His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa meets with VIPs and dignitaries
The first few days of His Holiness’ stay in Taipei City were devoted to meetings with a large number of media representatives and VIPs from the political, economic and business communities.
On the morning of May 2 His Holiness was invited to the private residence of the Chairman of Congress (Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China), Mr Jin-pyng Wang. Gyalwa Karmapa and his entourage were given a warm welcome in the reception room, in which apart from the Chairman himself and his family, many other dignitaries were present, including the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr Pen-Tsao Chang and the Deputy Minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Mr Wang-Hsiang Hwang, Ph.D.Everyone expressed their joy at receiving His Holiness once again in Taipei after so many years, and Mr. Jin-pyng Wang informed Him about various developments since His last visit, particularly emphasising the steadily increasing interest of the people of Taiwan in the Buddha dharma.
His Holiness voiced his appreciation of the positive developments, and his pleasure at being in Taiwan again. He said that he had been offering his prayers for everyone there ever since they first met in 1999 and went on to explain that it was due to the blessing of the Three Jewels and everybody’s positive karma that this meeting had become possible. He also emphasised that it was vital to use one’s fortunate circumstances to take responsibility for the betterment of others. “The essence of practice is to benefit others, to give them freedom and support – this is the main practice of the bodhisattva’s way.”His Holiness then went on to give concise instructions on how to do the practices of Vajrasattva (tib. Dorje Sempa) and Amitayus (tib. Tsepame) and the transmission of the mantras connected with these practices.
After a two-hour exchange and dharma teaching His Holiness Karmapa and entourage were offered a delicious eight-course vegetarian gala lunch at Mr. Jin-pyng Wang’s charming residence.
On the morning of May 3 His Holiness met with the Mayor of Taipei City, Dr. Eric Liluan Chu. The latter expressed his great respect for and appreciation of the Buddha dharma and said that he considered himself a student of Gyalwa Karmapa. Before leaving the City Hall His Holiness and entourage performed a short puja to bless the premises.
The next meeting was scheduled at the residence of Mr Pen-Tsao Chang, Chairman of the General Chamber of Commerce of R.O.C.
The meeting started with an address by Mr Pen-Tsao Chang in which he talked about the peaceful co-existence and fruitful cooperation of the various spiritual traditions in Taiwan. He also explained that over the past few years more and more people have been turning towards Buddhism and that it is now the majority religion in Taiwan.
In his answering address His Holiness Karmapa said that Taiwan had always been very supportive in terms of creating a good basis and the right conditions for establishing the Buddha dharma, ever since the times of his predecessor, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. He expressed his appreciation of this continued support and said that he would never forget it.
Report: Rabjam Rikki Catty, Photos: Thule G. Jug