The Gyalwang Karmapa Offers Condolences at the Passing Away of King Bhumibol of Thailand

I was saddened to hear of the passing away this week of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who had been a guide and a source of hope and stability to the people of Thailand for more than seventy years.
During his reign he played a crucial role in encouraging and defending the development of democracy, while striving to preserve the ancient Buddhist traditions of his kingdom. He committed his life to working for the well-being of Thailand, and the outpouring of grief witnessed across the Thai nation following his passing indicates the deep love and respect in which he was held by his people.
At this time of mourning, I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and other members of the royal family, and to all the people of Thailand.

I pray that those who are now full of sorrow will feel comforted and that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s vision and hopes for Thailand and the Thai people may continue to be fulfilled.
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje,
Dharamsala, India
15th October, 2016
Top image © Epixx | Dreamstime.com – The 83rd Birthday Of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej Photo


The Four Noble Truths: How to Turn Suffering into Happiness (Podcast Episode #011)

Today’s podcast episode comes from the Gyalwang Karmapa’s first visit to Paris, France, and is a beautiful teaching on the Four Noble Truths.
This was the very first teaching that the historical Buddha gave and as such it is essential to Buddhists of all traditions, and practitioners of every level. The Karmapa teaches on all of the Noble Truths and discusses how we can overcome different types of suffering.
This episode is two sessions combined into one audio track and thus there is also two question and answer portions where students in the audience ask His Holiness about the refugee crisis in Europe, developing renunciation, and much more.
You can get the podcast here on iTunes or simply download the episode right here. Please make sure you subscribe in iTunes to be notified of new episodes.
Karmapa speaks in Tibetan with and English translator.


Tibet Express: Men-Tsee-Khang begins 4th International Conference on Body, Mind and Life

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA. Oct 12: Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute’s department of Body, Mind and Life began its 4th International Conference on Body, Mind and Life at Men-Tsee-khang college’s auditorium earlier today.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje graced the conference as the Chief Guest.  Others in attendance for the occasion include Special Guest, Choekyong Wangchuk, Health Kalon (Minister) of Central Tibetan Administration(CTA), Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche and other dignitaries from CTA and Men-Tsee-Khang.

The Chief Guest and the Special Guest launched three books on presentations of 1st ,2nd and 3rd Body, Mind and Life conference at the inaugural function of the conference.

“This conference is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama advocates. The western scholars (modern science) and eastern scholars (Tibetan Medical and astrologers) will exchange and deliberate on their findings and research at the conference and it will surely benefit the entire humanity,” health Kalon said in his address.

“This is a very important conference as it focuses on inner peace and happiness of human being. I urge the western and eastern scholars to have successful discussions and deliberations at the conference,” His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje remarked.

“My observation after witnessing several conferences and meetings is that many a times we drift away from the actual topic or the subject, be it the speaker or the questioner. This is something we should do away with,” the Karmapa concluded.

Eight speakers, two each from the field of Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan astrology and modern science will address at the conference that will be be attended by monks, doctors, astrologers, students and foreigners.

The three-day 4th International Body, Mind and Life conference will be held over Oct 12-14.

2016.10.12 噶瑪巴為藏醫曆算院“身體、心靈與生命"研討會揭幕 Karmapa attends 4th Mind and Life conference


Karmapa attends 4th Mind and Life conference - Phayul

[Wednesday, October 12, 2016 19:19]
By Tenzin Dharpo

Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 12: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, attended the opening event of the ‘Mind and Life’ conference organized by the Dharamshala based Tibetan Medical and Astro. Institute today. 

The young Lama, often described by the international media as the “second highest leader” after the Dalai Lama, jested that he had simply come to say “hello” although acknowledging that such events had been helpful to him personally in understanding new concepts and aspects of Buddhist and scientific perceptions.

The young lama expressed that ‘Mind and Life’ initiatives address the increasingly coveted issue of understanding human mind through science as well as Buddhism and that the much needed venture will help to tackle growing issue of mental disorders or disturbances prevalent in modern lives.

“The experts from the East and the West must come together to work out solutions for the modern day issues related to disturbances and disorders arising out of modern dependency on materialism. The two (Buddhism and science) can assist each other in understanding the deeper intricacies of the human mind,” said the Karmapa while also expressing confidence at the fruitful result of the venture for the coming generations.

CTA’s Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk who also attended the proceedings opined that the relatively lesser incidences of Tibetans suffering from mental disorders or disturbances accorded by modern life, is due to our knowledge and proximity to Buddhism.

The 4th edition of the conference will feature speakers from the scientific community as well as Buddhist practitioners and participated by students and enthusiasts from all over the world for two days (Oct. 12 and 13).


