the car, holding aloft the great golden parasol which symbolises royalty. Once within the grounds, the 17th Karmapa was welcomed warmly by Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche and Horst Rauprich, president of the Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft, the German organisation which has sponsored and organised this His Holiness’ second visit to Europe.
    Shortly afterwards, a specially invited audience of 180 guests from Karma Kagyu centres across Europe gathered in the shrine hall for the welcome ceremony, celebrated with Tibetan butter tea and sweet rice, which had been prepared specially by a group of Bhutanese who are resident in nearby Bonn. The guests of honour were Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche and Lama Gyurme from Paris, as well as a group of sponsors, and the Mayor of Langenfeld.
    Lamas from Kamalashila Institute made the mandala offering; Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Horst Rauprich and the board members of the Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft made the body, speech and mind offering.
    In a short speech, delivered mainly in English, His Holiness first expressed his joy at being able to visit Europe once more, and thanked the Indian Government, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and the German Government for making the visit possible. “It fills me with great delight to be able to come to this beautiful village of Langenfeld again,” he added.
    He explained that causes and conditions had led to both his European visits being based in Germany; however, his hope was that in the future he would be able to visit more European countries.
    “Don’t be jealous!” he joked. “This is just the starting point.”
    In the evening, His Holiness held a private meeting with members of the Karma Kagyu Gemeinschaft to discuss their plans for future development and then went for a walk through the famous Eifel landscape of green fields, rolling hills and dense forests.
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    27. August 2015


    His Holiness has left the Kamalashila Institut and is on his way to Bonn. We wish him, all participants and all guests 4 wonderful and inspiring days!

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    http://www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/departure-to-bonn/

