2009/10/31

HIS HOLINESS KARMAPA LEADS MASS PRAYER SERVICE


October 31, 2009 - Dharamshala

His Holiness Karmapa led a mass prayer service at the Tsuglagkhang, in Dharamsala. Hundreds of Tibetan exiles, including Buddhist monks and nuns, gathered at the main Tibetan temple for a three-day prayer service to mourn the Tibetans who were recently executed. The memorial service is being organised by ten Tibetan organisations based in Dharamsala.



His Holiness Karmapa leads mass prayer service.

2009/10/26

GYALWANG KARMAPA INAUGURATES BIOGRAPHY OF HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA


October 26, 2009 - Dharamsala

His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa inaugurated a new detailed six-volume biography of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It was an elaborate book launch held at the Norbulingka Tibetan Cultural Institute, located near Dharamsala. This morning, the Norbulingka Institute launched the book.
His Holiness Dalai Lama, the newly enthroned 102nd Gaden Tripa Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu, the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, and senior leaders of the Tibetan Government, including the Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, took part in the ceremonial function. 
In addition, His Holiness Dalai Lama expressed “deep sadness” over the fate of the four Tibetans and offered prayers for those people who were killed in Tibet, Xinjiang (East Turkestan) and those killed and injured in Sunday’s twin bomb blasts in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.
“So since we are gathered here in large numbers today, let’s take this opportunity to offer prayers for them,” His Holiness Dalai Lama told the gathering before initiating the mass prayer session.

2009.10.26 法王噶瑪巴為《尊者達賴喇嘛傳》揭幕 Karmapa Inaugurates Biography of HH Dalai Lama

Gyalwang Karmapa inaugurates biography of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.


http://kagyuoffice.org/gyalwang-karmapa-inaugurates-biography-of-his-holiness-the-14th-dalai-lama/

2009/10/24

GYALWANG KARMAPA SPEAKS OF KINDNESS ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CLIMATE ACTION


October 24, 2009 - Dharamsala

On October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action, His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa said that there are many ways for us to be kind and generous towards others.
“We as Buddhists believe that benefiting others is an act of kindness, and the first thing that comes to our mind, as act of kindness, is giving alms to the poor. That’s not the only way, there are many ways to be kind. Taking care of the environment and nature is also a very important act of kindness that can benefit many humans and animals alike in the future.”
His Holiness was speaking at a modest gathering at the McLeod Ganj Day School on the International Day of Climate Action - a special day that is being observed throughout the whole world. His Holiness inaugurated a signature drive on climate action by signing his signature on a giant piece of cloth.
His Holiness took the audience by surprise when he shifted his role from that of "chief guest" to that of "resource person" when he gave a PowerPoint presentation about the environment. The PowerPoint presentation was not on the organizers’ list of planned programming for the day. His Holiness said that every human being has a responsibility towards preserving nature and that we must act now if the fight against climate change and the destruction of the environment are going to be won.
“Human greed is unlimited and uncertain. We have wants for many things that we don’t even put to use. I heard most Tibetan families in the settlements have one or more motorcycles. We all know that we Tibetans like to follow the West. Many westerners go on long bicycle rides to places as far as Ladakh. So, why don't we Tibetans get rid of our motorcycles and get bicycles?,” His Holiness Karmapa said as he laughed away along with the audience.
The Environment and Development Desk of the Exile Tibetan Government, the Clean Upper Dharamsala Project of the Tibetan Settlement Office, and Tesi Environment Awareness Movement, jointly organized the day's event. The event was attended, among others, by the deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, members of the Tibetan Parliament and representative of the various institutes and organizations.

