2015/10/29

Top Buddhists Sign Landmark Statement on Climate Change to Global Leaders - Buddhistdoor Global



By Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective
Buddhistdoor Global | 2015-10-29 





Fifteen of the world's most senior Buddhists have issued a landmark call to political leaders to adopt an effective climate change agreement at the UN negotiations in Paris starting 30 November.
“We are at a crucial crossroads where our survival and that of other species is at stake as a result of our actions,” the Statement's initial section warns. Eminent signatories (full list below) include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, and His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, as well as supreme heads of Buddhism in Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, the secretary general of the International Buddhist Conferation (IBC), the president of the Buddhist Association of the USA, the president of the UBF (l’Union Bouddhiste de France), and Her Royal Highness Princess Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck of Bhutan.
This urgent call for action on climate change, from leaders representing over a billion Buddhists worldwide, is unprecedented. It is the first time so many Buddhist luminaries have come together on a global issue to speak with one voice.
The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders (text and list of signatories in annex to this release and at www.gbccc.org) urges the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to act with wisdom and compassion, and agree to phase out fossil fuels and move towards 100 per cent renewable and clean energy.
The Statement also calls on world leaders to find the political will to close the emissions gap left by national climate pledges tabled with the UNFCCC Secretariat, to ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels. To help vulnerable, developing countries address the cost of mitigating climate change (reducing emissions) and adapting to its devastating impacts, Buddhist leaders have asked for finance to be increased above the currently promised US$100 billion per year as from 2020 through the Green Climate Fund amongst other instruments.
“Everyday life can easily lead us to forget that we are inextricably linked to the natural world through every breath we take, the water we drink and the food we eat,” stated Lama Lobzang, Secretary of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC). “Humanity must act on the root causes of this crisis, which is driven by greed, thoughtlessness and a lack of concern about the consequences of our actions.”
“When we harm the earth, we harm ourselves,” said Sister Chan Khong, of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists. “The earth is not just our environment. The earth is our mother. We are all children of the earth, and we must help one another as brothers and sisters of one big planetary family. We must take action, not out of a sense of duty but out of love for our planet and for each other. The Buddha has shown us that we can all live simply and still be very happy.”
The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders amplifies The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, which has been endorsed in 2015 by more than 300 eminent Buddhist leaders and teachers representing the main schools and traditions of Buddhism from 37 countries, as well as thousands of Buddhist practitioners. It also welcomes and supports the climate change statements of other religious traditions. Buddhists are encouraged to show their support and join the conversation online using #Buddhists4Climate.

The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. From Alex Berliner (© Berliner Studio/BEImages Beverly Hills, CA)

Venerable Lama Lobzang, secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), signing the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders, Delhi, India, 28 October 2015. From gbccc.org

Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders
28 October 2015
We, the undersigned Buddhist leaders, come together prior to the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, in order to add our voices to the growing calls for world leaders to cooperate with compassion and wisdom and reach an ambitious and effective climate agreement.
We are at a crucial crossroads where our survival and that of other species is at stake as a result of our actions. There is still time to slow the pace of climate change and limit its impacts, but to do so, the Paris summit will need to put us on a path to phase out fossil fuels. We must ensure the protection of the most vulnerable, through visionary and comprehensive mitigation and adaptation measures.
Our concern is founded on the Buddha’s realization of dependent co-arising, which interconnects all things in the universe. Understanding this interconnected causality and the consequences of our actions is a critical step in reducing our environmental impact. Cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion, we will be able to act out of love, not fear, to protect our planet. Buddhist leaders have been speaking about this for decades. However, everyday life can easily lead us to forget that our lives are inextricably interwoven with the natural world through every breath we take, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Through our lack of insight, we are destroying the very life support systems that we and all other living beings depend on for survival.
We believe it imperative that the global Buddhist community recognize both our dependence on one another as well as on the natural world. Together, humanity must act on the root causes of this environmental crisis, which is driven by our use of fossil fuels, unsustainable consumption patterns, lack of awareness, and lack of concern about the consequences of our actions.
We strongly support The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, which is endorsed by a diverse and global representation of Buddhist leaders and Buddhist sanghas. We also welcome and support the climate change statements of other religious traditions. These include Pope Francis’s encyclical earlier this year, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, as well as the upcoming Hindu Declaration on Climate Change. We are united by our concern to phase out fossil fuels, to reduce our consumption patterns, and the ethical imperative to act against both the causes and the impacts of climate change, especially on the world’s poorest.
To this end, we urge world leaders to generate the political will to close the emissions gap left by country climate pledges and ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels. We also ask for a common commitment to scale up climate finance, so as to help developing countries prepare for climate impacts and to help us all transition to a safe, low carbon future.
The good news is that there is a unique opportunity at the Paris climate negotiations to create a turning point. Scientists assure us that limiting the rise in the global average temperature to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius is technologically and economically feasible. Phasing out fossil fuels and moving toward 100 per cent renewable and clean energy will not only spur a global, low-carbon transformation, it will also help us to embark on a much-needed path of spiritual renewal. In addition to our spiritual progression, in line with UN recommendations, some of the most effective actions individuals can take are to protect our forests, move toward a plant-based diet, reduce consumption, recycle, switch to renewables, fly less, and take public transport. We can all make a difference.
We call on world leaders to recognize and address our universal responsibility to protect the web of life for the benefit of all, now and for the future.
For these reasons, we call on all Parties in Paris:
1. To be guided by the moral dimensions of climate change as indicated in Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
2. To agree to phase out fossil fuels and move towards 100 per cent renewables and clean energy.
3. To create the political will to close the emissions gap left by country climate pledges so as to ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.
4. To make a common commitment to increase finance above the US$100 billion agreed in Copenhagen in 2009, including through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to help vulnerable developing countries prepare for climate impacts and transition towards a low-carbon economy.
The time to act is now.
Yours sincerely,
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Patriarch of the Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Head of the Karma Kagyu
His Holiness Dr. Dharmasen Mahathero, the Supreme Patriarch (Sangharaja) of the Bangladesh Sangha
Rev. Hakuga Murayama, President, All Japan Young Buddhist Association (JYBA)
His Eminence Jaesung Sunim, President of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Bhante B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera, Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
His Eminence Rev. Khamba Lama Gabju Demberel, The Supreme Head of Mongolian Buddhists
His Holiness Dr. Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa, Sangharaja, and Chairman State Sangha Maha Nāyaka Committee, Myanmar
His Eminence Agga Maha Panditha Dawuldena Gnanissara Maha Nayaka Thera, Mahanayaka Thero, The Supreme Prelate of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, Sri Lanka
His Holiness Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of All Vietnam Buddhist Sangha
Venerable Lama Lobzang, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
Venerable Olivier Reigen Wang-gen, President, l’Union Bouddhiste de France (UBF)
Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, President, Buddhist Association of the USA
Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, Bhutan

2015/10/25

Karmapa and Tibetan leaders laud TCV's success on its 55th anniversary - TPI


Sunday, 25 October 2015 12:58 Yeshe Choesang, Tibet Post International


His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa speaks to the students. 
Photo: TPI/Choneyi Sangpo
Dharamshala —Tibetan students paraded to the beat of drums, and performed traditional dance and calisthenics marking the 55thanniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Children's Village School in Upper Dharamshala on 23 October. Thousands of Tibetans and Non-Tibetans had joined in the celebration.

Escorted by the school's marching band, Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission Kargyu Dhondup, Penpa Tsering Speaker for the Tibetan Parliament in exile and Pema Chinnjor, Religion and Culture Minister– representing Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) were amongst the special guests in attendance, as well as other top ministers and community representatives.

"I applaud your selfless contribution in preserving Tibetan identity and culture and for actualising His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's aspirations," said, Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche who was the chief guest at the event, praised the TCV school and thanked all the staffs, teachers and students who has been a part of the Tibetan school.

"The importance of Education is beyond question, especially in this time. Students should have an ambitious attitude towards learning and focus on improvement and excellence," Karmapa Rinpoche stressed while urging the Tibetans to reflect on the circumstances that led us into exile and the responsibility as a Tibetan refugee.



"Education is a key priority for the current Tibetan administration. Our goal is to significantly expand the base of Tibetan professionals holding advance degrees in modern education fields," Religious and Culture Kalon Mr Pema Chhinjor said.

"The Kashag, therefore has announced new scholarship schemes to inspire Tibetan students to achieve merits in higher education. Along with Modern Education, basic traditional education is crucial to the sustenance of Tibetan culture," he added.

"The implementation of basic education policy is an important initiative towards achieving an efficient education system," Mr Chhinjor said, adding that "from 2016, the basic education policy will be introduced at primary stages in TCV schools."

Speaker Penpa Tsering urged the students and spectators alike to be a responsible community members. "young Tibetans have a special responsibility to preserve and protect their culture, religion and language."

He also encouraged more TCV alumni to serve the TCV community which in long run, will help TCV become "a self reliant organisation."



The event began with staff, guests and supporters observing an inter-class student parade followed by the Tibetan and Indian national anthems and a minute's silence in respect for those who have lost their lives in the Tibetan struggle. School President Tsewang Yeshi made a speech praising the school's programme and it's 54-year history.

