November 28, 2011- Park Hotel, Delhi

His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, today delivered the inaugural address at the Global Buddhist Congregation's section on "Environment and the Natural World." Opening the daylong session, the Gyalwang Karmapa addressed a packed hall of hundreds of delegates gathered from 32 countries around the world. The Gyalwang Karmapa will also attend the closing ceremony, which will be presided over by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and joined by a suite of world figures.
During his inaugural address, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke on the underlying causes that have brought us to what he describes as a 'critical juncture' in the degradation of our natural environment. Among those causes, His Holiness focused on a virtual "religion of consumerism" and a persistent egocentrism that has led to an unhealthy relationship between human beings and their environment. Applying Buddhist principles of interdependence, compassion, and no-self, the Gyalwang Karmapa outlined a Buddhist response to the environmental challenge facing the world today.
His Holiness spoke strongly against the consumer culture that has overtaken our global society. He acknowledged that world religions are in agreement that material prosperity does not translate into real happiness and wellbeing. Yet he went on to say that religious leaders have a responsibility to do more to open their followers' eyes to the failure of consumerism to bring lasting happiness.
We appear to be in a dangerous state of denial about the consequences of our actions on the environment, the Gyalwang Karmapa stated. "The essential problem," he said, "lies in the way we conceive of ourselves in relation to others, including the environment. We feel we are separate individuals, but in fact nothing exists independently."
"Former generations may conceivably be excused for the harmful consequences of their actions," His Holiness the Karmapa said. "But our generation cannot, as we have access to an abundance of information on the environmental impact of our current lifestyle." He continued, "Our task now is to turn information into an awareness that we feel in our hearts, and that can inspire us to live according to environmentally wise and compassionate principles."
His Holiness called on the audience to interact with the natural world in such a way that they cultivate and extend a mandala of love and compassion, based on the model of the relationship between mother and child.
Speaking earlier on his participation at the Global Buddhist Congregation, the Gyalwang Karmapa said: "Addressing the changes in our environment is one of the most pressing issues of our day. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has long pointed out, the harm done to our environment is rooted in human minds and behavior.  Because this problem arises from our attitudes towards the world we live in, I believe world religious leaders can contribute greatly to a change in our relationship to the earth and to our patterns of consumption of her resources.  I am very pleased that the Global Buddhist Congregation is making the environment a focus during its meeting in Delhi, and am honored to be given this opportunity to be part of global Buddhist conversations on this important issue."
Over the course of the past five years, the Gyalwang Karmapa has taken an increasingly active role in championing an issue dear to his heart—the protection of the natural environment. Taking up a call that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has long urged, the Gyalwang Karmapa is emerging as one of the most vocal Buddhist environment leaders, speaking and acting on Buddhist principles of caring for the environment that supports the lives of all of us who share this planet. He has organized conferences, founded a region-wide an activist organization — Khoryug (the Tibetan term for Environment) — and contributed to various academic and scientific publications on the issue.

900th Anniversary Song of the Karmapas

Composed by His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

like nectar flowing from a spring on a snowy mountain face,
from some highest of realms high above,
with effortless vigor and a deep, unprompted longing,
drop after divine drop, each pristine and pure,
you crossed the mountains and plains of hundreds of months and years,
to come cascading down, down into the land of our hopes.
coursing through deep aspirations you held, held through the stream of many lives,
from some place completely obscured to us, you gave gentle warmth and nourished us.
since then, the tender young sprouts of virtuous minds
have blossomed with leaves and fruit,
and land once scorched with drought burst into life turquoise-green.
when a snow lion roars on a white mountain peak
the sound at once sends the crisp flakes swirling in a flurry.
when you arrived in the year eleven-ten
the lion’s roar of your majestic name blazed forth,
spreading its unchanging splendor and unequalled blessings.
day and night, for nine hundred years,
it has set trembling the hearts of those with faith, scared away the sleep of our ignorance
and stilled the waves of thought that trouble the ocean of our minds.
because you are here, we dare to face the angry countenance of the samsaric sea.
because you are here, we know that there is an end to this suffering.
the world, its voice raised in cries of birth and death, falls silent.
your deeds blend completely with a sky as deep blue as your brilliant crown.
your great heart, like a splendid mandala of wind,
keeps this world ever moved.

