Karmapa Teaches New Ways to Understand Refuge

(April 18, 2015 – Kingston, New York) Well before His Holinesss address started, a long line associated down the square and around the curve with people holding up to enter the Ulster Performing Arts Center. This rich space totally filled of 1,500. Among those leaving to the trade were understudies from a more settled age who had seen the Karmapa in his past incarnation. Beginning in 1974, the sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, had gone to the United States three times and built up his key seat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, just several miles away in Woodstock, New York.

The Mayor of Kingston, Shayne Gallo, regarded the Karmapa to the city revealing that it was a promising day for all and a blessing to the city he serves. Pioneer Gallo offered thanks toward the Karmapa for bringing the message of partnership, affectability and peace, which comes through individuals advancing. Resounding the Karmapa, he said that we have the sense of duty regarding serve others and support through sympathy the charging of everyone.

The Karmapa began by illuminating the shelter guarantee as both the gateway to the Dharma and its epitome. Asking people to reflect and find the clarifications behind taking safe house, he refered to the Buddhas eminent lines from the Sanskrit: Examine my lessons as meticulously as you would gold before getting it. The Pali content incorporates: Do not take anything since it begins from an educator or a family tradition. Associate with exactly when you know the considerable clarification behind doing in that capacity.

The Karmapa at that point questioned the distinction between the importance of religion and otherworldly existence. Religion, he stated, speaks to a custom or a conviction framework that has been passed on while otherworldly existence depends on our own investigation and experience. First and foremost every real religion was an otherworldly convention, he stated: the originator had encounter that cultivated a significant acknowledgment, which was straightforwardly indicated out understudies. However, after some time and ages, he watched, this changed so confidence and conviction turned out to be progressively imperative and the transmission of acknowledgment in light of experience reduced.

Most profound sense of being must be a voyage of individual disclosure, the Karmapa instructed, so we have to comprehend the reasons and conditions for taking shelter. This will lead us to comprehend what is basic to the Dharma and what is auxiliary, he said. The Karmapa made a case to represent his point. Accept that the Buddha had given a teaching in a passage with only a solitary gateway to his correct side. A while later he would regularly leave through that exit. Later one of his understudies trained in an anteroom with doors on the benefit and left, and since the Buddha had left on the right, the understudy did likewise. Leaving on the benefit transformed into a set up custom with no authentic start in reason. Issues rise when such customs supplant reason and shield us from knowing the Buddhas certified desire and lessons.

His Holiness cleared up that we take shelter for two reasons: fear, which identifies with what we scan for shield from, and assurance, which gives the primary catalyst to thoroughly depend upon the wellsprings of asylum, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Dread is a slant we as a whole in all vibe, however here by ideals of asylum, fear proposes a splendid comprehension of what hurts or what engages us. Dread can promise us, yet the issue with standard dread is that our brains have made to manage approaching perils, for example, a tiger unexpectedly skipping before us. On the off chance that we were told this would occur in two months, we would not feel a relative dread. The Karmapa mirrored that the circumstance with environmental change is equivalent: individuals don’t fear it since it is a distant hazard so enormous we can’t see it. Subsequently, we have to go past an excited or common dread to think about our circumstance.

The Karmapa swung to another unobtrusive and subtle hazard: the insufficiency of our love. The dread of clear risks, for example, war, starvation or weight, we can without a considerable measure of a broaden perceive. Nonattendance of affection, regardless, is another story; it leaves an over the best number of individuals and creatures without security or safe house. Their unpleasant enduring could be avoided on the off chance that we had enough love, His Holiness conveyed. Since this lack is inside us, we can remember it and change, and change we should, as inadequate love positions not just the peril of inevitable disaster for others yet for ourselves too.

The characteristics of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the objects of our confidence, appear past what we could consider, thus we require an abnormal state of confidence that isn’t defenseless against affliction. He watched, We require tremendous certainty, vast expectation and inconceivable desire and a one-pointed concentrate on our objective. Confidence isn’t only confidence in others, yet confidence in ourselves and seek after ourselves. Yearning alone isn’t genuine confidence. At the point when confidence is bona fide, our psyches are loaded with satisfaction and boldness.

On this positive note, the Karmapa finished first experience with taking shelter, which he would give toward the evening.

Swipe or tap on photograph above to see full slide appear. Photography by Lama Sam and Robert Del Tredici.

The full video of this instructing can be seen here, on the authority youTube page of the Karmapa.

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Karmapa Pays Brief Visit To Washington DC

(April 15 & 16 – Washington, DC) During his two-day visit to Washington DC, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa granted interviews to Tibetan press, had several private meetings, gave an audience to the Tibetan community of Washington, participated in a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace and spent time at the Library of Congress.

Among those the Karmapa met on this short stop in the nations capital were Senator Dianne Feinstein and Under Secretary of State Sarah Sewall. During his visit to the State Department, His Holiness met with officials to discuss environmental protection, Tibetan culture and women in faith.

He joined a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where he spoke of efforts to redress gender inequality within Tibetan Buddhism, the relationship between peace-building and the recognition of interdependence, and the causes that lead people to join terrorist movements.

As he has done everywhere else on this two-month trip, His Holiness the Karmapa also made time to meet with the local Tibetan community. Several hundred Tibetans from the Washington area attended an audience at which the Gyalwang Karmapa offered words of encouragement and support. View a video of that meeting here. He also granted interviews to Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

A visit to the Library of Congress may not top most leaders list of important places to visit while in Washington DC, but for those with a deep appreciation for the preservation of Tibets rich textual tradition, the U.S. Library of Congress is akin to a place of pilgrimage. For two and a half decades beginning in 1968, the U.S. Library of Congress ran a program to reprint Tibetan books brought out of Tibet by refugees or collected from across the Himalayas. Masterminded by the exemplary Tibetologist E. Gene Smith, the innovative program sought out, catalogued, preserved and reproduced thousands of Tibetan texts, some of which His Holiness the Karmapa viewed during his visit to the Library of Congress.

