26 March 2018
Karmapa’s message concerning the fire in Russia:
Dear dharma friends
I learned today of the fire in a Russian shopping centre that killed more than 60 people. The fire spread on the floor where children’s playing rooms and cinemas were situated and, tragically, up to 40 children are among those unaccounted for. The fire also killed all of the animals located in a petting zoo inside the centre.
When one hears about such news, it is difficult to find the words to say.
Therefore, let us take a moment, and pray together for all of the victims, the families who are grieving, and all of those affected by this disaster.
僅僅通過修持覺察 – 並不需要以快樂為目的- 我們就能夠體驗到，並以我們自己的方式，能找到途徑去認識我們稱之為「當下」這東西。透過這些體驗，它呈現永恆的狀態，擺脫了過去的負擔，和沒有了對未來的恐懼和期盼。
也許這就是我們一直在尋找的快樂？體會到時間似乎消失了 – 時間變得不再重要，反而，一切變為永恆。
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Happiness:
Today （20th March) is the United Nations International Day of Happiness.
I would like to start by offering my wishes for the happiness of all of you, and to invite you to reflect on the nature of happiness itself. After all, all of us are searching for ‘happiness’ in one way or another.
From a Buddhist perspective, while everyday matters are beneficial to celebrate, they are temporary by their nature. Therefore, it is important to reflect on what is timeless, and how a truly lasting happiness may be experienced.
Last week, I led a public meditation course based on an ancient work of literature ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’, written by an Indian Buddhist called Shantideva. One of the main themes of this great text is awareness. As we were reflecting on the text, and trying to comprehend our many innate qualities, we came to a simple but powerful understanding:
Simply through the practice of awareness alone – without having to actually aim for happiness in any way – we were somehow able to experience, and realise in our own way, how we arrived at this thing we call the present. And through this experience, it gave birth to a timeless state: free of the burden of the past, and free of fear and expectations of the future.
Perhaps this is the happiness that we have been searching for? Due to this realisation, time seemed to disappear – it became almost irrelevant and, paradoxically, timeless.
It’s quite possible that for some, this experience was so momentary, so short-lived, that the moment when we left the comfort and environment of the meditation hall, we were right back to where we started.
However, if I dare say so, in that moment we did see a glimpse of what Shantideva was trying convey through the technology of his teaching. Even though ‘The Way of the Bodhisattva’ was written at the beginning of the eighth century, the practice of vigilant introspection or awareness felt most relevant for us all. Through the practice of awareness, we were able to appreciate even our most basic functions, such as breathing, blinking and thinking. No matter how mundane or ordinary they might seem, this vigilant introspection brought very grounded experiences and an understanding that we are here in this very moment. We are not somewhere ‘out there’, in the far reaches of the universe in some insignificant place, like a blue dot around some other bright dots. We are here. We have arrived in this present moment.
Perhaps this is an amazing discovery. Perhaps not! But in any case it was a grounding experience, and it feels only appropriate to share this on the United Nations International Day of Happiness.
May this simple sharing of a moment, bring forth a certain sense of awakening to each and everyone, and help you to arrive in this moment we call ‘now’.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa #Karmapa
Source: https://www.karmapa.org/karmapas-message-un-international-day-happiness/ Karmapa, shares the following message on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Happiness:
Karmapa offers condolences after Kathmandu plane crash.
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message from the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) concerning the plane crash at Kathmandu earlier today.
I was giving a public teaching at KIBI when I heard the tragic news of the fatal plane crash at Kathmandu airport. As things stand, 49 people have lost their lives.
I ask all of my students to offer prayers for all of the victims and those affected.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa’
我小時候在拉薩時，幾乎每天都會和家人一起去大昭寺，向佛像覺沃仁波切禮拜。跟許多人一樣，我經常在覺沃仁波切面前祈禱，並在那裡作供養。我記得我對覺沃仁波切有著深厚的信賴 – 我甚至偶爾坐在佛陀的膝上，感覺非常安全和舒適。
同時，很重要的是我們應該緊記，我們不是被我們的寺廟、頭銜或人們對我們的看法或言論來作定義。作為佛教徒，我們需要勇於理解和接受，像真實的、堅固的或恆久的家，這樣的事物是不存在的 ，因此沒有什麼需要執著。從究竟上來說，真正重要的是我們能利用智慧與慈悲這種固有價值 ，我們的內在財富來利益所有有情。
##Karmapa’s message regarding the Jokhang Monastery fire:
Dear dharma friends
Many of you will have seen the news and images of the fire at Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa over the weekend.
While the extent of the damage is unclear, it is understandable that for many people, seeing one of our most sacred monasteries alight may give rise to disturbing emotions.
When I was in Lhasa as a young boy, I used to visit the Jokhang with my family almost every day, to pay respects to the Jowo Rinpoche – the statue of the Buddha. Like so many others, I would regularly pray in front of the Jowo and make offerings there. I remember feeling such a deep sense of trust in the Jowo – I even occasionally sat on the Buddha’s lap, feeling very safe and comfortable.
The Jokhang is a special and spiritual place for all Tibetan Buddhists. As well as one of our most sacred sites, it is also an important meeting place for the Tibetan community.
