Posted at: Sep 29 2015 12:37AMMONEY LAUNDERING CASE
New Delhi, September 28
The Supreme Court today granted four-week time to the Himachal Government for responding to 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee’s plea for quashing the criminal proceedings against him in a case of money laundering and illegal land deal. A Bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and SA Bobde passed an order on the state counsel’s plea for time to consult and take instructions from the state government. On August 25, the SC effectively stalled the criminal proceedings against the Karmapa by staying the HP High Court order, allowing his prosecution. A trial court in Una had dropped the charges against the Karmapa on May 21, 2012, but the HC quashed it on July 8 this year and directed holding of trial. The SC also issued notice to the state government on August 25, seeking its response to the Karmapa’s plea for setting aside the HC ruling. 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 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. Another charge was the evasion of tax in the purchase of 52 canals of land for Rs 5 crore by declaring that the transaction was for Rs 2.5 crore. Also, no permission was taken from the state government for the deal as required under law. The Karmapa has maintained that the dealings were done by a trust whose accounts were operated by its staff and the sale and purchase of land was taken care of by a panel without his knowledge. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/sc-gives-4-weeks-to-hp-over-karmapa-s-plea/139019.html
The 33rd Kagyu Monlam will be held during the Month of Miracles which is regarded as a most auspicious time. For this reason, all lay practitioners are encouraged to receive the Mahayana Sojong vows each day during the Monlam this coming year. All lay practitioners who receive the Mahayana Sojong vows, both men and women, should dress completely in white during this time, as a sign of purification.
The timing of the 3rd Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering has been changed from after the Kagyu Monlam to before the Tibetan New Year celebrations. It will now be held from 14th January - 3rd February, 2016.
During the gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa will resume his teachings on Lord Gampopa's The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, starting from Chapter Six and continuing to Chapter Eight.
The nuns will continue their study of debate on Collected Topics at Intermediate and Higher level.
In addition there will be the practice of the WhiteTara Sadhana on 24th January, the Karma Pakshi Guru Sadhana and the Tsering Che Nga puja and prosperity ritual from the 26th - 28th January, and the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje's Chöd practice The Precious Garland on 2nd February.
Finally, on an auspicious day to be announced, in the early morning, there will be the Ritual for the Flourishing of the Nuns’ Dharma. Later the same day there will be an ordination ceremony for nuns.
Programme for the 3rd Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering
14th – 23rd January
Teachings on Jewel Ornament of Liberation; Debate on Collected Topics
24th January, 2016
9.00am : White Tara Sadhana composed by the 5th Shamarpa
25th January, 2016
26th – 28th January, 2016
Karma Pakshi Guru Sadhana and Tsering Che Nga puja and prosperity ritual
29th January – 1st February, 2016
Teachings on Jewel Ornament of Liberation; Debate on Collected Topics
Tibetan New Year [Losar] begins shortly before the 33rd Kagyu Monlam. Therefore, celebrations for the Tibetan Year of the Male Fire Monkey will be held in the Monlam Pavilion from9th – 11th February, 2016.
For purification and removal of obstacles at the end of the Year of the Wood Sheep, the Four-Armed Mahakala Torma Offering ritual will be offered from 4th – 7th February, 2016
On New Year’s Eve, 8th February 2016, at 9.00am, the Gyalwang Karmapa will bestow the long-life empowerment of Amitayus Buddha: The Practice of the Three Roots Combined.
In the early morning on New Year’s Day, in accordance with the Karma Khamtsang tradition, there will be The Practice of the Three Roots Combined ritual and a long-life offeringfor the Gyalwang Karmapa, followed by a public audience.
On 10th February at 9.00 am there will be the ritual offering of Sangharama, combining both Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist traditions.
On 11th February at 9.00am, in the presence of the Gyalwang Karmapa and his heart sons, there will be the traditional Great Seating Ceremony for all the Rinpoches, Khenpos, Lamas and staff members of Karma Kagyu monasteries and nunneries. In the afternoon at 2.00pm the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts will give a performance of Lhamo, traditional Tibetan opera.
Visualization of the thirteen deities of Four-Armed Mahakala
Torma practice of Four-Armed Mahakala།
Torma practice and expulsion ritual of Four-Armed Mahakala
9:00 am Long life empowerment of Amitayus ThePractice of the Three Roots Combined
The timing of the Kagyu Gunchö has changed and the 19th Kagyu Gunchö will be held after the 33rd Kagyu Monlam, from 26th February to 10th March, 2016.
During the Gunchö, the Gyalwang Karmapa will continue his teachings from the Eighth Karmapa’s One Hundred Short Instructions with the chapter on the Six Paramitas. In addition,we have requested Kyabje Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche to give the oral transmission of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s commentary on the Vinaya: The Mandala of the Sun.
The main part of the programme in this year’s Gunchö will be a conference on the matchless Lord Gampopa’s APrecious Garland of the Supreme Path Chapters Three to Ten.
For the study of Collected Topics, Lorig and Tarig, all the students will be divided into two classes, upper and lower. There will be traditional group debate on Tenets and also, in-between, Western-style debate on two topics:
1. Whether blind faith can be considered faith or not.
2. Whether the Dharma and the secular world are mutually opposed or not.
Sunrise at Rumtek, and the Karmapa, like the sun, warms the space. I feel his presence, a radiance and energy that only he can bring, that draws us to him; his generous kindness. This is my lasting memory;
Those days when he sat all day in audience all day, and the crowds who came and went; crowds of us; crowds of all races; crowds of all religions quietly drawn to him.
And he in the midst; a dog and cat asleep at his feet; while on his finger, attentive and still, as if listening to him, a small bird perched, unafraid of the people before him, and all beings drawn to him.