Swipe or click on photo above to view full slide show. Photography by Tsurphu Labrang Media.

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Why Practice Akshobhya? Karmapa Shares Thoughts Before Empowerment

(April 12, 2015, Queens, New York) On his third day in New York, His Holiness came to Flushing Meadow Park, the site of the 1964 New York Worlds Fair, whose subject was Peace through Understanding. His teaching happened in the circuitous social event passage of Terrace on the Park, which seemed to skim high finished the ground like an immense mandala suspended over the meadows. The Karmapa’s position of specialist faced sweeping points of view that opened out to vistas of the city, a huge globe of stainless steel and the light blue sky past.

The circuitous passageway was filled to its outside limit with more than 2,000 people, each of whom had gotten a blue envelope containing a booklet with the step by step routine concerning Akshobhya in Tibetan, Chinese and English. This Buddha was the subject of the morning lessons, which filled in as a prelude to the Akshobhya reinforcing toward the night. Like the lessons of the prior day, this days practices were dealt with by Danang Foundation.

The Karmapa started by saying that he would first discuss his explanations behind doing this training. When I was youthful, I used to lose my temper. Normally I was okay however every once in a while I would get very furious, which we as a whole have the ability to do. At that point I saw that when I went to India, these occurrences started to increment since I confronted numerous troublesome difficulties. Thereafter I felt extraordinary lament and understood that getting irate wasn’t right, yet while I was furious, I had little control over it.

Later when the Karmapa was chipping away at writings identified with Akshobhya, he investigated the significance of the training and found that one must be exceptionally cautious about not getting furious. He started to build up an uncommon inclination in connection to Akshobhya, and once it started to emerge inside me, I saw that I wound up plainly ready to remain calm. Roused by this instructing, he started to investigate writings to take in more about Akshobhya. The Karmapa said that he felt that the most imperative among all the Buddha Akshobhyas various desire supplications was the dedication: “Now that I have turned into a bodhisattva, I will never enable myself to get irate at any living being.”

The Sanskrit name Akshobhya was converted into Tibetan as Mitrukpa, which signifies “imperturbable” or “immoveable” in light of the fact that his psyche was not aggravated by any of the distressing feelings. “This is a stunning accomplishment,” His Holiness stated, “yet before all else he was only a conventional individual. We ourselves would think that its hard to shun outrage for only one day to state nothing of not getting furious all through the entire way to edification.

The Karmapa uncovered, Akshobhya’s incredible mettle moved me and influenced me to feel that possibly I could make a guarantee not to get furious—maybe not until the point when Buddhahood since I don’t recognize what my next lives will be—yet at any rate never to get irate to the finish of this life.

The Karmapa at that point gave an exact meaning of what genuine practice is. Supplicating Akshobhya as a god is fine, he stated, yet did not constitute genuine practice. Akshobhya is the exemplification of the bravery to defeat outrage, which up to now, we have likely not attempted to do; he urges us to conquer it, and doing that is the genuine routine with regards to Akshobhya.

How can he give experts quality? He gives the fearlessness to end up warriors who wear the protective layer of tolerance. At the point when protected by defensive layer, we are courageous in fight since we are ensured. The Karmapa expressed, Up to now, we have dreaded to battle with our outrage, to handle it head on, and that is the reason weve never managed it. Akshobhya gives us the bravery to go up against our outrage, to build up a warriorship of the brain, which is very unique in relation to the military warriorship of crushing others.

The Karmapa specified that he ordinarily supports the act of Akshobhya by refering to three purposes behind doing this training. The main reason is that because of mechanical advance, our activities are a large number of times more capable than they were in the past to the point that our annihilation of the earth and the mischief we have done different species is truly incomprehensible: we can’t hold everything in our brains. He gave the case of killing creatures, which individuals have constantly done, yet nowadays automation has expanded exponentially the annihilation we can do. The quantity of creatures murdered in one year for our utilization is basically incomprehensible, he said. We have additionally caused appalling debasement of the earth. This, thusly, is the main explanation behind the act of Akshobhya: the energy of our activities and the negative karma we have collected.

The second reason is that however we are genuinely certain we could take care of the issues we have made, our seeing alone isn’t adequate to really roll out the improvements that will empower us to mend the earth. We have to feel these dismal circumstances firmly in our souls, which will present to us the determination to take care of the issues. Hence, he stated, we start by taking a gander at our psyches, for the standard of the Buddhas lessons is to change and enhance them: we ought to end up noticeably like Akshobhya who isn’t irritated by outrage.

This is imperative since our brutality, coordinated towards others and filled by outrage, is a significantly more prominent test than ecological demolition. The Karmapa prompted, We have to accomplish a state without tumult, which does not react to savagery with brutality. Reflection must not be simply looking for assurance for ourselves, but rather finding the bravery it takes to react without outrage to the brutality in this world.

The Karmapa commented that the third reason is anything but difficult to clarify. There are approaches to sanitize our negative karma yet we have to learn and apply them,” he said. “The estimation of the custom of Buddhism in Tibet is that more than a huge number of years, the Tibetans have underscored not innovative but rather profound improvement. Safeguarded in Tibet are the guidelines of an ancestry of experience and acknowledgment that enable us to beat our issues and enhance ourselves.