Tsewang Yeshe said: "I express my admiration to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for his vision to educate Tibetan children both in the traditional and modern fields of studies."

"Mrs Tsering Dolma Takla, the elder sister of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who shouldered the responsibilty of the first TCV Nursery on 17 May 1960 and later, expanded into a residential school by Mrs Jetsun Pema, the younger sister of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama," he said.

"Without their leadership and guidance, the TCV wouldn't have achieved success in educating thousands of Tibetan children."

The school with a slogan of "Others before Self", is painted in large block letters on the school walls. Students performed a variety of routines including songs and a traditional Tibetan group dance by students and a precisely choreographed calisthenics show.



The calisthenics earned applause from the audience as students used their movements and formations to spell "Tibet Climate Action" a campaign recently launched by the CTA, urging the world leaders take bold and decisive action on Tibet climate at Paris COP21, followed by "80", in celebrating the eighth birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and "Peace is powerful" a symbol of the peaceful Tibetan struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

An energetic drum performance and a speech by village director, Mr Ngodup Wangdu, concluded the celebrations. The Director congratulated Mr Tenzin Damdul of TCV Suja for scoring 95.8 percentage in the class 12 CBSE board exam and encouraged all the students to achieve excellence in their studies.

The Tibetan Children's Village aims to provide children with the necessary resources and the opportunities to develop their abilities to the fullest and has become an integrated educational community for destitute Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet every year.

As well as teaching the children about Tibetan language and culture, students study science, arts, counseling and information technology. Over it's 55-year history the school has expanded to have more than 16,000 children under their care and has established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in South.

http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/exile/4763-karmapa-and-tibetan-leaders-laud-tcvs-success-on-its-55th-anniv

2015/10/24

Tibetans should reflect on situation leading to exile: Karmapa - Business Standard



Press Trust of India  |  Dharamsala 





Spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorge today asked Tibetans across the globe to reflect on the circumstances that led them into exile as he reminded them about their responsibility as refugees. 

"Tibetans across the globe should reflect on the circumstances that led us into exile and the responsibility as a Tibetan refugee," the 17th Karmapa said here while speaking during the 55th anniversary celebration of Tibetan Children Village, the residential Tibetan school, here today.

The Karmapa, who heads one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism, on the occasion applauded the contribution of TCV staff, teachers and students for preserving the Tibetan identity and culture. 

"I applaud your selfless contribution in preserving Tibetan identity and culture and for actualising His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's aspirations. The importance of education is beyond question, especially in this time. Students should have an ambitious attitude towards learning and focus on improvement and excellence," he said. 

Speaker of Tibetan Parliament Penpa Tsering, Religious and Culture Kalon Pema Chhinjor (Representative of Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay), Kalons and members of the Kashag, secretaries and heads of Tibetan governmental and non-governmental organisations among others had attended the event held at TCV headquarter in upper Dharamasala. 

An inter-house athletics meet will be held tomorrow followed by a TCV alumni of 1990-batch gathering on the third day following which the anniversary celebration will culminate. 

TCV is the largest residential school of the exiled Tibetan community. It was founded in 1960 as a nursery with 51 children and has since become an integrated educational community for Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet each year. It claims to have over 15,000 children under its care.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/tibetans-should-reflect-on-situation-leading-to-exile-karmapa-115102400972_1.html

2015/10/23

The Gyalwang Karmapa Celebrates the Fifty-fifth Founding Anniversary of the Tibetan Children’s Village




October 23, 2015 – TCV Dharamsala,
On a bright, sunny day, the Gyalwang Karmapa came to Upper Dharamshala to be the Chief Guest at this T.C.V. anniversary celebration. Following addresses by three speakers covering the history, finances, and purposes of the schools, the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to talk.
Greeting everyone present, the Gyalwang Karmapa commented, “Though I’m quite busy these days, I wanted to make time to come today and offer my respects and support. Fifty-five years have passed since the school was founded and it has undergone tremendous development during this time. These years have entailed a great deal of effort, not just for a few days, but year after year of continuous, dedicated work on the part of the administrative staff, the teachers, and the students.”
Turning to the value of the school being celebrated today, the Karmapa remarked that “it supports the greater family of Tibetans, the common good of Tibet, and fulfills the express wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. All of these will bring wonderful advantages in this life and the next.” He noted that all the efforts made to care for and sustain T.C.V. have had an immense and great benefit. For all of this he expressed his profound thanks.
The Karmapa then turned to the situation of Tibetans in exile and mentioned that there is a tendency to become a bit complacent and forget why they had left Tibet: What was the situation in Tibet when they had to flee? What was the karma that caused them to leave? He counseled the Tibetan people to keep in mind their great goal: To develop their own education and physical well-being so they could return to their homeland, help it to make positive changes, and create a superb nation of the Tibetan people. For this to happen, pedestrian efforts are not enough: genuine, inspired study is needed. “Our goal is huge,” he said, “different from others, so we need to fire our spirit and increase our efforts, doing more than before.”
The Karmapa noted that in the future, the situation of the Tibetans would be increasingly difficult: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has turned eighty and one does not know what the future will bring. He counseled, “Now it is important to think about what might come. We must preserve Tibetan culture, and not lose sight of what it means to be Tibetan.”
In closing, the Karmapa expressed his thanks for being invited to the anniversary celebration and extended his heartfelt gratitude to all the staff and teachers of the Tibetan Children’s Villages.

