Environmental Change, Spiritually and Practically Based

September 29, 2016 – Sidhbari, HP, India.

Today His Holiness The Gyalwang Karmapa met with young leaders, ages 22 to 30, from the Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship in the United States. They had been chosen for their potential as catalysts for practical change, centered in a spiritual world with sensitivity for the nature. These young people seek to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship, and reverence for nature.
Their first question for His Holiness was asked by a young woman who had gone in a bicycle pilgrimage in several counties, including the US, Canada, and Iceland. She posed to His Holiness the key question that she had asked on her travels: When and how did you first become passionate about environmental issues?
The Karmapa responded by returning to his childhood to identify the source of his connection to the environment. Noting that he had grown up in a remote area of Eastern Tibet, he recalled, “We lived a traditional life style that was close to the natural environment. This is the source of my experience, which makes it easy to recognize how important the environment is.”
He also spoke of the conferences and workshops his environmental organization, Khoryuk, had conducted for nuns and monks, who have the motivation to help, but sometimes do not know how. These seminars give them practical knowledge on what to do and how to manage projects that will help to preserve the environment.
The next question came from a woman whose family had experienced the trauma of the bombing in the Marshall Islands. She wondered about how people in the future will deal with the trauma caused by climate change.
The Karmapa responded, “I think they will need a simple meditation practice. In places like my home in Tibet, people are living a very simple life, which sometimes brings physical hardships but mentally it’s healthy and powerful.” In the world these days, he remarked, many people spend their time focused on the material world, so their inner strength, which allows them to face difficulties, decreases. He suggested, “After a disaster, we could provide a meditation program or psychological support to help people overcome this kind of trauma.”
A young man then asked about China, saying that he had a strong sense that there is an ecological and spiritual awakening occurring in the younger generation. Could His Holiness speak about this?
The Karmapa replied that China has rich cultural and spiritual traditions, but in recent history they have spent time improving their material situation. People were focused on becoming wealthy but internally felt quite empty and lonely. These days people recognize the problem, so increasing numbers of people want to learn about something that goes beyond the world of material wealth. They are searching for internal wealth, which brings true happiness.
Being engaged in environmental protection, he remarked, can bring a connection with spiritual practice. We can feel the interdependent relationship between ourselves and the environment and other living beings. This enables us to recognize a wider sense of who we are. Usually, he explained, “We have a strange idea about ‘me’ and ‘mine’ thinking they are independent and solid. But actually everything is interconnected. Without other species, we cannot survive. That is why I think practical engagement in environmental activity can develop our inner strength.”
The last question asked if there were anything they could share with the nunnery they were soon going to visit.
The Karmapa responded, “Each and every one of you have amazing and special experiences. If you can share these with the nuns, they will be inspired. Sometimes if you’re only talking about science with lots of numbers and information, it’s not enough to move people. Sharing your own experience is the most valuable thing you can give to the nuns.”
With this encouragement to connect on a personal level, the Karmapa’s lively meeting these future leaders came to a close.