When he smiled, then they knew; when he laughed then they knew too the power of wisdom and compassion. This was his Being. He was that compassion; his Being his communication and wisdom.
It was said that he taught the birds and that their practice was known when they died thereafter in Samadhi. Did he speak to the birds? I wondered.
As for me, I had planned my questions for him, after days of thinking. Now they seemed nonsense, and vanished like clouds. I just sat and basked in the warmth of his kindness and his loving radiance.
And so did the Westerners who came, curious about the Tibetans. Afterwards they too would ask questions and study the Dharma. They would leave with the knowledge that this was a genuine Master.
Some took Refuge; some took robes; all of them were drawn to the Path, and this one encounter in the Karmapa's presence was stronger and more lasting than many long years of teachings.
And what of the birds? Like us they felt the direct power of Wisdom and the sun-like warmth and energy of Compassion from their Master and Teacher, the 16th Karmapa.
This Master of communication, who taught us all without language. He was a friend to all creatures, who were drawn to this great Master. This was the 16th Karmapa, who taught us all by his Being.
On a bright, sunny day, the Gyalwang Karmapa came to Upper Dharamshala to be the Chief Guest at this T.C.V. anniversary celebration. Following addresses by three speakers covering the history, finances, and purposes of the schools, the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to talk.
Greeting everyone present, the Gyalwang Karmapa commented, “Though I’m quite busy these days, I wanted to make time to come today and offer my respects and support. Fifty-five years have passed since the school was founded and it has undergone tremendous development during this time. These years have entailed a great deal of effort, not just for a few days, but year after year of continuous, dedicated work on the part of the administrative staff, the teachers, and the students.”
Turning to the value of the school being celebrated today, the Karmapa remarked that “it supports the greater family of Tibetans, the common good of Tibet, and fulfills the express wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. All of these will bring wonderful advantages in this life and the next.” He noted that all the efforts made to care for and sustain T.C.V. have had an immense and great benefit. For all of this he expressed his profound thanks.
The Karmapa then turned to the situation of Tibetans in exile and mentioned that there is a tendency to become a bit complacent and forget why they had left Tibet: What was the situation in Tibet when they had to flee? What was the karma that caused them to leave? He counseled the Tibetan people to keep in mind their great goal: To develop their own education and physical well-being so they could return to their homeland, help it to make positive changes, and create a superb nation of the Tibetan people. For this to happen, pedestrian efforts are not enough: genuine, inspired study is needed. “Our goal is huge,” he said, “different from others, so we need to fire our spirit and increase our efforts, doing more than before.”
The Karmapa noted that in the future, the situation of the Tibetans would be increasingly difficult: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has turned eighty and one does not know what the future will bring. He counseled, “Now it is important to think about what might come. We must preserve Tibetan culture, and not lose sight of what it means to be Tibetan.”
In closing, the Karmapa expressed his thanks for being invited to the anniversary celebration and extended his heartfelt gratitude to all the staff and teachers of the Tibetan Children’s Villages.
Spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorge today asked Tibetans across the globe to reflect on the circumstances that led them into exile as he reminded them about their responsibility as refugees.
"Tibetans across the globe should reflect on the circumstances that led us into exile and the responsibility as a Tibetan refugee," the 17th Karmapa said here while speaking during the 55th anniversary celebration of Tibetan Children Village, the residential Tibetan school, here today.
The Karmapa, who heads one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, on the occasion applauded the contribution of TCV staff, teachers and students for preserving the Tibetan identity and culture.
"I applaud your selfless contribution in preserving Tibetan identity and culture and for actualising His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's aspirations. The importance of education is beyond question, especially in this time. Students should have an ambitious attitude towards learning and focus on improvement and excellence," he said.
Speaker of Tibetan Parliament Penpa Tsering, Religious and Culture Kalon Pema Chhinjor (Representative of Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay), Kalons and members of the Kashag, secretaries and heads of Tibetan governmental and non-governmental organisations among others had attended the event held at TCV headquarter in upper Dharamasala.
An inter-house athletics meet will be held tomorrow followed by a TCV alumni of 1990-batch gathering on the third day following which the anniversary celebration will culminate.
Sunday, 25 October 2015 12:58Yeshe Choesang, Tibet Post International
His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa speaks to the students. Photo: TPI/Choneyi Sangpo
Dharamshala —Tibetan students paraded to the beat of drums, and performed traditional dance and calisthenics marking the 55thanniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Children's Village School in Upper Dharamshala on 23 October. Thousands of Tibetans and Non-Tibetans had joined in the celebration. Escorted by the school's marching band, Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission Kargyu Dhondup, Penpa Tsering Speaker for the Tibetan Parliament in exile and Pema Chinnjor, Religion and Culture Minister– representing Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) were amongst the special guests in attendance, as well as other top ministers and community representatives. "I applaud your selfless contribution in preserving Tibetan identity and culture and for actualising His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's aspirations," said, Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche who was the chief guest at the event, praised the TCV school and thanked all the staffs, teachers and students who has been a part of the Tibetan school. "The importance of Education is beyond question, especially in this time. Students should have an ambitious attitude towards learning and focus on improvement and excellence," Karmapa Rinpoche stressed while urging the Tibetans to reflect on the circumstances that led us into exile and the responsibility as a Tibetan refugee.
