HH Karmapa returns to his North American seat


His Holiness Karmapa recently returned to Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, his North American seat established by the 16th Karmapa over three decades ago. On April 17th, HH Karmapa arrived at KTD Monastery in Woodstock, New York. The following day His Holiness gave a teaching on taking refuge, which he decribed as the essence of Dharma. Later that afternoon, HH Karmapa conferred the refuge vow in Sanskrit to over 1,500 participants in Kingston, New York. The following days His Holiness gave the Karma Pakshi empowerment and later taught on the foundational Buddhist principles. His Holiness also visited a local Christian Orthodox church and gave a teaching to the Woodstock community in honor of Earth Day.

Here is HH Karmapa teaching on the meaning of refuge in Kingston:

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Joining heart and mind – HHK’s teaching in Manhattan

MG_4934During his recent visit to New York City, His Holiness Karmapa met with the New York Tibetan community, visited the Rubin Museum of Art, viewed a modern Tibetan art exhibit, and attended a poetry reading at the Lhatse library. On his final evening in Manhattan on April 14th, HH Karmapa gave a teaching on “Joining the Heart and the Mind”.

In his last event in New York City for this trip, His Holiness the Karmapa taught on the key issue of how we make true connections between the emotions of our hearts and the abstractions of our mind. The evening event was organized by the Karmapa Foundation, and took place at the New York Society for an Ethical Culture, whose mission closely parallels the Karmapa’s in a commitment to ethical relationships with others, social justice and stewardship of the environment. With its soaring arches and warm wood interior, the Society’s hall has a spacious yet intimate feeling.

The Karmapa was introduced by Daniel Goleman, the science writer famous for developing the term “emotional intelligence” and all that it implies. He noted how important it is that the Karmapa has been meeting with university students, “because these are the people of the 21st century who will shape the future, and hopefully it will be the compassionate world we are going to hear about tonight.” Goleman also took the occasion to thank the Government of India for its support in allowing the Karmapa to make this tour and expressed the hope that the Karmapa would return for many more visits. Read the full article

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Welcome the Karmapa’s return to Seattle with an offering!


Have you ever wished for the opportunity to offer a gift, to share a meal, or to arrange a bouquet of flowers for His Holiness Karmapa?

Have you ever wished for the opportunity to offer a gift, to share a meal, or to arrange a bouquet of flowers for His Holiness Karmapa?

What might you offer to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa if you had the opportunity? Wherever you are in the world, we ask for your help to let friends and well-wishers know they can offer love and support–in any amount of $1.00 or more–for His Holiness’ visit to Seattle, by clicking here.

It’s easy to share the link! Imagine watching the live webcast feed of the public talk and seeing the beautiful arrangement of flowers next to His Holiness Karmapa, and knowing that your donations helped place them there. Or, perhaps the dinner that His Holiness eats after the evening talk is supported by your donation. Maybe your gift will make a special welcoming or a special farewell possible to offer His Holiness Karmapa. Your donations will go toward making all of these wishes and more come true.

We are asking everyone to share this opportunity with your friends — via Facebook, Twitter, email, and good old word of mouth. It’s an easy way to help people support His Holiness to benefit sentient beings, no matter where we are in the world! As His Holiness’ “Aspiration for the World” says, “May we fulfill our countless and boundless wishes!” We thank you.

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HH Karmapa speaks of environmental stewardship at Yale University

On April 7, His Holiness Karmapa spoke about the role the heart plays in helping to protect the environment during his Chubb Fellowship Lecture on “Compassion in Action: Buddhism and the Environment” at Yale University.

On April 7, His Holiness Karmapa spoke about the role the heart plays in protecting the environment during his Chubb Fellowship Lecture on “Compassion in Action: Buddhism and the Environment” at Yale University in New Haven, Conneticut.


As a child living in a rural area in eastern Tibet, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje recalls a natural environment that was pristine and untarnished by modern development. It was there, he said, that he first experienced a feeling of “intimate connection” with and respect for the natural world.

“Where I was born, we regarded and experienced our environment as a living system, a living being: The mountains, the sources of water were all regarded as the dwelling places of what I would call holy spirits of various kinds,” the Karmapa told the packed audience in Woolsey Hall. “We therefore respected every aspect of the environment as part of a living system. We didn’t wash our clothes or even our hands in flowing water sources. We didn’t cast any kind of garbage or any kind of other pollutant into our fire in our hearth. We regarded the entire environment as innately sacred.”

Today, the Buddhist leader hopes to inspire others to see the interconnectedness of humans and their environment, and discussed that theme in the lecture on “Compassion in Action: Buddhism and the Environment.”

- From the Yale News article “Protecting the environment begins in the heart, says Buddhist leader”  Read the full article

For a report on HH Karmapa’s meeting with environmental activists at Yale, Read the full article



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HH Karmapa Teaches On Meditation

The 17th Karmapa teaches meditation, warns against commercialization and answers questions about meditation practice.

