Welcomed warmly by Father John Nelson, the Karmapa viewed the sacred objects of this one-room church of the Western Orthodox tradition. Father John expressed to the Karmapa his satisfaction that two of the world’s ancient spiritual traditions are sharing the mountain as neighbors, and the two spoke quietly of their shared appreciation for the world’s sacred spaces.
On the day following this visit, Father John walked the same path the Gyalwang Karmapa had traversed to reach his church, returning the visit and joining a tree-planting ceremony at KTD in observance of Earth Day. When he arrived at KTD, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche showed him a photo taken many years earlier of Father John’s predecessor at the log church, Father Francis, together with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa’s predecessor, the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. Also appearing in that photo was Father John, then in his twenties.