"Education is a key priority for the current Tibetan administration. Our goal is to significantly expand the base of Tibetan professionals holding advance degrees in modern education fields," Religious and Culture Kalon Mr Pema Chhinjor said. "The Kashag, therefore has announced new scholarship schemes to inspire Tibetan students to achieve merits in higher education. Along with Modern Education, basic traditional education is crucial to the sustenance of Tibetan culture," he added. "The implementation of basic education policy is an important initiative towards achieving an efficient education system," Mr Chhinjor said, adding that "from 2016, the basic education policy will be introduced at primary stages in TCV schools." Speaker Penpa Tsering urged the students and spectators alike to be a responsible community members. "young Tibetans have a special responsibility to preserve and protect their culture, religion and language." He also encouraged more TCV alumni to serve the TCV community which in long run, will help TCV become "a self reliant organisation."
The event began with staff, guests and supporters observing an inter-class student parade followed by the Tibetan and Indian national anthems and a minute's silence in respect for those who have lost their lives in the Tibetan struggle. School President Tsewang Yeshi made a speech praising the school's programme and it's 54-year history. Tsewang Yeshe said: "I express my admiration to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for his vision to educate Tibetan children both in the traditional and modern fields of studies." "Mrs Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who shouldered the responsibilty of the first TCV Nursery on 17 May 1960 and later, expanded into a residential school by Mrs Jetsun Pema, the younger sister of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama," he said. "Without their leadership and guidance, the TCV wouldn't have achieved success in educating thousands of Tibetan children." The school with a slogan of "Others before Self", is painted in large block letters on the school walls. Students performed a variety of routines including songs and a traditional Tibetan group dance by students and a precisely choreographed calisthenics show.
The calisthenics earned applause from the audience as students used their movements and formations to spell "Tibet Climate Action" a campaign recently launched by the CTA, urging the world leaders take bold and decisive action on Tibet climate at Paris COP21, followed by "80", in celebrating the eighth birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and "Peace is powerful" a symbol of the peaceful Tibetan struggle for freedom, justice and equality. An energetic drum performance and a speech by village director, Mr Ngodup Wangdu, concluded the celebrations. The Director congratulated Mr Tenzin Damdul of TCV Suja for scoring 95.8 percentage in the class 12 CBSE board exam and encouraged all the students to achieve excellence in their studies. The Tibetan Children's Village aims to provide children with the necessary resources and the opportunities to develop their abilities to the fullest and has become an integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year. As well as teaching the children about Tibetan language and culture, students study science, arts, counseling and information technology. Over it's 55-year history the school has expanded to have more than 16,000 children under their care and has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South. http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/exile/4763-karmapa-and-tibetan-leaders-laud-tcvs-success-on-its-55th-anniv
By Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective Buddhistdoor Global |2015-10-29
Fifteen of the world's most senior Buddhists have issued a landmark call to political leaders to adopt an effective climate change agreement at the UN negotiations in Paris starting 30 November.
“We are at a crucial crossroads where our survival and that of other species is at stake as a result of our actions,” the Statement's initial section warns. Eminent signatories (full list below) include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, and His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, as well as supreme heads of Buddhism in Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, the secretary general of the International Buddhist Conferation (IBC), the president of the Buddhist Association of the USA, the president of the UBF (l’Union Bouddhiste de France), and Her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck of Bhutan.
This urgent call for action on climate change, from leaders representing over a billion Buddhists worldwide, is unprecedented. It is the first time so many Buddhist luminaries have come together on a global issue to speak with one voice.
The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders (text and list of signatories in annex to this release and at www.gbccc.org) urges the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to act with wisdom and compassion, and agree to phase out fossil fuels and move towards 100 per cent renewable and clean energy.
The Statement also calls on world leaders to find the political will to close the emissions gap left by national climate pledges tabled with the UNFCCC Secretariat, to ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels. To help vulnerable, developing countries address the cost of mitigating climate change (reducing emissions) and adapting to its devastating impacts, Buddhist leaders have asked for finance to be increased above the currently promised US$100 billion per year as from 2020 through the Green Climate Fund amongst other instruments.
“Everyday life can easily lead us to forget that we are inextricably linked to the natural world through every breath we take, the water we drink and the food we eat,” stated Lama Lobzang, Secretary of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). “Humanity must act on the root causes of this crisis, which is driven by greed, thoughtlessness and a lack of concern about the consequences of our actions.”
“When we harm the earth, we harm ourselves,” said Sister Chan Khong, of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists. “The earth is not just our environment. The earth is our mother. We are all children of the earth, and we must help one another as brothers and sisters of one big planetary family. We must take action, not out of a sense of duty but out of love for our planet and for each other. The Buddha has shown us that we can all live simply and still be very happy.”
The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders amplifies The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, which has been endorsed in 2015 by more than 300 eminent Buddhist leaders and teachers representing the main schools and traditions of Buddhism from 37 countries, as well as thousands of Buddhist practitioners. It also welcomes and supports the climate change statements of other religious traditions. Buddhists are encouraged to show their support and join the conversation online using #Buddhists4Climate.
Venerable Lama Lobzang, secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), signing the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders, Delhi, India, 28 October 2015. From gbccc.org
Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders
28 October 2015
We, the undersigned Buddhist leaders, come together prior to the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, in order to add our voices to the growing calls for world leaders to cooperate with compassion and wisdom and reach an ambitious and effective climate agreement.
We are at a crucial crossroads where our survival and that of other species is at stake as a result of our actions. There is still time to slow the pace of climate change and limit its impacts, but to do so, the Paris summit will need to put us on a path to phase out fossil fuels. We must ensure the protection of the most vulnerable, through visionary and comprehensive mitigation and adaptation measures.
Our concern is founded on the Buddha’s realization of dependent co-arising, which interconnects all things in the universe. Understanding this interconnected causality and the consequences of our actions is a critical step in reducing our environmental impact. Cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion, we will be able to act out of love, not fear, to protect our planet. Buddhist leaders have been speaking about this for decades. However, everyday life can easily lead us to forget that our lives are inextricably interwoven with the natural world through every breath we take, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Through our lack of insight, we are destroying the very life support systems that we and all other living beings depend on for survival.
