His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa's first visit to Minnesota: will confer Oral Transmission (ལུང་) of Chenrizig and Guru Rinpoche's Mantra. Please spread the word.
The 17th Karmapa sits down in a chair in front of the words Harvard Divinity School. To the right, “Psalter 119, Hymns 146,145.” The spotlights are in his eyes—he points to his eyes with two fingers in a V and he looks like…who is it…familiar…oh no, when he does this he looks like Larry Wilmore! The big man sitting next to him is dressed in black with a red cape-like shawl—is it a Bishop? It is Harvard Divinity School. No, it’s his translator. He is being introduced now and taps his foot.. Now Janet Gyatso (Buddhist scholar) is speaking about his history, and is dwarfed by the giant golden eagle on the podium. I can see a little bit of her white hair over his eagle head. The first Karmapa was born in 1193. The 17th is moving around now in his chair as he hears about all his previous incarnations. The 16th Karmapa could communicate with birds and animals. He wanted pet shops in every city he visited. This Karmapa was born to nomads in 1985 and escaped to India in 2000. He received a “veritable treasure trove of teachings.” He is a vegetarian, playwright, loved animals. He will fully ordain women (big applause).
The Karmapa speaks. Begins with mmmm, mmmm, and a smile. Like something Ram Dass would do. He is speaking Tibetan. “I speak English poorly—not up to Harvard’s standards.” In his Tibetan, I hear the English words “plastic surgery.” Of course, no Tibetan word for that. He says many people say he looks like the 16th, but if so he must have had plastic surgery. He is being humble. The 17th had visited Harvard in the seventies. I had been there then—his sangha had borrowed our Tibetan rugs for the stage. “I am glad to be back here,” speaking as if the 16th and 17th were one and the same, which they are. Everything he says is translated, giving us time to absorb his words. “The real essence of Buddhism is interdependence. It is not a mere philosophical idea.” We have to figure out how to apply it to our lives. “In the 21rst century, social media makes our interdependence more obvious than before. From one point of view, we have more information to help us understand things, but it can be TMI.” I know he’d just been in Silicon Valley, at Google and Facebook. It feels like a conversation over lunch with an old friend who is sharing what’s on his mind and how his recent travels have affected that. It is intimate in a very natural way. He is talking about becoming a vegetarian after growing up eating meat. “I can remember as a child in the autumn we would slaughter animals.” It was mostly done by binding their mouths and they would suffocate. It takes ½ hour for them to die this way. Painful. They become covered with sweat as they try to breathe. “I had an unbearable feeling watching this, so they would send me away…. I don’t know if that was real compassion—I was very young—but nevertheless I had a deep feeling of sorrow. I am now educated in compassion but it was that natural uneducated compassion I had as a child” that influenced me. “I think that children have a capacity for genuine love and compassion…. I think we can extend this to all living beings. It’s an innate part of being human.”
My eyes are watering from allergies, or maybe I am crying for the suffocating animals, and I have a pain in my stomach carried back from Cayman Brac last week. He is immensely likable, very present, wise, just here talking to us. “We were born with the compassion button switched on and as adults it gets switched off.” Compassion is what led him to be vegetarian. “People ask me ‘What’s your favorite food?’ I’d say meat but I can’t because I gave up eating it.” In America we don’t see where meat comes from. “A child might think it is something they make at the supermarket.”
Now the Tibetan speakers are laughing as he speaks in Tibetan. We have to wait for the joke. I hope it doesn’t get lost in translation. He is telling about how, when he still ate meat in India, people would tell him about how good bar-b-que is in America, but he never got to eat any. Now he passes a sign now on the side of the road saying “Texas Bar-B-Que,” and his mouth salivates.
“When we talk about having compassion after the many disasters in the world, one source of disaster we fail to recognize is the lack of love in the world. We think of weapons and warfare as terrible, and they are, but apathy, lack of love, is a bigger disaster.” “Develop a love that is courageous—a joyous acknowledgement of interdependence.”
Then it is over, and and a group of us goes out to dinner. I don’t think anyone orders meat.
༈ སྒྲུབ་བརྒྱུད་བསྟན་པའི་མངའ་བདག་༧ དཔལ་རྒྱལ་དབང་ཀརྨ་པ་ཨོ་རྒྱན་འཕྲིན་ལས་རྡོ་རྗེ་མཆོག་མེ་ཌི་སན་ཝི་ཀོན་སིན་ས་གནས་སུ་ཞབས་སོར་བཀའ་དྲིན་
Wisconsin Tibetan Association is honored to announce His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s first time visit to the great city of Madison, Wisconsin from April 26th-28th 2015.
