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    On the 26th of June the Gyalwang Karmapa expressed his wish to visit Tibet via a video message on Facebook. The transcript and video are reproduced here.


    First, I would like to thank personally all those who took an interest in and celebrated my birthday both inside and outside of Tibet in wonderfully different ways. So many have placed their faith in me and I thank you for this. I do whatever I can to fulfill the hopes you have placed in me.
    Now seventeen years have passed since I separated from my parents and came to India. I have not seen them since I left Tibet. Honestly speaking, my birthday is not a happy occasion for me, because usually on such a day, we gather together with our parents, relatives, and friends to be happy and enjoy ourselves but this I cannot do. Speaking from a human point of view, it is very sad and disappointing, and so for about five years, I have not observed my birthday.
    In general, I have been blessed with the name of Karmapa, and so there is a multitude of related activity to be carried out. Yet I am also a human being for whom accomplishing the wishes of his elderly parents is very important. I hope, therefore, that within the next two or three years, I can go to the Land of Snows and meet my parents in our homeland. I will try my best for this to happen.
    It is a bit difficult, however, for this wish to be fulfilled as it depends on many complex conditions. Nevertheless, disregarding the difficulties, I will do what I can to visit my homeland and meet my parents before they pass away and also come together with my relatives. I have great hopes and enthusiasm for bringing this about.
    I always remember the Tibetans in Tibet, both my family and all the Tibetan people. And so I hope and aspire that we can meet soon and spend time together. On this birthday I make the aspiration that everyone enjoy perfect happiness and that everything be auspicious for them in all ways.

    http://kagyuoffice.org/the-gyalwang-karmapa-expresses-his-birthday-wish-to-visit-his-homeland/


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    June 05, 2017 

    FILE - Tibetan spiritual leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, looks on as he sits in front of a portrait of the Dalai Lama during a function commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Institute of Medicine and Astrology in Dharmsala, India, June 2, 2011.


    Karmapa Rinpoche, the head of Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism who is often regarded by international media as the third-highest Tibetan lama, said he will return to Tibet and "share the happiness and misery" with Tibetans when the situation allows him to be beneficial to them.

    After 17-plus years in exile, Karmapa said publicly for first time that he had left a written message behind when he escaped for India in late 1999.

    "In it, I wrote I have made many failed efforts to be able to go to abroad. Now, having no other option, I am doing this way as a final solution. However, in the future if I could be beneficial to Tibet, the Land of Snow, I will return soon.' That's what I wrote," he said Sunday, speaking in Tibetan to about 4,000 Tibetans and devotees in Toronto. He had previously said that Chinese authorities turned down his requests to travel to India before his escape.

    When the then-14-year-old Karmapa met with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala for the first time on Jan. 5, 2000, he reportedly told the Dalai Lama that he came to India because he could not serve the Tibetan people in Tibet under the circumstances.

    Karmapa secretly left his monastery in Tibet on Dec. 28, 1999, after announcing that he was going to be in strict retreat in his monastery near Lhasa. When he suddenly arrived in Dharamsala on Jan. 5, 2000, it shocked the world and humiliated Beijing.

    After a period of awkward silence, Chinese authorities said Karmapa had left a message, saying that he was going to India to obtain his sacred hat that belonged to his predecessor, the 16th Karmapa, who left it in Rumtek Monastery in India. But Karmapa dismissed it in 2001, according to The Guardian.

    "Why would I want to bring the hat back from India? All that would accomplish would be to place the hat on Jiang Zemin's head," he reportedly said.

    Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the 17th Karmapa, recognized by both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government in 1992. However, a Tibetan lama in India named Shamer Rinpoche recognized another Tibetan boy in 1994 named Tinley Thaye Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. Since then, there has been a dispute among the followers of Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

    The followers of Shamer Rinpoche, who is also a high lama in Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, argue that Tinley Thaye Dorje, who has recently declared that he was no longer going to be a monk, is the 17th Karmapa.

    Although Karmapa is the head of only Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has received great respect and hope from across Tibetan communities. Often described in international media as the third highest lama of Tibet, Karmapa also draws worldwide popularity.

    During this trip, he was met by Prince Charles in London as he visited Britain for the first time. Upon his arrival in Canada, he was welcomed by some members of the Canadian parliament.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/karmapa-left-message-about-returning-when-he-escaped-tibet/3888138.html

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  • 06/13/17--02:03: Karmapa in Calgary




  • On June 13, 2017, moving westward on his tour across Canada, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje arrived in Edmonton. At Karma Tashi Ling, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s seat in Edmonton headed by Ani Kunsang, the Karmapa was warmly welcomed by many old students of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and Thrangu Rinpoche.  Here, a body-speech-mind offering was made to His Holiness and tea with yellow rice were served as per tradition. Following which, was a lunch gathering with His Holiness’ entourage and the assembly at Karma Tashi Ling.



    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/karmapa-in-calgary/

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    The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s first Canadian tour has arrived at its final stop– Vancouver, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on June 17th. His Holiness was warmly received by local Tibetans and members of the legislative assembly for Burnaby and Richmond cities at the airport. The party then arrived together to a welcoming procession at Thrangu Monastery Canada.

    Thrangu Monastery Canada is located in Richmond, B.C. It is the first traditional Tibetan monastery along the Pacific northwest, as well as Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s primary seat in North America.

    The monastery greeted His Holiness with traditional butter tea, yellow rice, and the body-speech-mind offerings. After the offerings, first the abbot of Thrangu Monastery Canada, Dungse Lama Pema, made a welcoming address thanking His Holiness as well as all participants of this special event. After the abbot, members of the legislative assembly, the Honourable Terry Beech and the Honourable Jos Johal, were also invited on stage for welcoming remarks. His Holiness then made a brief speech,

    “This is my first time visiting Thrangu Monastery Canada in Vancouver. First, I would like to greet the precious protector Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the ordained and lay Sangha of Thrangu Monastery, as well as everyone, including all Tibetan friends present here today. Tashi delek!

    Vancouver is the last stop for my first Canadian tour. Throughout this tour, and coming to Vancouver, on the way seeing a variety of religious establishments, I can see Canada is a place that promotes cultural and religious harmony and respect. This is a very important characteristic. Especially in this modern age, relationships between people are closer, more inter-connected. t is most important to understand and respect one another.

    Today, I have not been prepared to be asked to speak so suddenly. But to be gathered with everyone in this traditional monastery– difficult to find in North America, and the first one of its kind in Canada– I feel a great sense of joy. At any rate, I would like to wish the venerable Thrangu Rinpoche long life, and a very auspicious greeting to you all.”

