Sogya Rinpoche Welcoming Speech to the Gyalwang Karmapa

June 4, 2014,Dharma Mati, the Rigpa Center in Berlin, Germany

It is a great honor and a great joy to introduce His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, and to give him the warmest possible welcome, not only to our center but to Berlin and also to thousands of students from thirty different countries connected through streaming on this truly historic occasion of His Holiness’ first ever visit to Europe.
The Gyalwang Karmapa is a great spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and considered to be one of the most important lamas alive today after His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Gyalwang Karmapa has been acknowledged as one of the most brilliant representatives of a new generation of spiritual leaders. He has a modern, pragmatic attitude while embodying completely the Buddhist spiritual tradition, its culture and values. During the fourteen ears he has lived in India, His Holiness has followed his traditional monastic education, but he has also studied other subjects, such as the English language and science.
As a scholar, a meditation master, a painter, poet, song writer, playwright—a great artist—the Gyalwang Karmapa continues the enlightened activities of the Karmapas over the centuries. In addition, he’s an environmental activist and a computer enthusiast, whose teachings are often webcast alive. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa is someone who is actually aware of the problems of today and has brought the wisdom and the compassion of his unique lineage fully into the 21st century. In November of 2009, he was invited to speak at the TED conference in India, becoming the youngest person ever to do so. In 2008 His Holiness visited the US and returned in 2011 for a brief visit.
Now we are very excited, looking forward to receiving his teachings in Europe for the first time ever. So many people have been waiting and longing for your presence here among us. This is a landmark event of tremendous blessing for the entire continent.
He is the teacher for now. I see in him all the qualities we need: he’s an artist and environmentalist, and very practical. No wonder the Gyalwang Karmapa would manifest in an incarnation that is suited for this time. I really am extremely inspired by his activity. If there’s anyway that myself or the Rigpa sangha as a whole can serve in your vision, in your activities, we will be there at your service.

2014.6.4 Arrival at Rigpa Center


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