The information from this long heredity exhorts that we should not see Akshobhya and ourselves as free. We have to wind up Akshobhya and that does not mean wearing robes like his and walking around with our hands in his mudra. We have to twist up clearly the aggregate Akshobhya, which is a state of affirmation and opportunity from the tumult caused by the afflictive emotions. To fulfill this, we begin by seeing ourselves as Akshobhya and exemplifying his intense viewpoint. This empowers us to develop real positive qualities and that is the veritable reason for preparing.

Our most concerning issue, the Karmapa cleared up, is that we need to surrender the troubling sentiments, assuming I can live without you. Ive hinted at change than you. The fundamental way we can have the strength to express that is whether we have truly discovered something better in our minds, for instance, bodhichitta, love and sensitivity. We need to find the advantages in our mind that can oversee conditions more feasibly than the afflictive sentiments can. Without these benefits, we don’t set out disavow the afflictive sentiments since they will have all the earmarks of being our best resource amid inconvenience.

All together that we see how damaging the troubling emotions are and said farewell to them, the Karmapa asked us to make “shocking qualities” in our cerebrum through practicing Akshobhya. On this positive note, the Karmapa shut first involvement with the heavenly nature for whom he would give the fortifying a few hours afterward.

Swipe or tap on photo above to see full slide show up. Photography by Lama Sam.

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Karmapa in Manhattan: Visiting Rubin Museum

(April 10, 2015 – New York, New York) For his very first outing on this stop in New York City, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa made an impromptu visit to the Rubin Museum of Art today. Himself an avid painter and scholar of Tibetan art, the Karmapa toured the Rubin’s current installations and was invited to a private viewing of select statues and paintings from the museum’s holdings that were not exhibited publicly, including works attributed to the 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje.

The Rubin houses one of the most extensive collections of Tibetan art in the world, and has particularly rich holdings in thangkas painted in the Karma Gardri style associated with the Karmapa lineage. One of the major styles of Tibetan painting, the Karma Gardri style evolved out of the Great Encampment of the Karmapa (Tibetan: Karma Garchen) as its very name reflects.

Historically, the Karmapas have been accomplished artists and connoisseurs of art, and the 17th is no exception. The museum visit included two long stops to discuss questionable identifications of artists and figures depicted in various works of art.

His Holiness was escorted on his visit by Rubin Museums chief curator Jan van Alphen, as well as Karl Debreczeny, senior curator and Elena Pakhoutova, curator for Himalayan art. Initially the curatorial staff guided the 17th Karmapa on a walking tour through the installations. His Holiness and the curators soon began trading references to other works of art and textual citations. By the end of the excursion, they were seeking His Holiness’s assessment as to the potential originator of certain paintings, while His Holiness asked them to provide high-resolution files of some of the images they had discussed, so that he could continue his study of them later.

Swipe or click on the photo above to view slide show. Photography by Armen Elliott.

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Yale Arranges Private Sacred Music Concert for Karmapa

(April 9, 2015 – New Haven, Connecticut) Your presence here enriches the quality of our worship, the Dean of Yale Divinity School, Gregory Sterling, told His Holiness the Karmapa as he welcomed him to the universitysInstitute of Sacred Music (ISM). The Institute of Sacred Music arranged a private concert for the Karmapa, himself both a performer and a composer of sacred music in his own Buddhist tradition.

Exploring his interest in the music of other traditions is beginning to emerge as an additional theme of this university-centered trip, as His Holiness the Karmapa had operatic voice lessons in Redlands, heard a special arrangement of one of his own songs performed by a 26-person chorus and attended a spiritual open mic night at Princeton. On his last trip abroad to Germany, His Holiness had also attended vespers service at one of the countrys oldest Benedictine monasteries, where he shared in their chanting during worship.

Several exceptionally talented students of the institute performed for His Holiness the Karmapa, showcasing Baroque voice and organ music from 17th-century Europe. The powerful soprano voice of Nola Richardsonheld her audience perfectly still as she sang a lament in Latin, accompanied by Ignacio Prego on harpsichord. Wyatt Smith performed two pieces on Yales Krigbaum pipe organ, which was tuned in meantone temperament, as were many organs used in the 17th century, the same period when the pieces he played were composed.

After the final reverberations of the lower pedals of the organ through the chapel had given way to the sound of applause from the small private audience, His Holiness expressed his interest in viewing the pipe organ up close. The party proceeded upstairs, where the Karmapa examined the workings of the complex instrument and had a private demonstration of the principles of organ playing. His curiosity satisfied—at least for now—His Holiness made his way out of the building and on to his next activity on this rich and diverse university visit.

Click on photo above for full slide show. Photography by Tsurphu Labrang Media.

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Concentrating on Environment, His Holiness Delivers Lecture at Yale

(April 7, 2015 – New Haven, Connecticut) On his second day at Yale, the leader conveyed the Chubb Fellowship Lecture, entitled, Compassion in real life: Buddhism and the Environment. This lofty address was given in Woolsey Hall, a rich space loaded with the 2,500 individuals lucky to have tickets. The front of the corridor was loaded with taking off organ channels while two extensive screens flanked the pioneer’s seat, set before a wide scenery of indigo blue.

The leader was first warmly invited by Jeffrey Brenzel, who is the ace of Yales Timothy Dwight College, the official steward of the Chubb Fellowship. He recorded alternate supporters of the pioneer visit, which mirror the wealth and assorted variety of college way to deal with the earth and its protection: Yale Himalaya Initiative, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, the Department of Religious Studies, the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School and the Macmillan School for International and Area Studies. Prof. Brenzel complimented the leader for making himself amazingly accessible, advancing push to meet, welcome and interface with individuals while here.