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    28. August 2015



    Day 1 in Bonn – Chenrezig Teachings Part 1 and Part 2

    Bonn, Germany – 27th August, 2015
    Just over a year since His Holiness the 17th Karmapa’s first visit to Europe, students gathered from across the continent to join him in Bonn on his second visit. The venue chosen for this year’s teachings was the Maritim Hotel’s grand theatre-like auditorium which lent itself well to the atmosphere of a second-year reunion. As Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpoche, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Chime Rinpoche, Tanpai Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, Lama Gyurme and other dignitaries took their seats in the front row, the ample space filled with the joyful buzz of the 1,300 people eager to hear this first teaching of the tour.
    The theme for this, the Karmapa’s second visit to Germany, is “Love, Compassion, Rejoicing and Equanimity: Without Limit.” Inaugurating the teaching series, the Gyalwang Karmapa offered two sessions today devoted to the practice of Chenrezig, as part of the cultivation of the four immeasurable thoughts mentioned in the theme. 
    He immediately drew his audience into the topic by referring to a matter of great concern and controversy across Europe at the moment which challenges our ability to empathise and act compassionately —the influx of refugees from Africa and the Middle East.  He pointed out that he himself could be called a refugee. Many Tibetans have fled to India and other countries in order to practice and preserve their religion, language and culture. There are others who seek refuge for economic reasons, he added. Noting that armed conflicts have driven many people from their home countries, His Holiness described the need of those displaced by war as “more urgent and important” because their very lives depend on their receiving refuge in other countries.  “Should we think of what is best for such people, or should we think only of the welfare and security of our own country and citizens? The time has come to give this issue our careful consideration,” he said. 
    With the real-world suffering of refugees as the context for his remarks on compassion, His Holiness the Karmapa addressed the cultivation of compassion through the practice of Four-Armed Chenrezig. As he did, he gave the topic his characteristic emphasis on implementing compassion in action. 
    The Karmapa explained that Chenrezig is considered to condense all the energy of compassion of all the buddhas, embodied in this case as a deity with four arms. Engaging in Four-Armed Chenrezig practice is a means of tapping into “a source of limitless power: the power of compassion.” 
    His Holiness explained that the four arms of Chenrezig symbolize the four immeasurable thoughts of love, compassion, joy and equanimity. However, he stressed that he sees these four as not merely qualities, but especially as the activities associated with each of the qualities. 
    Reflecting on the significance of depicting compassion in a form that has four arms and one head, rather than four heads, His Holiness stated, “I personally think that the fact that Chenrezig has just one head and four arms sends us a clear message: Stop thinking so much and start doing more to benefit beings. Think less and act more.” 
    Before concluding the first teaching session, His Holiness expressed his concern that the information era tends to overload us with a great deal of information that we do not know how to respond to or process. “Information alone is not enough,” he said. “The key practice in this information age is to learn how to allow the information to transform our heart.” 
    After an hour-long break, when the audience stretched their legs and refreshed themselves with tea and coffee, His Holiness resumed his exploration of the four immeasurable thoughts. He noted that people with no previous exposure to the practice are free to follow their own sense and start with whichever quality best suits them. However, in terms of the order in which they are traditionally cultivated, he said that equanimity comes first and forms the basis for the remaining three.
    The Karmapa devoted much of the session to equanimity. He began by acknowledging that while perfect equanimity is possible in principle, for most people a more realistic aim would be to begin by simply seeking to reduce their indifference or hostility towards those they dislike. 
    His Holiness made an appeal to our shared sense of humanity and the principle of equality as a foundation for the cultivation of such equanimity. Equanimity comes down to recognizing and respecting the most basic level on which we are all the same in terms of wanting happiness and wishing to be free from suffering, the Karmapa argued. “It is important to cultivate a deeper acknowledgement of the fact that all sentient beings have the freedom and the right to be free of suffering.” 
    Among the many different religions, different races and traditions that share this world, he said, there often seems to be remarkably little sense of unity. “It has been my experience that we could eliminate a great deal of unnecessary fears and doubts of others,” he said, “if we could just remember the basic reality of our fundamental human equality.” 
    Evoking his comments in the morning regarding the plight of refugees, His Holiness observed that we frequently fail to connect with the suffering of others unless their problems impact on us. In this regard, he said, a greater awareness of the principle of interdependence can help, as can our training in the conscious cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion. 
    Directing his comments to personal practice, His Holiness cautioned against embarking on a spiritual path in the expectation that one will feel comfortable and happy as one develops one’s compassion. “Training in love and compassion is not always happy and cheerful,” he warned. “If we expect to feel comfortable as we train, we are in danger of becoming discouraged when we face adverse conditions”. He described the expectation that our practice will be comfortable as the main reason we become stuck and fail to progress. Instead, His Holiness said, we should actually hope for adverse conditions so that we can learn to overcome them and truly strengthen our love and compassion. 
    He pointed out that bodhisattvas are considered to be heroic precisely because they do not shy away from the challenges presented by adverse conditions on the path. “Anyone can be heroic and brave when things are pleasant,” he said. “It takes a true hero to be brave in the face of difficulties”. 
    The Karmapa reflected that a key quality of bodhisattvas is that they are able to encourage themselves and sustain their own determination. He went on to note that the practice of Chenrezig is a method that allows us to learn how to similarly encourage ourselves. When we visualize ourselves as Chenrezig, he said, we are effectively uplifting ourselves as we contemplate that we are the expression of the power of compassion of all the buddhas. “This serves as a method for giving yourself a superpower or supercharge of compassion”, he said. 
    As he closed the first day’s teachings, His Holiness announced that rather than give an empowerment which many of the audience had already received possibly several times,  tomorrow morning he would lead a meditation session while simultaneously conferring the reading transmission of the Chenrezig practice. 
    Heartfelt applause broke out across the auditorium; His Holiness rose from his throne and left the stage with a farewell wave of acknowledgement. Slowly the audience rose and dispersed, as if reluctant to leave the hall. Their faces beamed as they talked excitedly about the teaching which had just finished and the prospect of more tomorrow. 

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    Vepa Rao| 28 August, 2015





    Three white cranes offered a bowl of yoghurt to his mother in a dream. Birds sang. A rainbow appeared on the family tent and sounds from conch shells rippled across the valley along with those from various musical instruments. These “auspicious omens” in Lhatok of East Tibet on 26 June 1985 marked the birth of an extraordinary boy initially called “Apo Gaga” (happy brother). At the age of seven, he was recognized as Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa and the head of the powerful Karma Kagyu School, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

    He eventually escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14 in dramatic and mysterious circumstances and now at the age of 30 lives in Gyuto monastery near Dharamshala, worshipped by scores of followers all over the world.

