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.
#Karmapa: everything is change.
We need to absorb and make sense of the fact that everything is in flux. This change is the productivity that we are supposed to gain, whether we are on a physical or mental journey. We have to come to understand that everything is change. Everything is, in fact, truly impermanent. In some way, at least, we have seen it; we might not be able to pinpoint exactly how we saw it, but we got a sense and a taste of it, which is the main thing.
That is why I think the teaching of the Buddha, when he says ‘all compounded phenomena are impermanent’, is relevant when we recite Refuge; when we practice our breathing meditation or exercise; when we practice Chenrezig; or when we help someone by offering them a glass of water or a helping hand.
It can cover all angles, all aspects of life, whether we practice or do something as simple as brushing our teeth, which we usually view as a repetitive daily process or habit. However, these activities too are meaningful, because they all have the potential to lead us to the recognition that ‘everything is change, everything is impermanent’.
All compounded things, in this case means everything within samsara and everything within nirvana. Samsaric things are mostly the things that we have known so far; nirvanic things refer to the practice of Chenrezig, compassion, wisdom, meditation, and so on.
When we have different people from different regions, different countries, the first thing that we must learn is, of course, the pleasantries. But, for me, I always thought that the best way to learn another country’s language is by learning their way of thinking, their culture, but most of all their humor, and how they understand their humor. Because I think their humor is really based on how they see things. It really depends on their perspective of life. So learning their humor, I think is probably the first step. So in language classes in schools, perhaps one of the first things should be about learning other countries’ humor!
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.
If you look at Buddha’s life story, it is clear that he could have had, and indeed he did have, everything he could wish for from worldly life. But after examining it, he could see that – no matter how pleasant or satisfactory a feeling or situation he was experiencing – these were all temporary. He saw that it was not the ultimate goal or priority to attain this type of experience, what we are calling Emotional Happiness. Therefore, he left that life in search of something that is lasting, something that is unchangeable. This is what students of Buddha’s way and path are practicing: the practice of Timeless Happiness.
#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.’
I offer my aspirations and prayers that we all are able to achieve Timeless Happiness. I pray that we will all gain clarity, and that we will all find the conditions to appreciate the connection that we have. I pray that we cultivate the conditions to realise the potential that we have, the bond that we all share such as the bond of family, the bond of friends. And I pray that this will grow not just Emotional Happiness, but Timeless Happiness in our world.
Pain and joy are – like light and darkness – two sides of the same medal. They are interdependent and inseparably connected to each other. When painting a picture or taking a photograph, if there is no light and no darkness, there is no picture and there is no painting. It is the very contrast of light and darkness that brings out the beauty and the colour.
There is a very interesting Tibetan term in Buddhism called ‘tendrel’, which means something like ‘interdependent origination’, signifying that phenomena originate due to interdependent connection. We are all connected in many, many ways. We each have these seeds of peace within us, and together we can cultivate loving kindness.
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.
#Karmapa Says That To Understand More About Others We Need to Understand More About Ourselves:
The only way in which we can truly examine happiness, is by looking deep into ourselves: our way of being; the way we carry ourselves; our everyday behaviour and habits. By doing so, it helps us understand more about ourselves. If we understand more about ourselves, we understand more about others.
All of us have the basic qualities to attain happiness, we all share the potential – simply because we all have consciousness. We all have the same wish and aspirations, as we are all searching for happiness.
This, of course, is not just any lineage, but a lineage of compassion and wisdom: a lineage for the teachings of Lord Buddha; the teachings that have survived; the teachings that have developed for over 2500 years; and are developing as we speak. These teachings have been brought to the various regions of the world. Buddhist teachings have now reached everywhere across the globe, and are benefiting countless beings through a message of compassion and wisdom. Countless beings are realising the benefit of such timeless teachings, of such timeless practice, a practice that doesn’t require any effort at all. Simply by generating compassion, generating wisdom to others, brings great peace to ourselves, to others, and therefore to all those around us.