The Gyalwang Karmapa Reaches Out to Displaced Children
Tong-len Charitable Trust, Sarah, Dharamsala, India
November 19, 2015
On this brilliant and crisp autumn day, the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to be the chief guest at the 11th Thanksgiving Day of Tong-len Charitable Trust and also to inaugurate its new building. Situated on the forested ridge of a valley below Dharamsala, the Trust’s major project is to provide health care and education to the children of the nearby Charan slum camp. Tong-len (tong meaning “to give to others” and len, the empathy that wishes to alleviate their suffering) was started in 2004 by Lobsang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk who felt a special sympathy for the young children of the camp, who affectionately call him Guruji. He started out helping 10 children and now their number has grown to 250.
When the Karmapa arrived at Tong-len, he was greeted with the traditional white scarves and escorted to the new building that houses dormitories, a leadership training space, and an interfaith room. Inaugurating it, he cut the decoration across the front door and offered golden flowers. Stepping around the four-petaled flower in bright colors on the lobby floor, he walked up the stairs to the interfaith room, which he specially blessed. On the room’s central wall is a spacious bodhi tree with heart-shaped leaves holding the symbols of the world’s major religions. Another wall is decorated with a statement created by the children together: “The objective of interfaith dialogue is to bring religions together to work in harmony, to live in peace and tolerance respecting each other’s views and beliefs, and to show compassion to all.”
Next to the new building, in front of a big tent for the local audience and visitors from abroad, a stage had been prepared with large swaths of radiantly colored cloths which gently billowed in the morning breeze. To the lower left of the stage stood a shrine with images of HH the Dalai Lama and Sarasvati, the goddess of learning and culture for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Karmapa, along with two other guests, lit an offering lamp to begin the ceremony. After a speech by the founding monk and director, Lobsang Jamyang, the Karmapa was invited onto the stage to give a talk.
He began by noting that after eleven years of study, some of the students have been able to enroll at universities, which delights and inspires everyone. The Karmapa expressed his thanks to “the parents who gave their children a chance to learn by sending them to school. Education brings them a real benefit they can use their whole lives. I would also like to thank the students,” he said, “who took advantage of this opportunity and achieved the good results we can see here today.” He encouraged them to keep up their efforts and not lose heart.
Through their experience with Tong-len, the Karmapa remarked, both parents and children can develop the sense that they are similar to others. He observed, “The children can study and not only that, they are also motivated to become good people with strong inner values and the wish to help others. The desire is to help not just one person but many, especially those who come from a similar underprivileged background.” The Karmapa emphasized, “Developing compassion and loving-kindness is the main goal of the Tong-len Charitable Trust, and actually the goal of us all.” He thanked everyone who supported Tong-len—the parents, sponsors, teachers, and staff—and encouraged them all to continue their important work.
The Karmapa then praised the founder Lobsang Jamyang for his dedication. “In the beginning he went through great hardships when the only support he had was his altruistic motivation and strong sense of purpose.” The Karmapa paid tribute to him as “an inspiring Tibetan, who is practicing Buddhism, and in particular, the path of a true bodhisattva. He is a fine role model for us all.”
In closing the Karmapa remarked, “The Tibetans have been fortunate in enjoying the kindness of India for over fifty years. It is important that one of us Tibetans is returning that kindness and showing our gratitude to the Indian people, and especially the displaced communities, by supporting and serving them.” The Karmapa expressed the wish that in the future more Tibetans would come forth to start projects like Tong-len to benefit their host country and its people. With this encouragement to follow the path of a bodhisattva, the Karmapa ended his talk to the Tong-len community.
Afterward, on behalf of organization, he presented the Tong-len Awards to three people: Tsering Dolkar, who helps all the Tibetans who come to Chandigrah for medical attention; the leader of the Jagori Charitable Trust working to help women and build an equitable society; and to Mario Fontano whose foundation funded the new building.
Aldershot, Hampshire, England – Morning, May 27, 2017
Early on this day of the Karmapa’s visit to the Nepali community in Aldershot, the double arch of a luminous rainbow filled the sky. It recalled his first visit to the US when rainbows followed him everywhere on the East Coast. The Karmapa was invited by the Buddhist Community Centre UK to this beautiful area of England, famous for its military garrisons and home to a sizeable population of Gurkha soldiers who have served in the British army. In 2006 they were allowed to live in England and in 2007, the Buddhist Community Centre UK was founded by Mr. Kaji Sherpa. He had the vision of establishing a Buddhist monastery to serve the growing Buddhist Community in this southeast region of the UK.
His daughter explained that about half of the Gurkha population in Nepal is Buddhist, and that her father felt a need for Buddhist guidance in this community, so a committee of Nepalis purchased a social club and completely transformed it into a …
During his first visit to the UK from May 17 to 28, 2017, the Karmapa, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader, joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams together with scientists, scholars and cultural figures for a dialogue on the environment hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and Inspire Dialogue Foundation.
The round table discussion, held on May 24, 2017, was intended to bring together perspectives “between disciplines and generations” as the beginning of an ongoing exchange, according to Lord Williams, Master of Magdalen 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 Bhaskar Vira, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute; Tracey Seaward, film producer …
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made his first visit to the United Kingdom this month.
