Message from His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje on Peace Day

His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje

His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje

Dear Dharma Friends,

I am delighted to share this message as Faith in Peace Ambassador for Peace Day on 21st September 2013. With the United Nations Secretary-General and countless others supporting this global day of peace, this is an auspicious moment indeed.

So what does it take to be a Peace Ambassador? It might feel like a very grand title, one that Governments or large organizations might use. We might think of ambassadors traveling the world, spreading a message, visiting places of conflict. While this is certainly true in some cases, there is a different – but equally important – type of ambassador.

In life, it is somehow easier to think of peace as being needed somewhere on the other side of the world. It is the responsibility of diplomats, charities and large organizations – how could we possibly have a role?

Meaningful peace starts much closer to home. Meaningful peace benefits those directly in front of us. What is the point in promoting peace in one part of the world, if we leave those directly around us feeling upset? Meaningful peace needs us all to be ambassadors for peace. Right here. Right now.

Fortunately, we all have the tools already to be Peace Ambassadors. Being an ambassador for peace does not require special training, experience, or a title. Being an ambassador for peace means tapping into your own innate values – your inner wealth – and using them to benefit those closest to you. It means being alive, awake, taking responsibility for your actions. It means not being driven by your emotions, but controlling them.

But how? Well, the first step is to recognize that we all affect the people around us by our thoughts, words and actions. Those people will influence others through their thoughts, words and actions. These personal encounters and influences are magnified in communities, on social networks, until very quickly millions of people are touched in some way. So the first step is to recognize that in today’s society we all have the power to be a global peace ambassador through the people closest to us. I think straight away of my family, and my students. They make a difference to me, and I also make a difference to them. We can all affect people positively or negatively, towards or away from peace. Peace starts with our own thoughts, words and actions.

Now that we have this power for peace, and we realise that it is not the sole power of big organizations and governments, it is important that we use this power to benefit others. Sometimes, when there are difficulties, it is difficult to smile, and to try and bring positivity to yourself and those around you. It might be beneficial to reflect for a moment on the most important people in your life. Reflect on their kindness, the sacrifices they have gone through at times to express that kindness. When we appreciate these people, we may also be inspired to show kindness, to share a smile, even when it feels hardest to do so. So it’s not about doing years and years of work and finally bringing something called peace. It’s not like that. Peace is now.

So on Peace Day 21st September, I appeal to all people to be ambassadors for peace – a meaningful peace that starts within us, and with those directly in front of us.

On this day, I share my heartfelt wishes for all people to nurture their innate values of compassion and wisdom, and for all to reflect on and appreciate the kindness of others. And I share my heartfelt wishes that one day, every day will be a day of peace.

On the Scene with Khedrub in Natural Bridge – Part Deux!

Home sweet home...

Home sweet home…

I thought I would have written sooner, but it has been a very full program and the time is flying…..

On the second day of Rinpoche’s teachings, he gave us instructions on shamatha and vipassyana. He encouraged us to rely on the instructions in both the booklet “Boundless Awakening” and the book “The Path to Awakening”. Bodhi Path teachers Lama Jampa, Tsony, Dawa, Rachel, Pamela and I have had the opportunity to share and support one another. This a rare occurrence as we are all involved in our own activities. It is helpful and inspiring to see how each one manifests Dharma activity according to their own style and abilities and in partnership with all of you who show up to help.

On the third day of the program, we all went up to the new Buddha Pavilion to celebrate and consecrate its completion. Rinpoche told us the story of how he ordered the statue from Burma where the metal crafting is particularly refined and beautiful. He said that this Buddha statue is the “crown jewel” of the Natural Bridge Bodhi Path center and the way it is situated on the high point of the property is radiating blessings out to the world. We ended the ceremony with Rinpoche handing all of us small blessed Chenrezig statues.

Buddha Pavilion

Buddha Pavilion

Rinpoche consecrating Buddha statue.

Rinpoche consecrating Buddha statue.

Ceremony

Ceremony

Buddha

Buddha

Later that evening, we had our annual party featuring the Bodhi Band singing old and new songs. New entries are always welcome and there were some great ones again this year by Sharon, Matt and Sanford. Soon you will be able to go to YouTube and watch a video of the Bodhi Path Band singing Sandford Garner and Khenpo Tsering’s hit song, “That’s the Way, the Madhyamika Way”. The party was a bit smaller than previous years but it was just as enthusiastic and enjoyable.

Monday was the Bodhi Path Meeting for all the folks who help out at the various centers to meet each other and the assistants and share information. It is so inspiring to hear about the expanding activities going on at all the centers. I asked that the minutes of the meeting be sent along to us in Pasadena so that I can relay the news to all of you. There are so many folks here from Latin America as well . The Bodhi Path center in Mexico meets 4 nights per week and stream teachings from Mexico City to other Latin countries and Miami.  Eduardo, the resident teacher, has unstoppable energy and it is contagious!

We were free on Monday evening and all of Tuesday up until Tsony’s retreat at 7 pm. A few of us Californians went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the views on either side are spectacular. We did a bit of shopping and got back to the center by 4 pm when Tsony and I had a meeting to discuss the retreat.

The title of the retreat is The Union of Compassion and Emptiness. We are doing the Chenrezig practice 3 x’s per day spending 30–45 minutes accumulating the mantra. Kimberly from Chicago is here. She is the one who is manages the Mani Face Book Page and keeps track of the numbers of mantras being accumulated throughout the world. We are up to 33 million or so. Our goal, being 100 million, now has a new end date of next Losar. So keep going everybody!

I am leading the Q & A after lunch and also the following ½ hour of movement meditation. Today we walked around the stupa continuing the mantra.

We will have a few more days of retreat and then all go our separate ways. There are so many wonderful friends, old and new. Tonight, I will be interviewing Jay and Carol with a view of writing an article for next year’s “The Path”. I am interested in finding out all I can about how this wonderful center here in Natural Bridge has come into being.

They are the ones who made it happen and lived the history of it’s birth. It is a story I think we would all love to know.

Need I say, I am having a wonderful time and wish you all were here. Let’s plan it for next year! Sending you love and wishes……

Dakinis

Dakinis

Welcome!

Welcome!

Stupa at Natural Bridge Bodhi Path

Stupa at Natural Bridge Bodhi Path

On the Scene with Khedrub in Natural Bridge

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Greetings from Bodhi Path headquarters in Natural Bridge, Virginia!

This is a place of natural beauty situated in the lovely Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountain ranges.  I am attending the 6th annual teaching program of Shamar Rinpoche with a 100 or so other folks from all over the US and some coming from several countries in Europe and from as far away as Darjeeling, India.  The topic is “Compassion Meets Emptiness”.  It is wonderful to be with Rinpoche and receive his teachings, see old friends and new from all the different Bodhi Path Centers, and come together with the other Bodhi Path teachers and assistants who all work so tirelessly to support the Dharma and Rinpoche’s activity in the West.

I arrived here on Thursday night several hours later than expected due an east coast storm that had me and many others bumped or delayed on our journeys.  I was greeted at the Roanoke airport by Marc Junkunc.  Boy was I happy to see him!  Having arisen at 2 am, I was glad to get back to Willow Cabin where I am staying with Rachel and Pamela, Dharma sisters and fellow Bodhi Path teachers.  Friday morning we all assembled in the beautiful 7 year old Meditation Hall offered and built by local Bodhi Pather Peter Sils to receive teachings from Shamar Rinpoche who looks rested and in good health.

Rinpoche began by tracing the origins of the Vajrayana teachings and the difference between tantric and Mahayana methods.  He also said that it was Buddha who discovered Vipasyana meditation.  All that had been known up until that time was Shiné meditation.  He went on to give detailed explanations of the practice of Chenrezig and then we all did the practice together.  Saturday Rinpoche will teach on Shine Lhaktong, Mahamudra.  Sunday morning there will be a consecration ceremony up at the new Buddha Pavilion. The assistants have passed out a draft of guidelines for all Bodhi Path, start-ups, groups and centers and by definition we are a center!  News to me….But I am thrilled to know it!

Hot lunches are being catered by the Southern Inn, a local Lexington establishment, and are delicious.  They are served in a tent on a lawn outside of the Meditation Hall.  I was given a complimentary Bodhi Path T-shirt.  After lunch I had a meeting with Chris Fang, an assistant, Dawa, Santa Barbara’s resident teacher, and Christine and Clarissa from SLO.  The meeting was to discuss having a collaborative regional teaching in Santa Barbara with Trinlay Rinpoche at the end of the year.  It was a fruitful meeting but nothing has been decided yet.

The day ended up with a trip to Kroger’s, a local supermarket, to buy groceries and then back to the tent and Meditation hall for pizza and a Dharma movie, Fierce Light.  The writer and director is named Velcrow Ripper.  More later……Wish you all were here with me!  I’ll will send some photos soon.

~ Khedrub

Here’s a link to Fierce Light’s homage:  www.fiercelight.org

Letting go | Tricycle Online Retreat, March 2011

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Dear friends,

Here is a link to an online retreat from Tricycle Magazine in March 2011 with Pasadena Bodhi Path’s resident teacher, Khedrub Zangmo and Bodhi Path International teacher, Pamela Gayle White.

http://www.tricycle.com/online-retreats/letting-go