The Importance of Nurturing Our Love and Compassion

October 5, 2016 – Suja, Himachal Pradesh, India

The Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to be the chief guest ta the Suja School’s celebration of this special day known as Tibet Our Country. Begun in the 1990s, it is a major event for the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) schools, which honors and supports the preservation of Tibet’s rich and unique culture with a variety of programs and activities that culminate on this day. The students performed traditional music and dance and presented their poetry on the topic of love and compassion, which was the focus of the day.
From the center of the stage, His Holiness spoke to those who had gathered, recalling that he had visited the school many times and that they had a deep relationship. Turning to the theme for the day, the Karmapa noted that scientists state compassion is a quality that all living beings have from birth but, he noted, we must open the door to it. If we do not use and develop this capacity, its power will deteriorate.
The Karmapa drew an analogy to the development of language. We are all born with the potential to speak, but if a young child grows up in a remote area without human contact, this capacity will no be activated and the child will not be able to talk with others. Likewise, if our innate capacity for love and compassion is not nurtured in the right environment, it will not develop. The Karmapa recommended that in addition to being loving themselves, parents should use the words “compassion” and “love” often in the presence of a child and that these reminders would benefit them.
In Tibetan society, the Karmapa noted, “We pay attention to compassion and love. Parents and grandparents recite prayers that include all living beings, vast as the sky, and make wishes that they have happiness and be free of suffering.” Likewise, Tibetans recite the six-syllable mantra of Avalokiteshvara, who embodies compassion. “In brief,” he said, “we are a people who have a great interest in compassion and love. The social environment of Tibetan society provides the conditions for their growth.”
But sometimes, he noted, we can talk a lot about compassion and love, but they remain a mere habit or a custom, passed down through the generations without particular attention being paid to them. It is possible that we could often recite the mantra, but there is not much stable power to our practice. Why is this so? If practice is just following some custom, a philosophical position, or an ingrained habit, it will not truly benefit us in our daily lives.
Looking within, we can search for a mental feeling, or an experience, of compassion and love. If see that they are growing, then our practice is effective. If we are inspired to develop them, it will definitely be possible, and then through love and compassion, we can benefit both others and ourselves. The Karmapa counseled that we should turn our attention to developing our meditation and continue our practice throughout our entire life.
In the world these days, he remarked, compassion and loving-kindness, are in decline, so the time has come for us to be concerned and take responsibility to do all we can to help. This era in which we live is filled with immense changes so we cannot sit just on the sidelines and relax. We must become involved while focusing our minds clearly and thinking deeply.
The Karmapa concluded his talk with praise for the principal, staff, and teachers of Suja School. He complemented them for shouldering their responsibilities and working together well and encouraged them to continue: “We can collaborate, mutually benefitting each other, and also put our energy together to help the entire society.” On this positive note, the Karmapa concluded his talk.

2016.10.5 Karmapa Graced Suja’s TOC Day


Karmapa Graced Suja’s TOC Day - Tcvsuja

5th October 2016: TCV School observed its Tibet Our Country (TOC) Day on 5th October this year with His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa Urgen Thrinley as the chief guest. To mark the occasion, a grand function was held on the school basketball under a giant makeshift tent attended by the school Director, Principal, staff members, students and other dignitaries. Everybody was clad in pure Tibetan national day coinciding the white Wednesday ( Lhakar).The school Religious teacher led the lifelong prayer and Manjushree prayer in unison. This year, the main theme of TOC was compassion.

During the function, the school Director presented a brief report and introduction to the day. There were few cultural program from the students. A ceremonial sweet rice and butter tea was served during the cultural show. There was also award ceremony for the winners of Olympiad and for the Primary teachers who had participated in the Tibetan in-service training organized jointly by Sherig and TCV School. Three students presented poetry on love and compassion and the Samaritan work done by a group of Suja students.

After that Gyalwa Karmapa Urgen Thrinley Dorjee addressed the gathering. He expressed his great happiness over visiting the school once again after a long gap. He also talked about the good rapport between the school and his monastery. He blessed all those gathered including the people from nearby settlements and monasteries.

In the afternoon, there was Tibetan debate which was attended by the senior students. The speakers were very eloquent and it was appreciated by the whole audience. A special traditional lunch was arranged on the day from the school kitchen. In the evening, an hour long movie on Morality was shown. The movie was directed by Master Phurbu Tsering la, with help from Mr. Jigme Wangdue la, the Head of the Tibetan Department. The movie was attended by the school Director, the Principal and the staff and students. Finally, the school Principal gave a vote of thanks and officially concluded the eventful Tibet Our Country Day. He thanked each and every one who had made this day successful especially the Tibetan Department of the school.
TOC (Tibet Our Country) Day is celebrated all over TCV Schools. The main objective of celebrating this day is to preserve our Tibetan rich culture and tradition among the younger generation who had not seen their country. It was started way back in 1990s and since then all the schools have been arranging various activities and programs. As such it has become one of the major programs in all TCV Schools.

