The Karmapa and the Villagers Entertain Each Other
Kamalashila Institute, Lagenfeld, Eifel, Germany, June 1, 2014
Sunday evening, Kamalashila hosted a reception for important people from the village so that they could be with the Karmapa in a more informal atmosphere. Tall tables with navy cloths around which people congregated and harp music in the background gave an elegant tone to the evening as did the nouvelle cuisine style of the Tibetan food that was served by young Tibetans who have a restaurant in Bonn. The Karmapa spoke of feeling a close connection to the town, of his desire to protect the environment in Tibet and the Himalayan region, and his plans to promote the education of monks and nuns so that they could become leaders in their communities. The Karmapa also recalled a recent visit to the Benedictine monastery of Maria Laach in nearby Eifel. He participated in an hour of prayers with the monks and felt especially at home as the monastery was founded in the same century as the lifetime of the first Karmapa who lived 900 years ago. He also must have felt in familiar territory because the monks practice meditation and are artists, as well as creating beautiful metal work and famous bells.
When the party drew to a close, the guests moved to the lawn outside the dining room where a local band and an a capella men’s choir performed. With a population of around 600, Langenfeld has over twenty musical groups. The Karmapa, who has composed many songs himself, swayed gently to the music and seemed to really enjoy himself. Couples danced on the terrace to the band’s captivating music. The evening was a fitting end to a special and wonderful visit —festive, elegant, and warm with friendship.