TCV Celebrates 56th year of inception - Phayul

Phayul[Monday, October 24, 2016 17:38]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 24: The foremost Tibetan school in exile, the Tibetan Children’s Village yesterday kicked off the commemorations of the 56th founding anniversary with cultural programs, display of performances by the students as well as the congregation of noted dignitaries who took part in the event. The theme of the 2016 edition of the TCV ‘Linka’ (picnic) as it is referred to as was ‘unity among the people of Tibet’ in its collective struggle. 

The chief guest, Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, presided over the first day of the three day anniversary celebrations. The head of the kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism emphasized the revitalization of the Tibetan identity and it’s furtherance through the Tibetan children who he said represent the coming generations. “The most important duty of each Tibetan, in the face of the ever changing time and events, is to be mindful that one’s action contribute in ensuring the survival of Tibetan identity and dignity. Secondly, the school administrators, teachers and parents as the guardians of Tibetan culture, must assert the traditional Tibetan knowledge and values to the young and new generations of Tibet.”
The young lama also said that the younger generation of Tibetans should bear in mind the foundation of the exile community which was the culmination of efforts by the older generation Tibetans.

Minister for Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration Ven. Karma Gelek Yuthok spoke on the need for unity amongst the Tibetan people to propel collective efforts towards the Tibetan cause and to not stray from the cause by deviating into internal feuds accorded by secondary differences within the community. He said, “Unity is required by all units that constitute our society, which includes the educational institutions, cultural and religious centres and all organizations. The Tibetan movement can only be driven with the collective thoughts and actions of all of us, and it is imperative that we do away with our personal and regional biases to move forward.”

“The idea of incorporating secularism in the education system is befitting to today’s world of conflicts and crisis. His Holiness’ teachings of non-violence and oneness of humanity is increasingly gaining relevance and it is high time for his followers, to deliberate his noble thoughts and guidance in actions in our daily lives,” the minister said on the holistic education of younger generation of Tibetans.

The highlight of this year’s celebration is the inter school athletics meet on Monday, contested amongst the TCV schools in Himachal Pradesh state. 

Speaker of TPiE Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, members of the Kashag, Secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration, representatives of various NGOs, recipients of the TCV 20 Years Service Award, TCV Alumni- class of 1991 and long time supporters and donors of TCV were present among guests.

TCV Schools is considered an important institution in the Tibetan exile community, founded in 1960 as a humble nursery with only 51 children, and has since grown to support and educate Tibetan children in exile. Today, TCV has over 15,000 children under its care in contrast to the 51 children when it was first established by the sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Tsering Dolma 56 years ago.

2016.10.23 Gyalwang Karmapa Graces TCV’S 56th Founding Anniversary


Language as the Link, Unity as the Future: The Gyalwang Karmapa Speaks at the 56th Anniversary of the Upper TCV

