Day Four of the 7th Khoryug Conference

7th Khoryug Conference, Day Four
24th March, 2016
Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath 

The fourth and final day of the 7th Khoryug Conference concluded by synthesizing the past three days into disaster management plans. These plans will provide monastics with a reference and model to use as they return to their monasteries and nunneries and begin designing specific initiatives to implement over the coming year.
Before this synthesis could begin participants were introduced to the final piece of disaster management –  recovery. Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh from the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) presented a framework for approaching short term and long term recovery that encompasses the effects of disaster on both humans and valuable monastic texts and relics. Dekila Chungyalpa, advisor to Khoryug, then led the participants through a concise review of disaster management in which she recalled the main pillars in disaster management: risk mitigation and reduction, response and recovery.
Delegates spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon finalizing their plans and presentations on the topics of immediate response (including search and rescue and first aid), water and sanitation, food and nutrition, shelter and health. In addressing these topics they considered all three stages of disaster management as well as the diversity of disasters in which these issues must be addressed.
In the presentations that followed, groups examined both general disaster management strategies as well as specific ideas for mitigation, response and recovery. For instance, one group representing an imaginary “Karma Disaster Proof Monastery” explained their detailed plan for establishing first aid, search and rescue, and evacuation teams and how they would deploy those teams during a disaster. Their report combined particular lessons from their first aid training with their newfound organizational knowledge of disaster management planning. Another group shared illustrations of their hypothetical monastery to demonstrate how an extensive organic garden could provide fresh produce during a disaster when other food sources may be limited.
Upon hearing these carefully designed plans, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, addressed the conference. He thanked the delegates for their invested participation and NIDM for their affirming support and expertise. He noted that monasteries and nunneries have a responsibility to serve their communities, particularly during a disaster, and the best way to do so would be to guide actions that protect them well before any disaster should strike. He asked delegates to use the strategies provided in these workshops along with the lessons learned by the Nepal monasteries and nunneries during the 2015 earthquake.
Lama Thinley of Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling Monastery, the Khoryug Country Coordinator for India, spoke on behalf of the delegates. In his expression of gratitude he emphasized his appreciation that their attitude towards the topic of disaster had changed from being a superstitious and fearful aversion to a determined and resolved focus on finding solutions. Dekila Chungyalpa presented future plans for delivering more in-depth training to monasteries through localized workshops on each of these topics over the next year.
Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh of NIDM and Lhakpa Tsering of Kun Kyong Trust offered final thanks to delegates for their diligent participant and to His Holiness for his skillful guidance and direction.  After gathering for a group photo in the bright spring sun outside Vajra Vidya Institute, the 7th Khoryug Conference on Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction ended with smiling delegates and a clear motivation to further pursue the training and planning that began during these four days.

2016.3.24 第七屆環境保護會議第四天 Day Four of the 7th Khoryug Conference


Karmapa demands free entry to Sarnath for pilgrims in winter - Hindustan Times

Varanasi, March 23 -- The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje wants the union government to make entry to the key Sarnath sites free for all Buddhist pilgrims in winter.

In an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times at Vajra Vidya Sansthan, the Karmapa, who heads one of the four major schools of Buddhism, said, "Sarnath is a holy place. This is a sacred place for all Buddhist pilgrims. They come here to offer prayers. They don't feel good when they have to pay for visiting certain places here. The centre should make Sarnath ticket-free for the Buddhist pilgrims." At present, tickets have to be bought at nominal rates to visit the Dhamek Stupa, mini zoo and museum at Sarnath.

He explains, "During summer, when the number of Buddhist pilgrims decreases, the government may continue with the ticket system. In winter, there should be no ticket at all because a large number of Buddhist tourists visit the holy place. "

Asked if the centre should declare Sarnath a holy place, he says, "May be, that is well. Everyone visiting this place should recognise it as sacred."

Answering a query on what steps can be taken to check the environmental imbalance, the Karmapa says, "It is a very important issue. Glaciers provide water to millions of people. Environmental imbalance has affected them. To check any further damage, we have taken some very important initiatives."