We believe it imperative that the global Buddhist community recognize both our dependence on one another as well as on the natural world. Together, humanity must act on the root causes of this environmental crisis, which is driven by our use of fossil fuels, unsustainable consumption patterns, lack of awareness, and lack of concern about the consequences of our actions.
We strongly support The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, which is endorsed by a diverse and global representation of Buddhist leaders and Buddhist sanghas. We also welcome and support the climate change statements of other religious traditions. These include Pope Francis’s encyclical earlier this year, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, as well as the upcoming Hindu Declaration on Climate Change. We are united by our concern to phase out fossil fuels, to reduce our consumption patterns, and the ethical imperative to act against both the causes and the impacts of climate change, especially on the world’s poorest.
To this end, we urge world leaders to generate the political will to close the emissions gap left by country climate pledges and ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels. We also ask for a common commitment to scale up climate finance, so as to help developing countries prepare for climate impacts and to help us all transition to a safe, low carbon future.
The good news is that there is a unique opportunity at the Paris climate negotiations to create a turning point. Scientists assure us that limiting the rise in the global average temperature to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius is technologically and economically feasible. Phasing out fossil fuels and moving toward 100 per cent renewable and clean energy will not only spur a global, low-carbon transformation, it will also help us to embark on a much-needed path of spiritual renewal. In addition to our spiritual progression, in line with UN recommendations, some of the most effective actions individuals can take are to protect our forests, move toward a plant-based diet, reduce consumption, recycle, switch to renewables, fly less, and take public transport. We can all make a difference.
We call on world leaders to recognize and address our universal responsibility to protect the web of life for the benefit of all, now and for the future.
For these reasons, we call on all Parties in Paris:
1. To be guided by the moral dimensions of climate change as indicated in Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
2. To agree to phase out fossil fuels and move towards 100 per cent renewables and clean energy.
3. To create the political will to close the emissions gap left by country climate pledges so as to ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.
4. To make a common commitment to increase finance above the US$100 billion agreed in Copenhagen in 2009, including through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to help vulnerable developing countries prepare for climate impacts and transition towards a low-carbon economy.
The time to act is now.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Patriarch of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Head of the Karma Kagyu
His Holiness Dr. Dharmasen Mahathero, the Supreme Patriarch (Sangharaja) of the Bangladesh Sangha
Rev. Hakuga Murayama, President, All Japan Young Buddhist Association (JYBA)
His Eminence Jaesung Sunim, President of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Bhante B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera, Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
His Eminence Rev. Khamba Lama Gabju Demberel, The Supreme Head of Mongolian Buddhists
His Holiness Dr. Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa, Sangharaja, and Chairman State Sangha Maha Nāyaka Committee, Myanmar
His Eminence Agga Maha Panditha Dawuldena Gnanissara Maha Nayaka Thera, Mahanayaka Thero, The Supreme Prelate of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, Sri Lanka
His Holiness Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of All Vietnam Buddhist Sangha
Venerable Lama Lobzang, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
Venerable Olivier Reigen Wang-gen, President, l’Union Bouddhiste de France (UBF)
Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, President, Buddhist Association of the USA
Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, Bhutan
Veteran Hollywood star Morgan Freeman was in the holy city of Varansi to shoot a documentary. (Source: Reuters)
Veteran Hollywood star Morgan Freeman was in the holy city of Varansi to shoot a documentary.
The 78-year-old Oscar-winning actor was filming Nat Geo’s “The Story of God” series, an expansive documentary that explores the quest of human being to understand the divine.
“The Shawshank Redemption” star shot the portions of the project with the 17th Gyalwang
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and also interviwed him yesterday.
Wearing a blue kurta, comfort fit bottoms and a white hat, Freeman was spotted shooting at Vajra Vidya Sansthan and in Sarnath.
“The Story of God” follows Freeman as he goes on an exploration and intimate reflection on God, immersing himself in religious experiences around the globe. Apart from serving as the host, the actor is also executive producing the series.
Jnana-Pravaha Centre for Cultural Studies & Research, Varanasi, UP, India
Friday, November 6, 2015
The sounds of Karmapa Khyenno played through the white canopies set out on a sunny green lawn while the Ganges flowed nearby along its ancient course. This peaceful landscape of the Jnana-Pravaha Centre was the setting for a dialogue between spiritual teachers entitled, Awakening the Light of the Dharma: How to Uphold Dharma in the World Today. The Gyalwang Karmapa gave the keynote speech at this meeting focused on issues close to his heart.
The gathering brought together spiritual leaders from a variety of Buddhist and Hindu persuasions, Sufi, Jewish, and Theosophist teachers along with professors from Benares Hindu University joined by representatives from other academic and cultural institutions. The conference was mainly sponsored by the Jnana-Pravaha Centre and the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), based in New York. Its founder, Dena Merriam, introduced the conference speaking from her long-term commitment to inner development as an essential element in the positive transformation of the global community.
She spoke of the pervasive violence in the world today toward the women, the environment, and animals. To deal with this problem, she said, we have learn to think in terms of the whole web of life; we need a long-term vision, an understanding of the laws of cause and effect along with an increased respect and humility towards the earth’s community of life. For this to happen, an inner transformation has to come first before an external one.
Marianne Marstrand, Executive Director of GWIP, introduced the Gyalwang Karmapa as someone who expresses a deep concern for the earth and her living systems and one who shares his wisdom and insight with young people around the world so that they do not lose hope in these times.