2016.10.5 Karmapa Graced Suja’s TOC Day


Environmental Change, Spiritually and Practically Based

September 29, 2016 – Sidhbari, HP, India.

Today His Holiness The Gyalwang Karmapa met with young leaders, ages 22 to 30, from the Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship in the United States. They had been chosen for their potential as catalysts for practical change, centered in a spiritual world with sensitivity for the nature. These young people seek to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature.
Their first question for His Holiness was asked by a young woman who had gone in a bicycle pilgrimage in several counties, including the US, Canada, and Iceland. She posed to His Holiness the key question that she had asked on her travels: When and how did you first become passionate about environmental issues?
The Karmapa responded by returning to his childhood to identify the source of his connection to the environment. Noting that he had grown up in a remote area of Eastern Tibet, he recalled, “We lived a traditional life style that was close to the natural environment. This is the source of my experience, which makes it easy to recognize how important the environment is.”
He also spoke of the conferences and workshops his environmental organization, Khoryuk, had conducted for nuns and monks, who have the motivation to help, but sometimes do not know how. These seminars give them practical knowledge on what to do and how to manage projects that will help to preserve the environment.
The next question came from a woman whose family had experienced the trauma of the bombing in the Marshall Islands. She wondered about how people in the future will deal with the trauma caused by climate change.
The Karmapa responded, “I think they will need a simple meditation practice. In places like my home in Tibet, people are living a very simple life, which sometimes brings physical hardships but mentally it’s healthy and powerful.” In the world these days, he remarked, many people spend their time focused on the material world, so their inner strength, which allows them to face difficulties, decreases. He suggested, “After a disaster, we could provide a meditation program or psychological support to help people overcome this kind of trauma.”
A young man then asked about China, saying that he had a strong sense that there is an ecological and spiritual awakening occurring in the younger generation. Could His Holiness speak about this?
The Karmapa replied that China has rich cultural and spiritual traditions, but in recent history they have spent time improving their material situation. People were focused on becoming wealthy but internally felt quite empty and lonely. These days people recognize the problem, so increasing numbers of people want to learn about something that goes beyond the world of material wealth. They are searching for internal wealth, which brings true happiness.
Being engaged in environmental protection, he remarked, can bring a connection with spiritual practice. We can feel the interdependent relationship between ourselves and the environment and other living beings. This enables us to recognize a wider sense of who we are. Usually, he explained, “We have a strange idea about ‘me’ and ‘mine’ thinking they are independent and solid. But actually everything is interconnected. Without other species, we cannot survive. That is why I think practical engagement in environmental activity can develop our inner strength.”
The last question asked if there were anything they could share with the nunnery they were soon going to visit.
The Karmapa responded, “Each and every one of you have amazing and special experiences. If you can share these with the nuns, they will be inspired. Sometimes if you’re only talking about science with lots of numbers and information, it’s not enough to move people. Sharing your own experience is the most valuable thing you can give to the nuns.”
With this encouragement to connect on a personal level, the Karmapa’s lively meeting these future leaders came to a close.

Indian Psychology Students Join Karmapa for Week-long Dialogue on Emotions

29 September, 2016 – Dharamsala, India

A group of 20 postgraduate students from the psychology department of Ambedkar University Delhi converged in Dharamsala this week for a series of interactions with His Holiness the Karmapa. Their discussions will explore the ways that Buddhism and modern psychology understand and address various human emotions. The emotions to be discussed over the course of the next 11 days were proposed by the psychology students and include: jealousy and envy; love and attachment; greed, desire and contentment; guilt and shame; stress and anxiety; fear, terror and courage; and, faith and hope.
Over the course of their stay in Dharamsala, the group will spend their days immersed in developing presentations for the Karmapa, meeting with His Holiness in his library at Gyuto Monastery, and then reviewing together what they have learned.
The meetings with His Holiness consist of question-and-answer sessions, as well as presentations delivered by teams of three students on modern psychology’s understanding of the various emotions. The presenters are tasked with outlining the ways that each emotion is defined and treated in the various schools of modern psychology. They hold the additional brief of sharing with His Holiness how those emotions look on the ground in their own communities. This acknowledges how emotions, although they form part of a universal human experience, are expressed, valued and experienced in ways that are very much shaped by the individual’s particular gender, religious, caste or class, and cultural contexts.
“This is the first time that I have had the opportunity to hold such a long series of meetings with an Indian student group,” the Karmapa told them during their initial session with him. “For me this is a wonderful occasion, because I can enter into a world that I cannot usually experience, and explore social issues and contexts I am not so familiar with. So for me this is a great opportunity, and I want to express how happy I am to have this time together with you.”
Accompanied by two faculty members from the University, the students are bringing to the conversations a wide mix of personal experiences and social and religious backgrounds. Some had previously pursued careers in law and engineering, while others have already begun working as therapists. Among them are students with Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist backgrounds, and they claim their roots all across India, coming from south, north, northeast and central India.
The programme has been organized and sponsored by Kun Kyong Charitable Trust at the Gyalwang Karmapa’s request. The trust had previously arranged a similar programme to allow Tibetan youth from across India to explore topics of vital interest to their lives, including identity, leadership, and gender issues. Over the past five years, the Karmapa has sought out opportunities for sustained interactions with university students and young professionals from various countries and communities.
The first such sustained interaction with youth was held in 2011 when the Gyalwang Karmapa was 26 years of age, as a credit course for students from the University of Redlands in California, and led to the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. A subsequent book, Interconnected: Living Fully in a Global Society, is forthcoming from Wisdom Publications in 2017. A major publisher in Delhi has already arranged to publish a book based on the teachings on emotion being held presently with the students from Ambedkar University.
At his present age of 31, the Karmapa maintains a profound commitment to connecting with youth of his generation to encourage them to take greater responsibility for resolving those issues, and to explore with them wise ways to address major issues facing the 21st-century society. The programme with the Ambedkar University students is held in that spirit, and reflects his conviction that Buddhist teachings can serve as resources for non-Buddhist audiences looking for new ways to address matters of universal concern.