    With the conclusion of His Holiness’ speech, the short welcome ceremony has completed with everyone seeing off the Karmapa and Thrangu Rinpoche. And dinner was served to every guest. The Gyalwang Karmapa will be staying in Vancouver for approximately ten days, through which a Chenrezig empowerment will be held on June 18th; June 22nd will be a discussion on t he environment and social equality; then, Akshobhya teachings and empowerment will be held from June 23rd to 24th.





    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/the-17th-karmapa-visits-thrangu-monastery-canada/

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    Power from the Declaration of Truth

    ——A Chenrezig Empowerment


    Time & Date: 2:00-4:00PM, Sunday, June 18, 2017
    Location: Thrangu Monastery Canada
    Tibetan to English: Khenpo Karma Choephel

    The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s first public teaching in Vancouver was organized by the Karma Kagyu Association of Canada, and co-organized by the Tibetan Cultural Society of British Columbia.  It took place on June 18th at Thrangu Monastery Canada.

    After the abbot of Thrangu Monastery Canada, Dungse Lama Pema, invited His Holiness onto the throne, the afternoon began with a recitation of the “Mahamudra Lineage Aspiration Prayer”.  Before the empowerment commenced, the co-organizer shared a short welcoming speech and made offerings to the Gyalwang Karmapa.  Throughout this event, His Holiness gave explanations at each stage and spoke briefly of their significance.  Found below is the entirety of His Holiness’ teaching for this Chenrezig empowerment.

    ***

    Chenrezig: The Embodiment of all the Compassion of all the Buddhas

         Yesterday, there are primarily Tibetans from the Tibetan association of British Columbia, as well Tibetans from different areas, and people of many other nationalities have gathered here.  This afternoon I will give the empowerment of Avalokiteshvara.

         Pretty much all Buddhists know who Avalokiteshvara is; in general, the embodiment who contains all the compassion of all the Buddhas.  He represents the compassion and loving kindness of all the Buddhas in the form of a deity.  So he takes the form of a bodhisattva but in actuality is a Buddha.

    Angulimala’s Words of Truth

    The empowerment today is for the mantra, or the dharani of Avalokiteshvara.  There are many names you can call it by, but what it means is that we are emphasizing the practice of the Six-Syllable Mantra of Avalokiteshvara.  So this gives you the permission or initiation to practice.

    Sometimes mantras are called the “declaration of truth”, or “words of truth”.  This is how the word “mantra”is sometimes translated in Chinese.  The reason for this is found in the Sutra of the Sravakas (listener disciples of the Buddha); it says even at the time of the Buddha, there are such declarations of truth.  There is this story of Angulimala, after he has gone forth and become ordained.  One day, he is going for alms, he sees a pregnant woman having great difficulty giving birth.  He is unable to do anything to help her, so he goes back to the Buddha and explains the situation about the pregnant woman.  The Buddha instructs Angulimala to go back and say to the woman, “since the time I have gone forth, I have not killed anyone”.  Because before becoming a monk, Angulimala has killed many people; but since that time, he has not killed anyone.  Then, he should make the aspiration, “if this was true, by the power of the truth, may she be able to give birth easily”.  Angulimala returns to the woman to make the prayer as instructed, and because of this declaration of truth, she is able to give birth easily.  So this “declaration of truth” is, in one way, the declaration of something as it is— it is not falsehood, but honest.

    The Six-Syllable Mantra: Power from a Lasting Commitment

    So the Six-Syllable Mantra (om mani padme hung) of Avalokiteshvara is like the name of Avalokiteshvara.  How is it that this becomes a declaration of truth?  From the day he first arouse bodhicitta, Avalokiteshvara has become a bodhisattva.  That day onward, until now, he has always acted in accordance to his promise– to bring benefit and happiness to all sentient beings.  He has made this unchanging, unflagging commitment. And because he has kept that commitment as he has promised, his name has, in this way, become a mantra— a declaration of truth, which represents the unchanging, stable, lasting nature of his commitment.

    Because there is not much time, there will not be any further explanation, the empowerment will follow.

    Supplication, Refuge, and Bodhicitta

    First, is a supplication to receive the empowerment.

    (His Holiness recites transmission)

    Next, we have refuge, bodhicitta and the Four Immeasurables.  In going for refuge, we generally go for refuge to the Three Jewels.  Here particularly, we go for refuge to Avalokiteshvara as the embodiment or essence of the Three Jewels.  Bodhicitta is, in general, the wish to bring all sentient beings to the state of Buddhahood.  Also in particular here, in order to bring all sentient beings to Buddhahood, the commitment and wish to practice the sadhana of Avalokiteshvara.  So in this way, it is not only aspirational bodhicitta, but also engaged bodhicitta.  Then, as a support for bodhicitta, there is the recitation of the Four Immeasurables.

    (His Holiness recites transmission)

    Body Empowerment: You are the Bodhisattva

    Next are the initiations of the body, speech and mind of Avalokiteshvara.  First, the initiation of the body of Avalokiteshvara is giving you permission to meditate upon yourself as the body of Avalokiteshvara.

    The reason it is important for us to meditate upon ourselves as the body of Avalokiteshvara, is that we no longer limit ourselves by seeing ourselves as ordinary beings.  When we think of ourselves as being Avalokiteshvara, the nature of compassion, this gives us encouragement and enthusiasm.  In particular, when we are meditating upon ourselves as Avalokiteshvara, then it is difficult to get angry. When you are thinking of yourself as the embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas, getting angry would be a little embarrassing.  So we think of Avalokiteshvara as the embodiment of all the compassion of all the Buddhas combined into one.  When you have that pride, then we feel a little differently then we did before, we have greater confidence.

    The main thing with Avalokiteshvara, is that initially he was an ordinary being just like ourselves.  Then he developed bodhicitta– great compassion– and because of that, he became Avalokiteshvara.  We are the same, the capacity for us to develop compassion, loving kindness and affection for other sentient beings is innately present with us from birth.  It is naturally present.  If we are able to take that and improve it, increase that capacity,  then we can become like Avalokiteshvara.  For this reason it is important that we have courage; we need to have the confidence we can do this.

    Avalokiteshvara is not just a sacred being, someone who is worthy of veneration, prostrations and offerings.  We need to know, actually, Avalokiteshvara is an example of what we can develop into, of how we can follow the path.  Otherwise, it is difficult to say we have that same capacity as Avalokiteshvara.  So it is important we do not think Avalokiteshvara as an object of our meditation; but instead, we think of him as the subject of ourselves, and it is important to have this motivation.

    So in order to become like Avalokiteshvara, we need to meditate upon ourselves as being Avalokiteshvara.  The main thing here is to visualize yourself as Avalokiteshvara.

    (His Holiness recites transmission)

    Speech Empowerment

    Next is the initiation of the speech.  This is the initiation which gives you permission to practice the Six-Syllable Mantra of om mani padme hung.