Andrew Quintman of the Department of Religious Studies presented the leader with a short history of his genealogy of rebirths (tulkus), taking note of that the Karmapas are the first on the planet to have this convention in which a past incarnation perceives a consequent one. Presently at the age of twenty-nine, the Karmapa is as of now perceived as a main religious figure of his era and an expert Buddhist instructor. He is a productive craftsman, a religious reformer, a social extremist and an earthy person.

To show the Karmapas heartfelt association, Professor Quintman cited him: Whatever it is that I do, I need it to have a long haul obvious effect and for it to be down to earth. In the event that I have the open door, I might most want to reestablish the regular habitat in the Himalayas and Tibet, and to particularly secure the timberlands, the water and the untamed life of this locale.

Teacher Quintman anticipated, This man will alter Buddhism, not simply in Tibet but rather on a worldwide scale.

He started discussing nature by talking about his own understanding and what roused him to get associated with securing the earth. He was conceived in a segregated, flawless piece of Eastern Tibet, untouched by current improvement, where he lived until seven years of age. This world was all that he knew, so as a kid he had an exceptional association with his environment, an inclination that he recalls right up til the present time. It is on the premise of this experience he maintains his desire to ensure the earth.

The pioneer kept on clarifying that when he was youthful, the general population he knew regarded the earth as a living framework to be ensured: the mountains, the wellsprings of water and other uncommon spots were viewed as an interconnected, living world and as abodes of spirits. We regarded each part of the earth as a component of a living framework; for instance, we didn’t wash our garments or our hands in running water. Everything was viewed as naturally consecrated.

The leader at that point accentuated the significance of perceiving that we are for the most part related: To comprehend the need of ecological insurance, we have to see that we are so associated with each other and to the earth. We can see our relatedness in the event that we consider how we are maintained through nourishment, air and garments, all of which come to us through a tremendous system of associated joins. We don’t see this circumstance since we tend to separate the world into external and internal: nature is out there and we are in here. The Karmapa guided that we have to diminish this feeling of separation amongst subject and question lastly break down the limit. In the event that we can do this, we will find a feeling of closeness and perceive that we are so associated with the earth. Buddhism alludes to the outer condition and the living creatures occupying it as the holder and the contained: We are altogether held by the earth and should come to recognize that interrelationship.

All through his address, the leader underscored that it is so vital to wind up noticeably by and by included. Understanding is insufficient: We should open our hearts and end up noticeably locked in. He watched, We tend to isolate ourselves as people from our insight. On the off chance that we know the requirement for ecological assurance, we ought to apply it in our day by day lives. It needs to wind up noticeably so close to our being that we feel it in our souls and it changes our conduct.

The pioneer at that point talked about the Himalayan district and the Tibetan level; these ice sheets are a treasury of water, the wellspring of numerous incredible waterways of Asia. With this reference to group work, he shut his Chubb address, which has extended from working with our brains and inspirations through to how to draw in and support pragmatic action on the planet. There took after an exuberant inquiry and answer period.

One inquiry: What is it that moves us to conquer our faltering and move without hesitation? The answer was: The extension is a kind of sympathy or boldness, a readiness to connect with the energy of our psyche. We have the ability to conclude that we will assume liability for ourselves as people. We can move from a negligible comprehension to something all the more candidly felt in the event that we tune into the guidance from our souls.

Another inquiry was about science and religion. For a long time, researchers have been discussing environmental change and the earth. Some say this is not anymore an issue of science alone, yet a world inquiry and an exchange of science and religion.

He replied, Conserving the earth is in a general sense an ethical issue. Its corruption has been caused by human avarice, exacerbated by the media and the promoting business. As we as a whole know, human want is boundless and ecological assets are constrained. Since we rely upon these assets, it is our duty to get control over and control our voracity. It is basic that religious pioneers instruct about individual good issues as well as worldwide issues too and give moral direction on natural stewardship. Otherworldly educators can bring out an enthusiastic inclination and responsibility, urging us to change so we come to see that nature is not outer but rather in our psyches too.

The third inquiry about reflective practices that can help break up the refinement amongst self and other, inside and outside. He reacted, There are various contemplation practices to break down this false limit. One is examining the balance of self and other. We make a sympathetic connection by perceiving that similarly as I wish to be upbeat, so do others. We are all the same. When we see this, at that point we need to try it. He additionally specified the act of sending and getting that works with the breath. In applying this to natural mindfulness, he recommended, We could consider how trees inhale out the oxygen we have to take in and we inhale out the carbon dioxide that trees take in. We can mull over how our breathing is interconnected with these things that develop. We are two sections of one entire framework.

The last inquiry how understudies can compose themselves to accomplish something reasonable. He prompted, There are a few things we can do—the standard things like exhibits of different sorts—however in a general sense each of us needs to begin with ourselves, the main strong reason for the kind of mettle it will take to roll out these improvements. We need to roll out improvements in our existence with a mettle that can’t be detracted from us and along these lines we can have a long vocation. On the off chance that we have not changed ourselves, we fuel ourselves with desires and get wore out when others don’t change. So change starts from inside, and he additionally prompted that working in gatherings and giving each other help is a decent approach to advance change and support our endeavors.

Tap on the photograph above to see the full slide appear. Photography by Filip Wolak and Lama Sam.

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Meditation Instructions To KTC-NJ Members

Karmapa went through the April 25 with individuals from KTC-NJ Dharma focus that is as of now facilitating him. In a concourse dedicated to reflection guidelines and noting training questions, trailed by gather photographs, he advanced substance directions and conducted a contemplation sitting for somewhere in the range of 375 focus individuals.