Program: Audience and speech to the Tibetan Community
Date: April 26th the Sunday. Tentative time 4pm
Venue: Monona Terrace. 1 John Nolen Dr Madison WI 53703
Tickets: Available at the door
Adult $ 15:00 and
Children above 8 years $ 10.00
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or @ (608) 320 9132
The 17th Karmapa has been instrumental in addressing gender inequality and the welfare of nuns not only through his words but actions. This year he stated:
AZZA COHEN CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST MARCH 30, 2015
It’s a weekly event: a world leader is coming to Princeton’s campus! Insert illustrious title, sponsoring department, a moderator with a doctorate and a time and place to be there. Email lists are accurately alerted; details are scribbled or typed into calendars.
Karmapa stresses importance of caring for each other and the Earth
March 30, 2015
By Michael Naughton, Harvard Divinity School Communications
Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (photo 1), who leads the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, guiding millions of Buddhists around the world, came to Harvard this past week. During his two-day visit he met with HDS Dean David N. Hempton (photo 2).
Besides epidemics, wars, violence, and starvation, there is another source of disaster that is often overlooked: “a lack of love.” So said His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to a capacity crowd at Harvard’s Memorial Church during his visit last week.
“A lack of love can cause people to have no help when they need help, no friends when they need a friend,” Karmapa said. “So, in a sense, the most dangerous thing in the world is apathy. We think of weapons, violence, warfare, disease as terrible dangers, and indeed they are, but we can take measures to avoid them. But once our apathy takes hold of us, we can no longer avoid it.”
The 29-year-old Karmapa leads the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, guiding millions of Buddhists around the world. Born to a nomad family in eastern Tibet, the Karmapa was chosen as a child by followers of the previous Karmapa. While in training at the age of 14 he made a dramatic escape from Tibet to India to be near His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his own lineage teachers.
During a talk that was equally entertaining and enlightening, the Karmapa joked about using an interpreter even though he speaks English. “I do actually speak some English. I feel that I speak it poorly. I certainly don’t think my English is up to Harvard’s standards,” he said, evoking laughter from the nearly 1,000 people in attendance at the Thursday talk. He also joked about coming to the United States but being unable to sample the American barbecue he’s heard so much about because he is a vegetarian.armapa spoke on a range of topics, including Harvard Divinity School’s (HDS) Buddhist Ministry Initiative, his passion and efforts for environmental protection, and the need for religion in the world.
The Karmapa is considered an environmental activist. He’s created an eco-monastic movement with more than 55 monasteries across the Himalayas acting as centers of green activism. He sees religious leaders as important teachers and leaders in the environmental protection movement.
“There is so much information available to us nowadays about the environment and the need to protect it, but the problem that remains is that while everyone has access to this information, many people believe it as knowledge, but don’t particularly feel the need to do anything about [it],” he said. “One of my responsibilities is to encourage people as much as I can to actually make choices based upon accurate information about the environment.”
In addition to environmentalism, the Karmapa is passionate about young people. Much of his stay at Harvard was spent with students at HDS. On the second day of his visit, he had lunch with about 15 freshmen, meeting with a larger group of undergraduates at Phillips Brooks House.
Recently, the Karmapa announced plans to establish full ordination for women, a step that will change the future of Tibetan Buddhism. The mention of that effort earned him thunderous applause from those inside the Memorial Church.
He said he was very pleased to learn of the recent creation of the Buddhist Ministry Initiative at HDS because of work that will result from it.
“Especially because it’s not being approached merely as an objective study, or learning, or scholarship, but something that can actually be brought to bear on global issues, which means that even though it is connected with Buddhist tradition, in a sense it transcends it or grows beyond the boundaries of mere Buddhist tradition,” he said.
The Karmapa said he sees a necessity for religion and centers of learning that educate leaders of all faiths, like HDS, because the material and technological progress made by society cannot alone solve all of our problems.
“Even worse sometimes, we can lose direction in our lives because of material progress or luxury, and in such circumstances it is especially necessary for us to return to the study of spirituality and cultivate both wisdom and compassion,” he said.
The Karmapa’s talk, “Caring for Life on Earth in the 21st Century,” was sponsored by HDS, the Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office, and the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation. His two-day visit to Harvard Divinity School also included blessings for his many Boston-area followers.