Indian Psychology Students Join Karmapa for Week-long Dialogue on Emotions

29 September, 2016 – Dharamsala, India

A group of 20 postgraduate students from the psychology department of Ambedkar University Delhi converged in Dharamsala this week for a series of interactions with His Holiness the Karmapa. Their discussions will explore the ways that Buddhism and modern psychology understand and address various human emotions. The emotions to be discussed over the course of the next 11 days were proposed by the psychology students and include: jealousy and envy; love and attachment; greed, desire and contentment; guilt and shame; stress and anxiety; fear, terror and courage; and, faith and hope.
Over the course of their stay in Dharamsala, the group will spend their days immersed in developing presentations for the Karmapa, meeting with His Holiness in his library at Gyuto Monastery, and then reviewing together what they have learned.
The meetings with His Holiness consist of question-and-answer sessions, as well as presentations delivered by teams of three students on modern psychology’s understanding of the various emotions. The presenters are tasked with outlining the ways that each emotion is defined and treated in the various schools of modern psychology. They hold the additional brief of sharing with His Holiness how those emotions look on the ground in their own communities. This acknowledges how emotions, although they form part of a universal human experience, are expressed, valued and experienced in ways that are very much shaped by the individual’s particular gender, religious, caste or class, and cultural contexts.
“This is the first time that I have had the opportunity to hold such a long series of meetings with an Indian student group,” the Karmapa told them during their initial session with him. “For me this is a wonderful occasion, because I can enter into a world that I cannot usually experience, and explore social issues and contexts I am not so familiar with. So for me this is a great opportunity, and I want to express how happy I am to have this time together with you.”
Accompanied by two faculty members from the University, the students are bringing to the conversations a wide mix of personal experiences and social and religious backgrounds. Some had previously pursued careers in law and engineering, while others have already begun working as therapists. Among them are students with Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist backgrounds, and they claim their roots all across India, coming from south, north, northeast and central India.
The programme has been organized and sponsored by Kun Kyong Charitable Trust at the Gyalwang Karmapa’s request. The trust had previously arranged a similar programme to allow Tibetan youth from across India to explore topics of vital interest to their lives, including identity, leadership, and gender issues. Over the past five years, the Karmapa has sought out opportunities for sustained interactions with university students and young professionals from various countries and communities.
The first such sustained interaction with youth was held in 2011 when the Gyalwang Karmapa was 26 years of age, as a credit course for students from the University of Redlands in California, and led to the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. A subsequent book, Interconnected: Living Fully in a Global Society, is forthcoming from Wisdom Publications in 2017. A major publisher in Delhi has already arranged to publish a book based on the teachings on emotion being held presently with the students from Ambedkar University.
At his present age of 31, the Karmapa maintains a profound commitment to connecting with youth of his generation to encourage them to take greater responsibility for resolving those issues, and to explore with them wise ways to address major issues facing the 21st-century society. The programme with the Ambedkar University students is held in that spirit, and reflects his conviction that Buddhist teachings can serve as resources for non-Buddhist audiences looking for new ways to address matters of universal concern.

2016.9.29 Indian Psychology Students Join Karmapa for Week-long Dialogue on Emotions


Bhutia-Lepcha Delegation Meets Rajnath Singh, Ravi Kumar Prasad - NorthEast Today

September 29 2016

As reported earlier a Bhutia Lepcha delegation has been camping at New Delhi meeting various Central government ministers and submitting representations. Both the SKM MLAs are also in national capital. They have called upon Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Law Minister Ravi Kumar Prasad.
Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim, proportionate increase of BL seats in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly if its strength is expanded, early reservation of seats for Limboo Tamang Tribes and restoration of seats of the Sikkimese Nepalese in the SLA are some of their demands.
The Union Home Minister also discussed matters pertaining to the early arrival of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Sikkim. He enquired about the possible locations where His Holiness can visit except Rumtek owing to the existing legal complications. He has further expressed his concerns on the health and physical states of the monks who are sitting at hunger strike at BL House, Gangtok since July 10, 2016 and has requested the monk community to maintain peace and calm.”
But after more than 80 days of dharna and relay hunger strike with no positive results, the protesting monks are now threatening to take to the streets after completion of 100 days. A meeting was called by Denzong Lhadey at Phodong monastery where the monks expressed their anguish over the State government’s indifferent attitude to their dharna. “We will wait till the hunger strike completes 100 days. If the State government fails to bring Karmapa to Sikkim within this time frame than we will come out into the streets,” they informed.
“People of Sikkim have waited for more than 16 years for Karmapa’s arrival. Both the State and Central government have been indifferent in handling the issue. Now we can go to any extent,” they added.


Announcement: Winter Dharma Activities 2017

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

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

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

4.  34th Kagyu Monlam
     February 13, 2017–February 19, 2017 (7 days)

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

6.  Smoke Offering “Clouds of Amrita”
     February 26, 2017

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

8.  Marme Monlam
     March 2, 2017

9.  4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering
     March 6, 2017–March 19, 2017 (14 days)


Reception Committee of Sikkim to Karmapa met with His Holiness in Dharamsala - Sikkim Messenger

The Reception Committee of Sikkim to His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje led by Acharya Tshering Lama, Chairman of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Government of Sikkim met with his Holiness The 17th Karmapa at Karmapa Monastery in Dharamsala on 19th September 2016. 

This is what His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje said during the meeting with Reception Committee of Sikkim for His Holiness :

"It has been about 16 years, that I am living in India and I hope every Indian people may know well about me. And in particular as all people of Sikkim, they are doing hard work on the issue to invite me to Sikkim as soon as possible. And that's true that I have a great relationship with Sikkim and Sikkimese People. It's not my present life only but it's a life of previous 16th Karmapa. That is why myself, as once atleast I would really like to visit in Sikkim. After I came in India, I got great opportunities by Indian Government for visit in every part of the India. And now for me, Sikkim is the only place which is left for my visit but I hope that day will come as soon as soon possible through the hard work by Sikkimese people and Sikkim's Government. Therefore, I am expecting that this issue should be sort out in very peaceful way as soon as possible.

