The Karmapa to Tour the United States (Buddhistdoor)

Buddhistdoor International 
Dorje Kirsten 

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will be touring the United States from 17 March to 11 May. The Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in a line of reincarnations that dates back over 900 years, and is the spiritual guide of many practitioners in the United States. This will be the third US tour for this incarnation of the Karmapa, the previous two having been in 2008 and 2011.

This year’s tour will include both teachings and empowerments, with the first stop being Stanford University in California, where he will give a talk titled “Caring Connections: Compassion, Technology, and the Environment” on 17 March at 5.00 p.m. The talk is hosted by Stanford’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE), and will be followed by a discussion with CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty. It is being sponsored so that those wishing to attend can do so for free, but as of now is fully booked.

The Karmapa will also go to New Jersey, where on 4 April he will give a public teaching, “Clarifying the Stages of the Meditative Path,” at 10.00 a.m. and bestow a Manjushri empowerment at 2.00 p.m. Both events are sponsored by Karma Thegsum Chöling and will take place at the Westin Mount Laurel. Tickets went on sale on 4 March.

His Holiness will travel to New York as well, at the invitation of the Danang Foundation. At 9.30 a.m. on 11 April at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, Flushing, he will teach on the “Four Dharmas of Gampopa,” while on 12 April he will teach on the practice of Akshobhya at 9.30 a.m. and bestow the Akshobhya empowerment at 3.00 p.m., both at Terrace on the Park in Queens.

The organizers have said about this practice, “The practice of Akshobhya is especially effective for the two-fold purification of the non-virtue of killing, and the disturbing emotion of anger. The Karmapa strongly encourages the practice of Akshobhya as a means to purify negative thoughts and actions rampant in the present age of degeneration.” (Danang Foundation) The Karmapa has said this practice is particularly beneficial in the 21st century, when negative forces are on the increase.

On 13 April at 4.00 p.m. he will also give a long-life empowerment at the request of the Karmapa Service Society of Queens, at the Elite Palace in Woodside.

The final stop in the current schedule is at Nalanda West in Seattle from 5–11 May, at the invitation of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Nalandabodhi. Details have not yet been announced.

His Holiness the Karmapa is acknowledged as an unsurpassed Buddhist master, but is also a skilled artist who engages in painting, calligraphy, Tibetan traditional arts, poetry, and singing. He has said that art “is a very important way to express and have a creative outlet for energy to flow.” (Karmapa Service Society) He also has a deep concern for the environment. When speaking to Western students in 2013 at Gyuto Monastery in India, where His Holiness resides, he said, “We need to recognize that our environment, this very world, sustains us all. Our own life, and all of existence. Everything occurs in the context of interdependence.” (The Karmapa)

For the latest updates to the Karmapa’s US tour, see Karmapa America 2015 Public Events Schedule.


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