    (His Holiness recites transmission, then leads chanting of Six-Syllable Mantra)

    Mind Empowerment: Pouring Water into Water

    Next is the initiation of the mind of Avalokiteshvara.  This means that we rest in equipoise, inseparable from the wisdom of Avalokiteshvara’s mind.

    The mind of the Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteshvara, is non-dual wisdom.  And the essence of all sentient being, of all of us, isBuddha Nature.  In terms of the essence, they are all the same. There is no distinction of one being better and the other worse.  For that reason, it is not as if the wisdom mind of Avalokiteshvara is one thing, and our own regular mind is something else.  It is like pouring water into water.  So, here, what we need to do is rest in equipoise, in meditation upon the meaning of this nature, while remembering the way that the Dharma expanse— the nature of things– actually is.   So resting this way, here, is the initiation of the mind.

    (His Holiness recites transmission)

    Daily Recitation: Finding Harmony Between the Mind and the Speech

    That completes the empowerment for the body, speech and mind of Avalokiteshvara.  And if you do the practice of the Six-Syllable Mantra of om mani padme hung everyday, without missing a day, then you will receive the benefits as they are described in the texts.

    But the main thing is, merely reciting the mantra orally is not enough. That does not help.  Actually, the mantra we recite orally and what we think in our minds need to match, they need to be in harmony. Otherwise, our Dharma practice is specious, it is fake Dharma practice.  When we look at it from the outside, it may seem like we are practising Dharma, but in actuality we are not.  And there is no point to practising like that.  So the most important is that, what we do orally and what we think mentally are in harmony.

    Compassion does not end at Sympathy

    The compassion that we talk about in Buddhism, is not merely the sympathy, empathy, or pity that we usually have.  The compassion that is taught in the Dharma is a stronger compassion than normal.  It is more involved, it is more dedicated.  We do not see the individual for whom we are having compassion, and the individual who is having compassion as being separate.  So it is not as if the person who has compassion or pity is in a good position, the other person is in a desperate situation and we are having pity on them.  It is not like that. Instead, it is like the compassion for the other person becomes a part of ourselves.  We become the nature of that compassion, so we are able to give ourselves over to it, and fully dedicate ourselves to it.  For that reason we are able to take the responsibility and mentally bear the burden of it.  So this compassion is not merely a feeling, an idea, or understanding.  It is not merely the prayer or aspiration, “may it be so” or “may this person be better off”. What is critical, is that our compassion be something that we actually put into practice, or that it is related with what we actually do in our lives.

    Compassion is Putting into Action and Actually Benefiting Others

    Sometimes people get a little suspicious and have questions.  They wonder, “well, Avalokiteshvara has four arms, so how can his shoulders be? How can they possibly be constructed.”  Even more over the Avalokiteshvara with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.  Actually, this is not so important.  The main thing is that, whether he appears in four arms or a thousand arms, it is showing that in terms of actual practice, he is more involved and more dedicated.  So it is representing that a single set of arms is not enough.  So more arms symbolize he has more connections and more dedication to bringing benefit to other sentient beings.

    Sometimes, I have the feeling myself.  Now, I am not Avalokiteshvara, of course, but I try to do as much as I can for other people.  Sometimes, I feel that just one single person is not enough to bring benefit to all sentient beings.  So as one person with only two arms, what can I do? It seems to me what I need to be able to do is to create an emanation in front of every single sentient being to be able to do what they wish, what would help them.  And only then, will I be able to benefit them.  Otherwise, as ordinary individuals with only two arms, it is difficult to actually bring benefit to all sentient beings.

    This is, I think, why when Milarepa arouse compassion he said, “developing compassion feels like being thrust into a pit of fire.”  The feeling of compassion is so intense, it is like you were surrounded by a fire.  It is as unbearable as fire.  This is the feeling of overwhelming, unbearable compassion.  This is how our compassion should feel.  Sometimes, when we think we have compassion for other people, we just say, “oh, the poor thing!”  And we leave it at that.  There is not impetus.  There is no power to this at all, and it does not benefit.

    (His Holiness recites transmission)

    ***

    His Holiness’ teaching during the empowerment has thus come to an end. Following which, the co-organizer made another offering and a thank you speech to His Holiness.  Finally, His Holiness gave a talk especially addressed to the Tibetan community before concluding this event.





    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/1385/

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    By Greg Bruno
    JUN 22 2017


    WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
    Because apathy can become an epidemic.




    The 17th Karmapa of Tibet, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
    SOURCE TASHI PALJOR

    The 17th Karmapa of Tibet, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has been called the future “shepherd of the Tibetan people,” a Buddhist leader-in-waiting who will one day replace the Dalai Lama as the most important crimson-clad chieftain for many Tibetans. Though his claim to the throne of the Karma Kagyu lineage has been contested, most Tibetans — and even the Chinese government — agree that Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the real deal. Last month, the Karmapa was in the U.K. for his first-ever visit as he released a new book, Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society. OZY sat down with the 31-year-old philosopher monk to discuss his book and the roots of suffering, Chinese politics and why some leaders might need to have their heads examined. This interview has been condensed and edited.


    THE OPPOSITE OF EMPATHY IS APATHY. THERE IS A TREND IN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO ONLY THINK OF THEIR OWN GOOD AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE GOOD OF OTHERS.



    YOUR NEW BOOK IS ABOUT THE BONDS — OR LACK OF BONDS — BETWEEN PEOPLE AND SOCIETIES. IS IT AN ANTIDOTE TO THE SEPARATIONS WE SEE IN THE WORLD TODAY?

    17th Karmapa: We all are very strongly connected, and this connection is both evidenced and enhanced by the information era that we live in. But there are many realities, or phenomena, such as borders between countries, that can cause a feeling of division and separateness.

    The reality is that we are intimately connected with each other, and therefore close with each other. Nevertheless, in terms of our livelihood and habits of thinking, we can feel far away. I think the important question for all of us to reflect on is, how can we break through those habits of thought, or at least not allow those habits of thought to obscure our perception of reality? Which is that we are connected, we are close to each other, we are not separate, we are not far from each other. How can we go beyond these [divisive] habits of thought?

    YOU USE THE PROPER NOUN CHINA JUST ONCE IN 264 PAGES. BUT IT’S HARD NOT TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES — FOR TIBETANS, CHINA IS THE SOCIETY THAT YOUR PEOPLE NEED TO CONNECT WITH MOST. ARE THERE LESSONS FOR CHINESE-TIBETAN DIALOGUE?

    Karmapa: Tibet and China have had a relationship for a very long time. If we go back to the 8th or 9th century, a royal princess of China became a royal spouse of the king of Tibet. So, from among Tibet’s neighbors, the two most influential have been India and China. From a spiritual perspective, the most influential has been India, because all of the major spiritual teachings of Buddhism, and all of the cultural elements connected with that, have mostly come to Tibet from India. But, from a more secular or temporal perspective, our food, our clothing and many of our habits come to us from China. And so, I really have the outlook that Tibetans and Chinese are siblings, family-like siblings.

