We are pleased to share this open letter posted today to www.karmapavisit.org by The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, regarding His Holiness Karmapa's visit to America:
May 21, 2008
Woodstock, New York
We joyously welcomed the arrival of His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to the United States on Thursday, May 15. For nearly two decades, thousands of people have been anticipating his coming to the West, and it is finally happening. On May 15, His Holiness began an historic 18-day tour, visiting New York City, Woodstock, New Jersey, Boulder, and Seattle. This visit is entirely spiritual in nature. During this visit, His Holiness will present major public talks, meet with many Buddhist practitioners, give traditional empowerments, bless centers, and share his wisdom and compassion.
As organizers of this visit, we wish to express our deep gratitude to the Government of India for facilitating this trip, as well as for all the support they have provided to His Holiness in India. We also wish to thank the Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi and the Office of Tibet in New York City; the United States Government; and the Karmapa's Office of Administration in Dharamsala, India for their guidance and support. We also wish to thank the many hundreds of volunteers, supporters and donors throughout the West who are making this visit a reality.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the tours of the Sixteenth Karmapa were historic occasions for the Western Buddhist community. This first visit of His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa is also proving to be a momentous event. People are drawn to the Karmapa's public appearances and teachings because of his profound spiritual and meditative mastery and his transformational and enlightening effect on almost everyone who comes into his presence. The Karmapa brings a very positive and hopeful spiritual message for these turbulent times.
We view this visit to America like a “family reunion.” People are coming from not only all over the United States and Canada, but also from Europe and even Asia to attend the teachings. The Karmapa's only intention is to connect with and offer spiritual teachings to his students and to the interested public-at-large. Due to the short duration of the visit, the Karmapa will be entirely focused on his spiritual activities.
As the visit progresses, we invite everyone to visit our website (www.karmapavisit.org), and to view posted photographs as well as accounts on the official blog (http://karmapavisit.blogspot.com).
The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Principal Organizer, Karmapa in America 2008
H.H. Karmapa's Office of Administration, U.S.