October 23, 2016 – Upper TCV, Dharamsala, India

On a bright sunny day, more than a thousand Tibetans gathered to celebrate the 56th anniversary of the Upper TCV Dharamsala. His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa was invited as the chief guest for the opening ceremony of three days of events that would showcase Tibetan cultural performances, art exhibitions, debates, and an athletics meet. The theme of the celebration was the unity of the three provinces of Tibet, (Utsang, Kham, and Amdo), and how this can be strengthened through Tibetan spiritual values and culture.
Other distinguished guests included the Kalon (Minister) of the Department of Religion and Culture, Ven. Karma Gelek Yuthok, the Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, as well as members of the Kashag, many Secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA,) and representatives of various NGOs. They sat in balcony seats by the playing fields where events took place while guests in festive dress filled the area and the surrounding hillside.
After greeting everyone, the Karmapa opened his talk by reminding the Tibetans that as the Tibetan people, they hold an ineluctable responsibility to sustain their inherited traditions and sciences. The Tibetan culture is the mind and life force of the people, he said, and the two cannot be separated. For those born in Tibet, the surrounding world of their family and neighbors, the snow mountains, plants, trees, monasteries and so forth, were the natural teachers of Tibetan culture, he explained, and so from childhood these Tibetans were filled with their imprints and experiences. Tibetan culture entered them as easily as taking a breath.
However, he continued, for more than fifty years, the circumstances in Tibet, its society and natural environment have undergone immense changes, and by necessity, the Tibetans were divided into two families. For those who had to leave Tibet and live in a different culture and environment, it became very difficult to sustain their culture and spiritual tradition. Nevertheless the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet kept their determination strong and made even greater efforts than before to keep alive their culture and religious tradition.
The Karmapa recalled that HH the Dalai Lama and the older generation of Tibetans had worked hard to provide a situation in which Tibetan culture and Buddhism could be practiced and preserved. For this, he said, we should consider ourselves most fortunate and feel great gratitude. The Karmapa then asked, “What is our present struggle? What is the difficulty that we must face? We must think about how, through becoming unified, we can survive and not lose our confidence or sense of purpose during these times of great change in the world that surrounds us.”
As followers Buddhism, the Karmapa also encouraged Tibetans to think beyond their own sphere and consider how to benefit others in the world at large. With this motivation, which transcends politics, they should engage in their work and responsibility. Of course, he noted, it is impossible to avoid all politics, but people can avoid the volatile arguments and the dregs of controversy politics can engender. The goals of politics and the leaders change often, but Tibetan Buddhism and culture remain over time, so it is important to maintain a sincere and virtuous frame of mind.
Further, the Karmapa added, it is important to change our way of thinking and focusing solely on our own situation. With humility Tibetans should think about how other refugees in the world and other minority nationalities sustain their lives and learn from them. “Since the population of Tibetans in India is diminishing,” the Karmapa cautioned, “in such difficult times, we must make plans, thinking long into the future and researching how the changes over the generations and in our surrounding environment will happen.” If we do not, then having been unable to adjust to the situation, in a few years Tibetans will simply be carried away by events.
Turning to the topic of the Buddhist teachings, the Karmapa asked, “What is the value of our customs?” “They are interlinked with Buddhism,” he replied. “Generally in Buddhism, we have the Kangyur and the Tengyur plus some 100,000 commentaries written by Tibetan masters,” he explained. “However, the most important point is that during this life of ours, we engage in practice and transform our way of thinking. We should turn ourselves into good people, create peace and happiness in our minds, expand our love and compassion, and come to understand philosophical views, such as interdependent arising and others, which are profound. All these are what is most precious and valuable.”
He then illustrated the pervasive influence of Buddhist thought on Tibetan culture: “In Tibetan poetry, songs, painting, plays, and other areas, we can always point to the essence of Buddhist teachings—we should have love, compassion, and respect for all living beings. And so when we are working, studying, or relaxing, we should not forget benefitting others. This is the value or defining trait of Tibetan culture.” And because of that value, the Karmapa commented, Tibetans should respect and hold precious their traditional culture.
The Karmapa noted in passing, “When they hear about customs and culture, many people think they imply a fixed and inflexible mindset. But sustaining our customs and culture does not mean promoting old ways of thinking or old-style brains. It is extremely important, necessary really, that we study to develop new thinking, new knowledge, and new abilities.” “If we learn new knowledge,” the Karmapa explained, “it will help our traditional culture to develop. The benefits and ability to sustain our culture will increase.”
Language is a key part in the process of preserving a culture. The Karmapa used an analogy to illustrate this. “If language deteriorates, our connection to our customs and culture will be severed. For example, when a kite soars in the sky, it is attached to a string, and if that string is cut, our link to the kite will terminate.” Language is the string that connects. Therefore, knowing these reasons and key points, he said, it is important that people make continuous efforts.
The Karmapa closed with heartfelt wishes for the long life of HH the Dalai Lama and the aspiration that the family of Tibetan people would gather together as one.

2016.10.23 Gyalwang Karmapa Graces TCV’S 56th Founding Anniversary

TCV Marks 56th Founding Anniversary, Highlights Unity as the Way Forward - CTA

October 23, 2016

DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school began its 56th founding anniversary celebrations today at a ceremony held at Upper TCV school, Dharamshala.

The first of three day celebration was graced by His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the chief guest. Other distinguished guests of the occasion were the Kalon of Department of Religion and Culture Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, as Officiating Sikyong, Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, members of the Kashag, Secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration, representatives of various NGOs, TCV 20 Years Service Award Recipients, TCV Alumni class of 1991 Batch and long time supporters and donors of TCV.