2009.10.24 法王噶瑪巴出席『國際氣候變遷行動日』活動 International Day of Climate Action 2009
Gyalwang Karmapa speaks of kindness on the International Day of Climate Action

2009/10/23

GYALWANG KARMAPA GRACES THE 49TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY OF THE TIBETAN CHILDREN'S VILLAGE SCHOOL


October 23, 2009 - TCV School, Dharamsala

His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa was requested to grace the 49th founding anniversary ceremony, as the chief guest, of the Tibetan Children's Village School.
School children eagerly awaiting His Holiness' arrival, just to catch a glimpse of him.
The school band played a welcome tune when His Holiness' car arrived at the main grounds. All the school's heads, including Jetsun Pema La (His Holiness Dalai Lama's Sister), offered khatas to His Holines upon his arrival.
The Ministers and Members of Parliament of Tibetan Government in Exile attended the anniversary ceremony.
After His Holiness' reception, the program began with a welcoming speech by the school's president.
His Holiness gave an address to the public concerning the education of the children. His Holiness also visited the school's museum after lunch and concluded the day's program.


2009.10.23 法王噶瑪巴出席西藏兒童村校慶報導 Gyalwang Karmapa graces the 49th founding anniversary ceremony of the Tibetan Children's Village School.
Gyalwang Karmapa graces the 49th founding anniversary ceremony
of The Tibetan Children's Village School

2009/10/19

RECALLING A BUDDHA: Memories of the 16th Karmapa




The life story of the Sixteenth Karmapa is told by those close to him in Tibet, the generation of teachers that he trained and many others that he touched. This feature-length film looks closely at enlightened qualities and examines them in the context of historical events such as the fall of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism's migration to the West.
How Karmapa lived and how he died gives us the example of an awakened being: a person with a noble heart.
The DVD includes two hours of Extras material:
1. Interview with a Buddha: Karmapa XVI, Jamgon Kongtrul and Karmapa's retunie appeared on a half hour talk show. The entire program is the extra.
2. The Ceremony of the Vajra Crown: In 1980, a director who would later be nominated for an Oscar filmed the Black Crown ceremony in beautiful 16mm color.
3. The Line of Karmapas: Thrangu Rinpoche, senior teacher of the Karma Kagyu lineage, eminent scholar Gene Smith, and Beru Khyentse Rinpoche share thoughts on the previous 15 incarnations of Karmapas.
4. Preserving the Dharma Texts: H.E. Shamar Rinpoche and Gene Smith recount the partnership between the Sixteenth Karmapa and the U.S. Library of Congress to reprint sacred texts brought out of Tibet and made available to the newly forming monasteries in Asia.
5. Rumtek: various "alumni" of Rumtek monastery, seat of the Karmapas share memories of living in a high concentration of realized masters.
6. Connecting to Karmapa: Westerners who entered the mandala of the Karmapa share how they came to relate to the Sixteenth Karmapa.














2009/10/11

GYALWANG KARMAPA CHIEF GUEST AT 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF TCV DHARAMSALA


October 11th, 2009 - Dharamsala

Second day of the 25th founding anniversary of Lower Tibetan Children Village School, His Holiness was invited as the Chief Guest of the program.
The highlight of the second days program was the inter school 8th grade dialectic contest, where students debate on Buddhist philosophy in monastic style of debate. His Holiness presided over the contest and remarked this as a new way of learning the essence of Buddhism and school is actually putting in practice what His Holiness Dalai Lama has urged.
Later His Holiness inaugurated the student's art exhibition and concluded the program.


2009.10.11 法王噶瑪巴應邀出席西藏兒童村學校第25週年慶 25th founding anniversary of Lower Tibetan Children Village School
His Holiness at the Tibetan Children's Village 25th Anniversary, in Dharamsala

2009/10/09

GYALWANG KARMAPA'S CLOSING REMARKS AT THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE


Conference on Environmental Protection

His Holiness thanked everybody who had been involved in the conference, particularly Dekil Chungyalpa, without whom the conference would not have been possible, and congratulated the monasteries for participating in this second conference.
He said how much he appreciated their efforts but the motivation was important.  Working  for environmental protection should not be just to please him nor out of competitiveness with other monasteries, but should be done wholeheartedly with the motivation that environmental protection is  benefiting all sentient beings. They should hold this aspiration.
* * * *
Then Gyalwang Karmapa shared his own aspiration ─ that if he had the power he would become the protector of the earth and cover it like a tent.
The final event of the conference was a performance by  monks and laypeople from Tsurphu Labrang of Gyalwang  Karmapa's poem Aspiration for the World, first in Tibetan and then in English.
Aspiration for the World
World, we live and die on your lap,
On you we experience all our woes and joys.
You are our ancestral home of old.
Forever we cherish and adore you.
We wish to transform you into the pure realm of our dreams.
We wish to transform you into a land for all creatures,
Equal for all and free of prejudice.
We wish to transform you into a loving, warm and gentle goddess.
Our hope in you is so ever resolute.
So please be the ground on which we all may live
So all these wishes may come true,
So all these wishes may come true.
Do not show us the dark side of your character,
Where nature's calamities reign.
In every section of our world's land
May there thrive a fertile field of peace and joy,
Rich with the leaves and fruits of happiness,
Filled with the many sweet scents of freedom.
May we fulfil our countless and boundless wishes.

Composed by the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, and translated into English by Tyler Dewar.

FRENCH LANGUAGE KAGYU OFFICE WEBSITE OPENS


A French-language verson of the website for His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa has been opened under the auspices of His Holiness Karmapas Office of Administration. Please visit us at:
Le Site Officiel Français de Sa Sainteté le XVIIe Karmapa Orgyèn Trinley Dorjé, Chef spirituel et détenteur de la lignée Karma Kagyu, vous invite à découvrir la Biographie détaillée du XVIIe Karmapa - depuis sa reconnaissance au Tibet jusqu’à son arrivée en Inde - ses innombrables Activités, la riche Histoire de sa Lignée, ainsi que ses précieux Enseignements parmi tant d’autres.

http://www.kagyuoffice.org/PastActivities-09-OctNov.html

2009/10/08

THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND PRACTICAL RAINWATER HARVESTING


Conference on Environmental Protection – Day 6 – October 8, 2009 – Dharamsala

Dekil began with an account of climate change because of global warming, which has led to increased rainfall in some areas and drought in others,  glaciers in the Himalaya were shrinking, sea levels were rising, extreme weather events were increasing. In severely  affected areas, the population was forced to relocate leading to social unrest. The long-term consequences would be on power and water supplies.
Dekil then gave detailed instructions on rain water harvesting , how monasteries could collect rainwater from the rooftops, filter it and store it in tanks.

Environmental Destruction in Tibet
Tsering Yangkyi from TESI Environmental Awareness Movement gave a detailed presentation on what is happening in Tibet including deforestation and the effects of large-scale mining for minerals.

The Effects of Climate Change on Tibet
Chokyi, from the Environment and Development desk of the DIIR, showed  slides illustrating how climate change has already led to  shrinking glaciers and lakes,  degraded pasturelands, most memorable, the sacred Gang Rinpoche (Snow Rinpoche ie  Mt Kailash )  with hardly any snow on one face.
The Way Forward
In the penultimate session, the monasteries and nunneries presented their commitments.
Mandala Offering
The monastery representatives of India, Nepal and Bhutanese offered Mandala to His Holiness.
Tsurphu Labrang presented  gifts to the Speakers, Organising Committee and Monastic Representatives

2009.10.8 法王噶瑪巴召開第二屆噶舉傳承環保會議第六天 Environment Conf Day 6

Second Environmental Protection Conference for Kagyu Monasteries and Centers, Day 2

http://kagyuoffice.org/the-science-of-climate-change-and-practical-rainwater-harvesting/