The leader started with an evidently sincere renouncement that he had almost no individual involvement in reflection, yet went ahead to convey the kind of essence educating on contemplation that made his lowliness all the all the more surprising to those today.

He noticed that a standout amongst the most generally well-known types of contemplation includes concentrating one’s consideration. “One reason for this,” he remarked, “is that we are existing constantly. Since our inspiration is a progressing, previous thing, it doesn’t need to be made with the end goal of contemplation.” This emphasizes the way that reflection is not gone for searching out unusual encounters or achieving some different land. Or maybe, he expressed, we see the pant by guiding our brain to what is as of now being, out changing or manufacturing something. “We are basically utilizing the familiarity with blowing as a concentration for building up the mind’s capacity to know about a picked protest.”

He at that point thought about the techniques utilized for pondering the breath, taking note of that restricted is to tally the breath. “Be that as it may, he watched, “tallying can be troublesome and really turned into a diversion. This relies on the person, however for some individuals, utilizing the checking breath method is dangerous. There are several customs in which one doesn’t tally the breath. One just watches the in-breath and the out-breath, enabling one’s brain to be simply mindful of the breathing, enabling one’s psyche to lay on or in the exhaling and inward breath. I figure this might be superior to tallying.

The pioneer at that point drove in a contemplation sitting, clowning that since he didn’t ponder much he would likewise be inexperienced at using the gong to flag the begin and finish of the gathering.

He remarked advance on the right stance for contemplation. “It is shown that we ought to have a decent and exact stance,” he said. “You can rest both with folded legs or on a seat, either is nice. The idea of stance is that the breathing is simple and loose.”

As the showing sitting attracted to a purpose, he mentioned some last objective facts. “The point of reflection one,” he stated, “is to come back to our own temperament and to support the common status of our psyche. It resembles rotating home from an adventure. We need to have the capacity to stop and unwind in that. Thusly contemplation is not the modification of the mind’s characteristic status, nor is it the superimposition or misrepresentation of anything. Particularly in the act of shamata reflection, this is the most vital point. We are attempting to stop in our standard, regular perspective.”

Alongside a progression of inquiries concerning individual practice, one understudy commented that she had a commitment for her profound instructors, yet endured clashes with her Dharma companions. The leader answered that the way one identifies with one’s Dharma companions ought to be the same as one does to one’s profound leader. “Like honey bees extricating nectar, we should catch what is great from our Dharma companions similarly as we get what is great from our otherworldly educators. Use the righteous part, and allow the rest to sit unbothered,” he said.

One of the current examiners depicted an obvious clash between the want to be freed from samsara and the desire that one imparts in youngsters to guarantee their accomplishment in life, for example, training or industry.

He called attention to that there is a refinement in evident bliss and genuine joy, similarly as there is a qualification what just shows up as misery and genuine enduring. So as to achieve genuine joy, individuals need to research for them the qualifications among its evident and genuine structures. This examination itself moves us to look to be free from affliction and to accomplish genuine satisfaction. By and by, we can, in any case, try to the conventional objectives that our desire may demonstrate, as long as we see them just as impermanent objectives, not our definitive or just objective.

Tap on photograph above to see a full slide appear. Photo by Karma Lekcho.

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Amid First Dharma Center Visit, Karmapa Teaches on Meditation

(April 4, 2015 – Mount Laurel, New Jersey) His Holiness the seventeenth Karmapa is by and by influencing his initially remain at a Dharma to focus on this two-month visit. For his first day of Dharma exercises amid this stop, he gave lessons on contemplation, addressed a broad arrangement of inquiries from understudies and allowed a strengthening toward the evening.

As is fitting for a visit concentrated on colleges, the principal strengthening that His Holiness the seventeenth Karmapa presented amid this two-month excursion to the United States was the strengthening of Manjushri, an illuminated being particularly associated with the development of intelligence. The lessons and strengthening were allowed at the demand of Karma Thegsum Chöling-New Jersey (KTC-NJ), situated in the close-by southern New Jersey town of Shamong and serving both as a Dharma focus and as a home far from home for the Karmapa in the United States.

The day was especially promising to start this all the more customarily Buddhist part of his trek: with a full moon and an aggregate lunar obscuration occurring today, the impacts of exemplary activities are thought to be duplicated many circumstances over. The morning was fresh and cool and a light breeze unsettled the air as His Holiness the Karmapa set out in the morning from KTC-NJ where he is dwelling amid this remain. The half-hour drive to the showing site in the close-by town of Mount Laurel went through pleasant wide open spotted with farmlands and extensive residences. Then, more than 700 individuals had been documenting in consistently to fill the leased lobby at the Westin Mt. Shrub a long time before His Holiness himself arrived.

The seventeenth Karmapa himself started by taking note of that subsequent to tending to such a significant number of college groups of onlookers where the theme was not particularly or straightforwardly Buddhist, he felt as though he were influencing a sudden U-to hand over giving a Dharma talk.

Thinking about his encounters amid this outing, he went ahead to comment that amid his visits to the home office of Google and Facebook, he had seen that they too were making spaces for their representatives to contemplate and underlining care in the working environment. “It is amazing that everybody has the chance to rehearse reflection,” he said. Be that as it may, while praising their endeavors, he struck a solid preventative note.

“Given that reflection should by its extremely nature be an individual, singular thing that every individual encounters in their own particular manner, in light of their own needs and attitudes, in view of their own examination, I figure it should never be marketed or utilized for business purposes.”