I pray that the fire has not caused any lasting damage, and feel comforted that no casualties have been reported.
At the same time, it is also important for us to remember that we are not defined by our temples, our titles, or what people think or say about us. As Buddhists, we need the courage to understand and accept that there is no such thing as a real, solid or permanent home – and therefore nothing to be attached to. In absolute terms, what really matters is that we use our innate values of wisdom and compassion, our Inner Wealth, to benefit all living beings.
Therefore, we should not let our minds be disturbed by emotion. Instead, let us keep our minds calm, and tap into the pool of compassion and wisdom that lies within all of us, no matter who or where we are.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
#Karmapa asks for prayers for Florida shooting victims
Dear dharma friends
Following the tragic news of the mass shooting at a school in Florida, let us all join in prayers for the victims and all those affected.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
我認為我們的家庭 ，無論是有血緣的家族關係或是其他形式的家庭倫理關係 ，都是我們開始培養慈悲心的理想環境。
#Karmapa on the role of family to cultivate #compassion
I personally believe that our family – be it our immediate family or other forms of family – represents the ideal environment to begin our cultivation of compassion.
Regardless of our cultural background or social status, our family is the most fertile soil in which to grow our inherent seed of compassion so that it flourishes. It cannot grow without this fertile soil of the family. The very purpose of fertile soil is to cultivate seeds into a fully manifest, healthy plant. Thus the development of our innate compassion is intimately and interdependently linked to the fertile soil of our families.
Buddha’s teachings generally focus on the essence of phenomena. Buddhist philosophy can simply be summed up as extracting the essence of life. So therefore, there is a constant examination of different phenomena, and a search for true essence.
For example, in our lives, we might consider phenomena such as material wealth, power or fame as part of the essence of life. From a Buddhist perspective, we would always examine and see if any of these have any true essence. Is material wealth everlasting? Is power everlasting? Is fame everlasting? Do they truly fulfil our wishes, our aspirations? Only that which is timeless, like the Timeless Happiness that flows from tapping into our Inner Wealth, has true essence.
We have all been born as human beings and as such we have the precious and unique opportunity to aspire to peace. Most beings wouldn’t even have this chance due to so many obstacles. So please don’t lose this opportunity to aspire for peace.
Right now, we have the conditions, we have the opportunities, we have the time, we have all the requirements to bend our thoughts towards the enlightened path.
In this ever-changing and brief, abrupt life, the only meaningful thing that we can achieve is compassion. Compassion is the only substantial thing we can leave behind for others, and it’s the only substantial thing that we can take with us. No matter how great the power, the financial fortune, the fame that we might amass, at the end of our life’s chapter, and on the journey from one life to another, compassion is the only gift that we can take with us and pass on to others
中文 – 5&6月份會訊
2017-1+2 月 (January + February 2017)
By sowing seeds of compassion as each moment passes, we overcome various kinds of confusion without much struggle. By applying skilful means to avoid obstacles, we advance safely along the path of virtue, therefore making great use of this precious and fragile human existence. For example, in the midst of obstacles, by focusing on what we truly wish for, we help overcome whatever hardship is present.
We may remind ourselves that this cultivation of compassion can be achieved without much hard work. We can cultivate compassion while sitting, while walking, while sleeping. Applying these kinds of skilful means, we utilise every moment that can be spared within the limited physical world.
Karmapa on the benefits of mindfulness
The practice of mindfulness is one of the main practices that was introduced by the Lord Buddha, and I think it is an amazing and very skilful method. Without it, we would not be able to keep track of the positive actions or accumulations we have made yesterday or the day before. And then not knowing what is what, not knowing how to differentiate, it really makes things more and more complicated. So therefore, with the practice of mindfulness, one will be able to actually identify what is what, and truly see things as they are.
December 24, 2017
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message in the wake of the recent storm in the Philippines:
Dear dharma friends,
A storm in the southern Philippines has left more than 200 people dead and 160 people missing. This is the latest disaster to affect the Philippines, which experiences 20 typhoons and tropical storms every year.
More than 90% of the country’s population is Christian, and we should be mindful that this disaster comes just two days before the country was due to celebrate Christmas.
I ask all of my students to pray for all of those affected by the storm.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
#Karmapa’s definition of ego:
My definition of ego would be holding on to something that is not there at all, meaning going against the nature of our mind – which is to let go of the things that do not exist – such as yesterday’s self, which doesn’t exist today.
While carrying out all of our tasks, we need to accept that life is changing, life is fragile. We need to accept the conditions and carry our responsibilities, not by putting great pressure on ourselves but by accepting the simple facts, and then striving to live one moment at a time.
噶瑪巴 – 如何增長虔敬心
Karmapa on how devotion grows.
Devotion grows by seeing the benefit.
That’s why we ourselves have to make sure that we carry forward the practice of being decent human beings for as long as possible. And if we do that, then when others see that, then this will be the benefit to help grow their devotion.
While the seed of compassion is inherent within all of us, in order to cultivate compassion in ourselves and in the world around us, we first need a fertile soil – our family. It is up to all of us to find the courage to cultivate compassion, free of attachments, and seek unconditional care for all sentient beings.