Ugen Trinley Dorjee, the Karmapa, speaks to the crowd on eco tourism at the Tibetan Children's Village School in Dharmsala, India, Monday, March 24, 2008.Ashwini Bhatia / AP
the apparent astonishment and delight of his American retinue, the baby-faced
22-year-old who may one day replace the Dalai Lama as the world symbol of
Tibetan Buddhism and icon of Tibetan aspirations said today, on his first trip
here, that he hoped he might be able to spend two months a year in the United
States, raising the possibility that in decades to come, America could become
an important focus for that community.
Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, or head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism,
sat at his ease in a throne-like overstuffed chair, rimless rectangular glasses
perched on his pleasantly round, shaven head, a yellow shirt peeking out from
underneath a dark red robe, feet in pebbled brown loafers. Reputedly stern, the
Karmapa, who spent half an hour with TIME, was both remarkably well-tempered
and focused for a man who had just come off a 14-hour flight — by far his
longest since he arrived in India eight years ago as a teenager after a
swashubuckling escape from China by foot, horseback and plane. Asked whether he
had slept on on his way here, he replied in English, "Sleep, but not well.
Lot of..." and he did an expert mime of transatlantic turbulence.
two-week American trip, which will include stops in New York City, the Kagyu
center in Seattle and the vast monastery his adherents have nearly completed in
Woodstock, N.Y as his American seat, is a literal "coming out." The
Indian government, wary of relations with China, had not until now allowed the
young man, whom the Dalai Lama had taken under his wing, to travel
internationally. Followers here who have not seen their leader since his
predecessor died in 1981 (they believe four years passed before his
reincarnation) will bask in his attention and teachings. "The previous
Karmapa visited the U.S. several times and his dharma activity here was
vast," he said (this time through a translator). "It is my hope to
continue that." He added, "My work is not going to be conducted only
among other Buddhists, but to help everyone." He also said he wants to
"look at things not only from a Buddhist perspective," but from the
viewpoint of other faiths as well — a tall order.
although he confirmed an adviser's caution that Kagyu leaders have no tradition
of engaging in politics, he noted, "As far as I'm concerned, the situation
in Tibet, particularly the political situation, has reached a level of
emergency." He sees his teacher as a major player in dealing with it:
"The Dalai Lama is both the spiritual and secular leader of all the
Tibetan people, and is recognized as such all over the world, and the Dalai
Lama has a tremendous responsibility in his great efforts to bring about a
peaceful resolution." But he noted that "in the Tibetan tradition we
regard the connection between a lama and his spiritual teacher to be
sacred." And "like all Tibetans, I will continue to support him in
this as best I can in the future."
when the Dalai Lama, currently a relatively healthy 72, dies, the Karmapa could
end up his replacement as the face of Tibet. He could never be the next Dalai
Lama. "Karmapa," like "Dalai Lama," is its own reincarnate
title. Nor could he become the hands-on political leader of a Tibetan government
or government-in-exile, a job the Dalai Lama has ceded to a prime minister. But
a recent YouTube video shows the Dalai Lama talking to the Karmapa and Ling
Rinpoche, the 19-year-old reincarnation of another high monk. The older man
tells them, "You two... are still young, and when I die you will be the
ones who continue by work." In the video, the Karmapa starts slightly, and
his eyes roll back a moment before he regains composure.
video, which seems authentic, reinforces sentiments the Dalai Lama expressed in
public in 2001 and acknowledges the Karmapa's unique portfolio. The Karmapa is
traditionally regarded as the third most important person in Tibetan Buddhism
after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, who disappeared years ago and whose
replacement, picked by the Chinese, is not recognized by most Tibetans. He is
unusual among a new generation of leaders because of his birth and training as
a high lama in Tibet. He speaks fluent Chinese, and attracted numerous Chinese
adherents before fleeing. The Karmapa's close relationship with the Dalai Lama
knits up a historic tension between their two lineages, and helps make him a
Thurman, an expert in Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University who knows the
Dalai Lama well, has had repeated contact with the Karmapa and will soon
publish a book titledWhy the
Dalai Lama Matters, worries that "if [the Karmapa] is pressured by
devotees to travel and teach too much at too young an age at the expense of his
studies," it could prevent him from "manifesting his full
strength." But if he is allowed to mature, says Thurman, "50 years from
now my son may have to write a book sayingWhy
the Karmapa Matters."