    Ever since the 16th Karmapa died in 1981, a controversy arose about who the 17th Karmapa should be. The claimants are Ogyen Dorje, Trenley Thaye Dorje (who lives near Kalingpong in West Bengal) and Dava Sangpo Dorjee (in Nepal). Earlier, one member of the search team looking for the 17th Karmapa had identified Ogyen and another member Dava Dorje as the real successor. This caused a split and controversy in the Kagyu Sect.

    The Dalai Lama who belongs to the “Gelug” (“Yellow Hats”) had been the temporal as well as spiritual head of the Tibetan exiles till four years ago when he devolved his political powers to the elected members. When the institution of the Dalai Lama seizes to continue (as often hinted by the present Dalai Lama), the Karmapa may become the next religious head of the Tibetans - since the 11th Panchen Lama is allegedly in the detention of China and replaced by Gyaincain Norbu who is not accepted by most Tibetans.

    Ogyen Trenley Dorje living near Dharamshala is constantly under the watchful eye of Indian intelligence agencies. His movements are also restricted. However, in 2011, the Himachal police raided the office of Karma Garchen Trust backed by him and seized unaccounted money estimated over Rs. 6 crore in currencies of 25 countries including Chinese Yuan. This was preceded by an earlier seizure of Rs. 1 crore from a Jeep by Una police; the money was allegedly meant for purchase of land by the Karmapa’s trust.

    The Karmapa’s office explained that the foreign currency was “offerings from his Holiness’s devotees” and the accounts of the trust were operated by its employees where as he was only a chairman and had no knowledge of these details. The Judicial Magistrate (First Class) of Una accepted this prayer and allowed the assistant public prosecutor to withdraw Karmapa’s name from the prosecution list. This gave him a temporary relief at that time.

    However, last month responding to a petition filed by a Sikkim-based organization, the Himachal Pradesh High Court quashed and set aside the lower court’s orders (passed in 2012) to drop criminal prosecution against the Karmapa and ordered the state government to proceed against him in accordance with the law. “The entire episode reeks of money laundering”, the High Court observed.

    The land was reportedly being bought without seeking permission under section 118 of H P Tenancy and Land Reforms Act - mandatory for non-agriculturists in the state. “The prime position of the Karmapa occupying the chairmanship of the Trust cannot absolve him from the attribution of an inculpatory role merely on the ground that he was neither a signatory to the relevant documents nor the receiver of the tainted money….The fact that he had a discreet role gains legal foothold not by direct evidence but by indirect evidence”.

    However, on appeal, the Supreme Court has a few days ago passed an order staying the High Court order – giving major relief to the Karmapa at least for the time being.

    The controversy on who the real Karmapa is seems to be unending. Even the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had reportedly written to the Himachal Chief Secretary asking the state government not to address Ogyen Trenley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa stating that the Indian government had not recognised him as such. It also fuelled the controversy about his succeeding the Dalai Lama as “they are two separate institutions and the Karmapa is not a successor to the Dalai Lama”.

    The recent High Court order was seen at that time as a great setback to the Karmapa and one that would hurt his image. However, support for him has been pouring in from various quarters. Ardent followers of the 30-year old “spiritual guru” feel he would “come out clean” and the Indian government should take “the initiative to resolve the issue to avoid alienating the Buddhists residing in the strategic border areas”.

    The followers have also blamed a rival group linked to another claimant to the title for trying to involve Ogyen in the issue. There is overwhelming support from the Buddhist communities of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladhak region of Jammu and Kashmir etc. They all have reverential tones and expect the government to help the spiritual guru. Many interesting and debatable developments seem to be in the offing.

    The writer is The Statesman's correspondent in Shimla.


    Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/opinion/controversy-courts-the-karmapa/85723.html#fyDLJy2Wky66bh67.99




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