    There have of course been some difficulties in recent history in the relationship, and there is some bad blood, on the level of feeling from Tibetans toward Chinese. A little bit. But there is still a closeness of mind and of heart that exists between Tibetan people and Chinese people. And that’s a very important connection for us to acknowledge and keep and build upon. I think that in that possibility, in building upon it, there still remains great hope for improvement. You could say it’s not really a difficulty between the Tibetans and the Chinese. It’s actually more of a difficulty between the Tibetan people and the policies of the Communist Party of China. It’s not really personal when you look at the matter carefully. And so, it’s very important for us to have harmonious relations with the Chinese and promote harmony, to maintain whatever harmony is there, and build on that with further efforts.

    There are some people who talk about exerting pressure on China from the outside in order to ameliorate the Tibetan issue. But I think the only hope we have is for the change to be coming directly from harmony between Tibetan people and Chinese people.

    YOU WRITE THAT EMPATHY, OR THE LACK OF EMPATHY, SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED AS A DISEASE — LIKE DEPRESSION. YOU EVEN SUGGEST THAT POLITICIANS SHOULD BE TESTED FOR THEIR LEVEL OF EMPATHY BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO RUN FOR OFFICE. WHY IS EMPATHY AN IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP TRAIT?

    Karmapa: Empathy is really hard-wired. Science seems to be approaching this conclusion as well. However, it is something that can become dulled down over time if we don’t use it; it’s the same as language skills. I think science would agree that everyone is born with a certain ability to develop language skills. But if we don’t use a certain language, then we begin to lose our faculty to speak that language. In the same way, we are all born with basic faculties of loving kindness, benevolence, concern for others and so forth. But we need to have opportunities to exercise those innate qualities, and those opportunities need to be provided by and supported by society.

    I personally feel it would be beneficial for us to use the word love and synonyms of love more. To have those words coming out of our mouths more will help in this process of recognizing it as a very important thing, a very important quality that we need to have in our environment. The opposite of empathy, you could say, is apathy. It’s easy for apathy to develop because there is such a broad trend in encouraging people to only think of their own good and not to worry so much about the good of others. What happens, then, is that the people who are suffering, they think to themselves, “Well, no one cares about us, so we’re not going to care about them.” And instead of empathy becoming a self-perpetuating cycle that causes the increase of empathy, apathy becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. We end up with a cruel and compassionless society. In that way, I sometimes speak of apathy as being like an epidemic, a murderous epidemic, because if we allow apathy to spread in this way, it can really cause great harm on a large scale.



    Greg Bruno, OZY Author 


    http://www.ozy.com/pov/tibets-next-leader-warns-how-apathy-can-kill/78928



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    June 22
    by Northeast Today

    Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju visited Phodong Monastery in North Sikkim on Wednesday where he was given a grand welcome by the monks. Rijiju expressed his happiness on the opportunity of visiting such a holy monastery of Sikkim. The Minister offered khada and lit the butter lamps at the monastery for the well being of all sentient beings.

    While addressing a large gathering of monks, local public and students at the monastery, he informed that recently restrictions on the travel of the Karmapa to any place apart from Sikkim were lifted by the Government of India. His Holiness had earlier visited Arunachal Pradesh and the people of the state accorded a grand reception to him thus showing their faith in him. He said that the lifting of the restrictions on the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa in visiting Sikkim is currently under process and meetings are being held to resolve various issues. He was tirelessly pursuing the matter in his Ministry, owing to the strong sentiments expressed by the people of Sikkim. He also stated that the State Government of Sikkim has already submitted their request to the Government of India for the removal of the restriction on His Holiness for visiting Sikkim. He express strong hope that the matter would be resolved soon.

    He also stated his love for the State of Sikkim and a strong attachment to the people and the place, which is similar to his home state Arunachal Pradesh, as there are great similarities in traditions and culture. He informed that he will mutually work with the Government of Sikkim in the development of the State. He also assured that he will be taking up the matter of development of road network in the State with the concerned Ministry of Road and Surface Transport and push for speedier implementation of new road projects in the State. The inclusion of Bhutia language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution is currently being pursued by him.

    Speaking on this day which was also celebrated as the International Yoga Day, he said that it was very important for all people to have a healthy body and yoga was one means to stay fit. He expressed his happiness on the participation of the monks in the program and congratulated them for adopting yoga.

    The monks and local public expressed expressed that they were very much hopeful for an early resolution to the restrictions of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa in visiting Sikkim. They longed for the visit of His Holiness and were positive that the day will come soon.


    https://www.northeasttoday.in/process-underway-to-lift-restrictions-on-karmapas-visit-in-sikkim-rijiju/

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    From June 23rd to 24th, 2017, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa gave a two-day teaching on dealing with disturbing emotions in relation to the Akshobhya practice. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Gyalwang Karmapa greeted a variety of ordained and lay sangha, totalling as much as twenty five hundred attendees in the audience, with his wisdom and compassion. Over the course of this teaching, His Holiness shared with the audience his experience with the Akshobhya practice, from the inspiration he has found while reading the sutras on Buddha Akshobhya, to the benefit he has reaped from this practice. The teaching was concluded with the Akshobhya empowerment. At the end of this memorable last teaching for the Gyalwang Karmapa’s first visit to Canada, he noted his intent to return and answer unaddressed questions from the audience. At this instant, the theatre roared with applause, cheers, and filled with smiling faces. His Holiness also suggested performing a Long Life Prayer on his “official birthday” for the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, which took place at Thrangu Monastery Canada from 8:00AM until 11:00AM this morning, June 26, 2017. Thus concluded His Holiness’ month-long tour across Canada. Both teachers and students alike, who have participated in any of these public events, have expressed the highest gratitude and appreciation. We hope the Gyalwang Karmapa will constantly remember his students in Canada, and return to guide us time after time after time. On the auspicious occasion of the precious Karmapa’s birth, may we wish all of our gurus dwell long in good health to see the teachings of Buddha flourish throughout space, and the end of suffering for all sentient beings.