HDS Dean David N. Hempton presented the Karmapa with a commemorative bowl engraved with the Divinity School’s seal and marked with the date of his visit to Harvard.
HDS Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs Janet Gyatso, the Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies, helped organize the Karmapa’s visit.
“It is a historic occasion for Harvard Divinity School to welcome this wonderful and visionary young leader of Tibetan Buddhism for the first time. During his visit we talked with him about our programs in Buddhist studies, in the training of ministers and social activists more generally, and [about] a range of interests in what religious ethical insights have to offer the 21st century from across the entire University,” she said.
The Karmapa ended his talk at the Memorial Church by urging everyone to feel love.
“I urge you to feel a love that is courageous … the joyous acknowledgment of your interdependence with each and every other living being and with this environment itself,” he said.
The Karmapa visits Harvard
|The Karmapa is considered an environmental activist. He joked about coming to the United States but being unable to sample the American barbecue he's heard so much about because he is a vegetarian.|
|The Karmapa said he sees a necessity for religion and centers of learning that educate leaders of all faiths. He spoke with faculty and students at Andover Hall at HDS.|
|Harvard Divinity School Dean David N. Hempton introduced the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at the Memorial Church, prior to the Karmapa's lecture titled “Caring for Life on Earth in the 21st Century.”|
|The Karmapa met with undergraduates at Phillips Brooks House. He'd also joined a group of about 15 undergrads for lunch earlier in the day.|
|The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa was escorted out of his car by security prior to a walking tour of Harvard Yard.|
|His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa spoke with a group from the Boston and Cambridge Tibetan communities inside the Braun Room in Andover Hall.|
Date - March 27th, 2015 (Friday)
Time - 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Venue - Braun Room at Harvard Divinity School (Andover Hall, 45 Francis Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138)
|The line of people trying to see the Karmapa for a blessing at HDS|
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Urgyen Thinley Dorjee Gives Audience to Boston Tibetan People
Posted by Boston Tibetan Truthful Public Talk on 2015/3/27
His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Urgyen Thinley Dorjee meet with Boston Tibetan 3.27.2015
Posted by Tab Boston on 2015年3月27日
By ANDRÉS M. LÓPEZ-GARRIDO, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen T. Dorje spoke about the interdependence of all living creatures and the dangers of apathy at a lecture on Thursday. The Karmapa, the leader of one sect of Buddhism, stopped at Harvard on his two-month tour of the United States to deliver a lecture on “Caring for Life on Earth in the Twenty-first Century.”
David N. Hempton, dean of Harvard Divinity School, welcomed the Karmapa and referred to the school’s longstanding relations with representatives of Tibetan Buddhism. He made specific reference to the 16th Karmapa’s visit to Harvard in 1976 and the 14th Dalai Lama’svisit in 2009.
The Karmapa, who gave his lecture via a translator, began his talk with an allusion to a visit in his past life and said he was very glad to be back at Harvard. He recounted an experience from his youth in which he saw the tribe of nomads he was raised with suffocate an animal for its meat. He said he experienced an intense and unbearable feeling that he could not explain.
“I miss that degree of genuine, unfabricated feeling,” he said.
The Karmapa equated this degree of feeling with children’s innate capacity for love and kindness. He urged people to adopt this capacity, which he said people tend to lose with adulthood.
“I think our sympathy can extend to all living beings, including to animals," he said.
“I think our sympathy can extend to all living beings, including to animals," he said.
The Karmapa continued to emphasize the value of interdependence and argued that compassion is something that people need to experience, rather than understand. People need to realize that everything is interdependent, and that everything we have comes from other beings, he argued.
“In a sense, the most dangerous thing in the world is apathy,” the Karmapa said. Unlike violence, warfare, and disease, which can be avoided, people cannot defend against apathy once it takes hold, he argued.
Julie Gillette, Buddhist ministry coordinator at the Divinity School said the school was eager to host the Karmapa as soon as they learned of his continental tour. “We felt that young people could make a connection to him and could relate to what he talks about,” she said.
Roderick L. Owens, a first year master of Divinity student and a Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, said he found the Karmapa’s remarks especially relevant in the context of the United States.
“I think it is important for His Holiness to be here right now in the United States and give his reflections on many of the problems we’re facing, especially racial injustice, the environment, the economy, and our ability to live harmoniously,” Owens said.
—Staff writer Andrés M. López-Garrido can be reached email@example.com.