Tibetan spiritual leader visits Woodstock (Daily Freeman)



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By William J. Kemble, news@freemanonline.com


The Karmapa plants a tree Wednesday morning at the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Tibetan Buddhist center in Woodstock. Photo by William J. Kemble




WOODSTOCK >> A Tibetan Buddhist leader said during a local visit Wednesday, Earth Day, that cultivating a love for the environment amounts to providing love for everyone.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, visited the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra on Meads Mountain Road in Woodstock early Wednesday to plant two trees as a symbol of care needed around the world. He was to be give a 45-minute address during a public event at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock later in the day.
The Karmapa, whose name is Orgyen Trinley Dorj, chose not to speak during the tree-planting ceremony, which drew about 100 people, because his voice had been strained by recent talks.
Town of Woodstock Supervisor Jeremy Wilber said the Karmapa’s visit was appropriate in a community where people value a legacy of treating the planet with respect.
“Not many people realize this, but there’s a very old, almost ancient spirituality that runs through the town of Woodstock, originally expressed in its very simple white templed, white spiraled churches,” Wilber said.
“It’s always been a very strong presence, particularly at the turn of the last century, when different creeds came to this area and flourished [and] more lately with the [Woodstock] Jewish Congregation that started with a few families 40 years ago and is a very significant part of spiritual community of Woodstock,” Wilber added. “The Buddhists came here about 40 years ago and detected that spiritual vibe in the town. They wanted to be here and they struggled to build what they’ve built here.”
Wilber also noted the Karmapa included environmental themes in his book “The Heart is Noble.”
“You will find in it not only very deep understanding of the Tibetan faith, but you will also hear the words of very committed environmentalist,” Wilber said.

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