O Karmapa, you who act,
I am all that you have. and you are all that I have.




November 18, 2011

Conservation Biology, the most influential scientific journal in its field, has invited His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to contribute an article outlining his vision of "Environmental Buddhism." Entitled "Walking the Path of Environmental Buddhism through Compassion and Emptiness," the article explores His Holiness' personal reasons for becoming an environmentalist, offers a masterful explanation of the overlap between Buddhist philosophy and environmental ideology, and ends with a call to action to protect the environment.
"As I grew up and began studying Buddhist philosophy and teachings," His Holiness explained, "I discovered great harmony between Buddhism and the environmental movement. The emphasis on biological diversity, including ecosystems—in particular, the understanding that animate and inanimate beings are parts of a whole—resonates closely with Buddhism's emphasis on interdependence."
The article goes on to present Buddhist concepts of compassion and emptiness as they relate to environmental activism. It suggests ways they could serve to support the journal's mainly scientific readers in their own work to conserve the biological diversity of our planet.
In this article, which will appear in the journal's December 2011 issue, the Gyalwang Karmapa displays his characteristic merging of action for the benefit of society with the cultivation of inner qualities that can render that action sustainable. "For society to successfully address the environmental challenges of the 21st century," he wrote, "we have to connect these challenges to the individual choices people face on a daily basis. We cannot simply address the political and scientific aspects of problems such as climate change, intensive extraction of natural resources, deforestation, and wildlife trade. We must also address the social and cultural aspects of these problems by awakening human values and creating a movement for compassion, so that our very motivation in becoming environmentalists is to benefit other living beings."
The article can be read in full online. It can also be downloaded here as a PDF from www.khoryug.com, the website devoted to His Holiness' environmental protection programmes.
The Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to contribute this article for inclusion in this distinguished journal's 25th-anniversary edition. A highly respected and widely cited journal, Conservation Biology publishes groundbreaking papers and is instrumental in defining the key issues contributing to the science and practice of conserving Earth's biological diversity. The invitation to contribute to the journal's 25th edition was extended to His Holiness the Karmapa in recognition of his role as young religious leader with a global reach who can not only influence and inspire others, but who has also demonstrated his own commitment to take action on environmental issues.


The Buddhist Channel: The Karmapa's Statement on the Recent Acts of Self Immolation by Tibetan Monks and Nuns

The Buddhist Channel, Nov 14, 2011

Dharmsala, India -- A Buddhist nun in China’s western Sichuan Province burned herself to death on November 3, 2011, bringing to 11 the number of Tibetan clergy and former clergy who have set themselves on fire since March. The series of self-immolations, unprecedented in Tibetan Buddhism’s modern history, has continued despite an increasingly large Chinese security presence in the predominantly ethnic Tibetan area.

In response to the gruesome events, His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, issued the following statement on November 9, 2011:

"Since March this year 11 brave Tibetans have set themselves on fire while calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.These desperate acts, carried out by people with pure motivation, are a cry against the injustice and repression under which they live. The situation is unbearably difficult, but in difficult situations we need greater courage and determination.

"Each report of self-immolation from Tibet has filled my heart with pain. Most of those who have died have been very young. They had a long future ahead of them, an opportunity to contribute in ways that they have now foregone. In Buddhist teaching life is precious. To achieve anything worthwhile we need to preserve our lives. We Tibetans are few in number, so every Tibetan life is of value to the cause of Tibet. Although the situation is difficult, we need to live long and stay strong without losing sight of our long term goals.

"As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said, the Chinese leadership should face up to the real source of these tragic incidents. Such drastic acts have their origin in the desperate circumstances in which Tibetans find themselves living. A ruthless response will only make things worse. Where there is fear, there can be no trust.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama has stressed that the use of force is counter-productive; repressive measures can never bring about unity and stability. I agree with him that the Chinese leadership needs seriously to review its policies towards Tibetans and other minorities. I appeal to right-thinking, freedom-loving people throughout the world to join us in deploring the repression unleashed in the monasteries in Tibet, particularly in the Tibetan region of Sichuan. At the same time I appeal to the Chinese leaders to heed Tibetans' legitimate demands and to enter into meaningful dialogue with them instead of brutally trying to achieve their silence.

"Because the Tibetan issue involves truth and justice, people are not afraid to give up their lives, but I request the people of Tibet to preserve their lives and find other, constructive ways to work for the cause of Tibet. It is my heartfelt prayer that the monks and nuns, indeed all the Tibetan people, may live long, free from fear, in peace and happiness."



Karmapa Lama urges end to self immolation(phayul)

[Thursday, November 10, 2011 18:53]
By Tendar Tsering

Gyalwang Karmapa leading prayers for 29-year old monk Tsewang Norbu who set himself ablaze protesting Chinese rule over Tibet in Kham Tawu August 16. The prayer session was held at the Gyuto Monastery, Dharamshala August 20, 2011. (Phayul archive/Norbu Wangyal)

DHARAMSHALA, November 10: The young head of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has urged Tibetans in Tibet not to resort to self-immolation protests.

"These desperate acts, carried out by people with pure motivation, are a cry against the injustice and repression under which they live," said the Karmapa referring to the recent spate of self-immolation in Tibet.

The religious head also urged the Chinese leadership to "heed Tibetans' legitimate demands and to enter into meaningful dialogue with them instead of brutally trying to achieve their silence."

"The situation is unbearably difficult, but in difficult situations we need greater courage and determination," said the Karmapa, urging the Tibetans in Tibet to preserve their lives.

The Karmapa blamed the repressive policies of the Chinese government in Tibet for forcing 11 Tibetans to set themselves ablaze since March this year in quest for freedom in Tibet and return of the Dalai Lama.

"Repressive measures can never bring about unity and stability. Chinese leadership needs to seriously review its policies towards Tibetans and other minorities." 


Walking the Path of Environmental Buddhism through Compassion and Emptiness (Conservation Biology)

Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01765.x




November 1,2011- Vajra Vidhya Varanasi.

His Holiness Karmapa went to the Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath to pay his respects to the place where the Buddha first taught, and to offer prayers there for the removal of the obstacles of natural disasters: the floods, earthquakes. He also prayed for the health of Tenga Rinpoche and Bayo Rinpoche, and for the Tibetan cause, in particular regarding the monks and a nun who have died recently through self immolation.
He also visited other shrines in the area, including the Sri Lankan temple, the Mulugund Koti Vihara, and fed to the many young deer in the Deer Park.
Then he led the sangha, many from Vajra Vidhya Institute, in the Samantabdhra Puja and the Sixteen Arhats Puja which lasted for few hours. Flowers adorned His Holiness's throne on the east lawn of the Damekh stupa. Under the golden umbrella, and preceded by the sounds of the gyaling and incense bearers, His Holiness left quickly when the prayers had concluded.
His Holiness also sent his sister, Ngodup Palzom, with a small group, to offer a life release of several thousand fish into the Ganges river. The merit from this was also dedicated to Tenga Rinpoche and Bayoe Rinpoche.


The day ended on a lighter note when Morari Bapu, a Hindu master, came to meet with His Holiness. He was welcomed by the monks of Vajra Vidya Institute.
They were accompanied by members of Tsurphu Labrang, Kagyu Monlam staff and international devotees. Also present were a band of newspaper reporters and cameramen, with numerous Indian and Sri Lankan followers.