More than a thousand Tibetans gathered at the school to witness the opening ceremony. The three-day celebration includes athletics meet, art exhibitions, debates and cultural shows.

The theme of this year’s celebration has been dedicated to the ‘Unity of the three provinces of Tibet’ and reinforcement of Tibetan values and culture based on the unity.

In his inaugural speech, His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa Rinpoche asserted strong concern on endurance of Tibetan identity and cultural nourishment of young Tibetan children. “Inevitably the most important duty of each Tibetan, in the face of the ever changing time and events, is to be mindful that one’s action contribute in ensuring the survival of Tibetan identity and dignity, and not otherwise. Secondly, the school administrators, teachers and parents as the guardians of Tibetan culture, must assert the traditional Tibetan knowledge and values to the young and new generations of Tibet.”

His Holiness advised the young students to imbibe the ethical, traditional and cultural values advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to remember the old generation of Tibetans whose sacrifices and hard work has preserved the true essence of the Tibetan movement.

Officiating Sikyong, Kalon Ven Karma Gelek emphasised Central Tibetan Administration’s steadfast commitment to promote unity and to tackle trivial social frictions that undermine the unity and integrity of the six million Tibetans. “It is undeniably the lifeline of the Tibetan movement. Unity is required by all units that constitute our society, which includes the educational institutions, cultural and religious centres and all organisations. The Tibetan movement can only be driven with the collective thoughts and actions of all of us, and its imperative that we do away with our personal and regional biases to move forward.”

Calling to mind the wisdom and noble thoughts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Kalon remarked upon secular education as advocated by His Holiness. “The idea of incorporating secularism in the education system is befitting to today’s world of conflicts and crisis. His Holiness’ teachings of non-violence and oneness of humanity is increasingly gaining relevance and it is high time for his followers, to deliberate his noble thoughts and guidance in actions in our daily lives.”

Kalon Karma Gelek Yuthok noted the successful implementation of the Basic Education Policy in the Tibetan school and lauded the efforts of the teachers and administrators in generating an environment that is effectively conducive for learning the traditional education as well as the modern.

Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, in his address, paid respect and gratitude to the late Mrs Tsering Dolma Takla, Ama Jestun Pema and all the former and current members of TCV for their tireless efforts in educating thousands of Tibetan children since its inception in 1960.

The newly elected President of TCV Mr Thupten Dorjee thanked the distinguished guests for gracing the occasion while reflecting on the TCV’s mission and commitment to bring quality education to the Tibetan youth so that they can confidently meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

The celebration was marked with students contingent march pass, cultural performances and calisthenics display. The inter-house athletics meet will be held tomorrow followed by a TCV alumni of 1991 batch gathering on the third day.

TCV is the largest residential school of the exiled Tibetan community. It was founded in 1960 as a nursery with 51 children. TCV has become an integrated educational community for Tibetan children in exile, as well as for hundreds of those escaping from Tibet each year. With established branches in India extending from Ladakh in the North to Bylakuppe in the South, TCV has over 15,000 children under its care. It is a registered, nonprofit charitable organisation with headquarter based at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, North India.

2016.10.23 Gyalwang Karmapa Graces TCV’S 56th Founding Anniversary



The Gyalwang Karmapa Offers Condolences at the Passing Away of King Bhumibol of Thailand

I was saddened to hear of the passing away this week of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who had been a guide and a source of hope and stability to the people of Thailand for more than seventy years.
During his reign he played a crucial role in encouraging and defending the development of democracy, while striving to preserve the ancient Buddhist traditions of his kingdom. He committed his life to working for the well-being of Thailand, and the outpouring of grief witnessed across the Thai nation following his passing indicates the deep love and respect in which he was held by his people.
At this time of mourning, I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and other members of the royal family, and to all the people of Thailand.