After extending his greetings to all the Dharma friends who had gathered, the Karmapa remarked that he had come to the conference because it was focused on “developing mutual understanding between different spiritual traditions and inspiring their sacred perception of each other.” Sadly these days, there are many conflicts and misunderstandings based on the various religious traditions and we cannot postpone dealing with them. “We can see with our own eyes the difficulties in this world so even if we wanted to hold back and not do anything, we could not. If we can take small steps together, we can accomplish great things. This is critical for the peace of the world.” The Karmapa also emphasized that the importance of making good connections between individuals, “only then can we come together and do something great.” These relationships, he noted, are facilitated by a pure and spacious attitude.
“One of the most important things religious traditions can do,” the Karmapa remarked, “is to shift people’s attitudes. For example, science has given clear messages about the damage being to our environment, but this has not helped to change things. People’s attitudes and motivations have to transform, and religious leaders must show the way here. This means that all of us engaged in the religious traditions have a great responsibility.”
The Karmapa closed his talk by saying how delighted he was to see Dharma gurus and students at the conference and offered his best wishes and prayers that all be auspicious. Afterward, he took questions from two students.
The first one asked, “In this present time, how far are the teachings and beliefs of Buddha alive and relevant?”
The Karmapa responded, “In looking at Buddhist principles, we can see that there are some that stem from tradition and others that have turned into customs. We have to examine and see what is appropriate and helpful for the present time.
“If we look at the essence of Dharma,” he continued, “we can see many aspects that are very relevant–love and compassion, having few desires and being content, the understanding of interdependence, and mindfulness meditation.” In addition, the Karmapa said that the way Buddhism is taught is crucial: “Teachers must teach in tune with our contemporary world so that the Dharma matches the needs of the people who are living here and now.”
The next questioner asked: “What role can Buddhism play in insuring and promoting gender equality? The Karmapa replied: “When the Buddha was present on this earth, he gave both women and men the opportunity to practice in four different ways: through the vows of full ordination for both men and women as well as lay vows for women and men. These four types of vows for the lay and ordained sangha resemble the four pillars supporting a house.” However, the Karmapa noted, this situation has changed over time. For example, the tradition of full ordination for women disappeared in Tibet.
In general the Karmapa stated that exploring philosophical views on the subject of equality for women or passing numerous laws will not bring the changes needed to establish equality. The rights of women, he said, are part of the basic rights of human beings. All living beings have the right to be happy and to avoid suffering, so if we can truly cherish and sustain these basic rights, equality for women will come. On this positive note, the Karmapa closed his presentation.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, one of the Karmapa’s teachers, then spoke and emphasized the importance of pure motivation during interfaith dialogues and also the need to sustain the Dharma so that it is available over time. Human beings have the special faculty of discerning intelligence, which allows them to change what is negative and develop what is positive. In doing so they can benefit all forms of life. So it is essential to preserve our religious traditions and let them flourish for the benefit of all living beings.
During this first morning of the conference, the esteemed speakers also included Sri Jagadguru Dr. Chandrashethar Shivacharya Mahaswami from Varanasi, Radhanath Swami, a teacher of Bhakti-yoga, and the famous woman teacher Anandamurti Gurumaa. The conference will continue through November 8 with further presentations and discussions.
It is the seventh time now that The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH the Dalai Lama has hosted the Gyalwang Karmapa for a weekend of teachings in New Delhi. For this occasion, the stage of Indian International Centre’s main hall has been set up with a spacious white chair covered in red and gold brocade for the Karmapa, flanked by members of the ordained sangha in their burgundy robes, the eight auspicious symbols on backlit screens, and tall, double sprays of flowers in hues of red and white.
To explore the topic of this weekend’s teachings, entitled Science of the Mind, the Karmapa chose the famous verse, The Four Freedoms from Attachment, composed by the founding patriarch of the Sakya school, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo:
If you are attached to this life, you’re not a Dharma practitioner. If you are attached to samsara, you don’t have renunciation. If you are attached to selfish aims, you don’t have bodhicitta If there’s grasping, it is not the view.
Since these teachings are especially meant for Indians who have an interest in Buddhism, the Karmapa first extended his greetings to them for Diwali, the glittering festival of lights, wishing them a very happy holiday. Since it is customary to bring gifts of sweets, the Karmapa said playfully, “I should have brought some sweets for you but hopefully my talk will be sweet enough.”
The Karmapa began his teaching by saying that the text was a profound oral instruction, expressing all the points of the foundational and great vehicles or all three types of people (a teaching from the stages of the path or lam rim tradition). There are numerous commentaries on this verse, but it would be best just to focus on the verse itself, which is easy to understand and can be recalled again and again.
How does one listen to profound Dharma? Both the one giving the teaching and those receiving it should be clear about their motivations and their reasons, because it is a good motivation that makes for true sharing of Dharma. If you just come to the teachings out of curiosity, what you hear will not bring much benefit. However, if you come with a clear motivation and understanding of the reasons why you came, then the teachings will help to develop your minds.
When listening to the Dharma, you also need to keep clearly in mind a goal, no matter how large or small it may be. The Karmapa then provided an opportunity to experience what this might be like and asked people to reflect in a natural way about why they came while he chanted the refuge vow and the generation of bodhicitta. Having reminded people of the proper motivation, the Karmapa began his explanation of the first line of the verse:
If you are attached to this life, you are not a practitioner.
Since we are Dharma practitioners, the Karmapa commented, we have to recognize what it means to be one. This line can also mean that someone on the Dharma path investigates what is within their own mind. If we do not ask ourselves questions, then how can we know what is means to be a practitioner? And if we spend most of our time doing things other than Dharma, how can we become a true practitioner? The Karmapa asked, “Is being a real practitioner putting aside our family and the work that supports us and spending all our time on Dharma? Is it something separate like this?” Actually not, he replied. We need a stable livelihood and a happy household and do not have to give them up to practice Dharma.Otherwise, Dharma practice would be for the select few and not something ordinary people could do.
