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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, is the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, is the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.


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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message in the wake of the floods in South Asia:
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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, is delighted to share some wonderful news.
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For the first time, students from around the world will be able to join Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, as he leads Samantabhadra’s King of Aspiration Prayers under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, at the Kagyu Monlam 2016.

You can join Karmapa LIVE on his official Facebook page:

Thursday 15 December 2016: 1pm-2:45pm (India Standard Time) / 8:30am-10:15am (Central European Time)
Saturday 17 December 2016: 1pm-2:45pm (IST) / 8:30am-10:15am (CET)
Sunday 18 December 2016: 1pm-2:45pm (IST) / 8:30am-10:15am (CET)
Wednesday 21 December 2016: 1pm-2:45pm (IST) / 8:30am-10:15am (CET)
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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following teaching on compassion, on the anniversary of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa’s paranirvana.

Mahabodhisattva Chandrakirti, who lived in the first half of the seventh century CE, started his famous work, the Madhyamikavatara (“Introduction to the Middle Way”) with the lines:
“Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas are born from the Muni king;
Buddhas are born from bodhisattvas;
And, from the mind of compassion, non-duality and Bodhicitta, bodhisattvas are born.”

This particular quote by the great Buddhist master Chandrakirti is a part of my daily prayers and practices, not just because I’m a Buddhist – but because I am a human being. The quote speaks to my consciousness, which allows me to recognize, understand, and accept that the saying ‘love conquers all’ is justified. In other words, these four lines are part of my daily practice because they are true.

Why? Because, ultimately, what really matters, what is worthwhile, is genuine care. It is only through genuine care that we can find joy. ‘Genuine’ means unconditioned, and ‘joy’ means being free from all forms of anxiety and pain, which in Buddhist terms means being free from karma and klesha (afflictive emotions).

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.

Compassion defies the logic and laws of life, transcending birth, ageing, illness and death. Compassion is the only quality that can help us understand these four stages of life not as something terrible but as truth, impermanence, and nature. Therefore, it helps us to find courage to live meaningful lives. Suddenly, through knowing and accepting the impermanence of life, we discover much more joy, much more purpose in life.

Compassion gives birth to extraordinary beings, such as the Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas. These are individuals just like ourselves, but who achieve the courage to let go of the source of life’s anxiety: the ego, which harms all sentient beings. Compassion also gives birth to other extraordinary beings, such as the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, who develop the courage to share the experience of compassion with all sentient beings – even though they know that there is no limit to the number of sentient beings.

Therefore, should we wish to cherish anything in life, it should be none other than compassion. A compassion that is unconditioned, like a mother’s love for her only child. For her child’s sake, a mother is willing to sacrifice even her own life. What kind of person might this child might become in the future? Such a question is irrelevant when it comes to a mother’s love and compassion.

May we see our human existence as a precious human existence, which will enable us to cherish qualities like this, not next year, not tomorrow but right here, right now.
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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October.

"Nonviolence, peace, compassion – all of these are different expressions of excellence, and what we all wish to accomplish.
However, it is difficult to pinpoint what those expressions or qualities really are. If we look at them in a materialistic way, then it almost becomes impossible to achieve.
Of course, because of our consciousness, because of our innate qualities, we still have an idea that we want to achieve non-violence, we want to achieve peace, we want to achieve compassion. But the reason why it becomes challenging to pinpoint what they are might be due to afflictive emotions, unfavourable causality that pushes the search for this excellence in an extreme way.

As a consequence, we lose sight of the fact that this excellence is incredibly simple. And only with patience, with great patience, great care for others, great regard for others, we are able to somehow nurture this simplicity.

We must remember great beings who appear in our lives and in our era, who display this excellence. And so today, we remember the life of Mahatma Gandhi-ji, his extraordinary example of simplicity, his approach of leading his life and leading others in his path of nonviolence.

No matter our culture, religion, or society: patience is patience, care is care – it surpasses all the social boundaries of culture, mentality or religion.

There is something that we can learn from Gandhi-ji about having patience, courage, and how to live life in the moment; taking great responsibilities on one’s shoulders, and at the same time accepting the fragility of this life, for at the end of our lives we must part from all that we have done; and yet, we must have the patience not to be weighed down.

Gandhi-ji did all of this by leading a very simple life, while still carrying an immense responsibility. He taught those great lessons, and we must find ways to learn from them. Many of us have a life that is more comfortable than the one he lived, so in fact we have a very good chance of achieving what he achieved in his lifetime.

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.

I celebrate Gandhi-ji with the nation of India, and everyone around the world, for I have immense appreciation for his example."
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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of Peace, 21 September 2016.

"Dear dharma friends,
I believe that few of us really know what ‘peace’ means.

We may wish for ‘peace’ or do something ‘in the name of peace’, and though our motivations have merit, we really can have no idea whether our actions, gestures or words really contribute to this idea of peace.

We may be religious people, philosophers, scientists, politicians, doctors,­ – but who can say that they have really understood what peace is? We can use sophisticated words, logic, actions, but that still really won’t pinpoint peace ­– it still won’t achieve peace.

Having said this, it doesn’t mean that if we do something in the name of peace that there is no value. However, the real value lies in what we can do right now to motivate ourselves: we can aspire to seek peace, for ourselves and for others ­– even if we don’t know exactly what it is.

Therefore, it is better not to tire ourselves out by thinking ‘this is peace’ and grasping at the concept – we will never get it right. But one thing we can get right, is to know that we want this thing called peace. Even though nothing else might be clear, the aspiration is clear, and this is what really matters.

So I would like to ask everyone to use not just the UN International Day of Peace, but every day, to sustain your aspiration for peace, your longing for peace.

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.

In order to support this aspiration, I would ask everyone to learn, contemplate and meditate.

What I mean by ‘learn’ is to educate yourselves about the nature of compassion, the nature of wisdom. And then whatever you have learned, examine it closely, and reflect on it. Then, whatever you have deduced from deep listening and contemplation, meditate on that. When you do this, you will be meditating on the basis of compassion and wisdom, a state of mind where there is no grasping and no judgment.

Take five minutes a day to start with: just meditate; calm yourself; focus on the non­grasping of any thoughts; any ideas of any kind, whether they are positive or negative, necessary or unnecessary, important or unimportant. During these five minutes, lose everything – lose yourself from any thoughts. And when you do this, the aspiration for peace will naturally emerge."
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