I pray that those who are now full of sorrow will feel comforted and that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s vision and hopes for Thailand and the Thai people may continue to be fulfilled.
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje,
Dharamsala, India
15th October, 2016
Top image © Epixx | Dreamstime.com – The 83rd Birthday Of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej Photo


The Four Noble Truths: How to Turn Suffering into Happiness (Podcast Episode #011)

Today’s podcast episode comes from the Gyalwang Karmapa’s first visit to Paris, France, and is a beautiful teaching on the Four Noble Truths.
This was the very first teaching that the historical Buddha gave and as such it is essential to Buddhists of all traditions, and practitioners of every level. The Karmapa teaches on all of the Noble Truths and discusses how we can overcome different types of suffering.
This episode is two sessions combined into one audio track and thus there is also two question and answer portions where students in the audience ask His Holiness about the refugee crisis in Europe, developing renunciation, and much more.
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.
Karmapa speaks in Tibetan with and English translator.


The Viewpoints of Both the East and the West Are Necessary: The Gyalwang Karmapa Speaks at the Fourth Mind and Life Conference at the Men-Tsee-khang (Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute)

October 12, 2016 – Dharamshala, India

This morning the Gyalwang Karmapa was the chief guest of honor at the opening of the Body, Mind and Life Conference, which took place for the fourth time at the Men-Tsee-khang College’s auditorium. Also present were the special guest, the Minister of Health Choekyong Wangchuk from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche along with many important officials from the CTA and the Men-Tsee-Khang. The conference focused on the pervasive problem of depression, looking at it from the perspective of Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan medicine and astrology as well as modern science.
Recalling that he had benefitted from attending Mind and Life conferences with HH the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa mentioned that he had studied some western psychology. On this basis and he suggested, “It is important for Western psychology and the psychology found in the Buddhist tradition to share their good points and learn from one another. In this way, they both can evolve and gain new understandings.”
Reprising a topic he has often discussed, the Karmapa remarked, “These days the material world has undergone a huge expansion. The resulting distractions that keep us constantly busy plus the unrest they create have done nothing but grow, so many people now have mental problems and illnesses.” Relating his personal experience, the Karmapa remarked, “Since I carry the name of the Karmapa, many people come to see me and mostly they bring their problems.” In a lighter vein he said, “When something bad happens, it seems that they all come directly to me.” They present both physical and mental problems, so he helps them as he can with advice and encouragement. From what he has seen, the Karmapa felt that mental problems would definitely increase in the future.
“In general,” he continued, “western science has its own systems for thinking about mental difficulties and for doing research, and it has accumulated a lot of experience. Nevertheless, with this alone it would be difficult to come to a final conclusion or to take on responsibility. Therefore, we should compare viewpoints on these issues and on what can be done as they are found in Buddhism (or the religious traditions that have spread in the East) and western science. These types of cultural exchanges are extremely important.”
The Karmapa concluded, “In sum, we should discuss these issues while keeping in mind the goal of people’s welfare and their physical and mental well-being.” He offered his thanks to the organizers for inviting him and the aspiration that just as they hoped, their efforts would bear copious fruit.

2016.10.12 噶瑪巴為藏醫曆算院“身體、心靈與生命"研討會揭幕 Karmapa attends 4th Mind and Life conference http://kagyuoffice.org/the-viewpoints-of-both-the-east-and-the-west-are-necessary-the-gyalwang-karmapa-speaks-at-the-fourth-mind-and-life-conference-at-the-men-tsee-khang-tibetan-medical-and-astrological-institute/

Tibet Express: Men-Tsee-Khang begins 4th International Conference on Body, Mind and Life

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA. Oct 12: Men-Tsee-Khang, the Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute’s department of Body, Mind and Life began its 4th International Conference on Body, Mind and Life at Men-Tsee-khang college’s auditorium earlier today.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje graced the conference as the Chief Guest.  Others in attendance for the occasion include Special Guest, Choekyong Wangchuk, Health Kalon (Minister) of Central Tibetan Administration(CTA), Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche and other dignitaries from CTA and Men-Tsee-Khang.

The Chief Guest and the Special Guest launched three books on presentations of 1st ,2nd and 3rd Body, Mind and Life conference at the inaugural function of the conference.

“This conference is what His Holiness the Dalai Lama advocates. The western scholars (modern science) and eastern scholars (Tibetan Medical and astrologers) will exchange and deliberate on their findings and research at the conference and it will surely benefit the entire humanity,” health Kalon said in his address.

“This is a very important conference as it focuses on inner peace and happiness of human being. I urge the western and eastern scholars to have successful discussions and deliberations at the conference,” His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje remarked.