2009/10/07

QUESTIONS, DISCUSSION AND TESTING




Conference on Environmental Protection – Day 5 – October 7, 2009 – Dharamsala

Question and Answer Session
Dekil Chungyalpa answered questions arising from Tuesday’s sessions on wildlife protection.
Some key points that emerged:
  • The monastic community has a responsibility to lead and give advice on environmental issues.
  • Protecting the environment also protects wildlife – they are not separate activities.
The monks and nuns wanted to know more about how they themselves could protect wildlife.
Tenzin Norsang suggested 3 things were necessary: Awareness, Acceptance and Action. The monks and nuns  had already developed awareness and acceptance. Action required a strategy and planning, taking the available budget into account, or special circumstances, for example 2010 will be the Chinese Year of the Tiger, so it might be appropriate to specifically target that year for tiger protection activities. The aim should be to start small and expand influence outwards. Having considered the local situation and community, monasteries and centres could organise  campaigns, workshops and seminars. It was important to explain the benefits to the community at large of environmental and wildlife protection such as the growth of eco-tourism. Each individual could also have an impact by discussing the issue with  family and friends and others within their community .Work to save the tiger could be combined with work to save the chiru; often there was an exchange of tiger parts from India and chiru skins from Tibet at the border.
Discussion Groups
An important part of the training has been group discussion which offers all the representatives the opportunity to speak and encourages exchange of information and ideas This morning’s discussion was focused on the future organisational set up.
The Gyalwang Karmapa attended the plenary session and listened carefully to the feedback from each group.

Testing Time
In the afternoon Dekil Chungyalpa sprang a test on the unsuspecting monks and nuns. They were quizzed on topics covered over the first four days, with questions such as, “How long does it take light from the sun to reach the earth?” Although the test was light-hearted, there were some excellent answers, demonstrating how much learning and discussion had been going on, and, there was a lot of laughter!.

Field Trip 3 River Clean-Up
After the theory test came environmental protection in action. The conference members decamped to the banks of the local river where they broke into small groups to tackle collecting the rubbish- mainly plastic and paper – which was polluting it.


2009.10.7 法王噶瑪巴召開第二屆噶舉傳承環保會議第五天 Environment Conf Day 5

Second Environmental Protection Conference for Kagyu Monasteries and Centers, Day 5

http://kagyuoffice.org/questions-discussion-and-testing/

2009/10/06

Gyalwang Karmapa on Protection of Wildlife and Waste Conservation


Conference on Environmental Protection – Day 4 – October 6, 2009 – Dharamsala

The morning began with a question and answer session.

Waste Management
The main topic for the morning was waste management.  Dr Anjan Kumar Kalia (Him Renewable Energy Consultants) gave a clear and comprehensive presentation on waste management. He first explained the different types of waste and highlighted that although waste could be a problem it was also a wealth.
His then focused on vermi-composting which used kitchen waste,    and bio-gas, which is produced from animal and human waste.  The session concluded with questions from the audience.

The overall theme for the afternoon was Wildlife Protection
The Science of Conservation
Dekil Chungyalpa began the session and talked about bio-diversity, and Gyalwang Karmapa translated into Tibetan. She explained how the term biodiversity refers to species, gene pool, ecosystem and ecological  processes.
Human activity has had a devastating effect.  Scientific evidence shows that, as modern human beings spread across the globe, many species became extinct. In the past it was due to hunting, more recently deforestation and destruction of habitat.
The ecosystem includes everything within a particular environment – the air, the soil, the temperature, the water flow and all living things. If something changes in the ecosystem, everything changes.
Finally, Dekil explained how conservationists worked to save ecosystems and species.

2009.10.6 法王噶瑪巴召開第二屆噶舉傳承環保會議第四天 Envinroment Conf day 4

Second Environmental Protection Conference for Kagyu Monasteries and Centers, Days 3 & 4

Wildlife Protection and the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Tenzin Norsang from the Wildlife Trust of India talked about how wildlife was being destroyed by poaching.
He began with tigers.  The tiger population on the Indian sub-continent is declining rapidly and the blame lies with the illegal wildlife trade. Tigers are being poached from reserves for tiger parts which are then smuggled out of India to be used in medicine and charms.
The chiru – a wild antelope in Tibet- is being killed by professional hunters for its soft, underbelly fur which is made into very expensive shahtoosh shawls.
One-horned rhinos in Assam are being killed for their horns.
Tenzin Norsang explained that the Indian Wildlife Protection Act threatened fines and imprisonment to those who broke the law. At the 2006 Kalachakra in Amaravati, His Holiness the Dalai Lama had spoken out against people wearing fur from endangered species, and this seems to have helped, but in 2009 the number of tigers killed had risen.
Finally, he described work to protect wildlife such as creating elephant corridors, and asked everyone to respect animals.