for the head of a major Tibetan lineage to spend a sixth of every year in the
United States would be a tremendous boost for the Buddhist community here. The
Karmapa's p.r. representative claims he has attained a near sell-out of 21,000
seats at teachings he will give here (starting with one Saturday at Manhattan's
Hammerstein Ballroom) almost solely on the strength of e-mail chains. Many in
the audience will be his age. When a reporter noted that the Kagyu lineage is
known for its stress on practice and that his own generation is not known for
its patience, the Karmapa delivered some advice that his American followers
could no doubt appreciate. "If people have no patience," he said,
"they have no patience, and I can't insist that they develop it. But I've
observed that human life without patience becomes unworkable. My experience has
been that I've been forced to develop patience with unchangeable
situations." It is a virtue to recommend as well to those hoping for a
solution for Tibet's status.
Recently the Gyalwang Karmapa went through a medical examination in Germany, his doctor strongly advise him to stop all Dharma propagation activities so that he has more time and space to treat some of the medical conditions that he has. After much consideration, the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to cancel this year’s Asia Dharma Teaching, i.e. the Diamond Sutra Teaching.
When we heard about the Gyalwang Karmapa’s decision to cancel the teaching, our emotions evolved from unspeakable shock to calm contemplation. Eventually, we understand the difficulty and necessity to make such a decision. We will continue to pray that the Diamond Sutra Teaching to be held in future, yet we are unsure when and where the teaching will be held. Therefore, we will begin the refund process for those who had registered for the teaching after we had negotiated with the hotel for refund.
Even though we feel a sense of regret that the Diamond Sutra Teaching cannot be held, yet we understand and …
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
Sujit Nath | News18.com Updated:July 26, 2017, 11:31 PM IST
Kolkata: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant permission to 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to visit the state.
Any such visit to the by the Tibetan leader living in exile in India is likely to anger China. This comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a standoff in Doklam plateau in the Sikkim sector.
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on Dorje’s movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
“I also invited the Prime Minister to visit Sikkim after the rainy season came to an end this year, which he agreed and promised to make a trip soon,” Chamling told the media after his mee…
གཟའ་འཁོར་འདིའི་ནང་བོད་ཕྱི་ནང་གཉིས་ཀར་ལོ་ཆུང་བྱིས་པ་རེ་རང་སྲེག་བཏང་འདུག །སེམས་ལ་ན་ཟུག་ཆེས་ཆེར་སློང་བའི་གནས་ཚུལ་འདི་དག་རྣ་བར་ཐོས་དུས། བཟོད་ཐབས་བྲལ་ཏེ་སླར་ཡང་གཞིས་བྱེས་བོད་མི་སྤུན་ཟླ་ཡོངས་ལ་འབོད་སྐུལ་ཞིག་ཞུ་འདོད་བྱུང་། This week, two young Tibetan children, one in Tibet and one in India, have burned themselves to death. These events pain me deeply. I could not bear to think of it when I heard the news, and for that reason I want to make a request of my fellow Tibetans at home and abroad.
༢༠༠༩ ལོ་ནས་ད་བར་བོད་ཕྱི་ནང་དུ་བོད་མི་བརྒྱ་ཕྲག་དང་ཕྱེད་ལ་ཉེ་བས་གཅེས་པའི་རང་ལུས་ཞུགས་སུ་ཕུལ་ཏེ་ཚད་མཐོའི་ལས་འགུལ་ཤུགས་ཆེར་སྤེལ་མོད། འོན་ཀྱང་མིག་སྔར་དེ་ལ་ཐོབ་འོས་པའི་སེམས་ཁུར་དང་། ཚེ་སྲོག་ལ་རིན་ཐང་དང་བརྩི་འཇོག །དེ་བཞིན་ཁོང་ཚོས་རང་སྲེག་གཏོང་བའི་རྒྱུ་རྐྱེན་དང་མངོན་འདོད་གང་ཡིན་ལ་དོ་ཁུར་བྱེད་མཁན་རྒྱལ་སྤྱི་དང་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་གང་ཡང་ཕལ་ཆེར་བྱུང་མེད་པའི་ཚོད་ཙམ་རེད། From 2009 to the present, nearly 150 Tibetans within Tibet and abroad have immolated their own precious bodies, maki…
The land of Sikkim, at the border of India and Tibet, was consecrated as a hidden sanctuary for the Buddha's teachings during the present epoch by the second Buddha, the great master Padmasambhava, who blessed it with the vajra wisdom of his body, speech, and mind. Through the infallible power of his aspiration and through our great effort, the monastery Shaydrup Kunkhyap Otong Khyilway Tsuklakhang (the Temple of Pervasive Teaching and Practice Blazing with a Thousand Lights), has been established for the preservation of the precious doctrine of the Buddha, which is the source of all benefit and happiness in existence and tranquility, and for the sake of all beings in the world.