“My observation after witnessing several conferences and meetings is that many a times we drift away from the actual topic or the subject, be it the speaker or the questioner. This is something we should do away with,” the Karmapa concluded.

Eight speakers, two each from the field of Buddhist philosophy, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan astrology and modern science will address at the conference that will be be attended by monks, doctors, astrologers, students and foreigners.

The three-day 4th International Body, Mind and Life conference will be held over Oct 12-14.

2016.10.12 噶瑪巴為藏醫曆算院“身體、心靈與生命"研討會揭幕 Karmapa attends 4th Mind and Life conference


Karmapa attends 4th Mind and Life conference - Phayul

[Wednesday, October 12, 2016 19:19]
By Tenzin Dharpo

Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 12: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, attended the opening event of the ‘Mind and Life’ conference organized by the Dharamshala based Tibetan Medical and Astro. Institute today. 

The young Lama, often described by the international media as the “second highest leader” after the Dalai Lama, jested that he had simply come to say “hello” although acknowledging that such events had been helpful to him personally in understanding new concepts and aspects of Buddhist and scientific perceptions.

The young lama expressed that ‘Mind and Life’ initiatives address the increasingly coveted issue of understanding human mind through science as well as Buddhism and that the much needed venture will help to tackle growing issue of mental disorders or disturbances prevalent in modern lives.

“The experts from the East and the West must come together to work out solutions for the modern day issues related to disturbances and disorders arising out of modern dependency on materialism. The two (Buddhism and science) can assist each other in understanding the deeper intricacies of the human mind,” said the Karmapa while also expressing confidence at the fruitful result of the venture for the coming generations.

CTA’s Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk who also attended the proceedings opined that the relatively lesser incidences of Tibetans suffering from mental disorders or disturbances accorded by modern life, is due to our knowledge and proximity to Buddhism.

The 4th edition of the conference will feature speakers from the scientific community as well as Buddhist practitioners and participated by students and enthusiasts from all over the world for two days (Oct. 12 and 13).

The Critical Issue of Tibetan Unity: The Gyalwang Karmapa Concludes His Three-Day Visit to TCV