He came back to this subject later, indicating the way yoga is now and again advertised as a type of physical exercise, albeit customarily it is an exceptionally thorough type of profound preparing. “These days many individuals are keen on Buddhism and particularly contemplation. Be that as it may, they consider contemplation some sort of otherworldly treatment, similar to profound back rub. They trust that by rehearsing reflection they will have the capacity to decrease the anxiety and weight that they feel in their bustling lives and unwind. This is fine, yet it is not a total routine with regards to contemplation as educated in Buddhism. That requires a more restrictive or escalated preparing. I think the expectation that reflection will comfort you and make you more agreeable may cause some disappoint. As a matter of fact I feel that the escalated routine with regards to contemplation will presumably make you extremely awkward at first, since old propensities stalwart, and in the act of reflection we are endeavoring to supplant a large number of our old negative propensities with new ones. This conflicts with the grain of our identities and in this manner will likely be exceptionally awkward.”

Displaying reflection inside a Buddhist setting, His Holiness clarified that by and large there are two sorts—situation contemplation and scientific reflection. Without the establishment of shamatha, which is considered arrangement contemplation, it would be extremely hard to create vipassana. His Holiness clarified that in the first place, so as to create shamatha we require a tranquil or separated condition, and customarily it takes between three to a half year to prepare in shamatha.

“However a tranquil or detached place or condition doesnt just mean a place that is physically calm,” he clarified. “It additionally intends to be detached from states of diversion, for example, telephones, the Internet et cetera.”

Watching that despite the fact that in the West there are numerous reflection bunches that meet week after week to ponder for a couple of hours, His Holiness communicated his questions this is adequate practice to really create shamatha. He at that point made a proposal that started numerous discussions later in the break between sessions.

“Up to now, Dharma camps where individuals can concentrate only on shamatha preparing or rehearse for a while are exceptionally uncommon. In this manner I am urging you to really make such scenes or open doors for a few month long concentrated shamatha programs in Western nations,” he expressed.

Upping the ante yet further, the Karmapa underlined the significance that our shamatha rehearse turn into an antitoxin to our irritating feelings, or kleshas.

“The point of shamatha hone is not just to accomplish genuine feelings of serenity and feel good and loose in one’s psyche. Shamatha hone is really to enhance our brains, and to improve our identities by debilitating lastly curing our kleshas. A few people think the fact of the matter is simply to rest easy, casual and agreeable, however that is not it. The capacity of shamatha is to fill in as a solution for our kleshas.

“It is insufficient to hone contemplation just in our holy place room sitting on the pad,” he proceeded. “It is important to bring the act of shamatha into all post-reflection exercises, including our work. It is particularly imperative to have the capacity to apply it when we turn out to be profoundly enthusiastic.”

Next the Karmapa welcomed inquiries from the group of onlookers, asking that they adhere to the theme of reflection. In a steady progression, excited understudies grabbed the chance to straightforwardly suggest their reflection conversation starters to His Holiness the Karmapa, who opened the floor after the meal break for extra inquiries.

The main examiner called attention to that in the cutting edge world it is hard to locate a detached situation reasonable for shamatha work on, looking for His Holiness’ recommendation.

“In this twenty-first century, alongside the gigantic material advance that we have accomplished, we have created extraordinary propensities for consumerism and voracity,” the Karmapa reacted. “This is obviously energized by a portion of the media, and in our yearning for stuff, we are kept from having mental confinement and a feeling of non-diversion.

“Regardless of the possibility that we don’t need or ache for a certain something, there will dependably be something different for us to long for, in light of the fact that corporate greed influences broad utilization of brain science keeping in mind the end goal to bewilder us. I think on the off chance that somebody had offered Jetsun Milarepa an iPhone it may have kept even him occupied for a couple of hours!

“The pervasiveness of our outer extravagances and every one of our gadgets truly frames a net that we are gotten in, and it is hard for us to get away. I believe that in the event that we can unwind our brains and take a gander at the falsity of consumerism we can recapture our freedom. I believe that autonomy is the beginning spot from which we can start to build up the mental disengagement or non-diversion that is required for shamatha rehearse.”

Another inquiry raised the issue with reference to whether it is important to finish the preparatory practices (ngondro) before starting ones preparing in shamatha contemplation, as is frequently instructed. His Holiness the Karmapa clarified that there are two arrangements of preparatory practices: the four regular preliminaries that involve the four considerations that turn the psyche to Dharma; and the four exceptional practices that include asylum and bodhichitta with surrenders, Vajrasattva, mandala and master yoga. He noticed that a great many people concentrate significantly more on the last four, the remarkable ngondro rehearses.

The motivation behind why individuals like to invest more energy in the phenomenal preliminaries is that there is tallying, he noted wryly, evoking a burst of chuckling from the gathering of people. You tally numbers, and in light of the fact that you are checking, you feel a feeling of accomplishment, which individuals like. The examination of the normal preliminaries are considerations without anything to tally, and hence there are no markers that give you a feeling of accomplishment. Be that as it may, the genuine indication of accomplishment is that your psyche and identity move forward.

Underscoring his point, he stated, The consideration of the four basic preliminaries is critical, and in reality I think the regular preliminaries are more vital than the phenomenal preliminaries.

In light of an inquiry on the most proficient method to proceed with our training even with persistent obstructions, His Holiness prompted that we ought toreally observe our afflictions not as impediments but rather as circumstances.

“From the perspective of dharma itself, it is in reality better when professionals encounter difficulty since it gives them the open door both to take in more lessons and to really apply their training so they can blend the experience of misfortune with the act of Dharma.