2015.10.23 法王噶瑪巴出席西藏兒童村55週年校慶 The Gyalwang Karmapa Celebrates the Fifty-fifth Founding Anniversary of the Tibetan Children’s Village



http://kagyuoffice.org/the-gyalwang-karmapa-celebrates-the-fifty-fifth-founding-anniversary-of-the-tibetan-childrens-village/

2015/10/22

Did the 16th Karmapa Speak the Language of Birds? --- by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche






Sunrise at Rumtek, and the Karmapa, like the sun, warms the space.
I feel his presence, a radiance and energy that only he can bring,
that draws us to him; his generous kindness. This is my lasting memory;

Those days when he sat all day in audience all day, and the crowds
who came and went; crowds of us; crowds of all races; crowds
of all religions quietly drawn to him.

And he in the midst; a dog and cat asleep at his feet; while on his finger,
attentive and still, as if listening to him, a small bird perched,
unafraid of the people before him, and all beings drawn to him.

When he smiled, then they knew; when he laughed then they knew too
the power of wisdom and compassion. This was his Being.
He was that compassion; his Being his communication and wisdom.

It was said that he taught the birds and that their practice was known
when they died thereafter in Samadhi.
Did he speak to the birds? I wondered.

As for me, I had planned my questions for him, after days of thinking.
Now they seemed nonsense, and vanished like clouds. I just sat
and basked in the warmth of his kindness and his loving radiance.

And so did the Westerners who came, curious about the Tibetans.
Afterwards they too would ask questions and study the Dharma.
They would leave with the knowledge that this was a genuine Master.

Some took Refuge; some took robes; all of them were drawn
to the Path, and this one encounter in the Karmapa's presence
was stronger and more lasting than many long years of teachings.

And what of the birds? Like us they felt the direct power of Wisdom
and the sun-like warmth and energy of Compassion
from their Master and Teacher, the 16th Karmapa.

This Master of communication, who taught us all without language.
He was a friend to all creatures, who were drawn to this great Master.
This was the 16th Karmapa, who taught us all by his Being.

Photo: Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Rumtek Monastery, October 2015


https://www.facebook.com/KarmapaFoundationEurope/photos/a.436046173136786.1073741825.433780703363333/948410771900321/?type=3&theater

2015/10/16

Announcement - The Nineteenth Kagyu Gunchö Winter Dharma



Teachings and Debates for Kagyu Shedras
26th February – 10th March, 2016



The timing of the  Kagyu Gunchö  has changed and the 19th Kagyu Gunchö will be held after the 33rd Kagyu Monlam, from 26th February to 10th March, 2016.

During the Gunchö, the Gyalwang Karmapa will continue his teachings from the Eighth Karmapa’s One Hundred Short Instructions with the chapter on the Six Paramitas.  In addition, we have requested Kyabje Sangye  Nyenpa Rinpoche to give the oral transmission of the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s  commentary on the Vinaya: The Mandala of the Sun.

The main part of the programme in this year’s Gunchö will be a conference on the matchless Lord Gampopa’s  A Precious Garland  of the Supreme Path  Chapters Three to Ten.   

For the study of Collected Topics, Lorig and Tarig, all the students will be divided into two classes, upper and lower. There will be traditional group debate on Tenets and also, in-between,  Western-style debate on two topics:

1.    Whether blind faith can be considered faith or not.
2.    Whether the Dharma and the secular world are mutually opposed or not.

The detailed programme is shown below.

 Programme
Date
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
26 – 28 Feb
Teachings
Conference
Group  Debate
29 Feb
Teachings
Conference

1 - 2, March
Conference
Conference
Group  Debate
3 March
Conference
Conference
Western-style Debate
4 March
                                    Holiday
5 March
Puja
Puja
Western-style Debate
6-9 March
Conference
Conference
Group Debate
10 March
Conference
Conference
All Night Debate