October 12, 2016 – TCV School, Upper Dharamsala

This afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa celebrated the final day of his three-day visit to Upper TCV by giving a long-life empowerment, a reading transmission for the Twenty-One Praises of Tara, and an openhearted talk on the situation of the Tibetan community. He began by discussing the general attitude towards long life empowerments.
There are many rituals that deal with prolonging life, he said, such as an empowerment, sadhana, life release, ransoming life, or summoning the life force. “However, in order to have a long life, we need to create both inner and outer positive conditions,” he explained. “We need to look after our physical health. Tibetan medical texts speak at length about the importance of diet, sleep patterns, and exercise. If we pay careful attention to these physical conditions, the texts say, they will become a means to prolong our lives. Further, the inner or mental conditions involve a good intention along with a spacious and a joyful mind.”
“Some years ago in England,” the Karmapa related, “about ten thousand people who had lived to be 100 years or more were asked, ‘To what factor do you attribute your long life?’ Many of them replied, ‘A relaxed and joyful mind.’ So if we wish to have a long life, there are two conditions that must be met: we should take care of our physical health and also keep our minds spacious and joyful. If we are Buddhists, then in addition we receive long-life empowerments and practice long-life sadhanas.”
“Many people think that the ultimate purpose of taking a long-life empowerment is solely to lengthen their lives. But that’s not the case.” The Karmapa then explained the classic categories of the three types of individuals—the lower, middling, and superior— along with their related practices. “No matter which teaching of the Buddha we are practicing, there is not one that is not included in the practices of the three types of individuals. The three types of individuals respectively strive for rebirth in the higher realms, for liberation from samsara, and for omniscience. The first type seeks to obtain the pleasures of the higher realms and practices accordingly. The second type practices to reach the level of liberation or nirvana. And the third type practices to achieve omniscience, the level of buddhahood.
“Therefore, even the lowest level of Buddhist practitioners has a goal related to their next life—a rebirth in the higher realms. Many people, however, receive a long-life empowerment or practice long-life sadhanas while focused merely on this life, wishing to live longer or be free of sickness. Actually this does not fall within a Buddhist framework. Buddhists should to be able to think into the future for the sake of their next lives. If this happens, only then is one a Dharma practitioner and an authentic Buddhist.”
Further the Karmapa explained, “The long life we need is one with an essence that is meaningful. For this to come about, it should not be for ourselves alone, but for all other living beings whose life we respect and value.” He spoke of many people becoming vegetarians through the advice of HH the Dalai Lama and the various movements and organizations that encourage giving up eating meat. “In sum,” the Karmapa said, “being vegetarian is similar to engaging in the practice of life release. Just as we wish for a long life without obstacles and just as we want to avoid harm, so do other living beings. It is important to keep this in mind.” With this, the Karmapa concluded the part of his talk related to the long-life empowerment.
The Karmapa then turned to the situation of the Tibetan people as a whole. Many from the exile community are going abroad, he said, and a few others are returning to Tibet. Added to this is the fact that the number of Tibetans coming from Tibet is far less than before, so that the population of the exile community is decreasing. “For this reason,” he counseled, “we Tibetans have come to a place where we need to reflect deeply about our situation. Especially since, for the present, we are experiencing terrible hardships, unique in all of our Tibetan history.”
“Therefore,” he urged, “we Tibetans must all come together as one. People from the three provinces (Utsang, Amdo, and Kham) should unite. We must develop a loyalty to the Tibetan people as a whole, because we are facing difficulties unlike anything we have known before.” The Karmapa did offer hope in that there is the leadership of HH the Dalai Lama and, also importantly, “the large population of our family of Tibetans in Tibet is filled with altruism and courage, and on this basis, all Tibetans can unite. The three provinces and the main Dharma lineages need not be divided: they can align themselves as one and this would be one of our greatest triumphs.”
He added that it would be difficult for one person to bring this about; it requires all of the Tibetan people working together. “Whatever happens in the future,” he advised, “will depend on the vast basis of the Tibetan people as a whole, so it is extremely important that we all have an attitude of unity firmly rooted in our minds. No matter what happens, we need the strength of a unity that never diminishes as well as determination and a mind that is very stable. If this would happen, only then could we have the hope that in the future, things will go well.”
Up until now, he said, “we have placed all our hope and trust in HH the Dalai Lama. And, to say it without honorifics, we have heaped all the responsibility onto this one person. We think he will look on us with compassion, but what we ourselves should do is not very clear. We place our hope in the future and keep on believing, but we cannot always be together. Now we have arrived at a time in our history when each of us has to become very capable and powerful in what we do. Each one of us has to carry responsibility and think clearly. This point is essential.”
The Karmapa also urged people to reflect on HH the Dalai Lama’s teachings instead of engaging in gossip and worldly talk. We should think about the key points he made. The Karmapa further explained, “When we are practicing, we should also analyze using the many categories that the Buddha explained—the intention of the teachings and its basis or the provisional and the definitive meaning. In this way we will find the authentic and unmistaken mind of the Buddha.” In sum, he said, “All of us have to take responsibility and all of us have to think clearly.”
“If we take Tibetan history as our witness,” the Karmapa noted, “we can see that conflict between the different schools of Buddhism has led only to decline and never to a positive development.” He recalled a prophecy that said the destruction of the Buddha’s teachings would not come from an outside cause, but from internal conflict among those holding the teachings.
He reminded people, “The teachings we Tibetans have today are all Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings.” From the ultimate point of view, the four Tibetan schools of Sakya, Geluk, Kagyu, and Nyingma resemble each other, and there are only some small differences in the language used and the ways view, meditation, and conduct are explained. All the schools teach the view of compassion and emptiness, and there are differences merely in how they are explained and the lineages of the lamas. For all these reasons, he said, “It is critically important that everyone holds mutual respect and a pure view of each other. To summarize, we must connect harmoniously and unite as one.”
In conclusion, the Karmapa said, “I am very happy to have had this occasion to make a Dharma connection with all the teachers, staff, and students of the school and with the local people as well. I give my heartfelt thanks to all those who helped to prepare and organize these three days, and pray that you all will have a long life, be free of illness, and accomplish your goals according to the Dharma.”
2016.10.12 Day 3 - H.H the Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche at the Upper TCV School http://kagyuoffice.org/the-critical-issue-of-tibetan-unity-the-gyalwang-karmapa-concludes-his-three-day-visit-to-tcv/


