Ullambana Test

The passing of Honorable Karma Dhondup, father of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s father, Honorable Karma Dhondup, passed away on Buddha Purnima Day, the 15th day of the Vesak month (May 23, 2024).

According to the Tibetan calendar, Buddha Purnima is called “Düchen Sumdzom,” meeting three special occasions: the day when Buddha Sakyamuni was born, attained enlightenment and passed away into parinivana.

The resident lamas and members of Karmapa Center 16 in Wadsworth, Illinois, will be holding daily prayers and butter lamp offerings through the 49th day

Meditation for All – Every Sunday, Online and Onsite

Since October of last year, our resident teacher, Acharya Lhakpa Tshering, has offered guided meditation and short dharma teachings every Sunday at Karmapa Center 16, and friends in the area have been able to join us onsite.

As everyone is welcome, and no prior experience is needed, Acharya calls the Sunday sessions Meditation for All

We are delighted to announce that beginning January 14, 2024, Acharya’s teaching and the opportunity to practice together, will be offered online, so that Meditation for All will, indeed, be available to all! 

Please join us onsite or online! 

For online access, please register here for the Zoom link. The sessions begin at 10 am and finish at 11:30 am Central Standard Time. Please be sure to log onto Zoom a few minutes before we start. Below, you can find a few other guidelines that will help all of us practice together in the most beneficial way possible.

KC16’s resident teacher – Acharya Lhakpa Tshering. Photo Credit: Gloria Sherab Drolma

We aspire to follow in the footsteps of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa by offering Meditation for All to everyone and practicing together as he once expressed: 

“I will always exert myself in dharmic recitation, proclamations, and readings. In mind, I will not flutter back and forth like a young bird on a branch. Not getting absorbed in discursive thoughts of good and bad, I will meditate, cultivating forbearance and relying on my own perceptions, not those of others. I will reflect on how best to benefit the teachings and beings.” 


Karmapa Khyenno!

A Reminder to Myself

With your supreme intelligence, you realized the intention
Of the unsurpassable vehicle, the tradition of Padmakara.
Guru of unequalled kindness, I remember you from my heart.
I supplicate you—bless me with your compassion.
I, Pema Trinley Palzang, a performer of three activities,
From now on, will take control of my own discipline in thought and deed.
I make a firm commitment, as follows,
To avoid thoughtlessness and senselessness.

In physical conduct, I will not allow myself to be rootless and hurried,
Incapable of being still, carelessly following my every whim.
I will always hold my own space
And be adorned by the training in pure discipline.

In speech, whether spiritual or secular,
I will choose meaningful words
And shun unconnected talk of past events or boring discussions concerning any of the three times.
I will always exert myself in dharmic recitations, proclamations, and readings.

In mind, I will not flutter back and forth like a young bird on a branch.
Not getting absorbed in discursive thoughts of good and bad,
I will meditate, cultivating forbearance and relying on my own perceptions, not those of others.
I will reflect on how best to benefit the teachings and beings.

In particular, the vital essence of the thought of all victorious ones
Is the true nature—the uncontrived, innate dharmakaya.
Without ever lapsing, I will sustain it with one taste in equipoise and post-meditation.
In sum, I will hold myself to the sublime, dharmic conduct of the three gates,
Not falling under the influence of others.
Arrogance, haughtiness, or thoughts of self- aggrandizement—whatever of these arises,
I will not let them move me in the slightest.
I will remain dignified, and fearless, like a mountain.

Until this collection of elements has rotted away,
I will not waver from this way of being.
Of this way I will be a fearless warrior—that will be my quality.
This is my vow, like an image carved in stone.
May it be virtuous!
Gods and protectors, work to help this come to pass!
May the virtuous signs of auspiciousness excellently blaze!


Composed by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the verses were selected by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and translated by Tyler Dewar under his guidance, from Heart Advice of the Karmapa.

22nd Story Update: A world of gentleness, kindness

Greetings dear friends of KC 16,

As we learned in the previous email, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, taught extensively and intensively with physical gestures and by his mere presence. In the video below, Don Winchell describes how he also created the environment around him and the way it brought about unexpected transformations. 