The Future: Destruction or Protection?
The final presentation was given by the Gyalwang Karmapa who spoke about the importance of biodiversity. Biodiversity still exists and needs to be preserved. He read some Tibetan verses to illustrate how In Tibetan culture wildlife is often referred to and praised.
His Holiness paid particular attention to the role of the tiger in the ecosystem because so many monks had raised questions during this and the previous conference about the value of protecting such a terrible predator! Perhaps the world would be better off without the tiger.





Forests take thousand of years to form and are a rich ecosystem. Protecting the forests protects all the living beings within the ecosystem. The tiger is king of the jungle and protects the forest. The tiger regulates his behaviour. He eats 18 to 20 kilos of meat at a time, when he is hungry.  If he kills a water buffalo, he can’t eat all of it at one sitting, but he will return again and again. He never wastes anything. Usually a tiger chooses his kill carefully from the sick, the old and the weak in the herd. Thus he has a role in maintaining the health of the herd.  Though the tiger looks fierce, his life is short, perhaps between ten and fifteen years only in the wild. Humans, on the other hand, aren’t fierce but they live a long life and hunt a lot! The tiger has a range of 10 – 15 kilometres of forest, so he is preserving that area of forest.
Many people think the tiger is no good because it kills a lot. Similarly, in water, the shark is the tiger of the seas. Interest in sharks is growing because they are frightening, and people think the ocean would be better off without them. But by eating lots of fish, sharks maintain a balance in the ecosystem. Both tigers and sharks play important roles in their respective ecosystems.
Gyalwang Karmapa then explained how the food chain works. Plants need soil, sun, and water to grow. They are eaten by deer and rabbits, who, in turn are eaten by omnivores such as bears or carnivores such as the tiger The tiger dies and is eaten by the vulture. The vulture dies and rots and is eaten by the worms and insects who return the nutrients to the soil, so that the plants can grow. This cycle is like the cycle of samara, with both good and evil.
We regard our human life as precious, but according to biodiversity, all life in an ecosystem is precious.
There is a story of how the Lord Buddha in a previous life offered his body to a hungry tigress. If tigers are not important, why did Buddha offer himself to the tigress?  She was starved and sick and she didn’t even have the energy to kill him, so Buddha cut his arm so that the tigress could drink his blood. Survival is very important to everyone, including tigers, and that’s why Buddha offered his life to save the tigress and her cubs.
In Thailand there is a place where monks and tigers live together. It began when a hunter killed a mother tiger and gave the cub to the temple. That cub died. Then the monks started rescuing orphaned cubs, because the South Chinese tiger is very rare, and now the monastery has 17 tigers. However, the monks are now trying to reintroduce the tigers into their natural forest habitat. Buddhism teaches that everything has been our mother and father. These monks have shown love to these mother sentient beings and so they have survived.
It is human nature to try to discover new things and to get benefit from everything. In Buddhist teachings, every sentient being wants happiness and wants to avoid suffering. The tiger eats meat but wants happiness. The earthworm also wants happiness, but we humans consider our own  happiness to be most important.
His Holiness showed a slide of a tigress carrying her young cub carefully in her mouth, to contrast the image of the tiger only as a fierce killer.
He then talked about the food pyramid. The tiger was the top predator, but damage lower down the pyramid which threatened the top. Because of global warming the tiger was being forced to change its natural habitat. When the tiger changes its habitat it has a negative effect on the whole environment.
All living things are interconnected and interdependent. What affects one, affects all in some way. All sentient beings have the right to live.

