The moment I heard the sad news from Manchester, I offered my prayers for everyone affected, and I continue to pray.
I can’t imagine the confusion and sense of loss that all those involved must be experiencing. All I can offer is my heart, and to try and share my limited understanding of life, according to Buddha’s teachings.
In life, there is no absolute end, loss or death. Life simply flows in a series of pulses, according to causes and conditions.
In today’s world, it is easy to be consumed by abstract ideas of absolute loss and absolute gain. So, when ‘life happens,’ we are naturally confused and disturbed.
While we may feel that we have absolutely lost our loved ones, the truth is, this is not the case, and we need not burden ourselves with such heavy hearts. Their physical presence may be no more, but that does not mean that they are no more. The physical form will come and go.
Their memory, what they represent and mean to us, will always be present in us, in the way that we carry ourselves in life. It is now up to us to honour them and all that they stood for.
Because they are us, and we are them. We go with each other, inseparable.
May we take a little time to meditate on the fact that, in absolute terms, there are no real losses.
Though it is natural for us to experience sadness for our loved ones, let us not overburden ourselves with sorrow.
Equally, may we find a path to forgive all those who are driven by strong afflictive emotions, and who live with great pain.
Dear dharma friends
I am deeply touched by your kindness.
I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of the monasteries, centres and institutions around the world for your prayers and pujas for my longevity.
I have received thousands of messages from students and other well-wishers, and I thank each and every one of you.
As the Karmapa, every decision I take is motivated by the wish to benefit our lineage and all sentient beings. At this moment in the history of our lineage, I have great confidence that this union will help preserve and protect the Karma Kagyu tradition.
I am looking forward to seeing you, to meditating with you, to practicing with you, whether it is at the forthcoming ceremonies to mark the third anniversary of His Holiness Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche’s Parinirvana; the European and South East Asia teaching tours, various meditation courses and public engagements; or indeed the annual Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya.
I am also looking forward, for our lineage, to the auspicious arrival of His Holiness the 15th Shamar Rinpoche.
I ask all of you, as all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas encourage, to continue to focus on spiritual practice – which is the heart of our lineage – a practice of loving kindness and compassion.
News about HHK is somehow surprise and little uncomfortable. I do have strong faith and devotion to him based on how he is recognized and brought up by HH Shamar Rinpoche. As a person, HHK is really a great bodhisattva who has many qualities that 16th Karmapa used to have. His compassion to everyone is somehow impartial and is simple and down to earth nature. I do not know significant of this big move but one thing I am sure, it is not merely driven by worldly desire. It is yet to understand what a important reason behind all this as bodhisattva’s way of life is. It is beyond an ordinary person’s concept to judge.
I think all karma kagyu disciples should unite and do not wrongly judge over the matter. If we are able to develop positive thoughts then let it be, otherwise do not really need to judge or anticipate but concentrate on one’s own practice to perfection. We are brought up with our perception of purity of monks keeping their vinaya precepts only but in truth, the origin of our lineage holders like Marpa, Mila are not monk but great Yogis who achieved their realization. They were far more greater than any monks at that time and up to now. The mahamudra lineage and its teaching are not compulsory to have monks vinaya but it goes beyond to that.
The great Karmapa Khakhyab Dorje who also engaged in two consorts was prophesied by guru rinpoche for his longevities and in sustaining the dharma lineage. Therefore, we do not judge with our own perception but see from the positive ways to understand the reality.
In Tibetan Buddhism, both monks and yogi practitioners are respected equally by Tibetan Kings since early times. From the time Padma Sambhava and his 25 disciples, all of whom were lay practitioners and later Marpa, Milarepa, Rechungpa all were lay Yogis. The lineage of Sakya three white and till today are also a great yogi of Tibet. The famous Jamyang khyentse wangpo was a monk but later he engaged a consort for special reason. Every Tibetan high lama did not loose faith in him and continued to engage him as their guru.
So, I think its a time for us to know how strong our faith and confidence with our practice and lineage guru. Be strong and practice more diligently.
So I think its a time for us to know how strong our faith and confidence with our practice and lineage guru. Be strong and practice more diligently.
Karmapa has something special and personal to share with you…
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, is delighted to share the wonderful news that he has married in a private ceremony.
Following the precious footprints of Khakyab Dorje, His Holiness the 15th Karmapa, who was also married and a Tertön, Karmapa hopes that his karmic connection with his wife, Rinchen Yangzom, will further strengthen the Karma Kagyu lineage and the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
“My role and activities as Karmapa will continue as before – with the single exception of conducting ordinations. This responsibility will pass on to His Eminence 4th Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Karma Mingyur Dragpa Senge. As Karmapa, I will continue to protect and preserve our beloved lineage, and strengthen the monastic sangha through initiatives such as the new Karmapa Center of Education
I have a strong feeling, deep within my heart, that my decision to marry will have a positive impact not only for me, but also for the lineage. Following the wishes of my parents, and having had time to reflect, I deeply feel that I am being true to both myself and the lineage. Something beautiful, something beneficial will emerge, for all of us.