Dharma practice should inspire us and bring strength of mind. It is focused not on the temporary but the ultimate, on what can truly satisfy our minds and bring lasting joy. For this reason, the Karmapa explained, a true practitioner looks to future lives and not just what concerns this present one. Of course, Dharma practice will benefit us in this life, but our ultimate goal is a high and deep kind of true joy. The Karmapa commented, “Believing one hundred percent in past and future lives is not easy, even among Buddhists. In Kham we say ‘Believing is pretending to believe.’” It is difficult to believe in past and future lives because we are asked to trust something we cannot see.
Some people think, the Karmapa noted, that making prayers to a deity is practicing Dharma. If we are lucky and our prayers are answered, then our expectations grow. But this kind of result does not bring true happiness; it only increases our expectations. What we need is a goal for our lives that will benefit us when we come to the day we must die. At that time whether our mundane prayers were filled or not will not matter. What we need, he said, is something that has made our lives meaningful, that has brought true joy and confidence to our minds.
Taking an example from his own life, the Karmapa related that since he was recognized at the age of seven, he has had to face many difficulties and situations that he did not wish for. However, he kept in mind that he had a responsibility and the profound purpose of helping others, so temporary obstacles became a way to become a better person and strengthen his character, and also a way for his mind to become more spacious. If we let our minds get upset and disturbed, he noted, this will just stir up more problems.
The Karmapa’s talk was followed by a few questions. The first one, related to what he had just said, asked about what to do when obstacles arise. Should we fight them or just let things be?
The Karmapa responded: “The goal a practitioner has in mind is very important. If an obstacle is temporary, it’s not a problem. The actual problem is not accomplishing the ultimate goal of our lives, so we can take temporary troubles as a chance to improve ourselves and develop our resolve and courage. The real obstacle is to lose our inspiration and enthusiasm.” He added, “If our motivation is vast and stable, it will not disappear in the face of obstacles.”
The next question asked: If we practice Dharma for future lives, how will it benefit us in this one?
The Karmapa replied: “When we say we’re practicing for next life, it means that we’re taking the benefit of the Dharma in this lifetime as a basis for future lives. When we practice Dharma, we are not wasting our time; on the contrary Dharma makes life meaningful. Then at the time of death we will not be disappointed, and at the least, we will not have regrets.” He continued to explain, “It is by having a result in this life what we can figure out the benefit in a future life. When we think about the benefit in the future, it means that there has to be a benefit in this life, for without it, there would be none in the future.” In sum, we should take the long-term view but not give up on this life.
The next question asked: How should we prepare for death?
In responding, the Karmapa spoke of the reflection on death and impermanence. “When we contemplate death and impermanence, this spurs us on to make efforts so that we make each day meaningful. From another perspective, thinking about impermanence is a preparation for death: everything is undergoing change from moment to moment; it is the nature of all things to come and go.” If we can accept things are they are, he stated, “we will have less fear of death and see it as a natural process.” We can also prepare for death by experiencing each day as an entire life time: we are born in the morning, go through the day of our life, and die at night.
The final question queried: How do we enhance our diligence or joyful exertion?
The Karmapa responded: “Diligence should be imbued with a sense of enthusiasm. And meditating on impermanence will inspire our diligence, since we will not want to waste this life.” We can also think about the benefit of Dharma practice. The Karmapa noted that these days people are very result oriented but that the results of Dharma practice may take time to appear so we need certainty and enthusiasm that allows us to stay the course. Reflecting on the benefits and deeper meaning of Dharma practice will allow to practice for a long time.
The teachings will continue tomorrow and are being made available through webcast translations into English, Spanish, Chinese, German, and Polish.
Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje gave a two-day teaching on, "Parting From the Four Attachments" at the India International Centre, New Delhi to devotees from around 30 countries including mainland China on November 7, 2015.
The teaching was based on Sakya Lama, Sachen Kunga Nyingpo's one stanza instruction. It is believed to have received the teaching from Bodhisattva Manjushri in his vision when he was on one month meditation retreat at the age of 12. The one stanza instruction is understood to have the entire practice of the path of the paramitas, condensed into training the mind in parting from four attachments.
Karmapa's teaching in Delhi was jointly organized by the 'Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama' and the 'Kun Kyong Charitable Trust of Gyalwa Karmapa.'
The documentary films on the life of the 16th Karmapa, "Lion's Roar" directed by Mark Elliott, and "Recalling a Buddha" directed by Gregg Eller were also screened during the two day teaching.
The India International Centre, New Delhi, India November 8, 2015
Today the Gyalwang Karmapa continued his teachings under the auspices of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility as the main hall of the India International Centre filled again with people from thirty countries. He began by dispelling the misconception that Dharma could be focused on external appearances—the impressions that our speech and physical gestures make or even different kinds of rituals. Dharma means making our lives deeply meaningful, he said, and discovering the essence of why we are here. When practice comes from the depth of our being, it effects our mind, making it clearer and able to accomplish the goals we set. Bringing about this inner change is the focus of the second freedom from attachment:
If you are attached to samsara, you don’t have renunciation.
Through Dharma practice we can change our personality. “Often we think,” the Karmapa explained, “‘This is the way I am. It’s the way I’m made and it’s impossible to change.’ That is not true. We can and actually need to change. If we alter our character, our whole life will be transformed.” He cautioned, “We cannot use our set ways as an excuse to stay the same. In particular, if our mind is especially wild and unruly, that’s actually a very good reason to try and change it.”
What should we do? The Karmapa advised that we should attend to the mind first, which is not easily reshaped so we need to find a powerful remedy and to inspire ourselves so our minds will be moved. Based on a positive motivation, we can change our ignorance, desire, and hatred, the three poisons that hold us back; we can actually arrive at our life’s aim. And this aim we should keep clearly in mind when we listen to the Dharma.
To bring this to an experiential level, the Karmapa asked that while he chanted the refuge vow, people use their natural intelligence to make clear for themselves their motivation in coming to these talks. He remarked that in listening to Dharma from any genuine teacher, we need to know the reasons why we have come. If it is just because that teacher is famous and popular, it will be difficult for Dharma to benefit us. Noting that it takes time to clarify our aspiration, the Karmapa chanted slowly and melodiously the refuge vow while people contemplated.
Turning to the root verse, the Karmapa explained that the first two lines of the verse relate to the lower and then the average level of individuals and the ways they train their minds. “If you are attached to samsara, you don’t have renunciation,” means that we abandon our attachment to samsara and seek to help others. The first line encouraged us not to be attached to this life, but think of the future ones. However, this is not enough. The Karmapa commented; “Even if we achieve the happiness of humans and gods, our minds will not be at ease, because this is a temporary, not the ultimate, happiness.”
To free ourselves he advised: “We must come to know that all of samsara has the very nature of suffering.” We can develop this understanding by asking ourselves: Is the happiness found in samsara true happiness? If it were, he said, then this happiness should be one that is autonomous or independent of conditions so that it does not change. But we cannot find such a happiness in samsara because mundane experiences arise based on numerous causes and conditions that continually change. So we do not find the happiness we seek, that ultimate happiness free of alteration.
The Karmapa gave an example to illustrate samsaric happiness: “Suppose you were carrying a heavy bag on your right shoulder. After a while, it would begin to hurt, so you shift it to your left shoulder and your right shoulder would feel better. But soon the left shoulder would be uncomfortable. All the pleasures of samsara are like this; they depend on shifting causes and conditions.” The Karmapa summarized, “The label we give something depends on the degree of suffering. If the suffering is slight, it’s called pleasure. If it is great, it’s called suffering. We give different degrees of suffering the names ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain.’ Like this, we can come to see samsara as having the nature of suffering.”
“Everything that happens under the control of karma and the afflictions has nature of suffering,’ he continued. “Seeing this, we wish to liberate ourselves.” These days, however, it is not easy to be aware of the suffering, he said, because we are besieged by ads promising all sorts of comforts and leading us to focus on a life of ease.
The third line of the verse reads: If you are attached to selfish aims, you are not a bodhisattva. [The Karmapa changed the second part of the line from “you don’t have bodhicitta” because it is possible that a bodhisattva could have selfish aims, but not bodhicitta.]
Here, the Karmapa commented, we do not wish to free just ourselves from samsara but all living beings. Our focus shifts from saving ourselves to wanting everyone to be free of suffering and find happiness. He cautioned, “We may think we are practicing in the Mahayana, yet the real proof is whether or not we have true bodhicitta, the wish to free all living beings who are not free. It comes down to devoting all we do for the sake of others. Just having the name of a Mahayana practitioner has no benefit.”
In general, the Karmapa noted, one can explain something in two ways: through statements that establish something (via positiva, assertions) and through statements that negate (via negativa, negations). This line, as others in the verse, uses negation to make its points and this is actually more powerful than assertions. “As an assertion—If you are not attached to selfish aims, you are a bodhisattva—makes it seem too easy,” he said, “and it does not make as strong an impact on our minds as the negation— If you are attached to selfish aims, you are not a bodhisattva.”
The word bodhisattva was translated into Tibetan as changchup sempa, “hero of the mind of enlightenment.” Nevertheless, the Karmapa remarked, “These days many people want to practice the Dharma and not be bothered by obstacles. But if we practice Dharma we will certainly encounter obstacles, so we should look at them as a chance to improve ourselves and train our minds.” He continued, “Since we are practicing for the sake of others, no matter what happens, we need to be heroic, brave, and courageous, seeing difficulties not as obstacles but as a way to train and improve ourselves.”
One way we escape our stressful lives is to go to a spa for a massage, some yoga and a little meditation. This may help us, he stated, but it is not Dharma practice, which entails hard training: “We need to face difficulties directly. If we practice, there will be pain and suffering because it is intensive exercise. We need to go beyond ourselves—that is actual practice.”
The fourth line of the verse reads:
If there is grasping, it is not the view.
The Karmapa explained, “Usually when something appears in our mind, we grasp onto it through what are known as universal concepts or abstractions. For example, we might have a conceptual idea of emptiness or dependent arising, but this is not what they actually are. This is the way most Kagyu, Nyingma, and Sakya schools see it: When we nakedly or directly perceive something, we do not think of it in this generalized, conceptual way; direct experience cannot be expressed in thoughts or words.” What we think of as emptiness or dependent arising, he explained, are not what they truly are; actual emptiness or dependent arising is perceived nakedly, free of concepts.
“Therefore,” he concluded, “listening and reflecting on the Dharma are not enough to break through our misperceptions and allow us to see things are they are. In order to perceive directly, we need to accumulate merit and supplicate the lamas for their blessing. This will change our mind and we will be able to directly perceive the view.”
Two traditional ways of practicing are known as analytical or resting meditation. The Karmapa explained that these two methods are not contradictory: both bring the realization of emptiness and eliminate grasping onto whether something exists or not, both exists and not exists, or neither. All of these superimpositions onto what emptiness actually is have been eliminated. He summarized the meaning of this last line as eliminating grasping onto these conceptualized attributes. With this he concluded the overview of the Four Freedoms from Attachment.