    尊聖的第十七世大寶法王於2017年6月23至24日給予了長達兩日的不動佛指引,教導了群眾如何面對煩惱和負面情緒。法王在伊莉莎白女王戲院,面臨高達由2500位來賓組成的四眾,鮮活地展現了他的慈悲與智慧。於此眾會,法王跟聽眾分享了他修持不動佛法門的經驗,由他從不動佛相關經典中體驗的感動,乃至法王親自修持不動佛法門後得到的利益。這個兩天長的活動最後以不動佛的灌頂法會畫下句點。活動接近尾聲之際,法王暗示將再次親臨加拿大回覆此次未有時間解答的觀眾提問。法王言畢,戲院及時掌聲如雷,歡笑不斷。同時法王也應許在他「官方生日」舉行長壽法會,祈願尊貴的勘千創古仁波切法體安康。此法會於今日,2017年6月26日,從上午8:00至11:00已圓滿落成。這便為大寶法王噶瑪巴長達一個月的首次加拿大弘法行落幕之際。所有出席此公眾活動的上師與弟子們無一不獲益,誠心感謝法王。我們都希望法王時常憶念住在加拿大的弟子們,並且一再、一再、一再地歸來引領我們。在噶瑪巴尊者誕辰之吉祥日,願我們尊貴的每一位上師皆福壽延綿,得以親見佛法昌興遍布虛空、眾生煩惱盡。


      2017.6.23 Akshobhya Teaching Day-12017.6.24  法王噶瑪巴首次加拿大弘法行.不動佛灌頂及開示 Akshobhya Empowerment & Teaching- Day 2
    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/akshobhya-teachings-and-empowerment/

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    26 Jun 2017

    At times, a month can drag on without end, but certainly not the Saga Dawa (the fourth month, a holy month on the Tibetan calendar) of the year of Firebird. This month, Canada has been blessed with a well-anticipated visit from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. After years of invitation, the Gyalwang Karmapa has landed in Toronto and begun his first Canadian tour on May 29, 2017. His Holiness has since traveled country-wide, from east to west, giving public talks and performing Buddhist rituals. After two weeks of events scheduled on the east coast, His Holiness stopped at Calgary for a public event before reaching Vancouver– the final destination for this tour. Along the way, His Holiness has also visited many Buddhist centres of various traditions, and has enjoyed much of the beauty the Canadian landscape has to offer. In Vancouver, the Gyalwang Karmapa shared with us a week of events which have come to a conclusion only today, with an off-the-schedule Long Life Prayer event for the Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche on His Holiness’ birthday. Yesterday, on June 25, 2017, the Canadian tour organizer, Karma Kagyu Association of Canada, planned an appreciation event in attempt to express the immense gratitude felt by Canadian students towards His Holiness. During this dinner gathering, as His Holiness has expressed reluctance to celebrate his birthday at the absence of his parents, cakes were presented in three colours representing a body-speech-mind offering, instead. In this short month, the Gyalwang Karmapa has shown us what compassion looks like in action, and has worked with sparing rest for the well being of others. He is an exemplar of selflessness, a worthy cause to be pursued by those willing to endeavour the path of a bodhisattva. We thank you, Your Holiness, for all the kindness you have done unto us. May you dwell long and firmly establish a comparable enlightened mind within beings limitless as the sky above.

    有時候深感度日如年,一個月可以如此地漫長,然而、火鳥年的薩嘎達瓦(藏曆四月,殊勝月)絕非如此。在這個月份,加拿大得到了祝福,歡迎了長期盼望的貴客,尊聖的第十七世大寶法王,鄔金欽列多傑。在多年的邀請下,法王噶瑪巴終於在2017年5月29日抵達多倫多,開始了他首次的加拿大弘法行。至今,法王已經由東向西踏遍了加國諸多主要城市,一路上給予演講與主持佛教法會。在東岸活動兩週,噶瑪巴尊者又蒞臨卡加利的一場演講後,來到了此程最後一站--溫哥華。一路上法王應邀前往參訪各傳承的佛教中心,也飽覽了加拿大美麗的風光。在溫哥華,法王一周的活動滋潤了人心,並在今天生日以行程外的長壽法會供養了勘千創古仁波切之後圓滿落幕。昨晚、2017年6月25日,活動主辦單位加拿大噶瑪噶舉協會,為傳達眾弟子難以言喻的感恩之情,舉行了感恩典禮。在此聚會,由於法王已表孝心,不願在與父母團聚前慶生,主辦單位以三色蛋糕代表身語意供養法王。在短短的一個月當中,法王噶瑪巴不畏艱辛地利益他人,讓我們親見了有行動力的慈悲。法王是無私的體現,是任何立志踏尋菩薩道的行者們巔峰的典範。我們無限感激,感謝法王給予我們的慈愛。願您常駐於世、在虛空中無限的眾生心中點醒證悟者之心。


    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/conclusion-of-first-canadian-tour/

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    Tibetan Buddhist leader the Karmapa discusses climate change and Tibet Third Pole during first visit to UK

    During his first visit to the UK, the Karmapa, a leading young generation Tibetan Buddhist leader, joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams together with scientists, scholars and high profile cultural figures for a dialogue on the environment hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and Inspire Dialogue Foundation.

    The roundtable discussion was intended to bring together perspectives “between disciplines and generations” as the beginning of an ongoing exchange, according to Lord Williams, Master of Magdalene College and a noted poet and theologian. It involved figures from the arts and sciences, including Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London; James Thornton, the founding CEO of ClientEarth; Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust; Dr Phil Wigge, Research Group Leader at the University of Cambridge Sainsbury Laboratory; Dr Bhaskar Vira, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute; Tracey Seaward, film producer whose credits include the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, professors, students and Tibetan scholars.

    The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the only Tibetan reincarnate lama to be acknowledged by both the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, escaped into exile in India in 2000. He traces his interest in the environment to being born and brought up in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, and is the founder of Khoryug, an association of more than 55 Buddhist monasteries and nunneries across the Himalayas.

    During his visit, the Karmapa spoke about Tibet’s critical environmental significance as the earth’s Third Pole, and on the importance of the stewardship of the Tibetan environment by Tibetan people: “When it comes to protecting the environment of Tibet, one of the best sources to consult is the Tibetan people themselves, as they have related to it for thousands of years. Knowing it inside and out, they naturally understand how to create a sustainable environment. Their whole hearts and minds are invested there. The Tibetans’ traditional approach to the environment sees it as a sacred field inhabited by gods and spirits. Their outlook has great sincerity and respect for their natural world.” At the dialogue in Cambridge on May 24 (2017), hosted by Lord Rowan Williams at his home in the University, ICT gave a presentation on Chinese policies of nomad settlement and the implications of China creating nature reserves on the Tibetan plateau.





    Cambridge climate change dialogue with the Karmapa

    In hosting the event, Lord Williams and the Inspire Dialogue Foundation aimed to build new relationships with people who might not have otherwise met and establish plans for future collaborative action on the issue of a shared environmental future.

    Lord Rowan Williams opened the conversation by urging participants:  “To consider some of the issues that arise from the ethics of the environment, broadly called the life of the spirit,” saying that within spiritual communities there were deeply rooted disciplines to teach people who we are in relation to the environment.