The Buddhist way is to use karma for benevolence and benefit, regardless of the path we choose. For those who follow the path of an ordained life, we must encourage and respect this. In this 17th incarnation, for both the future of the lineage, and fulfilling the wishes of my parents, I have chosen a different path. At the same time, my commitment to protect and preserve the monastic sangha, and the lineage, remains paramount in my life, and my continued role as Karmapa.”
Karmapa and Rinchen Yangzom were close childhood friends, and have known each other for more than 19 years in this life. Over time, and with the blessings of their beloved parents, this friendship grew into a special, spiritual bond.
Rinchen Yangzom, a Tibetan name meaning ‘Precious Prosperity Gathered,’ was born in Thimphu, Bhutan. Her parents are Mr Chencho and Mrs Kunzang. Mr Chencho is from Shaba, Drugyeldingkha, Paro, in Western Bhutan. He is a businessman. Mrs Kunzang is from Choeten Nyingpo, Chumey, Bumthang, in Central Bhutan, the Densa of Yab Tenpai Nyima. She is a homemaker. Rinchen Yangzom is the third of Mr Chencho’s and Mrs Kunzang’s ten children.
Rinchen Yangzom started her early education in Thimphu, Bhutan. Her middle and higher education took place in India, and she continued her undergraduate studies in Europe.
On 19th January 2017, Karmapa proposed to Rinchen Yangzom, according to Tibetan traditions. Upon the aspirations of Karmapa’s father, His Eminence Mipham Rinpoche, an auspicious date was set for the engagement and marriage ceremony. The marriage took place on 25th March 2017, in the presence of close family members.
Karmapa appreciates that the news of his marriage will come as a surprise to many, and has faith that his students will understand his wish to have kept private this personal element of his very public life.
Karmapa and Rinchen Yangzom will mark their first public appearance together at the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, in December 2017. Karmapa hopes and prays that you will be able to join him in person or via the live stream. For now, Karmapa, as always, appreciates all of your aspirations.
#Karmapa’s statement for students and teachers concerned about current affairs
‘For every leader and every government, every decision is a difficult one. As citizens, this is something that we may keep in mind.
Once a decision is made, we may – with this understanding, genuine respect, and with no emotion – request leaders to find solutions, to find a middle way, so that the decision finds a path without extremes.
More importantly, we should practice mindfulness and observe how situations change in every moment. We are unable to stop these changes because change is the nature of life. Therefore, it is important to meditate regularly on realizing, understanding and accepting this impermanence.
This practice, and the realization that flows from it, will lead to compassion and wisdom. This will help us to navigate whatever seemingly good or bad situations arise, and they will all become positive and beneficial. This kind of approach will not fix problems, but it will help us gain something invaluable from every encounter.
A glass may break, for breaking is in its nature. Once broken, it can’t be unbroken. But if the broken shards are arranged together as a crystal mosaic, a wonderful treasure is created. With a clear, wise and compassionate mind, every challenge may work in this way.’
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, will visit Sweden, Spain and France in July and August this year.
Karmapa will lead a public programme at Karma Dechen Ösel Ling (KDÖL) in Fellingsbro, approximately two hours from Stockholm, in Sweden from 26-29 July.
He will then lead a public programme at the Mikyo Dorje Center in Gulina Navarra, in the north of Spain, from 5-8 August.
Karmapa will then lead a public programme in Grenoble, in South East France, from 10-16 August.
The final public programme of this European visit will take place at Karma Guen, Malaga, in Spain from 18-21 August.
Further details will be published in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Karmapa wishes to thank his hosts for the kind invitations, and looks forward to connecting with his students. Karmapa wishes to invite all students in Europe and around the world to join parts of the public programmes live on Facebook.
For those interested in attending in person, please visit the following websites:
#Karmapa’s Losar message for you:
Any new harvest has an auspicious ability that enables us to bear true joy for ourselves. Why is this the case, when we know that Losar is just another day in this world?
Quite simply, because we make it so! We make this day an auspicious one, not by fortune or chance, but by sheer will.
Every day is as insignificant as a wish-fulfilling jewel. Yes, today is just like another piece of rock. However, the wilful recognition of what that day might hold, its true potential, transforms ordinary wisdom into an extraordinary one.
May all of you harvest the potential of this special day, and in all days to come.