“The fact is the means by which we see misfortune,” His Holiness commented. “On the off chance that we can see difficulty as an open door for training, that is by all accounts the most ideal approach to utilize it. Once an unfriendly circumstance has emerged we never again have the choice to avoid it, so we would be wise to make great utilization of it. There is no reason for simply disdaining it. What is most critical is the manner by which we see affliction, and that we consider it to be an open door.”

Another understudy looked for His Holiness’ recommendation in the matter of regardless of whether there is any contention between doing Dharma practice and taking drugs to regard diseases, for example, misery and nervousness.
“There is a distinction between normal or regular passionate states and the real sicknesses of melancholy and tension,” His Holiness cleared up. “Whenever wretchedness or uneasiness is something other than a mental state yet really an articulated ailment, it is truly a physical thing and in this way requires a physical cure. We presumably can’t defeat it by working with the mind alone. In this manner, not exclusively is there no inconsistency between rehearsing the Dharma and taking antidepressants or hostile to uneasiness medicine under restorative supervision, yet it is impulsive to stop since you turn into an expert.

“Infrequently individuals who experience the ill effects of discouragement wind up plainly Buddhist or start to rehearse Buddhism and see that the act of dharma appears to fill in as a solution for their misery. At that point in their underlying burst of excitement they quit taking their meds and turn out to be extremely unwell. It is impulsive. Obviously, we would prefer not to take these solutions since they all have physical symptoms, and we take them simply because we need to. In a perfect world we need to create to the point where we never again require them and can slowly get off them, yet we ought not do as such rashly.”

In light of an inquiry on the best strategy for expanding our astuteness, His Holiness answered by drawing a qualification between outward-looking intelligence and internal coordinated shrewdness.

“Outward-looking shrewdness is essentially learning which we gain through investigation. Typically our psyche ends up noticeably found out about everything aside from itself. We are insightful about everything aside from our own psyche, which more often than not remains absolutely insensible of itself.

“In this manner I believe that the most critical thing is to pick up the shrewdness that is simply the acknowledgment of the psyche. I trust that is the premise of genuine intelligence. We call this ‘knowing one and freeing everything’, in light of the fact that when you pick up that sort of knowledge it is comprehensive and permits the power or force of your intelligence and figuring out how to increment normally.”

At the point when another examiner asked how we can hone reflection ceaselessly all through the 24 hours of every day, His Holiness forewarned against attempting to constrain this, saying it wouldn’t offer assistance.

“It is unrealistic to endeavor to take part in formal reflection hone all through the whole day and night. In any case, we may have the capacity to stay in a reflective perspective ceaselessly. The way to this is to start every day by framing the goal to do as such, making the objective of the day to keep up a thoughtful state. With this sort of responsibility and desire, we can occasionally remind ourselves to do it,” he clarified.

He at that point offered an inventive utilization of present day innovation for helping us to stay careful for the duration of the day.

“Cell phones are extremely useful in light of the fact that you can set them up to buzz, ring or sing a caution at you wherever you are. In the event that you set up your cell phone to remind you each a few hours to be in a reflective state, since you shaped the goal toward the start of the day and are intermittently helped to remember this aim for the duration of the day, it ought to be conceivable to support the energy of contemplation.”

Toward the evening session one examiner inquired as to whether he could expand on exhortation about investigating our kleshas. Accordingly His Holiness sketched out a three-stage solution for kleshas, utilizing outrage for instance.

“The initial phase in managing any klesha is to perceive the issues that it causes,” he clarified. “This can’t be supplanted by hearing the lessons of your master or concentrate the lessons of the Buddha about that klesha—you need to remember it by and by, personally and experientially.”

His Holiness clarified that the second step is figuring out how to settle our brains with the goal that we utilize positive qualities like love and empathy as a device for reacting to circumstances, instead of naturally permitting the kleshas to shape our reaction.

“The third step in managing our kleshas is to settle on a choice or responsibility not to offer in to it. Such choices or such responsibilities might be overlooked, so it is critical to remind yourself intermittently that you are truly not going to enable yourself to get irate. As time collects, the propensity for the dedication not to get furious will wind up noticeably more grounded and more grounded.”

Tap on photograph above to see full slide appear. Photography by Karma Lekcho. View the video of the morning session of this instructing here.

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Karmapa Arrives at KTC-NJ, First Dharma Center Stop on Tour

(April 2, 2015 – Shamong, New Jersey) After an hours journey by road from the southern New Jersey town of Princeton, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa arrived at Karma Thegsum Chöling, a Karma Kagyu monastery. He was warmly received there by leading community members, headed by Lama Tsultrim, who had served as His Holinesss shrine master in Tibet and accompanied the Karmapa on his daring escape from Tibet at the end of 1999.

During His Holinesss four-day sojourn at Karma Thegsum Chöling, he will offer empowerments and teachings, and enjoy a rare day of rest during this extended tour across the country.

Click on photo above to view full slide show. Photography by Vivienne Zhang.

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Karmapa at Princeton Focuses on Activism, Art, Environment and Gender

(April 1 & 2, 2015 – Princeton, New Jersey) After stopping in on the spiritual open mic night in the basement of Princeton’s Murray Dodge Hall last night, His Holiness the Karmapa spent an additional two days eating with students in campus dining halls, sitting in on classes on climate change and sculpture and interacting with groups of students and faculty around several issues dear to his heart: the environment, gender, activism and art.

The classes and conversations allowed the 17th Karmapa to fulfill the long-cherished wish that he expressed during his afternoon lecture at Princeton University Chapel (full report here). His Holiness the Karmapa described his aim as follows: “For a long time, I have had a strong wish to gain at least a glimpse of the experience of American university students, and through that to be able to widen my own outlook. My intention really was to come here as a student, not as a lecturer.”