2016.9.29 Indian Psychology Students Join Karmapa for Week-long Dialogue on Emotions


Bhutia-Lepcha Delegation Meets Rajnath Singh, Ravi Kumar Prasad - NorthEast Today

September 29 2016

As reported earlier a Bhutia Lepcha delegation has been camping at New Delhi meeting various Central government ministers and submitting representations. Both the SKM MLAs are also in national capital. They have called upon Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Law Minister Ravi Kumar Prasad.
Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim, proportionate increase of BL seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly if its strength is expanded, early reservation of seats for Limboo Tamang Tribes and restoration of seats of the Sikkimese Nepalese in the SLA are some of their demands.
The Union Home Minister also discussed matters pertaining to the early arrival of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim. He enquired about the possible locations where His Holiness can visit except Rumtek owing to the existing legal complications. He has further expressed his concerns on the health and physical states of the monks who are sitting at hunger strike at BL House, Gangtok since July 10, 2016 and has requested the monk community to maintain peace and calm.”
But after more than 80 days of dharna and relay hunger strike with no positive results, the protesting monks are now threatening to take to the streets after completion of 100 days. A meeting was called by Denzong Lhadey at Phodong monastery where the monks expressed their anguish over the State government’s indifferent attitude to their dharna. “We will wait till the hunger strike completes 100 days. If the State government fails to bring Karmapa to Sikkim within this time frame than we will come out into the streets,” they informed.
“People of Sikkim have waited for more than 16 years for Karmapa’s arrival. Both the State and Central government have been indifferent in handling the issue. Now we can go to any extent,” they added.


Announcement: Winter Dharma Activities 2017

1.  Twentieth Kagyu Guncho
     January 16, 2017–February 4, 2017 (20 days)

2.  Grand Empowerment of the Five Deities of Chakrasamvara
     February 7, 2017–February 8, 2017 (2 days)

3.  Teaching: Torch of True Meaning
     February 9, 2017–February 11, 2017 (3 days)

4.  34th Kagyu Monlam
     February 13, 2017–February 19, 2017 (7 days)

5.  Garchen Gutor Puja
     February 21, 2017–February 25, 2017 (5 days)

6.  Smoke Offering “Clouds of Amrita”
     February 26, 2017

7.  Garchen New Year’s Celebration
     February 27, 2017–March 1, 2017 (3 days)

8.  Marme Monlam
     March 2, 2017

9.  4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering
     March 6, 2017–March 19, 2017 (14 days)


Reception Committee of Sikkim to Karmapa met with His Holiness in Dharamsala - Sikkim Messenger

The Reception Committee of Sikkim to His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje led by Acharya Tshering Lama, Chairman of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Government of Sikkim met with his Holiness The 17th Karmapa at Karmapa Monastery in Dharamsala on 19th September 2016. 

This is what His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje said during the meeting with Reception Committee of Sikkim for His Holiness :

"It has been about 16 years, that I am living in India and I hope every Indian people may know well about me. And in particular as all people of Sikkim, they are doing hard work on the issue to invite me to Sikkim as soon as possible. And that's true that I have a great relationship with Sikkim and Sikkimese People. It's not my present life only but it's a life of previous 16th Karmapa. That is why myself, as once atleast I would really like to visit in Sikkim. After I came in India, I got great opportunities by Indian Government for visit in every part of the India. And now for me, Sikkim is the only place which is left for my visit but I hope that day will come as soon as soon possible through the hard work by Sikkimese people and Sikkim's Government. Therefore, I am expecting that this issue should be sort out in very peaceful way as soon as possible.

Thank you all."