Before the building's foundation was begun, I performed the customary removal of impediments and, using a sand mandala, the ritual of Chakrasamvara, blessing the location so that it is his wisdom mandala. In that and similar ways, the site has been consecrated m…
A group from Palpung Wales, which actually consisted of people from all over UK, traveled to join the His Holiness 17th Karmapa’s first teaching weekend in London, Battersea. It was an absolute privilege to be part of that weekend, in many ways. We received touching and inspiring teachings from His Holiness Karmapa on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s famous “Eight verses of Mind Training,” a key instruction on how to bring the Dharma into daily life. At the same time it was like a gesture of welcoming His Holiness Karmapa’s 17th incarnation to this country for the first time. Meeting with the many Dharma friends and coming together in His Holiness’s mandala was a very heart-warming experience. We were also very fortunate to have a group audience with His Holiness on Saturday afternoon. From original Palpung Wales group it slowly formed into a Palpung United group of about 60 people from Wales, Ireland and Slovenia, and some from Italy as well. It was a great chance, although only…
THE PRACTICE OF DHARMA involves certain possibilities. How these potentials evolve into actual situations for the practitioner, and how much is possible within these situations depends on the capacity of individual beings. It depends upon the level of teachings that one is able to relate to, such as Mahayana or Hinayana. At this particular time in our lives, the practice of the Mahayana teaching is possible. It is absolutely precious and absolutely rare. Our concern for development and our sense of responsibility has placed us in a position to integrate the preciousness and rarity of the Mahayana teaching with our lives. Through it there is the possibility of the experience of no-returning back into Samsara and the experience of ultimate bliss that is self knowing and in which there are no doubts. In the midst of the wanderings of our minds we might sometimes fall into thinking that whether one practices or not, the Dharma will always be available. If you have tha…
TIBETAN DHARMA IS BASED ON Mahayana Buddhism and in Tibet there is a special Mahayana tradition. Centuries ago, Indian Mahasiddhas collected the essence of the Buddha's teachings which were subsequently brought to Tibet. Down to this present day, it is still possible to study these same teachings at an educational institution. In addition, you can actually come to experience the effect of what you have learned and enjoy the fruit of what you have practiced. I have confidence that you all are capable of experiencing this fruition of Buddhahood. The heart of Mahayana teaching is the practice of experiencing bodhicitta, or the enlightened mind. Bodhicitta can be seen from two aspects--the aspiration to benefit oneself and to benefit others--but when you are truly doing the practice then you generate bodhicitta that includes both yourself and all other beings. As you are working in the world or accomplishing some task, if you do it with the intention of benefiting…
ONE EARLY MORNING [in 1980] His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa generously granted an interview to the readers of Densal. What follows is the text of that interview, word for word, as translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar. In it, His Holiness touches on many important aspects of spiritual practice, the Kagyu lineage, and life in the world today for the Dharma practitioner. It is a timely and most valuable teaching for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
Densal: This is your third tour to America. Do you have any observations you would like to share about it, and about the growth of the Dharma in the United States? H.H.: The responsibility of the teacher is to always give the teachings. It doesn't matter that only a short time has passed, or a long time has passed; what matters is that the teachings are continuously given. Sometimes it may seem to be more appropriate to teach because most people are at leisure and have a lot of time, and it appears to be a good time to give teach…
The Gyalwang Karmapa graced KTD, his monastery in North America, with a short private visit toward the close of his international tour in July of 2017. Please enjoy the video celebrating this joyful occasion, along with the photos of his arrival, the traditional Tea and Rice Welcome Ceremony, and consecration of the new Stupa Project site.
The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates the Eight Auspicious Stupa Project at KTD (July 2017)
Today’s episode comes from the Gyalwang Karmapa’s maiden tour of Canada where he gave teachings all over the country. Many Canadian students had been waiting for years to hear him speak, and so it was a particularly special occasion.
This teaching is on the subject of meditation and how we can use this Buddhist practice to find inner freedom and bring about a more happy and beneficial life. The Karmapa approached the topic from the point of view of his own personal experience, and a wonderful, practical and sometimes humorous occasion unfolded over the course of the hour.
The talk is in Tibetan with an English translation and has been slightly edited for length and audio clarity.