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.
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…
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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…
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The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates the Eight Auspicious Stupa Project at KTD (July 2017)
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.
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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.