The 17th Karmapa gives a teaching on meditation at Karma Thegsum Choling dharma center in New Jersey.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa gave a teaching on meditation — the first on his current U.S. tour — on April 4 at Karma Thegsum Chöling (KTC-NJ), a dharma center in southern New Jersey. Addressing over 700 people, the Karmapa spoke about meditation and commonly held misperceptions about it.

Reflecting on his experiences at the beginning of the tour, HHK remarked that while visiting the headquarters of Google and Facebook he saw that the companies were creating spaces for their employees to meditate and were emphasizing mindfulness in the workplace. “It is excellent that everyone has the opportunity to practice meditation,” he said. However, while commending their efforts, he struck a strong cautionary note.

“Given that meditation must by its very nature be a personal, individual thing that each person experiences in their own way, based on their own needs and dispositions, based on their own investigation, I think it must never be commercialized or used for commercial purposes.”

He returned to this theme later, pointing to the way yoga is sometimes marketed as a form of physical exercise, although traditionally it is a highly rigorous form of spiritual training. “Nowadays many people are interested in Buddhism and especially meditation. But they think of meditation as some kind of spiritual therapy, like spiritual massage. They hope that by practicing meditation they will be able to reduce the stress and pressure that they feel in their busy lives and relax. This is fine, but it is not a complete practice of meditation as taught in Buddhism. That requires a more exclusive or intensive training.”

At the end of his talk, His Holiness answered questions from the audience on a range of topics from ngondro practice to depression to the use of modern technology and mindfulness. Read the full article

At the same venue the following day, HH Karmapa led a group from the dharma center in shamatha meditation, answered questions about meditation practice and then conferred an empowerment for Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. A separate article includes the Karmapa’s meditation instructions and practice. Read the article on meditation




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HH Karmapa Speaks At Harvard On Caring For The Earth And Others

His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa gave a talk at Harvard about caring for life on earth.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa gave a talk at Harvard’s Memorial Church about caring for life on earth.

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa spoke to a capacity crowd at Harvard’s Memorial Church on March 26. Professor David Hempton, Dean of the Faculty of Divinity, welcomed the Karmapa, who gave a talk on “Caring for Life on Earth in the 21st Century.”

Considered an environmental activist, His Holiness covered a range of topics from what it means to care for the earth and its inhabitants to the HDS Buddhist Ministry Initiative, his plans to establish full ordination for women in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, LGBT rights and race relations.

At the end of his talk, the Karmapa said he wanted to leave the audience with one thought: “When we talk about disasters in this world, we usually think of things like epidemics and famine, but there is one source of disaster that we often fail to recognize—a lack of love.” He urged everyone to feel “a love that is courageous … with each and every other living being and with this environment itself.”

Read the complete article here: “Caring for Life on Earth in the 21st Century

Watch the event at Harvard University.



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HH Karmapa Talks About Mindfulness With Google’s Chade-Meng Tan

HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and Chade Meng address Google staff. Nalandabodhi’s Mitra Tyler Dewar served as translator for His Holiness.

HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and Chade Meng Tan discuss mindfulness at Google headquarters. Nalandabodhi’s Mitra Tyler Dewar served as translator for His Holiness.

On March 15, after several hours touring the sprawling campus of Google in Mountain View, California, a state-of-the-art driverless car delivered His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to a building where Google staff had assembled for a talk on “Inner Connection and Meditation: Changing the World from the Inside Out.” The talk was structured as a dialogue—or self-styled Fireside Chat—with Chade-Meng Tan, author of Search Inside Yourself, who heads Google’s personal growth and wellness services.

It was a meeting of minds focused on mindfulness and meditation, as His Holiness Karmapa, who in 2009 spoke at TEDIndia on “The Technology of the Heart,” was welcomed by Chade-Meng Tan, who in 2010 shared in his TED talk about how Google is making compassion a key business practice.

Mitra Tyler Dewar, Dean of the Nalandabodhi Mitra Council of senior teachers, served as translator for His Holiness during the Google visit.

Read the full article on HH the 17th Karmapa’s mindfulness meeting with Google employees

View a slideshow of the Karmapa’s address to Google staff

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HH the 17th Karmapa Speaks on Compassion, Technology and the Environment

His Holiness Karmapa Speaks on Compassion at Stanford University: Our friend and frequent Nalanda West volunteer Rysiek Frackiewicz shared his notes on His Holiness’ Stanford University teaching, with the blog editors at Nalandabodhi.org. The full post includes a slideshow of HH Karmapa touring the Stanford campus. 
HHK-Karmapa-2015-Stanford-discussion-Tyler-Dewar-MEDOn Tuesday, March 17th, 2015, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, appeared at Stanford University’s Memorial auditorium, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. Through the kindness of an unnamed sponsor, this first public event of His Holiness’ 3rd US tour was attended by close to 1,600 people free of charge.  +read more

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Karmapa Seattle 2015

Karmapa-Seattle-2015-With Laptop-SM-Filip Wolak Photography

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Filip Wolak Photography)

Like so many others, we are rejoicing in the news that His Holiness Karmapa will soon be returning to the United States!