His first morning on campus as a student began with a meeting of undergraduate activists who had recently completed a mindfulness meditation retreat. The students each described to His Holiness their own area of activism, and then explored with him potential inner resources for facing the challenges of sustaining their activism. Like His Holiness the Karmapa’s visit to the university overall, this encounter was organized by thePrinceton Office of Religious Life.

His Holiness then made his way across campus, escorted by Matt Weiner, associate dean of religious life, and Damaris Miller, a graduating senior. Damaris has been awarded a Princeton fellowship—the Labouisse Prize—to work in the Himalayas with Khoryug, His Holiness the Karmapa’s environmental initiative. Alongside Matt Weiner, Damaris had the opportunity to serve as the 17th Karmapa’s guide during his visit to Princeton.

Awaiting him at Whitman College’s dining hall for lunch was a group of faculty, students and administrators committed to exploring gender issues. The interaction was hosted by Gayle Salamon, Charles H. McIlwain University Preceptor, but all those attending the meeting with the Karmapa had read the chapter on gender identities in his latest book, The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. Those present first explained their research interests on gender and their personal reasons for studying the topic, and a roundtable discussion then emerged around ways that the Buddhist philosophy of interdependence and emptiness might serve as a resource for challenging assumptions about gender roles.

As so often happens when His Holiness the Karmapa is present, the conversation moved beyond simply identifying the problems to implementing solutions. The Karmapa described his own efforts to redress gender imbalance through efforts to empower nuns in his lineage, including his plans to re-establish full ordination for women in his Buddhist tradition, beginning next winter.

When the lively exchange had concluded, His Holiness withdrew and soon thereafter delivered his afternoon lecture on gender, activism and the environment. After the talk, a reception was held in honor of His Holiness at Princetons Prospect House, with both university dignitaries and faculty in attendance, as well as students who had performed during the open mic night and participated in other interactions with the Karmapa.

Where his first full day on campus was rich in discussions of gender and activism, day two focused on art and the environment. The Karmapa’s morning on campus was devoted to an issue that he has long championed—environmental protection.

David Wilcove, Professor of Public Affairs and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the Woodrow Wilson School joined Rob Sokolow, Director, Climate and Energy Challenge, and other faculty, staff and students associated with the Princeton Environmental Institute. The institute co-sponsored His Holiness talk the day before, and those present for the discussion this morning clearly shared His Holiness’s commitment to advocacy for environmental change. During the morning, among the many topics explored by the group, the discussions on the issue of invasive species and Buddhist life release practices were particularly productive. His Holiness contextualized the practice for the scientists and they in turn detailed its impact on biodiversity and on animals themselves.

By the end of the morning meeting, it had become eminently clear to all present just how effective a partnership could be forged between the scientists and religious leaders. Before they left the table, His Holiness and the scientists had together identified broad solutions as well as specific steps to implement to effect the needed changes.

From there, His Holiness the Karmapa proceeded to the Lewis Center for the Arts where Amber Stewart, a Princeton undergraduate, walked him through the art gallery where her Senior Art Thesis was currently installed. Entitled Black Balance, her exhibition explored themes of Black experience, including racial profiling, a topic that His Holiness the Karmapa had been tracking in news reports while still in his monastery in India.

At noon, His Holiness the Karmapa met with a group of artists, students and teachers of visual arts. During the extended lunch meeting, the artists shared their personal experiences of the creative process with His Holiness. The conversation explored topics ranging from the importance of failure and discovery in the artistic process to the obstacle that goal-oriented thinking poses for an artist.

Curious about His Holiness’s own process as an artist, one artist asked the Karmapa whether he experienced any conflict between his spiritual aims of eliminating the ego and the egotistic aspect of artistic self-expression that is implicit in art.

“If your aim in creating art is to make something no one else has ever made before,” he replied, “perhaps it is egotistic. But I do not think creating art is inherently egocentric. Creating a piece of art can be more like working from a space of limitless possibilities. First there is nothing, and then you create something. If we think in terms of the Buddhist view of emptiness, this can be compared to the idea of zero. Zero is the ground from which everything and anything can arise. It does not have to be grounded in ego at all.”

Following the discussion, the 17th Karmapa, himself an accomplished artist, added a new medium to his repertoire—clay—and joined an advanced sculpture class. The teacher, Martha Friedman, designed a collaborative exercise to allow the class to co-create several sculptures from clay during the course of the 90-minute class. Each student, including the Karmapa, contributed something to the design of each piece, and then passed it to the next person. Later, the class discussed the relative merits of each piece and chose one to be cast. As His Holiness the Karmapa and the class created their pieces, his sister Jetsunma Ngodup Pelzom quietly fashioned her own sculpture.

After sitting in on a section of a course on climate change and communication, His Holiness the Karmapa made one final stop before departing the Princeton campus, to visit the “Circle of Animals” public installation by Ai Weiwei. The series of outdoor sculptures depicts the animals that form the traditional east Asian zodiac.

As his time at Princeton drew to a close, His Holiness thanked all those who had worked to make his stay at Princeton possible, including the campus police, for whom he signed a copy of his book, The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out.

The working team led by Associate Dean Matt Weiner offered His Holiness and each member of his entourage an orange Princeton cap and the group posed for one last joyful photo together before they departed for the next stop on this two-month trip: Karma Thegsum Chöling in Shamong, New Jersey.

Click on photo above to view full slide show. Photography by Filip Wolak. Last three photos by Tsurphu Labrang Media.

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