25th Story Update: A Pithy Teaching

Throughout his remarkable life, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa gave powerful teachings around the world with his physical presence as well as his speech and mind.

In 1980, despite his declining health and physicians’ directives to rest and not travel, His Holiness embarked on a third major international tour, focusing on North America and East Asia.

An early North American dharma student, Lyle Weinstein, shared with us a memorable and pithy teaching given by His Holiness in eight simple words. Thank you, Lyle!

Karme Choling, Barnet, VT (1974.09) © Robert Del Tredici, Shambhala Archives Collection

By Lyle Weinstein

It was 1980, and His Holiness the 16th Karmapa had just concluded his last Black Crown Ceremony. At that time, his health was rapidly declining, and when the crowd of more than 400 people lined up to receive his blessing, they suddenly heard a concerned voice: “Your Holiness, it is clear that you are tired and not feeling well. Most of us here already received your blessing, maybe it is better if we don’t all line up, and you can go and rest.”

His Holiness replied: “That is the time to extend yourself further,” and continued with a gentle smile. Nearly two hours later, every person without exception had been given the blessing of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.

In spite of his illness, His Holiness continually extended himself on that tour, giving blessings and ensuring that the dharma seeds he’d planted during his lifetime would be strong enough to survive his departure until he could return once again.

Karmapa Center is fortunate and grateful for the blessings His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa bestowed on the proposed stupa ground on May 4, 2015. With Rinpoches, Acharyas and Lamas in attendance, His Holiness conducted a smoke puja beneath a sun rainbow in a clear sky, with birds singing and spring flowers in bloom.

If you’d like to share your memories or photos of His Holiness with us, please send them to: media@karmapacenter16.org.

As always, we offer our heartfelt thanks for your continued interest and support of KC16. May the Center be of great benefit to all beings!