    The Karmapa observed that: “We are at a really interesting moment in time. Previously, science and religion were two separate dialogues and now science and spirituality at least are coming together and contributing more to each other. Knowledge needs to work together with our hearts and minds.”

    Dr Cameron Taylor of Inspire Dialogue Foundation, said: “It is notable that the dialogue was held on the same day as the Pope presented President Trump, who has previously attributed climate change to a ‘Chinese conspiracy’ with his climate change encyclical, highlighting the importance of the engagement of religious leaders with this pressing global issue. Faith leaders have an important role in shifting hearts in terms of our relationship to the environment, so I am really grateful that the Karmapa and Lord Williams are joining together to advocate for the necessary cultural shifts that will align our minds with the reality of our global climate situation.”


    Dr Bhaskar Vira gave an outline of the work of his institute at Cambridge University, set up to explore relationships and interconnectedness of issues such as climate change, food security. He spoke about one of the key areas of the institute’s work, which is the role of the natural landscape in maintaining water systems, the dangers of potential conflict over water, specifically mentioning Tibet as the source of water for billions of people. Dr Vira said that knowledge of Tibet as the earth’s Third Pole is gaining ground in scientific circles; previously attention was focused mainly on the North and South Poles.

    Dame Fiona Reynolds, who was awarded an OBE for services to heritage and conservation said: “Whilst we are dependent on scientists and academics to explain relationships and connections, we are also dependent on people to make decisions and adapt their behavior and to help us think about the values we share for the future. I am more and more convinced that people are not persuaded by fear or material matters alone, but we are persuaded and inspired by beauty – by the intangible phenomenon of our spiritual relationship with the landscape. If we are to deal with climate change, we need to inspire people to act in the belief that there is a better future that is not solely dependent on material things. It is harder these days to talk about spirituality, but we perhaps need to adopt spiritual values and language to inspire people.”

    Referencing the Karmapa’s nomad heritage, Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet outlined new plans by China to turn vast tracts of Tibet into nature reserves. While on the surface this appears to be a useful approach of preserving the landscape, what few realize is that it is contingent upon the removal of nomads from their pastures. Beijing bureaucrats talks of ‘contradiction of grass and animals’, although for many generations, Tibetan nomads like the Karmapa’s family have made skilful use of the landscape of the world’s highest and largest plateau, co-existing peacefully with wildlife and protecting the land and its species. In these new nature reserves, grazing of yaks is illegal and so is the gathering of medicinal herbs.

    Kate Saunders also referred to an emerging dialogue in China in which many Chinese scientists are calling for strengthened participation of science-based conservation with Tibetan stewardship of the land. These perspectives are little-known outside but drawing attention to them honors the Karmapa’s nomadic heritage. And as China seeks to gain endorsement from governments and international institutions for its new nature reserves, there is a need to challenge official China’s narrative on the nomads. Ringu Tulku Rinpoche said that in Tibet before 1959, people looked at the environment with a very personal connection that could be called spiritual, and that remains the case today. He spoke about a Wechat conversation with Tibetans in Tibet who understood the issue through two perspectives: one was the outside environment, the “container” in Buddhism, and the other was the inside environment, relating to how people react to each other and live together. The group decided that all the monasteries and communities should come together and pledged to protect the environment.

    In response to thinking about transforming concepts of ownership, Lord Williams recalled the Hebrew Scriptures, stating that we do not own the land; rather it is lent to us for a time. Another participant remarked that changing our relationship to the earth also involved changing other power structures such as that between men and women, different races and castes. This shift also relates to the need to feel secure. We would be more able to resolve environmental issues from a position of security, allowing people to see the mutual benefits of everyone being responsible for each other.




    The Karmapa traces his interest in the environment to planting a tree at the age of around four, when there was a severe drought in his home area of eastern Tibet. He was born and brought up into a drogpa or nomad family. He was asked to plant a sapling at the source of a spring, and led prayers with the aspiration that the tree would provide water for all living beings nearby.

    The Karmapa said: “Our association with place and homeland is made stronger if there is some memory of nature associated with it. Fondness for this home space is strongest in rural areas. In Tibet, these memories and images are burnt into our minds, and this promotes a strong desire to protect our landscape. I also agree with notion of security as being important. Our habitual tendency is to put ourselves at the center, and maybe a better approach is to put others at the forefront and see the safety of others as contributing to our own safety. This is very clear in issues such as food security and water supply.” To illustrate his point, he related the story of an eagle with one body and two heads. They did not get along with each other, so one head tried to get rid of the other and in so doing killed them both. The Karmapa commented that it is critical to remember that environments have no borders.

    James Thornton, founder and CEO of Client Earth, said: “We are in desperate need of a new story [on climate change]; for instance in medieval Europe Christianity was the most compelling story and anything that didn’t fit was left out. Today it’s an economic story – models of ownership and material value. A new story could promote beauty and connection and not promote ownership. Environmentalists have historically told angry negative stories – we need to tell positive, solution-based stories. We need to create an ecological civilisation (post-industrial) with all the changes that would entail – renewable energy and so on.” James Thornton, whose firm succeeded in a lengthy legal battle with the UK government over atmospheric pollution earlier this month, forcing an admission that it would publish its strategy to improve air quality in Britain, added that he had been working in the PRC and that interest in the idea of an ‘ecological civilisation’ as mooted by Xi Jinping appeared genuine; he raised the question of how we could contribute to this?

    Various participants raised the importance of ensuring access to nature to a digital generation, acknowledging that many habits are formed by the age of 12, as well as the solace that nature can bring under extreme circumstances. Producer Tracey Seaward spoke about a meeting with a Syrian family at a refugee camp in Athens; the father was growing plants in a desolate scrubby patch of land, which was attracting children and bringing them together to plant seeds and nurture the flowers.

    In his concluding remarks, the Karmapa, who is also known for his achievements as a poet, composer and artist, said: “With regard to the stories that we create, one image that illustrates the relationship with the world that was mentioned by Ringu Tulku, is water in a glass. Water is the content and the vitality, which the glass as a container holds. This picture shows mutual dependence, as a container without anything in it, is not functioning as a container (or not being what it is), and water needs something to hold it. So they depend on each other in a relationship that is mutually beneficial.”

    http://inspiredialoguefoundation.org/dialogues/inspire-dialogue-2017-climate-change/

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    Friday, June 2, 2017– The Gyalwang Karmapa began his first teaching at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, by expressing delight in being able to speak at such a multicultural city.  His Holiness also thanked the opening member of the parliament, who he had previously seen on YouTube speaking for the Tibetan community, for his support in preserving the local Tibetans’ culture.   

    The Karmapa spoke on the Buddhist training in terms of the ground, path and fruition.  The entire event can be viewed on the Karmapa’s official YouTube channel.





