Today, on the auspicious Tibetan holy day of Saka Dawa honoring the Buddha's enlightenment, His Holiness Karmapa arrives at his North American seat, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra monastery in upstate New York. The cities of Shamong, New Jersey, Boulder, Colorado and Seattle, Washington are also busily and joyfully preparing to host His Holiness in the next two weeks.
His Holiness Karmapa taught again in the Big Apple yesterday, to an audience of approximately 1,700 at the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria. Kagyu Office posted this beautiful summary of the teachings:
In discussing the topic “Cutting Through Confusion: Discovering the Wisdom of Our Own Minds,” His Holiness gave incredibly practical and useful advice about how to transcend the cultural trappings that may come to be associated with meditation practice and, rather, allow one’s mind to relax and be wakeful in a natural, uncontrived way. His Holiness discussed a broad range of other topics as well, occasionally delving into his impressive English vocabulary, to the great delight of the sold-out audience.
The day concluded with a blessing audience for members of the Buddhist organizations that have worked together to plan and administer His Holiness’s visit. At this audience, His Holiness answered the pre-submitted questions of the audience and extended his heartfelt gratitude to those who have made his trip to the United States possible: the United States government, the Indian government, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and, most importantly, his students and dharma friends in the United States.
At the beginning of the teaching, a representative from Mayor Bloomberg's office presented His Holiness with a framed poster proclaiming this His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Week in New York City.
Other major events in New York in the past two days included a Dharma teaching for Tibetans at Hunter College, and a visit to Tibet House. His Holiness also met with an audience of children and families from the Ronald McDonald House. Blog reader Divya Jyoti posted this comment, which summarizes the feelings of everyone involved in His Holiness Karmapa's first New York City visit:
I was with a group of parents and children from the Ronald McDonald House to have an audience with His Holiness last evening. I wish to thank His Holiness for his compassionate response and blessing of the children and families. His love was felt by us all. Let the healing begin.
Divya Jyoti and the families at the Ronald McDonald House NYC
Additional photographs and highlights from His Holiness' Big Apple teachings and activities will be posted very soon, even as the blog begins to turn its attention to the coming events in upstate New York, New Jersey, Colorado and Washington. Over the coming days, the blog's regular Karmapa Foundation staff writer will be joined by special guest contributors including Tyler Dewar, Diane Gregorio, and others. Tyler works closely with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche as his primary translator, and Diane is Rinpoche's Chief of Staff for the organization of Karmapa's visit to America. We are honored to have their participation and look forward to their contributions to the blog.