"Training for monks and nuns is in progress so that they can come to know what step they need to take to stop this environment imbalance. The monks, in turn will tell the locals about the importance of trees and greenery, " the Karmapa said.

"They have to motivate the people to plant trees. I think joint efforts with locals will help in checking the environmental imbalance," the Karmapa added.

Simultaneously, locals in Himalayan regions are needed to motivate for heavy plantation. Monasteries are involved. They themselves plant tree and involve locals in their drive. Same steps are required to be followed in plains. Together efforts are needed to be made.

Representatives of over 55 monasteries from different part of the country and Nepal are attending a conference on ‘Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction’ at Vajra Vidya Sansthan.

The Gyalwang Karmapa Leads Three Days of Puja in Sarnath

23 March 2016—Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath, India
From March 21, the day after the Gyalwang Karmapa arrived in Sarnath from Bodh Gaya, he began pujas in the radiant shrine hall of Vajra Vidya Institute. Also in attendance was its abbot and great scholar, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Two hundred monks and nuns participated and among their ranks were the vajra, chant, and discipline masters from the Karmapa’s Rumtek Monastery, Thrangu Rinpoche’s Tashi Choling monastery and Tara Abbey nunnery.
In the main temple, two special shrines had been arranged for the Guru Yoga of Karma Pakshi, which took place in the morning, and the practice of the Five Tseringma in the afternoon. These are the same pujas that the Karmapa led in Bodh Gaya during the annual nuns’ gathering. The essence of the Karma Pakshi practice came to Yongey Mingyur Dorje (1628/1641–1708) in a vision of Karma Pakshi and his retinue. The Five Tseringma sisters are protectors of the Kagyu lineage and also holders of Milarepa’s Dharma teachings. The pujas continued for three days, finishing today on the auspicious full moon of the second Tibetan month.
On the early morning of March 24, the practice of a fire puja known as Billowing Clouds of Nectar by Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche will take place. It will be followed by a long life practice for Thrangu Rinpoche known as the Three Roots Combined, which the Karmapa has called exceptionally profound. The short lineage, he said, can be traced back to a text based on the pure visions of the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339). The Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje (1507–1554) also practiced the Three Roots Combined and stated that through it, “especially pure visions and dreams appeared in my experiential awareness.” The Karmapa has mentioned that he, too, feels a special connection with this practice, so it is most appropriate to offer it for the long life of Thrangu Rinpoche, one of his main teachers.

2016.3.23 法王噶瑪巴於鹿野苑主持三天法會 The Gyalwang Karmapa Leads Three Days of Puja in Sarnath
2016.3.24 法王噶瑪巴為創古仁波切舉行〈三根總修〉長壽法會 Gyalwang Karma performs Long Life Offering to Kenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

Third Day of 7th Khoryug Conference

7th Khoryug Conference, Day Three
23rd March, 2016
Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath 

It is dangerously easy to think of disasters as vague and potential threats until one actually strikes. The third day of the Khoryug conference centered on bringing the threat of disaster into reality through experiential hands-on training and disaster scenario planning.
Much of the day was dedicated to first aid training led by Jeff Wagner, a first aid instructor from the well respected and US-based organization National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Jeff  taught monastics a variety of topics in first aid, including assessing and addressing immediate threats to life and caring for stable but injured patients.

Through a combination of presentations, demonstrations and partner exercises, participants were introduced to new skills such as opening an airway with the Heimlich maneuver, taking and monitoring vital signs, making a physical examination, lifting a patient with a spinal injury and caring for wounds and burns. The training provided a condensed overview of wilderness first aid and gave monastics a taste of the more extensive education that Khoryug hopes to organize in monasteries and nunneries during the coming months.
Conference participants spent the final sessions of the day beginning to form disaster management plans. Delegates were divided into groups and then worked together to create and draw an imaginary monastery and design a plan to protect that monastery in the case of an earthquake or flood. The groups were guided to brainstorm around specific emergency needs, broken into the categories of immediate response, water and sanitation, food and nutrition, shelter and health.

The groups returned with elaborate designs that allowed them to visualize the specific risks in their monasteries and nunneries as well as the particular measures they could take to prepare for disaster. For example, one group recognized the lack of evacuation areas currently in their monasteries and nunneries and consequently included in their drawing a designated safe area for monastics and community members to use in a disaster.

By sharing their extensive brainstorming the groups prepared to narrow their focus tomorrow, when each group will develop an extensive preparedness, response and recovery plan for one of the emergency need categories.


Karmapa offers prayers, discusses green imbalance - Hindustan Times

Varanasi, March 22 -- The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and other Buddhist spiritual leaders discussed the issue of ecological imbalance in the Himalayan region and other parts of the country at a conference in Sarnath on Monday.

'Disaster preparedness and risk reduction' was the theme of the seventh Khoryug Conference for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries.

The meet began at Vajra Vidya Sansthan, an institute for Buddhist studies.

Before the conference, Karmapa, who heads one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, performed special worship at the Sansthan for human welfare and world peace.

Several Buddhist spiritual leaders accompanied him during the worship.

Twelve followers of Buddhism from China, Nepal, Taiwan, Tibet, France and Italy also participated in the special prayers which were completed in two rounds. Starting at 9am, the first round concluded at noon. The second round took place between 2pm and 5pm.

Buddhist Monk Karma, a representative of the Sansthan, said, “The Karmapa was welcomed with chanting of mantras before the worship. Triratana puja and several rituals were performed. An Idol of Lord Buddha was offered rice, kesar mixed water and Tibetan Torma.”

In the afternoon, Buddhist spiritual leaders discussed the issue of environmental imbalance. The conference is being held in partnership with the National Institute of Disaster Management.

Fifty monastic representatives from over 25 monasteries and nunneries are attending the conference. According to an authorized spokesperson, the Karmapa is acting on his resolve to prepare monasteries and nunneries for potential disasters and to train monks and nuns to become first responders and risk reduction educators for local communities.

After his arrival on Sunday, the Karmapa was given a special welcome. He would leave for Delhi on March 25.

Day Two of 7th Khoryug Conference

7th Khoryug Conference, Day Two
March 22, 2016
Vajra Vidya Institute

The first step in disaster management is understanding your hazards and identifying your risks. During the second day of the Khoryug conference, participants consequently focused on deepening their knowledge of the hazards they face and learning how to identify the vulnerabilities that put them at risk for disaster.
To achieve this aim delegates spent the morning learning about the science of natural disasters from Dekila Chungyalpa, the Khoryug adviser, who explained how phenomena like plate tectonics, forestation, and  the water and carbon cycle shape and spur disastrous events like earthquakes, floods and landslides. She further explained how climate change is resulting from human development and in turn exacerbating the severity and frequency of natural disasters, particularly in the Himalayan region.
Professor Bandyopadhyay from the National Institute of Disaster Management  then led the conference in both a presentation and group activity on risk assessment in monasteries and nunneries. After offering the conceptual framework for assessing risk, Professor Bandyopadhyay organized delegates into a scavenger hunt to search for vulnerabilities and risks present in various locations around Vajra Vidya Institute. The activity allowed participants to identify typical disaster risks that are found in most monasteries and nunneries ranging from exposed wiring and poor ventilation in a butter lamp house to the lack of emergency exits and training on how to use a fire extinguisher in a hostel.
In the afternoon delegates worked with Lhakpa Tsering and Damaris Miller to brainstorm the particular disaster risks in their area and to imagine an actual disaster scenario. Delegates were presented with two educational guides that Khoryug has produced on disaster management, including a poster with short tips and guidelines for management of earthquakes, floods and fires as well as a booklet with more extensive information. Both materials are available in English and Tibetan and delegates drew on their own experience to provide feedback for improving the documents for wider distribution. 

Dekila Chungyalpa and Mr. Rakesh Singh closed out the day by transitioning the group into developing action plans. Dekila shared a presentation on mitigation measures that monasteries and nunneries can take to reduce their vulnerability in the case of a disaster. She demonstrated how many of the environmental projects monasteries and nunneries have already undertaken double as mitigation measures, such as solar energy, organic gardening and rainwater collection and lauded monasteries that are adopting green design strategies into new constructions.
Mr. Rakesh Kumar finished the session by clearly laying out a framework for creating a disaster management plan that encompasses crucial elements like mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery and capacity building. Participants will spend the next two days receiving hands-on training and creating their own disaster management plans. Reflecting on the conference thus far one delegate noted, “We used to feel helpless when we thought about natural disasters but knowing now that there are things we can do to protect ourselves makes me feel more confident.”


Day One of 7th Khoryug Conference

7th Khoryug Conference, Day One
21st March, 2016
Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath

Over 70 delegates representing 29 monasteries and nunneries gathered today at Vajra Vidya Institute in the sacred town of Sarnath to begin the 7th Khoryug Conference on Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction, chaired by His Holiness the 17th Gwalang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The primary goal of the conference is to initiate disaster preparedness and risk reduction training for monks and nuns. With this training monasteries and nunneries will become equipped with effective disaster management plans and knowledge and ultimately supply first responders and educators to their local communities.
After a warm welcome by the conference’s host, Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche, His Holiness the Karmapa addressed the congregation to reiterate his resolve to prepare monasteries and nunneries for potential disasters and to train monks and nuns to become community actors and supports for disaster preparedness, response and recovery. 
During the conference delegates will participate in a variety of educational presentations, group discussion, and hands on training. Khoryug has partnered with India’s National Institute of Disaster Management, represented by Professor Rakesh Kumar Singh and Professor Chandrani Bandyopadhyay, whose expertise will direct the educational component of the conference.
This component began today with presentations from both professors. Professor Singh presented on the significance of protecting cultural heritage in the face of increasingly unpredictable climate- and human-caused disasters. Professor Bandyopadhyay introduced key concepts in disaster management, such as distinguishing between a phenomena like an earthquake and the disaster that follows. As Professor Bandyopadhyay effectively explained to the group, “An earthquake is a shaking of the ground that can happen anywhere. Why do similar magnitude earthquakes have disastrous outcomes in some places and mild outcomes in others? Because what matters is not the ground that is shaking but what is on top of the ground that is shaking.”

Participants also heard today from Dekila Chungyalpa, who highlighted recent Khoryug activities like the planting of over a hundred thousand saplings in 2015 alone. They also heard presentations from the Khoryug Country Coordinators of India, Nepal and Bhutan which summarized specific Khoryug projects in these countries over the last year, including organic gardening, rainwater harvesting and waste segregation for recycling.
The day concluded with a moving presentation by Khenpo Chokey of Pullahari Monastery in Nepal, who graciously shared insights and lessons learned during the relief efforts of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. His presentation not only grounded the day’s more theoretical learning in lived experience but also provided valuable advice for the coming trainings. Khenpo Chokey explained that when a disaster strikes our instinct may be to immediately rush to the aid of those in need. However, the efforts of Nepal monasteries and nunneries during the 2015 earthquake taught them that “We must not just rush into the situation without proper planning and preparedness. We must embrace compassion, wisdom and patience in our rescue and relief actions.”

The Gyalwang Karmapa Opens the 7th Khoryug Conference Focused on Disaster Management

21 March 2016 —Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath, India
From March 21 to 24, the Gyalwang Karmapa convened a conference for representatives from his environmental organization known as Khoryug (Tibetan for environment). Over sixty monks and nuns came from 55 monasteries and nunneries from across the Himalayan region. Along with a few members of the lay sangha, they all hail from India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Acutely conscious of the devastation caused by earthquakes in Nepal and Sikkim, last year representatives at the 6th conference requested training in disaster management so that they could be of real service during these difficult times. Sharing their concerns, the Karmapa readily agreed, and a partnership was made with Indian Government’s National Institute of Disaster Management, which sent two senior officials to participate in this conference.
The first welcoming speech was made by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the abbot of Vajra Vidya Institute, where the first gathering on the environment took place in 2009. He related that when he was young in Tibet, he did not know about the importance of environmental work. Recently, however, large earthquakes in Jyekundo and then in Nepal made clear to him how critical the natural world was. These days, Thrangu Rinpoche mentioned, he sees a daily report on earthquakes from around the world, which states that there are some 150 each day, creating great danger and fear. This makes clear, he said, that preparing for them is not only important but also an urgent situation that impacts all levels of life. Thrangu Rinpoche thanked the people working in this area of disaster relief and requested them to continue their beneficial activity.
The Gyalwang Karmapa then addressed the group, first speaking of the 6th Khoryug conference last fall and the decision made to set the topic of disaster management for this 7th conference. He said, “The fact that the Government of India’s National Institute of Disaster Management has consented to be involved gives us courage in our work. We were all affected greatly by the earthquake in Nepal and wanted to know how we could help, he notes, so that we are not just taken by fear, but prepared to be useful and deal skillfully with the situation.”
As the situation is very clear, it goes without saying, the Karmapa stated, that we need to study and train ourselves. He made the aspiration that the four days of the conference go very well. In the future, he hoped that each monastery could create an emergency team, which would help not only the monasteries but also the people in the surrounding areas. It is important, he noted, that our thinking is on a wide scale.
The rest of the day was spent giving an introduction to the different aspects of disaster management. Dekila Chungyalpa presented an overview of Khoryug and its goal of practically applying the Buddhist values of compassion and interdependence to the earth and all the living beings who dwell there. The earth, she noted, is a living system that needs to be protected. Turning to the future, she said that Khoryug plans to build up the monasteries to become hubs of knowledge for the local communities, able to educate them on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
The next presentation was from Rajesh Kumar Singh, Joint Director of the National Institute for Disaster Management, who spoke of the importance of preserving cultural heritage. He gave several reasons for this: Cultural artefacts ensure a community or country’s identity in a global environment; it offers the opportunity to preserve past and define the future; and it is source of a people’s roots as well as representing the culture as a whole. He also noted that in addition to having an immense educational value, cultural monuments, when protected, naturally lead to protecting the environment around them. They also prove the presence of a tradition for many centuries, even thousands of years. Speaking of human induced and natural hazards to cultural traditions, he concluded by stating that disaster management functions on many levels from the national to the very local.
Reports then followed from the three countries on their activities for the past year, involving tree planting, waste management, rain water reservoirs, solar energy installations, composting, water filtration, cleanups, and education about the environment in the local communities.
When she gave her talk, Ms. Chandrani Bandyopadhyay, Assistant Professor at the NIDM, noted that these projects of Khoryug were excellent and belonged to the category of mitigation, one of the four that she presented. Mitigation is a longer term preparation to lessen the impact of negative events, she explained. Preparedness involves the shorter-term actions that one could take, for example, making a first aid kit. Response, she said, has to do with how well one relates to the actual event, and finally, there is recovery afterward. In breaking down disasters into these categories, she make it clear that a disaster is not a foregone conclusion. We can prepare and reduce the negative consequences. On this hopeful note she ended her presentation.
The day closed with a report from Nepal on the monasteries experience of helping out with the consequences of the two earthquakes and what was learned. In the next three days, the conference will cover risk assessment, actual responses to disaster, and recovery along with management plans. In this ways the attendees will have the full picture of how to help people before disasters arise, while they are happening, and how to help with recovery afterward.

2016.3.21 第七屆藏傳佛教寺院和尼院環境保護會議首日 The Gyalwang Karmapa Opens the 7th Khoryug Conference Focused on Disaster Management http://kagyuoffice.org/the-gyalwang-karmapa-opens-the-7th-khoryug-conference-focused-on-disaster-management/


Press Release

20th March, 2016 – Sarnath: His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje will convene the 7th Khoryug Conference for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries on the topic of Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction tomorrow.

Lasting from the 21st of March to the 24th of March, the conference will be held at Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath, and will be facilitated in partnership with the National Institute of Disaster Management of the Government of India. The conference will be attended by over 50 monastic representatives from over 25 monasteries and nunneries.
In organizing this 4-day conference, His Holiness the Karmapa is acting on his resolve to prepare monasteries and nunneries for potential disasters and to train monks and nuns to become first responders and risk reduction educators for local communities. The Himalayan region has seen three severe earthquakes just in the past five years: Sikkim 6.9 on the Richter scale in 2011, Nepal 7.3 in 2015, and Manipur 6.7 in January of 2016. Disaster management experts and seismologists have issued several warnings that these earthquakes have re-ruptured tectonic plates that were already cracked and increased the likelihood of more severe earthquakes to hit the Himalayan region.
Over the weeks that followed the Nepal earthquake, 8 Khoryug monasteries and nunneries provided assistance to over 12,000 families spread out over 15 districts in Nepal. In the immediate aftermath, over 100 families were given immediate shelter within monastic compounds and an additional 2,200 people received direct medical support from doctors hired by the monasteries and nunneries. Monks and nuns also joined rescue teams, helped clear villages and roads of rubble, donated blood, volunteered at hospitals and schools and organized activities for children where schools had been destroyed. His Holiness has directed Khoryug; an association of over 50 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and centers in India, Bhutan, and Nepal that work on environmental issues under his auspices; to learn from and follow the example of these monasteries and provide training on disaster risk reduction, response, and recovery strategies to all interested Buddhist monasteries and centers in the region.
In keeping with His Holiness’ direction, over 50 monks and nuns will have received the training needed to lead their communities in the event of local disasters such as earthquakes, fires, and floods over the course of the next four days. Khoryug will also introduce several shareable documents including a booklet and a poster in English and in Tibetan that provide important information on how to reduce risks and ensure the safety of individuals and communities.
Visit The Official Website of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa – www.kagyuoffice.org and www.khoryug.info for more information on the conference.
Press Contact: Kunzang Chungyalpa, Director, Karmapa Office of Administration, Delhi


Tseringma drubchen by H.H. Karmapa for the benefit of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche's reincarnation

From Tempa Lama, March 19, 2016
"On March 16th was Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche's parinirvana anniversary. Our Benchen Monastery, Swoyambhu, and the shedra in Parphing had a nice Tara puja, offered lots of butter lamps, and recited prayers. I am quite sure all of you did the same thing.
The Benchen Monastery administrators are in Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery in Saranath, Benares (Varanasi), right now. This is due to a large three-day Tseringma drubchen that His Holiness Karmapa is holding for the benefit of Kyabje Tenga Rinopoche's reincarnation so that everything will be going well.
Monks and nuns of Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery and the Benchen monastery will join His Holiness. Every morning beginning on March 21st will be a Karma Pakshi tsok offering. The drubchen will be held in the afternoons. The last day will be March 23rd. His Holines asked the great Umdze Bai Karma from Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, to lead the Tseringma Drubchen together with three Benchen Umdzes.
Isn't it that we would all like to express to His Holiness our immense gratitude from the bottom of our hearts? All the sangha members of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche, students and friends, we feel it is a great honor that His Holiness is arranging such a great puja in Benares".


Karmapa 2016 Europe - PROGRAM & ONLINE BOOKING

Karmapa 2016 - Switzerland

(Translation English, French, German...)

- Saturday, May 21rst: "Meditation, source of inner peace" (Geneva)
- Sunday, May 22nd: "Medecine Buddha" and "Buddhism and Science" (Geneva)
- Saturday, May 28th: "Transforming your daily sufferings" (Zürich)
- Sunday, May 29th: "Avalokiteshvara - Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion" and "Buddhism and Environmental Care" ( Zürich)

-> Price and online booking:

Karmapa 2016 - France

(Translation English, French, German...)

Saturday, June 4th: "The 4 Noble Truths" and "Guided Meditation" (Paris)
Sunday, June 5th: "Happiness and Peace" and "Empowerment of
Chenrezig" (Paris)

-> Price and online booking:


The Gyalwang Karmapa’s Yearly Visit to the Root Institute

15 March, 2016 -Bodh Gaya, India
Noting that he had been coming to Root Institute for many years, the Gyalwang Karmapa greeted everyone warmly and said that it would be good to have a question and answer session.
Question: Your Holiness, Sometimes when you do a lot of practice, you get a bit tense. Is it good to give yourself a break for a little while? I just finished prostrations and want to take a break before Dorje Sempa.
The Karmapa: In general, it is said that our way of practicing should not be too loose or too tight, just like the strings on a guitar. Since neither extreme would work well, we need to find the golden mean. If we try too hard, that is a fault; if we do not try enough, we are lost in laziness. Sometimes, our mind can get a bit tired out, and so taking a break is fine.
Question: Tibetan Buddhism has spread widely in the last five decades or so, but perhaps not so deeply. Do you think this next generation of teachers needs to take a new approach? Because we have reached a critical point in the world in terms of ecology, violence, and so forth.
The Karmapa: If you look into Google searches for the word Buddhism, you’ll find that the numbers have gone down; whereas the numbers for mindfulness and meditation have gone up. This indicates that the enthusiasm for Buddhism as a religion has decreased, but the interest in what it teaches has increased. The source of mindfulness and numerous meditation practices is Buddhism; however, these have been come detached from their source and commercialized. On the other hand, these practices have opened opportunities for more people to study and learn.
That said, there is a danger of diminishing, or even losing, the value and standards of Buddhism as taught in its scriptures. The Dharma has become fashionable as an aid to alleviate mental problems, but this has only a short-term effect. The long-term goals, liberation or omniscience, as traditionally described are in danger of disappearing.
To respond directly to your question, these days from within Buddhism, it is the practical applications that are important. There is a lot of philosophy in Buddhism, but it is difficult for philosophy alone to help us in the urgent situations, which you mentioned, such as the environment. Greed, the habit of wanting more and more, needs to be controlled but here philosophy will not benefit much, though it can help to set the values we have in this life. What we actually need are practical methods and here Buddhism has vast experience of the mind and how it works—how it moves and how it settles. Especially within Tibetan Buddhism, there is nothing that is not included in terms of practical methods. In our modern times, these can be very useful to train our minds.
Question: I’ve been looking at the Geluk and the Kagyu traditions in terms of their understanding of wisdom (ye shes). In the Geluk tradition it is said that we do not have it until we have entered the path, whereas in the Kagyu tradition, it’s called “primordial wisdom,” and we already have it. Are these completely different perspectives?
The Karmapa: In the Kagyu tradition, the practice of mahamudra is presented in three aspects: sutric mahamudra, tantric mahamudra, and essential mahamudra. The treatise that is the source for sutric mahamudra is known as Maitreya’s Supreme Continuum or (Ratnagotra Vibaga). Here we find the term “the naturally present potential” (rang gzhin gnas rigs). The Kagyu understand it to be present in all living beings and give it the name “wisdom” whereas the Gelukpa understand it to be emptiness itself. The Kagyu see this naturally abiding potential as the subject, wisdom, and the Geluk see it as the object, emptiness, whence the differences in their understandings.
The difference is also due to dissimilar ways of interpreting the second and third Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. Chandrakirti’s Entering the Middle Way presents the second Turning as definitive and the first and third Turnings as expedient; however, there are also those who describe the third Turning as the definitive one. They explain that the name wisdom was given to Buddha nature (bde gshegs snying po or sugatagarbha). In the Sutra of the Lion’s Roar, buddha nature is explicitly taught as wisdom.
In China there was a philosophical school called the Buddha Nature School, which did not exist in Tibet. One does find in Tibet similar views, such as the Shentong (empty of other) School, the Jonangpas, and some of the Kagyupa, who define the third Turning as definitive, describe buddha nature as wisdom, and speak often of mind’s luminous nature. Therefore, these differences of interpretation and diverse approaches to the Turnings of the Wheels of Dharma have created different understandings of wisdom.
Question: These days in the West, it’s difficult to establish a personal relationship with a teacher as students did in the past. What should we do?
The Karmapa: It is true that in the old days in Tibet, students would gather around a lama in one place and spend a long time together. Since it was not the 21st century with its long hours of work, the Tibetans could stay as long as they wished. If a lama was well-known, there might thousands or tens of thousands of students around him, but I doubt they all could have a personal contact with him. It was not like today when lamas are expected to take care of a student’s place to live, their food, and so forth. Back then a student came to the lama and received oral instruction; then they went out to practice and returned to report on their experience. The lama would evaluate their situation and then give advice and instruction. If student had obstacles, the lama would explain what to do. I think these close relationships, however, were more for special students.
These days what is most difficult for practice are all the distractions, which make it increasingly hard to bring one’s mind together and be focused. In our culture of things, we are constantly pulled in different directions and busyness takes over. To practice well, we need to have a stable and continuous engagement, but all the distractions work against this. The biggest difficulty we have is not letting ourselves be overly influenced by external distractions. It is important to look into this and consider its implications.
Question: Since chanting and mantra are a big part of practice, how can one make the Dharma available to people who are deaf and have never heard a sound?
The Karmapa: I have thought about this before and wondered what could be done for people who do not hear and are using sign language. The benefits of practicing mantras and practicing mudras are similar, so you could show them mudras and explain them. This way they can connect with mental peace and the Secret Mantrayana, and a special feeling could arise though their practice.
After the dedication of merit, the Karmapa left the intimate shrine hall and paused on his way home to feed a gaily decorated elephant, considered an auspicious sign and one of the precious offerings in the traditional mandala practice.

2016.3.15 法王噶瑪巴在魯特學院的問答 The Gyalwang Karmapa’s Yearly Visit to the Root Institute


The Gyalwang Karmapa’s Schedule for 2016 and 2017 in Europe and India

Announcing the Spring Khoryug Conference
March 21-22-23-24, 2016 in Sarnath

The Annual Spring Teaching has been canceled

Karmapa in Switzerland – Geneva
Lake Geneva Theatre, Quai du Mont-Blanc 19, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland

21st May 2016
Teaching: Meditation source of inner peace (Part I)
09:30 to 11:30
21st May 2016
Teaching: Meditation source of inner peace (Part II)
14:00 to 16:00
22nd May 2016
Empowerment: Medicine Buddha
09:30 to 11:30
22nd May 2016
Conference: Buddhism and science
14:00 to 16:00

Karmapa in Switzerland – Bülach, Zurich
Stadthalle Bülach, Allmendstrasse 8, 8180 Bülach

28th May 2016
Teaching: Converting Everyday Sufferings (Part 1)
09:30 to 11:30
28th May 2016
Teaching: Converting Everyday Sufferings (Part 2)
14:00 to 16:00
29th May 2016
Empowerment: Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig)
09:30 to 11:30
29th May 2016
Conference: Buddhism and respect for the environment
14:00 to 16:00

Karmapa in France – Paris
Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, Boulevard Saint-Jacques, Paris, France.

4th June 2016
Teaching: The Four Noble Truths
09:30 to 11:30
4th June 2016
Guided Meditation
14:00 to 16:00
5th June 2016
Conference: Happiness and Peace
09:30 to 11:30
5th June 2016
Empowerment: Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig)
14:00 to 16:00

Twentieth Kagyu Guncho 
January 16, 2017–February 4, 2017 (20 days)

Grand Empowerment of the Five Deities of Chakrasamvara 
February 7, 2017–February 8, 2017 (2 days)

Teaching: Torch of True Meaning
February 9, 2017–February 11, 2017 (3 days)

34th Kagyu Monlam 
February 13, 2017–February 19, 2017 (7 days)

Garchen Gutor Puja 
February 21, 2017–February 25, 2017 (5 days)

Smoke Offering “Clouds of Amrita”
February 26, 2017

Garchen New Year’s Celebration 
February 27, 2017–March 1, 2017 (3 days)

Marme Monlam
March 2, 2017

4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering
March 6, 2017–March 19, 2017 (14 days)