On Becoming a Good Person The Gyalwang Karmapa talks to the Middle and Senior Students at TCV

October 11, 2016 – Tibetan Children’s Village Upper Dharamsala, India

The Gyalwang Karmapa began his second day at TCV by circumambulating the shrine hall while turning the prayer wheels, and then he spoke briefly with the teachers and staff. Afterward he went to visit classrooms for the Middle and Senior students Sometimes the Karmapa stood in the back of the classroom to observe, and at others he stood with the teacher or next to a student watching how they were taking notes or reading their book. In the science lab, the students showed him the projects they had recently completed.
During the afternoon, the Karmapa returned to the main hall to talk to the Middle and Senior students as well as the faculty. Sitting on the stage beneath a large image of the Buddha, the Karmapa recalled that he had come many times this school as well as other TCV schools. This occasion, however, was special since he could spend three consecutive days with them and thanked all who had made it possible.
After mentioning that he felt older than his years due to all the difficult experiences he had known, the Karmapa turned to his childhood: “Until seven years old, I was a child like all of you. I was an ordinary, really normal child.” He related that he was told that there were special signs at his birth, which he himself had not experienced, and that his neighbors in the village believed he was special. His parents had gone to lamas to ask and find out who he was. Then the search party looking for the Karmapa’s reincarnation came to the remote area of his home, known as Lhatok (lha thog).
[In a lighter vein as an aside, he remarked, “Many people do not know where my homeland is. Some think I’m from Amdo, some think I’m from Utsang, and others think I’m from Kham. Actually, this is quite fortunate. When I’m with people from Kham, who think I’m a Khampa, then I speak a little in their language. When I’m with people from Utsang, who think I’m from there, I use some of their words. And when I’m with people from Amdo who think that we share a homeland, I talk a little like them. And so it all turns out quite well.”]
The Karmapa explained that Lhatok was a remote area and history books tell that it once was a rather small kingdom. When the search party came to Lhatok from Lhasa, they did not give any notice of their coming and the Karmapa thought that they must have faced some problems. The search party asked many questions of his father and mother and then returned to Lhasa. The second time the party visited, they declared that he was the Karmapa’s reincarnation. “At that time, my life underwent a powerful change,” the Karmapa recalled. “When we were young children, we would play a game together. I would pretend to be a high lama and the others would pretend to be ordinary people. After I became the Karmapa and people prostrated, it seemed to me that we were still playing that same game.”
Then, as he did for the foster mothers (see the report for the afternoon of October 10th), the Karmapa shared the story of his coming to Tsurphu, his seat near Lhasa, and how the situation was not at all what he had expected. In sum, he said, “I was a normal child who went from being ordinary to growing up as the Karmapa.”
Continuing this line of thought, he said, “Many people think that when one is a high lama like the Karmapa, immediately one is exceptional and very advanced, so one would not need to study much. But it is usually not the case that a tulku will quickly become a special person.” He explained that some tulkus have a sharp intellect from birth and some understand immediately what they are taught. However, most tulkus are made, or to use Dharma terms, their qualities are acquired. One has to make efforts to become an authentic reincarnation.”
“In my case,” the Karmapa explained, “receiving the name Karmapa is nothing astounding. First the name is given, and then in accordance with that name, you are given a very intensive education since people have hope and faith in the Karmapa. You put all your energy into this study and still the teachers say, ‘You have to do better than that. You’re the Karmapa.’ Anyway you look at it, engaging in this kind of study and training is not at all easy.”
The Karmapa then turned to the students’ education and remarked, “You are all here to study and are doing well. It is important that we have hopes and ideas about what we will do in the future and it is good that each one of us has their goals and plans.” We should think far ahead into the future, he counseled, and through a stable hope and trust, engage in our studies.
The Karmapa also encouraged the students: “We Tibetans are a people with a long history. We have a rich culture and an excellent Buddhist philosophical system. Therefore, it is a most valuable and precious activity to study and have a deep interest in our traditions, culture, and sciences.”
The modern world, he commented, is only interested in expansion, and if things continue this way, it will be difficult to think that everything will be all right. Interest in material things has taken over and we live in a world of consumerism. We meet ads at every turn telling us that we must buy this and have that. “Actually,” the Karmapa remarked, “we do not need all these things we are told to buy.” But ads everywhere increase our craving to get and consume things. If this continues without anyone at the helm, he warned, we will be faced with a huge disaster. Scientists today are saying that our planet is not big enough to satisfy all our cravings.
Encouraging everyone to consume less, the Karmapa gave advice on how to shop. Before going to the store, he said, we should think carefully and in detail about what we are going to buy. If it is a watch, then what color? Shape? Size? We should set clearly in our minds how we will use it and what features it should have. Then we should go straight to the store and buy exactly what we set out to purchase. This would be fine. But if we just think, “I’d like to buy something” and wander around different stores, we will wind up buying too much. It is important to make a clear distinction between what we want and what we really need, he stated, and not fool ourselves by confusing the two.
Knowing what to take up and what to give up can be learned through study. “We have to know well,” the Karmapa advised, “what is virtuous and what is not, or what is truly positive and what is actually negative within ourselves. To be able to see this, we need the two eyes of the traditional science of logic and the teachings on discernment bequeathed to us by the traditions of our forefathers.” This traditional education should be combined, he said, with a modern one, which allows us to move in our contemporary society. Both types of education are needed in the same way that we need two hands. With the two eyes of logic and discernment and the two hands of traditional and modern education, he explained, we will have all that we need.
The Karmapa concluded by saying that in order to accomplish their goals for the future, students needed to engage in their education and study well, always developing further. “Please try hard to become a good person who is dignified and well mannered, who has loving-kindness for people, and who embodies the excellent attitude of wishing to benefit others. Thank you.”
The day ended with a lively spelling bee in the main hall. The Karmapa was the Chief Guest, sitting in the center of the audience to watch the ten young contestants.