Thank you all."



Stir to allow 17th Karmapa into Sikkim gaining momentum - Kalimpong News

Pramod Giri, HT, 18 Sep 2016,

SILIGURI: As all political outfits and social groups across the spectrum in Sikkim unite over the issue of the 17th Karmapa, it is only a matter of time before the central government comes under enormous pressure to life the ban on his entry into the state. The chief minister, all opposition parties and religious groups have already expressed their desire to see Orgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, take his seat at the Rumtek monastery, the Dharma Chakra Centre of Kagyu sect of Buddhism which he represents. The Dalai Lama has already endorsed him as the 17th Karmapa. But the Centre’s decision to ban his entry into Sikkim has made the people of the Himalayan state quite restless.

Observers feel that if the issue is not tackled deftly, it may snowball into a major problem that may have far-reaching repercussions.

According to the Kagyu sect of Buddhism, the Karmapa is the head of the sect and is regarded as Living Buddha. The Karmapa’s seat at the Rumtek monastery is lying vacant since the death of the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpey Dorjee, on November 5, 1981.

Leaders of Sikkim, cutting across party lines, and Buddhist monks of the state have come under one common platform to press the Centre to allow Orgyen Trinley Dorje to visit the state. Ogyen Trinley Dorje, recognised as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa by the Dalai Lama, had fled Tibet and reached Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh in January 2000. He has always remained as a controversial figure because there have been at least three claimants for the post. Buddhists monks across the globe are also divided over the matter and are supporting different claimants, although Orgyen Trinley Dorje, who stays at Dharmasala, has the largest following.

However, the circumstances leading to his recognition, remains a bit controversial. Denjong Lhadey, the association of Buddhist monks of Sikkim, has been organizing a relay hungerstrike in Gangtok for the last 65 days demanding his early entry into Sikkim even if he cannot be allowed to visit Rumtek, which is a matter that is sub-judice for now. On September 10, the Denjong Lhadey had organised a sit-in protest in front of the Raj Bhawan in Gangtok. Earlier, a pro-Karmapa rally held in Gangtok on July 10 was attended by former chief minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Sonam Lama, the Sangha legislator, Tsheten Tashi Lepcha, the Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) convener, and Bharat Basnett, the president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee, apart from monk heads from various monasteries of Sikkim.

Sonam Lama, the Sangha MLA representing the opposition SKM and leading the movement for the Karmapa’s entry to Sikkim, told HT, “It is due to the non-serious attitude of the state government that the 17th Karmapa is not being able to come to Sikkim.” Sangha is an MLA seat reserved for religious leaders. Lama, who had led a team of Buddhist monks to stage a two-day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, said, “If the Centre cannot allow the 17th Karmapa to enter Rumtek, he should be allowed to come to either Fodong or Ralang monastery.”

Former chief minister Bhandari also blamed the state government for adopting “dual standards” with regard to the Karmapa issue. However, chief minister Pawan Chamling recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and requested him to expedite the process of the Karmapa’s entry into Sikkim.


Karmapa's quest for house at Dharamshala may end - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
17 Sep 2016
HT Correspondent ■ letters@hindustantimes.com

SHIMLA: Living from past 17 years under watchful eyes of Indian security agencies the 17th Karmapa, Oguen Trinley Dorje’s quest for an independent house may end soon, as Central government has agreed to reconsider request of his follower to allow the high ranking Buddhist monk to settle permanently in Himalayan region. 

Oguen Trinley Dorje, who head, parallel Kagyu Karma sect of Buddhism currently lives in tightly guarded back yard of Gyotu Tantric Monastery in Dharamshala. The ministry of home affairs apprised the state government that it will examine the request for allowing Oguen to settle down permanently in Dharamshala and its surrounding area. Home ministry deliberated with officials of the state government and reviewed Karmapa’s security arrangement. Oguen Trinley Dorje at the age of 14, in 1999 made a dramatic escape, from Tsurphu monastery in China controlled Tibetan Autonomous Region. The Buddhist monk’s escape had taken the Indian intelligence agencies by surprise. Dorje claimed that he along with his attendants and elder sister Nodup Palzom travelled 1450 km on horseback, train and helicopter to reach Dharamsala.


Chinese Calligraphy by His Holiness 17th Karmapa: Danang / Bright Moon


Bright Moon

【Danang 】means『 BRIGHT MOON』. 

The【Danang】 calligraphy was specially created by His Holiness 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje for Danang Foundation.