A student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Winchell served on the support team for the 16th Karmapa’s 1976 visit to North America.

Don Winchell reflects on the environment around His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa.

Through this delightful example of the enlightened activity of His Holiness, may we all aspire to create a world of gentleness and kindness!

We have received wonderful responses to the stories we’ve posted, and some included a personal experience with the 16th Karmapa. 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.

Second Campaign Update: Ani Pema Chödrön’s Story About His Holiness the 16th Karmapa

During this time of the global pandemic of coronavirus, when anxiety and fear are rampant, we are fortunate to be able to connect with the dharma, with our genuine heart of goodness and our wish to benefit beings—no matter what. We have the opportunity to be mindful and aware of our actions, how they affect ourselves and others, and to kindly help stop the spread of the virus (see the CDC page).

We are even more fortunate that we are able to connect with the presence of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, to then slow down and move through the world with aware kindness in a spacious, relaxed state.  

Ani Pema Chödrön* was a close student of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa and in the attached, inspiring video interview (16 minutes), she recalls being in the presence of His Holiness: “It was like he dwelled in this timeless, present state, and you were just drawn right into that.” She shares the impact he had on her life and those of countless others. She also highlights why building the stupa at KC16 is so important to the world. 

Click photo to view video of Ani Pema Chödrön | Mark Elliott, Interviewer | Doug Beechwood, Producer

Many of you realize the importance of the stupa project — in just two weeks, since our official kick off on March 1st, we’ve raised 129,000 USD from 190 donors! We’ve had the support of over 750 social media shares, with nearly 200 followers watching the campaign and actively getting the word out. We are building more momentum by the moment. 

With a joyous heart, we offer great thanks to everyone for your kindness, generosity and support of our cause. Please continue to widely share our campaign with others as that is a huge contribution in itself. 

We hope this week’s KC16 Parinirvana Stupa crowdfunding campaign update, featuring Ani Pema Chödrön, will be of great benefit. See you next week with another update and very special video story celebrating the great life and teachings of His Holiness!

*Ani Pema Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She is an ordained nun, former acharya of Shambhala Buddhism and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. She has written several dozen books and audiobooks, and is principal teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada. 

First Campaign Update: Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s story About His Holiness the 16th Karmapa

Today, on Chötrul Düchen, we celebrate the Buddha’s performance of miracles. It is said that the Buddha displayed a different miracle each day to spur devotion and to increase the merit of his current and future disciples. Nowdays, this is an opportunity to appreciate Buddha Shakyamuni, whose wisdom lives on in the minds and hearts of our kind teachers, and in all practitioners wishing to discover their genuine heart of compassion.

What an auspicious day to announce that we have been blessed with an astonishing kick-start to our crowdfunding campaign to raise $1 million to build a Parinirvana Stupa and retreat center for His Holiness the 16th Karmapa Gyalwang Karmapa in Wadsworth, Illinois.

Since the campaign kicked-off last Sunday, we’ve raised over $122,000 USD from 130+ donors and 600+ campaign shares on social media! 

In this first campaign update, we hear from Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, who shared a few of his recollections and feelings on His Holiness the 16th Karmapa in this teaching:

His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje, through his sheer presence, was living proof that the Buddhadharma works. Tibetan intellectuals can be very critical, and some criticized the Sixteenth Karmapa for not being highly literate and well-versed in philosophical discourse and liturgical detail. People can say what they want, but none can deny that when the 16th Karmapa suddenly appeared on the throne, he would transform the environment and the people in it on the spot. He was very majestic. He was like a king – just perfect. Read more… 

(Adapted from the teaching Parting from the Four Attachments, given by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche at the International Buddhist Academy, Nepal in 2009: Day 8, Part 2.)

We are so grateful to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche for supporting this noble cause. Thank you everyone for your generosity and for continuing to spread the news of our campaign.  

Stay tuned for another story about His Holiness the 16th Karmapa from one of our teachers next week!