At 31 years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, a reincarnation lineage that dates back more than 900 years. His Holiness was born in eastern Tibet but fled to India in 2000, where he now resides at the Gyuto Monastery near Dharamshala. He is the only reincarnate Lama to have been recognised by both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese communist government.
The Karmapa’s 11-day visit began on May 17 and the first public event was held on May 20 in London’s Battersea Park.
“I would like to express my great delight at this opportunity that has come to pass for me to visit London, the capital of the United Kingdom, for the first time. Especially, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all you friends who are gathered here. I have been waiting for a long time to visit the United King…
May 29, 2017 - The 17th Karmapa, one of Tibet’s leading Buddhist figures arrived in Toronto yesterday on his first visit to Canada. Known for his concerns about current global issues as well as for his spiritual leadership, the 31-year-old Karmapa will engage in a wide range of religious activities and will speak on environmental and social responsibility at various universities.
During his month long trip to Canada, the Karmapa will travel to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. In doing so, he is following in the footsteps of his predecessor the 16th Karmapa, who travelled extensively throughout the country and was instrumental in introducing Canadians to Buddhism in the 1970s.
Head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th holder of a 900-year old lineage. Born in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, he made headline news in 2000 with his dramatic escape to India, where he now lives near the Dalai Lama. The 17th …
Worshipped as a living god, will the 17th Karmapa Lama also inherit the Dalai Lama’s imagery of divinity and celebrity? By MARTIN REGG COHNOntario Politics Columnist Tues., May 30, 2017
It is not his destiny to be the next Dalai Lama. For he is already reincarnated as the 17th Karmapa Lama.
Yet he may one day succeed his 81-year-old teacher and protector.
Revered since age 7 as spiritual leader of a 1,000-year-old branch of Tibetan Buddhism, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is making his first trip to Canada this week at the age of 31.
Meeting Ontario politicians Tuesday before sitting down for an interview, the Karmapa padded around Queen’s Park in a pair of brown hiking shoes peeking out from under his simple maroon robes. A picture of youthful wisdom with his direct gaze, towering above other monks at six feet tall, he may yet emerge as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism
Worshipped as a living god and the Buddha of Compassion, will he also inherit the Dalai Lama’s imagery of divinity and celebrity?
This morning the Karmapa traveled to a northwest suburb of London to visit the impressive BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, the largest Hindu temple in Europe. Marble and limestone have been brought alive by Indian artists, who carved every inch with intricate design. The founder of this Hindu bhakti tradition was guru Swaminarayan (1781-1830), famous for his support of the poor and encouraging women’s education. He was also known for his vegetarianism and opposition to animal sacrifice, positions that the Karmapa also supports.
At the temple, the Karmapa was met by Pujya Yogvivekdas Swami and offered the traditional greeting of a garland of flowers, a tika (the red mark of blessing) and a blessed cord. The Karmapa was then guided through the temple to see an exhibition on understanding Hinduism. Always curious, he asked many question of the guide. He then participated in prayers with the swami and other priests in two of the shrine rooms, both of white m…
May 27, 2017 – Lakeside International Hotel, Frimley Green, England
In the concluding public event of the 17th Karmapa’s first visit to the United Kingdom, nearly 2,000 people gathered at Lakeside International Hotel near Frimley Green in Surrey to receive an Amitayus Long Life empowerment. The Nepalese and Gurkha community turned out in force to welcome the 17th Karmapa and were joined by devotees from the UK, Europe, America, and other countries worldwide. This was the second part of a one-day program organised by the Buddhist Community Centre UK.
Monks from various Kagyu European centres and the Karmapa’s ritual master and attendants had worked hard to prepare the stage for the empowerment. The golden pagoda used during the Chenresik empowerment earlier in the visit now enshrined an image of Amitayus and a smaller image of Guru Rinpoche. To the left of the images, a large bowl contained long-life pills made from roasted barley and butter and to the right four bowls contained long-lif…
Transforming Disturbing Emotions: Dialogue of the Three Major Traditions of Buddhism Date: Thursday, June 1st, 9:30AM – 12:00PM Place: University of Toronto, Convocation Hall (MAP) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp9TaET_SNw
How to Apply Ancient Wisdom in Modern Times In these two sessions, His Holiness will discuss the basic nature of mind and the methods of obtaining happiness through listening to and contemplating the teachings of the Buddha, and then meditating according to the teachings. Date: Friday, June 2nd, 9:30-11:30AM, 2:00-4:30PM Place:The Enercare Centre, Hall D (MAP) Video: How to Apply Ancient Wisdom in Modern Times 1…
May 31, 2017– In the morning after his arrival, at 9:00AM, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje arrived at Karma Sonam Dargye Ling– a Tibetan Buddhist centre under the direction of Lama Tenzin Dakpa. This was a visit of great significance, as the centre was first established in 1976 by the venerable Lama Namsel Rinpoche under the request of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
Upon arrival, His Holiness was ushered into the main shrine hall and seated on the highest throne, on which he proceeded to receive a body-speech-mind offering from the sangha. The yellow rice and tea ceremony followed in sequence for the welcome ceremony. Shortly after tea was served, the current resident teacher of Karma Sonam Dargye Ling, Lama Tenzin Dakpa, rose to speak.
Lama Tenzin referenced the founder of this centre, Lama Namsel Rinpoche, as one of the first Canadian resident lamas to request for His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to visit Canada. …