.
 Presentation by His Holiness to the Nepal Buddhist Federation

Introducing the New Kagyu Ecological Website
The Gyalwang Karmapa has decided to create a website which will feature the work of the Kagyu environmental protection movement and detail environmental work and development in Kagyu monasteries and nunneries.
The website is in the final stages of preparation, so conference members were asked to contribute their ideas and views.


2009/10/05

FORESTRY CONSERVATION PRESERVATION BY WORLD WILDLIFE FUND OF INDIA



Environmental Conference Day Three: Monday 5th October, 2009 

Forest Conservation
Sanjeep Pradhan, from World Wildlife Fund India, gave a lively presentation on forestry conservation.
He began by explaining the importance of forests and plants and the critical role they play in supporting not just human life but a vast biodiversity and controlling levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen. However, forests were under threat and already rising temperatures globally showed the devastating effect of this.
Rising temperatures meant glaciers – an important source of drinking water -were melting and disappearing, whereas on the plains there were floods. Weather systems had become unpredictable, so whereas some places suffered from hurricanes, others had drought, which led to famine.
The responsibilty to protect the environment lay with everyone; be pro-active:
  • plant trees
  • use renewable energy such as bio gas
  • encourage apiculture (bees)
  • start vermi-composting (using worms)
  • reduce, re-use and recycle
Sanjeep  then discussed the factors which were necessary for successful regeneration of forest and tree plantation:
  •     site selection
  •     choice of appropriate indigenous species
  •     indigenous species should be given priority
  •     consider the purpose the trees will be used for
  •     discuss the planting in the community, especially with the women
  •     clearing and preparing the land
  •     how to plant
  •     caring for seedlings

Creating Natural Beauty – the experience of Phulahari Monastery
Khenpo Choekyi Gyaltsen described activities at Phulahari Monastery in Nepal.
The monastery was built in an area of millet and corn fields. In 1993 they set up a project to landscape the area around the temple, and began planting in 1994. The inspiration for the work came from and continues to come from the spiritual masters of the Kagyu lineage. The original aim was to beautify the temple surroundings but, as the monks learned more about environmental issues,  the aim became one of environmental protection.

Their knowledge of gardening was gleaned from experience as they worked. Many of the first plants were too fragile or were eaten, so they set up a nursery to nurture young plants and saplings, and  through experience they discovered which plants would grow and which wouldn’t, how to protect and care for them, and how to achieve a balance, for example, between those with summer foliage and evergreens.
Initially, it took about fourteen years to establish the gardens,  but the monastery has continued to plant, replant and maintain them.


Restoring Spring Water Sources
A local ecologist, Arvind Sharma, from the Himalayan Nature Society, gave a presentation.
He pointed out that until  a problem arose,  people never gave a thought about where the water came from. The HNS was working to restore natural spring sources in the Dharamsala area, with financial support from the British High Commission, so that villagers were no longer dependent on the infrequent municipal water supply. It  ensured that the area around the  water supply  was cleaned up and checked water purity.

Water Conservation in Action- Rumtek Monastery
Lama Gyaltsen Sonam gave a presentation of how they restored the water source of Rumtek Monastery and implemented the 108 guidelines to protect the environment with local school childrens.

Field  Trip to Dolma Ling Nunnery
The final event of the day was also the most surprising because it encapsulated so many of the environmentally sound practices that the delegates had been hearing about.
There were bins for collecting paper and cardboard for recycling. Manure from the nunnery herd was left to decompose and then used as fertiliser on the gardens and fields. Vegetable waste was collected and composted. The nunnery took water from a local river, collected it in a pond, and then filtered  it to provide drinking water so they had an independent water supply.
Hot water in the kitchen was  provided by solar power
There was a new bathhouse, where the water was heated by solar panels built into the roof, and the wastewater from the bathhouse was filtered and then used to water the gardens.
There was also a small paper recycling workshop where old newspapers and other old paper were reduced to pulp and turned into paper once more, This paper was  then turned into greetings cards which could be sold to generate income.