How to Use Emptiness as a Means to Develop Compassion and Freedom (Podcast Episode #010)

Today we are happy to bring you the tenth episode in the new Podcast series containing selected talks and teachings by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.
This special teaching took place in the USA and has Tibetan with an English translation.
During this episode, the Gyalwang Karmapa discusses how to meditate on emptiness, and how such meditations can lead to the natural development of compassion. Emptiness opens us up to a new realm of possibility, gratitude, and freedom which can lead to greater compassionate action.
You can get the podcast here on iTunes or simply download the episode right here. Please make sure you subscribe in iTunes to be notified of new episodes.


Home ministry raises concern over 17th Karmapa’s security - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)12 Sep 2016

Centre to hold meeting in Delhi tomorrow to discuss the issue

SHIMLA: Though the Sikkim government had urged the central government to allow 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Rumtek Monastery, the ministry of home affairs has raised fresh concerns over the security of 30-year-old Buddhist monk, who is the parallel head of Kagyu sect of Buddhism.

The Centre has called a meeting in Delhi to discuss issues related to security of Dorje. “Inputs from intelligence agencies about threat perception to Karmapa will be ascertained in the meeting in New Delhi. The home ministry has also sought inputs from the state government about Karmapa’s security arrangement,” said a senior police official, who requested anonymity. The meeting is scheduled on September 13 and will be chaired by the home secretary. 


In 1999, Ogyen Trinley Dorje at the age of 14 made an escape from Tsurphu monastery in China controlled Tibetan autonomous region. Dorje’s escape had made world headlines. It took the Indian intelligence agencies by surprise.

Dorje claimed that he, along with his attendants and elder sister Nodup Palzom, had travelled 1,450 km on horseback, train and helicopter to reach Dharamsala. Since the time of his escape, Dorje remains under watchful eyes of security agencies. The government has clamped restrictions on his movements.

Dorje at present resides at back side of tightly guarded Gyuoto Tantric monastery in Dharamshala. The monastery made headlines in 2011 when sleuths recovered more than `6.5 crore (foreign currency), which included 12 lakh Chinese Yuan. The cash recovered during raids belonged to the Karmae Garchen Trust headed by the Karmapa. Police arrested a cashier of the Trust, Rabgay Chosang. 


Dorje was recognised the head of Karma Kagyu School of Buddhism, the Tibet’s exiled temporal head the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. Dorje is followed by a majority of Tibetan population and other Buddhist devotees. The other claimant to the seat is Delhi-based Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, who was recognised by Shamar Rinpoche as incarnation of 16th Karmapa Ranguan Rigpe Dorje.

The Indian government has banned the 17th Karmapa from visiting the Rumtek Monastery for the past 17 years, following his escape from Tibet in 1999 and controversy over the real reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. Intelligence agencies are apprehensive that Beijing anointed him to serve its long ulterior motives to change the mindset of Budhist population in India to favour China. Even after 17 years of his escape Beijing has still not denounced Dorje — the Chinese government still recognises him as the real head of the Kagyu Karma Sect. 


Dorje’s supporters that include some high-profile leaders of Sikkim, for long have been demanding relaxing restriction on movement of Dorje. They had been lobbying hard to persuade the central government to allow him to visit Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, which was originally built by 12th Karmapa Changchup Dorje in the 18th century. It was later rebuilt and renovated by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje after his escape from Tibet in 1959. Rumtek is considered the real seat of Karmapa lineage in India.


Monks on Governor’s door with Karmapa demand - Sikkim Express


GANTOK, September 10: Scores of monks staged a sit-in outside the Raj Bhawan gate here today seeking to meet Governor Shrinwas Patil and reiterate their demand that the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje be allowed to visit Sikkim.

The demonstration outside the Raj Bhawan gate lasted for nearly three hours after which a 10-member delegation was granted appointment with the Governor.

Some monks, among those who have been on a relay hunger strike at BL House, Tibet Road here with the demand since the past 63 days, later met the Governor and placed their memorandum. Sangha MLA Sonam Lama and SIBLAC convenor Chewang Lama was also part of the delegation of monks under Denjong Lhadey’s banner.

“We called on the Governor to know about the progress in our demand. He has given positive assurances,” said Lama to reporters.

According to Lama, the delegation sought details of actions taken by the Governor’s office on the demand among other issues discussed during the hour-long meeting.

The decision to meet the Governor was taken as the State government has failed to act on the demand, added the Sangha MLA.

The relay hunger strike by the Buddhist monks would continue until a concrete assurance is given by the Centre on the Karmapa demand, it was informed.