His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa visits Geneva, Switzerland
On the 24th and 25th of June 2007, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa visited the Kagyu Dharma center of Lama-Monlamgyatso in Geneva, Switzerland. The son of Lama-Ngawangtchoetrub Rinpoche and Sherabzangmo, Lama-Monlamgyatso has received a lama’s education from his early youth and has been a close disciple of many great Buddhist masters, including the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Dudjom Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche.
Due to unfortunate circumstances with travel and flight connections, His Holiness was unable to attend the scheduled Mahakala puja on the evening of the 23rd. However, he received a very warm welcome when he arrived late that evening to Kagyu Shenpen Kunkyab, the European seat of Lama-Monlamgyatso.
The following morning, Karmapa Thaye Dorje received a more formal welcoming. Everyone in the meeting hall, which would be used for the next two days’ events, was given a copy of the long life prayer of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa and of the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa, composed by the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. All the traditional offerings of mandala, body, speech, mind, activity and quality were made in all the usual pomp and circumstance.
His Holiness then gave a teaching on Buddhist practice followed by the refuge vow. His Holiness said, “No matter how big the obstacles we face, we can always overcome. If we analyze our obstacles, it is not the circumstances but rather attachment to one’s self.”
That evening Karmapa Thaye Dorje gave the Karma Pakshi Empowerment to around 300 people.
On the evening of the 25th, His Holiness met, once again, with the people gathered in Geneva through auspices of Lama-Monlamgyatso to give the Guru Rinpoche Wang, or the Padmasambhava Empowerment. His Holiness explained that the purpose of this empowerment was to increase one’s lifespan in order to be able to further benefit all sentient beings. “In order to have all the right circumstances in our life, we first must develop Loving Kindness and Compassion. Through this we are able to realize our enlightened nature. Once we are able to realize our own pure qualities, we are able to see all sentient beings are the same.” His Holiness said. “Traditionally, all beings have been our mothers since beginingless time. Therefore, the kindness we receive from our parents is the same as we have received from all beings. This also shows that all sentient beings have kindness. They have the Buddha Nature. Even the most ferocious animals can show kindness.”
Report: Derek Hanger
Photos: Thule G. Jug