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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

The 17th Karmapa Visits Boulder, Seattle, New York

May 29, 2008

Words of a Venerated Tibetan Buddhist Teacher
By Josefine Cole
Associated Content
May 27, 2008

Boulder, Colorado -- The Karmapa is a title given to a lineage of
reincarnate Buddhist masters who head the Karma Kagyu subsect of the
Kagyupa school, one of four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The
current Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is seventeenth in a line
extending back to the twelfth century. The first Karmapa, Dusum
Khyenpa, studied under Gampopa ("Karmapa"), the renowned physician
and founder of the Kagyu school who in turn was part of the initial
line of transmission of Indian Buddhist thought to Tibet ("Gampopa").
His Holiness (as his followers refer to the Karmapa), just 22 years
old, made his first visit to the United States from his home in exile
in Sidhbari, India, in May of 2008. He spoke in New York City,
Boulder, Colorado, and Seattle.

Speaking with translation to a crowd of over 2,000 on the Colorado
University campus May 25, the solid and self-assured Karmapa
underlined the potential for positive impact on the world despite the
distractions and challenges of our age. Relating how the upgrade of
hunting technology in his home region in Tibet has resulted in
endangering the wildlife there, the Karmapa stressed that technology
is not inherently evil; it is the actions with and motivations behind
it that determine its impact. In fact, when asked how one could have
a successful Dharma practice (i.e., practice with the teachings of
the Buddha), the Karmapa wryly replied that the first thing one might
need is a good computer!

While the Karmapa hesitated to recommend preparation for a future
that is still unknown to us, His Holiness emphasized acting to
improve the world better from our current situation, using the
metaphor of the world's citizens being like a group of painters, each
painting where they live in the most beautiful way possible.

The Karmapa further suggested that one see the earth not as
inanimate, but as a goddess or mother; thus, one has responsibility
to give back to what has given one so much. The commonsense ecology
of the Karmapa, however, was balanced with concern for one's fellow
human beings, saying that the ultimate result of Dharma practice is
not Buddhahood, but helping others. His Holiness presented a
worldview of great hope and potential, one in which mankind is called
to uplift and benefit no one segment of existence, but virtually all
with which one interacts.

Works Cited:

"Karmapa." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 26 May 2008.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karmapa>

"Gampopa." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 26 May 2008.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gampopa>
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