As a final note, he mentioned that there are two traditions of mind training: one belonging to the treatises or the great scriptures and one belonging to the key or practical instructions to which The Four Freedoms from Attachment belong. He stated, “If we can meditate on them in the way they indicate we should, they will definitely be of great benefit and take us to the very heart of practice, to its deep and profound meaning.”
The Karmapa’s Dharma talk was then followed by some questions and answers. One person asked: When I practice bodhicitta I should try not to cheat or to do it solely for my own benefit. But I’m studying commerce and business and every day we are learning to how to maximize profit. What should I do?
The Karmapa responded: “Business people are concerned with this life—it is the basis of their activity—and it would be hard for it to be otherwise. But some people involved in commerce have an interest in furthering only themselves and do not care about others. This kind of extremely narrow focus on oneself contradicts the Dharma. So we should have the attitude that what we do is not only for us and this life with its temporary pleasures. While working we should be devoted with full mind and heart to the Dharma and keep our long-term goal in mind. If we are preoccupied with the short-term, it will be difficult to be a real practitioner. So it would be good to divide our concerns in half: fifty percent for this life and fifty percent for the Dharma, maybe even 60 or 70 percent.”
The next questioner asked: How can we renounce sense pleasures, such as good food?
The Karmapa replied by telling the story of how he was attached to meat and then gave it up. “You have to think of the reasons why you want to renounce something,” he said. “If someone had told me, ‘You must become a vegetarian,’ I probably would not have done it. You must reflect on your own, investigate and find your own reasons for giving something up. You must make the decision.” He listed his two main reasons for becoming vegetarian: it saves the lives of many living beings and thinking of future lives, he did not want to be parted from cherishing the life of other living beings. He added, “Information is not enough. You have to actually see the reasons. We need to be motivated and inspired.”
The last questioner queried: How do we build our patience and eliminate our temper or anger?
The Karmapa responded: “In order to pacify our afflictions, we first have to recognize them, see what they are. Some are easier to recognize than others. In general all the afflictions can be condensed into three: hatred, desire, and ignorance. Of these three, hatred is the most obvious and easiest to recognize. Desire is more difficult as sometimes it seems to be a fault and at other times, not. Ignorance is the most difficult, and often we do not recognize it at all.
“It is critical to see the afflictions as faults. And not just that they are faulty, but that they are nothing other than the very nature of faults and certain to pull us down into our ruin. It is not easy to see this but we can remember times when we got angry and all the problems that caused. Our own experience can teach us how important it is to resist our afflictions. With a clear resolve, we should rouse ourselves from this sleep of delusion.” He suggested that when we wake up in the morning, we make a plan of how we are going work with the afflictions that day and then stick to it. If we just go with the flow, we won’t have a chance against them.
In closing the Karmapa thanked people for coming and spending the weekend in the world of Dharma. “Both our Indian friends and those who have come from far away took time to come here,” he noted, “and this shows how important you consider the Dharma to be and how much you respect the Dharma. For my part I am glad you have this attitude and rejoice in it greatly.” He continued to speak in particular of the relationship between Tibetan Buddhism and India: “Buddhism first arose in India and was preserved in Tibet. Tibetan translators came to India and brought the Dharma back to Tibet. To be able to return the Dharma to India is a wonderful opportunity for the Tibetans, and I think it is important to continue this tradition through mutual exchange and dialogue.”
It is with great pleasure that we bring to you a new Podcast called Karmapa – Selected Talks and Teachings. We’re launching with the wonderful talk that His Holiness gave at Stanford University while visiting the USA in 2015.
Why a new podcast?
The Karmapa and the Kagyu Office use many new media such as live webcasts and social networking to make Karmapa’s teachings more accessible. This new podcast was created especially for those busy students around the world that would like to listen to His Holiness’s Dharma teachings but often struggle to find the time. Now you will be able to listen to a selection of Buddhist talks on your iPhone as you go about your work or home life.
How do I listen to each episode?
The best way to access this podcast is to get the Podcasts appon your iPhone or iPad and then subscribe to the podcast. This way you will be automatically notified on your phone when a new episode is released and available for download. We will aim to release a new episode at regular intervals.
It will be a few days until the new podcast appears in the iTunes store so until then please use the player below ordownload the episoderight here.
Norbulingka Institute, Dharamsala, November 13-15, 2015
“In order to save the Himalayas and Tibet from the threats of deforestation, climate change, and pollution, we have to be full of courage and believe whole heartedly that this endeavor is winnable. The alternative is unthinkable.”
Khoryug means ‘environment’ in Tibetan and the organization’s sixth conference on Environmental Protection for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries in the Himalayas has brought together 45 monastic delegates representing monasteries and nunneries in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The goal of the conference is to create the Next Five Year Action Plan for all Khoryug monasteries. A draft of the plan will be presented to the Gyalwang Karmapa when he addresses the conference on the final day.
The delegates will examine the previous five years of projects involving environmental issues such as water and energy conservation, reforestation, waste management and climate change. They will share what projects were most effective and whether the outcomes met the original goals.
Looking to the future the delegates will discuss the following administrative themes for Khoryug in general: Organization, Coordination, Communication, Fundraising and Implementation.
In the past year, three graduate students from Yale and Princeton universities carried out research on the activities of Khoryug monasteries. A group review of the research by the participants will contribute to the upcoming five year strategy of Khoryug.
Khoryug was founded by His Holiness in 2009 to address his heartfelt concerns for the environment and the challenges it faces. Since then the number of participating monasteries and nunneries from various Tibetan Buddhist traditions has grown from 22 to 55. The conference is sponsored by Kun Kyong Charitable Trust.