    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/applying-ancient-wisdom-in-modern-times-2/

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  • 06/08/17--08:17: Visits to Kagyu Centres



  • After teachings in Toronto, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, began touring Buddhist centres in Eastern Canada.  On June 7th, the Gyalwang Karmapa visited the seat of Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche, Palpung Yeshe Chokhor, in Halton, Ontario.  Here, His Holiness accepted a body-speech-mind offering from the centre’s director and resident monk, Lama Karma Phuntsok.  After which, His Holiness enjoyed dinner with students and the abbot.

    The following day, at 11:30AM, June 8, 2017, His Holiness paid a visit to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s seat, Karma Tekchen Zabsal Ling, at Aurora, Ontario.  The Karmapa was warmly received by students and the abbot of the centre, Lama Tashi Dondup, starting with speech and a body-speech-mind offering.  His  Holiness also shared lunch with the sangha, over which he expressed joy in being able to pay such a visit.

    The destination after lunch was the Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Buddhist Temple, where the Gyalwang Karmapa performed a blessing ceremony before concluding the day’s schedule.

    For information on the Buddhist centres, please visit:
    Palpung Yeshe Chokhor
    Karma Tekchen Zabsal Ling
    Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple



    http://www.karmapacanada.org/2017/06/visits-to-kagyu-centres-2/

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    July 8, 2017
    By Staff Writer


    Gyalwang Karmapa being welcomed at OOT Washington DC by Rep Penpa Tsering and Trisur Tenzin Namgyal Tethong.


    WASHINGTON DC: On Wednesday, July 5th, Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Office of Tibet on Wednesday, 5 July during his three-day visit to Washington, D.C. This trip to Washington follows his one-month visit to Canada.

    The afternoon visit to the Office of Tibet was informational. Representative Penpa Tsering updated him on various OoT activities and programs, while Kungo Tenzin Tethong, Director of Radio Free Asia, Tibetan Service and Thinley Nyenday, VOA Tibetan Service, informed him of their organization’s activities and issues of importance in Washington. Gyalwang Karmapa was also given progress updates on the political and support activities carried on by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Office of Tibet. ICT President Matteo Mececci gave a short briefing on their lobbying efforts and the current political climate in Washington regarding human rights in the current administration.

    Gyalwang Karmapa listened closely and with a great interest to these updates, both in English and Tibetan, asking a few of questions and expressing his awareness of the political situation concerning Tibetans, both inside and outside of Tibet.

    Both staff members of OOT and ICT were happy to receive him and his blessings, and wish him safe travels as he leaves for Europe.

    – Report filed by OOT Washington –




    Gyalwang Karmapa with staff of OOT, ICT and the Tibetan services of RFA and VOA.

    Staff of OOT, ICT, RFA and VOA.


    http://tibet.net/2017/07/gyalwang-karmapa-rinpoche-visits-office-of-tibet-washington-dc/

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    Relay Hunger Strike Complete One Year

    GANGTOK: The relay hunger strike by monks under The Denjong Lhadey banner completed one full year today (June 10) with their demand for early visit of 17th Karmapa to Sikkim still unrealised.

    The monks had sat on their relay hunger strike on July 10, 2015 here at BL House, Tibet Road demanding the Karmapa is allowed to visit and bless Sikkim at the earliest.
    “We will continue with our relay hunger strike. If no proper solution is made by end of this month, the monks are ready to go to any extent,” said the monks.

    --DICHEN ONGMU




    TST Reporter

    Gangtok, July 10: The opposition Party SKM MLA Kunga Nima Lepcha, Sangha MLA Sonam Lama and party workers as well as former Minister & social worker T Lachungpa visit at BL house today on the completion of one year of the Indefinite Relay Hunger Strike by the monks from various monasteries of Sikkim at BL House in Gangtok.

    The indefinite Relay Hunger Strike started by monks from state of Sikkim at BL house, Gangtok attains One year (365) days seeking early permission to HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to visit and bless Sikkim which was started from on 10th of July, 2016.

    The monks are from various Monasteries who are still in Relay Hunger Strike past 365 days to Demanding Karmapa Visit in Sikkim earlier was hosting a Black Flag and tie Black Ribbon.

    After the short program The Denzong Lhadey Coordinator Chewang Lama accompanied by other monks meet with the Chief Secretary A.K. Shrivastava at his office, Manan Kendra and submitted a Memorandum on the same day the monks body also submitted a Memorandum to the Governor of Sikkim at Raj Bhavan in Gangtok.








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    On June 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm,H.H. the 17th Karmapa visited a forested serene temple at the north of Toronto, the Great Compassion Bodhi Prajna Temple.

















    http://gcbptemple.org/jen/index.php/2017-04-30-12-04-52

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    JUNE 16, 2017

    (TibetanReview.net, Jun16, 2017) – Welcoming Tibet’s prominent exiled spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, on his first visit to the country, two Canadian MP’s have urged the world and the Canadian government to stand up against China.

    Addressing the House of Commons, opposition Conservative Party MP David Sweet and governing Liberal Party MP James Maloney have explained how the Karmapa’s escape from Tibet in Dec 1999 underlined the gravity of the human rights situation in Tibet and praised the young lama for his contribution to the Tibetan as well as global causes.

    Sweet has said the Karmapa’s life “should remind us of the dire human rights situation in the so-called autonomous region of Tibet”, given the fact that he was forced to flee his homeland at age 14, “amidst the tyrannous efforts of China to persecute the people of Tibet through forced assimilation and restricting religion to the point of destroying religious buildings”. He has said conditions in Tibet had only deteriorated in the 16 years since the Karmapa’s escape.

    He has said the government of Canada needed to stand up to the People’s Republic of China “and advocate for truly autonomous region for Tibetans, so they may enjoy the freedoms you and I do.”

    Sweet, an MP since Jan 2006, had, on Jun 22, 2006, obtained the unanimous consent of the House of Commons for a motion awarding honorary Canadian citizenship to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, making him the 3rd person to receive such an honour by the House of Commons, after Nelson Mandela in 2001.

    Maloney has commended the young religious leader’s commitment to helping the youth, for his dedication to social and environmental responsibility and for bringing Buddhist teaching to the modern world. “His Holiness touches many lives by making Buddhism and meditation accessible to people through technology and electronic resources. He is helping thousands of people going through mental challenges find peace,” he said.

    Maloney represents the electoral district of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, where the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre has been established since 2004.

    The Karmapa is on a month-long trip to Canada, which began on May 29. He has lived at the Gyuto Monastery near Dharamshala, since arriving in India in Jan 2000.



    http://www.tibetanreview.net/two-canadian-mps-address-parliament-to-welcome-karmapas-visit/

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    Originally published at - https://www.voatibetan.com/a/3930758.html


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    July 6, 2017 - Washington, D.C.

