Karmapa’s Prayer for Manchester

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Photo: Thule Jug

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.

For all those affected:

We are praying for you.

I am praying for you.

Thaye Dorje
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

Source: A Prayer for Manchester from #Karmapa

Photo: Thule Jug

​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.

Karmapa says: „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.“

Read the full announcement here: http://www.karmapa.org/special-news

Compassion is the best weapon we have

No matter what kind of aggression we feel, the best weapon that we have as human beings is compassion. 

This doesn’t mean that we have to constantly offer our cheeks to be slapped, but instead we can very skilfully express this compassion by having great patience, by bearing all the difficulties that we might face. Compassion can really overcome all forms of obstacles. Of course, that doesn’t mean that suddenly life radically changes and that everything is alright. But somehow, through that practice of compassion, life makes sense. It makes sense to live, it makes sense to move forward, it makes sense to do anything.


Karmapa: „Try to let go“

Every minute, every hour, every morning, every evening, every day, I know that you will all get distracted by many things. It’s normal, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just natural. But nevertheless, whenever you are aware, try to let go. And use whatever forms of practices you know. It can be as simple as just chanting a few mantras, it’s fine, use that as a tool to let go.

Let go in a way that it’s the natural thing to do, not in a way that it’s an unnatural thing to do. Often, when we try to let go of things we think and feel that it’s not natural – that there is something to hold on to.

And so therefore it becomes harder and harder and harder to let go, to a point where we cannot appreciate the practice after some time. Practice, it becomes the biggest burden in our lives! Why? Because deep down we feel that letting go is not natural.

We feel that it’s not natural to get sick. It’s not natural to die. It’s not natural for the seasons to change. It’s not natural to feel hot after feeling cold, or the opposite. And so therefore, we try to keep that experience longer, we try to postpone things, to push things further, to push the deadlines further.

And as a result, we have more and more and more pressure, up to a point to where no matter how many teachings we receive, no matter how many practices we do, no matter how many recitations of mantras we do, no matter how many prostrations we do, no matter how many charitable things we do, they all mean nothing. In fact, they become our biggest burden.

And this is how we will lose our way. That nothing works. No medicine works, no drugs work, no meditation works, no spirituality works, no friends work, no family works, nothing works. And we are left to a point where life means nothing. Nothing but pain. Up to a point where we even try to merge this idea that all life is pain, and what Buddha said – that life is suffering.

It is the most discouraging thing of all to happen. Because that’s not what Buddha was trying to say. What Buddha was trying to say was:  just try to let go. It’s not that life is real pain, that there is no point, no meaning at all. He said there is every meaning, but in order to find that meaning all we have to do is let go, let things be.


Vision of peace

“Peace is complete awareness. In this state of awareness, we cultivate and combine compassion and wisdom. In this state of awareness, we are alive, awake, we take responsibility for our actions. In this state, we are not driven by emotion, we control our emotions and actions. In this state, we are patient, nonviolent, we do not judge. In this state, we nurture our Inner Wealth – our innate values – and balance them with outer (material) wealth in a way that benefits all sentient beings. This is peace.”

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa ~

Karmapa: „Life is Change“

Because life is change – what that means is that there is a conceptual past, meaning that there is a conceptual history, and there is also a conceptual possible history, meaning that according to the past and according to what has happened today, that tomorrow it could be like this. One can draw theories, one can draw concepts, but nothing more. The reality is that past is truly past, and the future hasn’t come at all, and even the present is just a mere experience of change? and as a result then there is nothing to fear, there is nothing to lose. All there is is a mere experience.

And so it is this kind of attitude, perspective and practice that has helped many beings to somehow turn every challenge, every obstacle into an opportunity. To do what? Basically, to do good, to be good, to be kind.

~ Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa ~