Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on Compassion in New Jersey

His Holiness the Karmapa departed his North American seat in Woodstock, NY, for a visit to another Dharma center under his spiritual guidance-Karma Thegchen Choling center of New Jersey (KTC-NJ). In this rural setting in southern New Jersey, the Gyalwang Karmapa offered Dharma teachings to a large gathering of students.

On the afternoon's schedule was a Thousand-armed Chenrezig initiation. At the start of the session, His Holiness commented that he had just been cautioning the audience at KTD (Karma Triyana Dharmachakra) that it was unwise to offer initiations too easily, yet here he was giving initiation the very next day. However, because the KTC-NJ regularly performs Nyungne, a fasting practice connected with Thousand-armed Chenrezig, the Gyalwang Karmapa said he felt it would be unseemly to refuse their request.

In preparation for conferring the initiation, His Holiness gave a brief but powerful discourse on compassion. Defining compassion as the wish to eliminate suffering, the Gyalwang Karmapa noted that this wish could either be applied to oneself or to others. The wish to free others from suffering is what we ordinarily call 'compassion,' whereas the same wish, when directed towards ourselves, is described by the term 'renunciation.' Renunciation and compassion are thus two sides of the same coin. Renunciation entails acknowledging our own suffering, and determining to confront and eliminate it. This is a necessary first step towards generating compassion for others, because our recognition of our own suffering forms the basis for empathizing with others' suffering, His Holiness said. Once we see that we share this basic experience of pain and suffering with all other sentient beings, we can broaden our awareness of their constant longing to be free of suffering.

We are commonly so steeped in self-cherishing, and so occupied with our own private interests that we do not even notice our own egotism, the Gyalwang Karmapa observed. If we do notice it, we generally do not recognize that it is causing us pain and problems. The move from noticing the fact that we are suffering, to confronting the basic causes of our suffering, is a crucial step in eliminating suffering and creating happiness, the Gyalwang Karmapa stressed. His Holiness went on to speculate that this shift in focus from our experience of suffering to the causes of that suffering may be a defining feature of spiritual practice.

After the completion of the initiation, the Gyalwang Karmapa thanked the organizers, led by Lama Tsultrim of KTC-NJ. He continued to comment that the United States is a place where people from all over the world come and live together peacefully in harmony. Because of America's position of great influence in the world, Americans bear a special responsibility to work not only for peace and harmony in their own country, but also to work sincerely and selflessly to bring about peace and harmony throughout the world.

More Karmapa Foundation News

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Karmapa: Tibetan Buddhism's Next Great Leader?

At first look, His Holiness The Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa is intimidating. Well built, self possessed, and with a keen glance, he walks more like a middle weight boxer than one of the most venerated religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism. As he moves around the room, the sly and playful side of his twenty-six year old character flashes occasionally as he teases his capable translator and raises an eyebrow with interest at an hors d'oeuvre nervously presented to him. Later, as he begins to share his perspective on individual spirituality and global concerns, a fully formed figure emerges - that of a powerful young man who is rapidly becoming a world religious leader.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Young Lama Prepares for a Greater Role

NEW YORK TIMES -- WOODSTOCK, N.Y. - At the age of 7, he was deemed to be the 17th reincarnation of the Karmapa - one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism - and whisked from the yak-hair tent of his nomad family in the Himalayas to be groomed in a monastery for leadership. Now 26, his mere appearance on the stage alongside the Dalai Lama at a major ceremony in Washington this month sent a flutter of excitement through the Tibetans in the crowd . . .  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on Compassion in New Jersey

His Holiness the Karmapa departed his North American seat in Woodstock, NY, for a visit to another Dharma center under his spiritual guidance-Karma Thegchen Choling center of New Jersey (KTC-NJ). In this rural setting in southern New Jersey, the Gyalwang Karmapa offered Dharma teachings to a large gathering of students. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches at His North American Seat

Woodstock, NY: Early in the morning, shuttle buses discharged a steady stream of people, arriving from all directions to receive teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa at his North American seat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. By 10 am, an estimated 800 people were joyfully awaiting His Holiness' arrival.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kalachakra for World Peace Concludes

On the last day of the Kalchakra event in Washington DC, His Holiness the Karmapa attended the morning session which began at 7 am with prayers led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who then proceeded to give the White Tara long life empowerment to all those gathered in the hall.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Karmapa Speaks to Radio Free Asia and Voice of America

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits WWF Headquarters

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Karmapa Arrives in USA to Receive Kalachakra Teachings from HH the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, arrived on the West Lawn of the US Capitol this morning. In the afternoon, His Holiness attended the Kalachakra ceremony for World Peace at the Verizon Center given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Karmapa will be engaged in further religious activities throughout his stay. This is the first time that His Holiness has returned to the United States since his historic first visit in 2008.