    We Tibetans consider the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama to be extremely important. We are most fortunate that he lights our way like a blazing torch as we pass through these dark and difficult times. His birthday, therefore, is an important occasion for us. Born in the Land of Snow, His Holiness is the protector and refuge for all the Tibetan people. This enormous good fortune brings delight to all of us and also gives us great courage.

    However we might celebrate his birthday, we can recall his life story and his worldwide activity to benefit others.

    In relation to any advice he might give us, it is essential that we consider how we can assist him and implement his counsel in its true sense. Not only has His Holiness devoted himself to improving our material welfare externally, he has also encouraged the growth of our spiritual welfare internally. In response, from our side we should think about how we can develop ourselves further. In particular, we can study the Buddha’s teachings, which benefit our minds, and increase our love and compassion, which benefit how we manifest in the world. It is critical that we study the Buddhist sciences to enrich and expand our minds and seek to improve our behavior by increasing our love and compassion. In the flow of our daily life, it is essential to remind ourselves of this again and again.




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    I was looking forward to Tibetan religious leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje's Toronto visit, but the reverence and awe that many in my community feel for such figures leaves little room for frank discussion

    BY GELEK BADHEYTSANG 
    JUNE 7, 2017 9:05 PM




    Gelek Badheytsang
    Tibetan religious leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje waves to his disciples from Parkdale temple.


    The 17th Karmapa, Tibetan religious leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was in Parkdale Wednesday, May 31, to consecrate the newly relocated Karma Sonam Dargye Ling temple. It was the first time the 32-year-old protege of the Dalai Lama has visited Canada.

    His inaugural visit to his temple was a pretty big deal, and local Tibetans observed all manner of traditional practices and rituals to mark this auspicious occasion. On the morning of his arrival, the space inside and around the temple was a colourful blur of bodies, dresses and flags.

    Police officers, volunteers, temple staff and devotees gathered outside, some as early as 6 am, to await the Karmapa’s appearance, scheduled for 9:30 am.

    The diverse crowd included Charlotte, 73, who’d driven from Peterborough the night before; George, 28, a British-born resident of the Junction; Taiwanese nuns Miao Jing and Miao Yin; two fervent Chinese vegetarians originally from Shanghai, and of course lots of Tibetans.

    The mood was a mix of nervousness and bliss. Some worried they wouldn’t catch a glimpse of the Karmapa. 

    Jamyang, a 45-year-old Tibetan from India, says he’s been a devoted follower since the Karmapa was a child. “Even though my family’s Buddhist tradition is different, I was drawn to him ever since I saw his face,” he explains. “It came natural to me.”

    Many older people reminisced about the previous Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who died in 1981. A revered figure, he was one of the more prominent Tibetan masters to introduce their tradition to the West in the 70s. They spoke glowingly about how the present Karmapa carries on his lineage.

    A brief commotion ensued when the Karmapa finally arrived. A procession of monks and a dancing yak and snow lion welcomed the Karmapa as he stepped out of his car, flanked by private security and Toronto police. He slowly made his way to the temple, touching the heads of some of the more determined believers. 

    Upstairs, he held a private audience with a select group of temple board members and organizers of his tour. He had a packed schedule of  four days of events ahead of him in Toronto, including a public talk at Convocation Hall later that afternoon, before continuing on to Calgary and Vancouver. 

    Some of the crowd dispersed after he went inside, while others moved to the back of the temple for tea and treats prepared by volunteers.

    ***

    Buddhism first arrived in the Tibetan plateau in the 5th century AD in the form of scriptures from India and became established as the state religion in the 7th century. From there, it branched off into four main sects or schools: Gelug, Kagyu, Nyingma and Sakya.

    The Dalai Lama is widely respected as the overall head of Tibetan Buddhism; his is part of the Gelug school. The Karmapa leads the Kagyu sect.

    Today more than 80 per cent of Tibetans practise some form of Buddhism. Millions of non-Tibetans around the world also consider themselves students and devotees.

    When Ogyen Trinley Dorje was recognized as the 17th Karmapa in Tibet in 1992, it was the Dalai Lama who gave the all-important seal of approval, taking the young man under his wing after he fled Tibet at the age of 14. Many Tibetans now consider him the next in line to the Dalai Lama, even though they represent different Buddhist traditions.

    They have a deep bond.

    “His Holiness [Dalai Lama] is not just the spiritual teacher of the Tibetan people,” the Karmapa explained in a CBC radio interview the next day. “He is also like the father of the Tibetan people.”

    ***

    I was looking forward to the Karmapa’s visit when I first heard about it. Even though I’ve grown a bit weary of the influence that Buddhism has over my community, I’ve come to accept it as a part of my Tibetan identity.

    This interplay between ambivalence and pride in our culture is common for the younger generation in the Tibetan diaspora. Whether you’re Tibetan, Chinese, Somali or Thai, Muslim, Catholic, Sikh or Jewish, you’re often caught in the struggle between wanting to break free of the confines of your faith and resisting erasure by the dominant culture.

    The Karmapa’s tour offered an opportunity for me to try to disentangle some of these thorny issues. There were questions I hoped to ask him about the overwhelming patriarchy of religions, including Tibetan Buddhism. How does the Karmapa, who professes to support feminism and has pushed for formal ordination of nuns, reconcile that with the fact that none of his previous incarnations or teachers are female?

    The virtues of compassion, non-violence and mindfulness were extolled breathlessly throughout his tour. At his public talk at Convocation Hall, entitled Mindfulness And Environmental Responsibility, I asked him how we are supposed to practise mindfulness when confronted with a hostile situation, like when two volunteers threatened to have me removed from the temple because I was not carrying a press pass. (I had a VIP pass). He replied by stressing the need to be cautious about the desire to accomplish too many things all the time, advising we take a “playful” attitude toward mindfulness.

    I left the talk disappointed.

    The reverence and awe that many from my community feel for figures like him leaves little room for frank discussion between regular Tibetans and their Buddhist leaders. Uncritical devotion often reduces them to inert idols. Even those outside Tibetan or Buddhist communities engage in this kind of worship. When the Karmapa visited the United States in 2015, the New Yorker published an essay titled The Bieber Of Buddhism.

    ***

    Toward the end of his visit in Parkdale, the young Karmapa emerged from the upper balcony of the temple and waved at the crowd who had stood in the sun (and rain) for a glimpse. He then descended to the waiting motorcade and was quickly whisked away.

    As I walked down the street, a group of bemused people on the front porch of a building two doors up from the new temple discussed the scene they’d just witnessed. 

    Steven, who lives in the building and described himself as “just a Parkdale bum from eastern Europe,” shrugged. “They basically converted rooming apartments for poor people into a temple,” he said.

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