His Holiness will participate in many events during his spring tour, organized by numerous dharma centers, universities, and groups in different parts of the country.

For the 2015 visit, Karmapa Foundation is serving as the overall organizer of the tour. The official site is: www.karmapaamerica2015.org.

Nalandabodhi is honored to host His Holiness during the Seattle portion of the visit, May 5 – 11, 2015.

There will be public teachings in Seattle on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

The teaching topic has not yet been finalized, but we anticipate that there will be two teaching sessions on Saturday, May 9: 2:00 – 4:00 pm and 7:00 – 9:00 pm.  Please save the date!

Advanced ticketing is required, so please stay tuned for announcements regarding when tickets will go on sale, around the beginning of April.  Official announcements will only be made on this website and on www.nalandabodhi.org.

In addition to the public teaching in Seattle, His Holiness will spend time resting, sightseeing, and engaging in a limited number of private meetings. However, since His Holiness’ schedule is already full, we are not able to field requests for private audiences.

Questions? Please contact: HHKseattle2015@nalandawest.org

We look forward to sharing this wonderful time with old friends and new!

Nalanda West is run by volunteers of Nalandabodhi, a Buddhist community under the direction of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. 

You are warmly invited to follow Nalanda West email updates, and to join us on Facebook and Twitter!

And of course, we’d love for you to follow Nalandabodhi US on Twitter and Facebook as well.

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Awake in Seattle: A Celebration of Meditation, Joy and Laughter!

NW10_Audience_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3142Let’s just say we had a marvelous weekend. Awake in Seattle was Nalanda West’s thank-you to the Pacific Northwest community, and especially to Seattle, for 10 years supporting our programs and courses. We listened, contemplated, meditated, ate great food, and enjoyed each other’s company while checking out Nalanda West’s Five Fields of Knowledge.

NW10_Lynne Marvet_attendees_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3156 We celebrated on Saturday beginning with a meditation session, then a welcome by Nalandabodhi’s Executive Director, Diane Gregorio, and a rousing panel featuring esteemed teachers from three different Buddhist traditions: Theravadin (Venerable Pannavati), Mahayana (John Tarrant Roshi), and Vajrayana (Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, founder of Nalandabodhi International, the community that runs Nalanda West).

Venerable Pannavati helped us to connect with our “inner smile.” John Tarrant Roshi guided us in contemplating a Zen koan that involved taking a bath, and experiencing the light of wisdom with the touch of the water. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gave us a delicious taste of the “gap” where the mind opens up between the in-breath and the out-breath. Then Angela Russell of KIRO 7 News and Tyler Dewar, Dean of Nalandabodhi’s council of senior teachers (Mitras), co-moderated a session of questions and answers, with lively exchanges and plenty of laughter!

NW10_Teachers Panel_High Five_2_ 20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3116        NW10_Teachers Panel_DPR looks at heavens_Pannavati smile in foreground_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3125

NW10_Nitartha,NW table_Allen Penny_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3215Saturday afternoon, visitors browsed the rooms of Nalanda West, exploring the Five Fields of Knowledge that inspire its varied programs and courses.

There were demonstrations of calligraphy, movement, and song celebrating Creativity and the Arts, as well as informative, interactive experiences of Health & Well-Being, Communication, Knowing & Reasoning, and Inner Science of Mind.

On Sunday the contemplative fun continued with a panel featuring senior teachers of Nalandabodhi International: Acharya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen, and the Nalandabodhi’s four Mitras: Tyler Dewar, Karl Brunnholzl, Lee Worley, and Mark Power, along with moderator Sandra Roscoe.

Acharya Lama Tenpa set the tone by suggesting that meditation practitioners keep warm by applying our bums to the cushion! Each of the Mitras addressed an important facet of 21st century Buddhism.

NW10_Audience_laughing_Jack Elias_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3108   NW10_Audience_laughing_20141116-NalandaWest-by-Scott-Pownall-3109
Mitra Dean Tyler Dewar explained that the essential experience of Buddhist practice will always be “analog” rather than merely “digital,” and emphasized the importance of our gathering to study, practice, and engage in person.

Awake-in-Seattle-screen-shot-upper-programMitra Karl Brunnholzl discussed five ways that contemporary Buddhist students can adapt to the dharma (rather than only trying to get Buddhism to adapt to our cultural comfort zone). Mitra Lee Worley, an engaging storyteller, told a timeless and beautiful story of the Buddha claiming the earth as the witness of his enlightenment, and urged us to contemplate our relationship to the earth. Mitra Mark Power helped us think more deeply about mindfulness, as a means to full awakening and freedom, rather than only as a tool to calm our stress or be more effective in our work.

We enjoyed hosting so many new and old friends for this joyful and very memorable weekend! May we continue the celebration by appreciating our opportunities to contemplate the gift of this precious life . . .  and by opening up to the wisdom that is always peeking through our experience.


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