His Holiness concludes his first visit to Canada by greatly delighting Vancouver - Karma Changchub Ling
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (http://kagyuoffice.org/karmapa/), at 31 years old, is the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The Karmapa lineage dates back 900 years; it is the oldest and foremost lineage to commence a tradition of reincarnate teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s first Canadian tour arrived at its final stop, Vancouver, on June 17th. His Holiness was warmly received by local Tibetans and members of the legislative assembly for Burnaby and Richmond cities at the airport. The party then arrived together to a welcoming procession at Thrangu Monastery Canada.
On June 18, His Holiness performed the empowerment of Avalokiteśvara or Chenrezig, the embodiment of all the compassion of all the Buddhas. His Holiness explained:
“When we talk about compassion in Buddhism, it is not merely the sympathy, empathy, or pity that we usually have. The compassion that is taught in the Dharma is a stronger compassion than normal. It is more involved, it is more dedicated. We do not see the individual for whom we are having compassion, and the individual who is having compassion as being separate. So it is not as if the person who has compassion or pity is in a good position, and the other person is in a desperate situation and we are having pity on them. It is not like that. Instead, it is like the compassion for the other person becomes a part of ourselves. We become the nature of that compassion, so we are able to give ourselves over to it, and fully dedicate ourselves to it. For that reason we are able to take the responsibility and mentally bear the burden of it.”
On June 20, His Holiness was delightfully hoasted by Dzogchen Pönlop Rinpche and the Nalandabodhi Vancouver sangha.
On June 21, His Holiness visited Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, and was given a tour of the province’s Parliament buildings.
On June 22, His Holiness and Wade Davis discussed environmental and social (in)equality issues at UBC’s Chan Centre. The conversation centred around His Holiness’ new book “Interconnected”. The UBC President, Professor Ono, Grand Chief Ed John, and Coastal Wolf Pack, a traditional Salish song and dance group, welcomed His Holiness.
During his stay in Vancouver, His Holiness also visited Ling Yen Mountain Temple where he was greeted with loud applauses and enthusiasms by its congregation, as well as Kagyu Kunkhyab Chuling.
From June 23 to 24, His Holiness gave his final teaching of his first Canadian tour to over 2000 followers in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver. The two-day teaching dealt with disturbing emotions in relation to the Akshobhya practice.
Over the course of this teaching, His Holiness shared with the audience his experience with the Akshobhya practice, from the inspiration he has found while reading the sūtras on Buddha Akshobhya, to the benefit he has reaped from this practice. The teaching was concluded with the Akshobhya empowerment.
At the end of this memorable last teaching, His Holiness said that he intends to visit Canada again in the very near future to follow up all those unanswered questions from the participants. At this instant, the theatre roared with applause, cheers, and filled with smiling faces. His Holiness also suggested performing a Long Life Prayer on his “official birthday” for the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, which took place at Thrangu Monastery on, June 26: May all of our gurus live long in good health to see the teachings of Buddha flourish throughout space, and the end of suffering for all sentient beings.
Good news: When during the KCCL audience I asked His Holiness whether he intends to visit Halifax on his next trip to Canada, he said to our delight: Yes!
You can find many photos (an also videos) of the above events on the Facebook page of Karmapa Canada: https://www.facebook.com/KarmapaCanada17/
For the event details, see: http://www.karmapacanada.org/.
Public teachings will be webcast live at www.kagyuoffice.org/webcast/