2016.10.11 Gyalwa Karmapa's visit to TCV Upper and tour around the Middle and Senior Sections.


Connecting with the Younger Generation of Tibetans

October 10, 2016 – Tibetan Children’s Village School Upper Dharamshala, India

Recently the Gyalwang Karmapa spent three days at the Tibetan Children’s Village School Upper Dharamsala to make a closer connection with the students and their teachers as well as their way of life and study. As he arrived on the morning of this first day, he was greeted by long lines of teachers and students with their khatas, and escorted to the school’s main hall by officials of the school, including Mr. Ngodup Wangdue, the Director, and Mr. Namdol Tashi, the Principal.
In this hall the first event of the Karmapa’s visit took place—the concluding program of a month-long study of logic in the Tibetan tradition. As the chief guest, the Karmapa addressed the assembly. He first cited HH the Dalai Lama’s counsel that students should focus on Buddhist logic, philosophical systems, and practice, and rejoiced praising the students’ and teachers’ enthusiastic efforts in these areas. The Karmapa noted, “Both inside and outside Tibet, there has been a recent upsurge of interest in debating through valid reasoning.”
The Karmapa then examined briefly the history of rigs lam, the Tibetan word for logic or valid reasoning. “If we look at the old texts,” he explained, “we find rigs lung btang ba, a shortened version of rigs and lung btang ba (to employ reasoning and scripture). Over time this term probably evolved into rigs lam.” He followed this with a quick look at the history of the science of logic or validity.
“It is extremely important to examine closely reasoning and scripture” the Karmapa continued, “by using logic that is based on these two, so that we can eliminate what is not understood by others and their wrong views as well as removing our own wrong views, which we may not be aware of.” He added, “And this subject matter is relevant not only in the context of Buddhism but it applies to linguistics, science, mathematics, and many other areas of inquiry.”
The Karmapa emphasized, “It is through developing the two wings of excellent living traditions and fine modern education that students can soar. This is the goal of our Tibetan Children’s Villages.”
Modern education and sustaining Tibetan traditions are key in these difficult times, he stated and so “We all have to do our utmost with great dedication.” He noted that in Tibet, even through people face great difficulties, they have huge determination and altruism, from which we all could learn. He cautioned Tibetans in India against losing their initial enthusiasm and positive thinking. These are critical and unusual times, he said, and we need to think seriously about them. He concluded by asking people not to let up and continue their efforts to follow in the path of HH the Dalai Lama’s advice.

2016.10.10 H.H the Gyalwa Karmapa graced Upper TCV School.