2009/10/04

Gyalwang Karmapa Explains Scientific View of Cosmology



Environmental Conference Day Two: Sunday 4th October, 2009

The Morning Session
Gyalwang Karmapa on the Universe, Ecology and Buddhism
Many of the monastic representatives have not had the chance to study modern science so Gyalwang Karmapa began by giving a slide-show presentation of scientific cosmology in which he demonstrated the vastness of the universe and the minuteness of earth and the solar system within it.


Using earth as his starting point, he illustrated its position as the very small planet, third from the sun, comparing its size with Jupiter (1114 times bigger) and the sun (900 times bigger than Jupiter). From that he moved to the solar system’s place in the Milky Way galaxy, explaining the need to use  light years  to measure vast distances, and, then, finally, he described the universe, and demonstrated how even something as vast as our galaxy (100, 000 light years across) was minute when compared with the universe itself.  By this stage everyone was staggering at the impossibility of even conceiving of such vastness. His Holiness commented that details about the vastness of the universe and even about so-called black holes, could be found in Buddhist scripture.
Gyalwang Karmapa continued by highlighting the specialness of the earth. Light from the sun takes eight minutes to reach us; if it took either a minute longer or a minute less, life on earth would not be possible.  Within the vast universe, so far, scientists had been unable to find another planet which supports life.
He explained how the moon and sun’s gravitational fields influence water on earth – the tidal oceans- and how, of all the  water on earth, only 3% is drinkable, the rest being saltwater, and of that 3%, only 1% is available: the rest is stored in ice at the poles including the ‘third pole’- the Himalaya region, and especially Tibet. Tibet is the source of most of the drinking water for much of Asia.
Gyalwang Karmapa then discussed the position of homo sapiens.  He used a diagram to illustrate how the earth was more than 4 billion years old and there had been many life-forms previously, such as the dinosaurs, but homo sapiens was a recent arrival approximately 200,000 years ago. Yet, during that time, homo sapiens had had a great impact on the planet.
Humans  have the tendency to want too much. If somebody gets a television, everybody else wants one. Nowadays people think they need a television and a mobile phone, and soon everyone will want a car. It was human behaviour which had created greenhouse gases, and which was putting excessive pressure on,  disrupting and destroying ecosystems.  Humans affect their environment and the scale of the demands made on the environment has  increased dramatically to devastating effect. In China, in the olden days, fishermen trained cormorants to catch fish for them, one-at-a-time. Nowadays great trawlers harvest the oceans and fishing stocks are becoming irreversibly depleted.
In Madhyamika philosophy we are taught to question the fundamental nature of things. Modern science has reached similar conclusions to Buddhism, that everything is interconnected and interdependent; what  is sometimes called ‘the butterfly effect’. Thus it was very important that we consider the effect  of our actions  on the environment, and that learn  to live with less.
This earth is like a grain of sand in the vastness of the cosmos, but it is our only home and we have nowhere else to go. There is no point apportioning blame. We have to work together to preserve and protect it.

2009.10.4 法王噶瑪巴召開第二屆噶舉傳承環保會議第二天 Environment Day 2

Second Environmental Protection Conference for Kagyu Monasteries and Centers, Day 2

Presentation by Nepal Buddhist Federation
The Ven.Thubten Jigdrel gave a short presentation on the work of this  non-sectarian Buddhist organisation, which  includes ordained and laypeople  working together. The N.B.F. has worked to establish a plastic-free environment and has held a  seminar on environmental education and the preservation of wildlife.

Gyalwang Karmapa Tests the Representatives
His Holiness gave a tongue-in-cheek exam, to check up on what people remembered of the science from the morning session.

Field trip to Local Water Clean-Up and Forestation Project

http://kagyuoffice.org/gyalwang-karmapa-explains-scientific-view-of-cosmology/