Announcing New Board Members

Karmapa Center 16 welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors: Acharya Lhakpa Tshering, Lynne Conrad Marvet and Gerry Wiener. They will be joining current board members: Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche, President and Lama Phuntsok, Vice President and advisor to the board, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Acharya Lhakpa Tshering was born in Bhutan and entered monastic school at age 12. In 1993, he enrolled at Rumtek Monastery’s Karma Shri Nalanda Institute in Sikkim, India. In 2002, Acharya Lhakpa graduated with a masters in Buddhist studies, also known as an acharya degree. After completing his studies, he served as a teacher and co-librarian with Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche at Karma Shri Nalanda Institute, and as an editor for Nitartha Publications in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Acharya Lhakpa moved to Nalanda West in Seattle, Washington, in 2006. Since then, he has served as a resident teacher for Nalandabodhi centers on both the East and West Coasts, and he recently was a visiting teacher at Nalandabodhi in Brazil. Acharya Lhakpa will oversee fundraising for the Center.

Lynne Conrad Marvet, who will assume the role of secretary of the board, is an artist, performer, teacher and professional fundraiser. She was introduced to Buddhist philosophy and meditation at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, before moving to New York City in 1980, where she attended a Black Crown Ceremony with His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. Afterwards, she became a student of the late Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.

In the 1980s, Lynne coordinated programs and received teachings from numerous great Tibetan Buddhist masters, including Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, who became her teacher in 1988. In 1990, she began serving as Rinpoche’s travel secretary. In 1994, Lynne and her husband, Marty, helped Rinpoche establish Nitartha international before moving to Seattle in 1999 to help him establish the headquarters for Nalandabodhi, the Buddhist community of his students.

Lynne is a meditation instructor and facilitates Buddhist study classes for Nalandabodhi Seattle. She helped found Nalanda West in Seattle and served as co-director from 2004 to 2008. She currently serves as a board member of Nitartha International. A Certified Fundraising Executive, Lynne has raised more than $40 million for nonprofit organizations in the greater Seattle area and New York City.

Gerry Wiener is a software engineer working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to his board work, Gerry will oversee information technology for Karmapa Center 16.

Gerry began his Buddhist studies with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1971, and studied under Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche until his parinirvana in 1987. Gerry received teachings from His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, in 1974 and in 1980 when His Holiness visited the United States. Gerry has continued his Tibetan Buddhist studies under Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, focusing on Tibetan translation and the development of the Nitartha Digital Library.

May the new board of directors, along with all the supporters of Karmapa Center 16, swiftly and excellently manifest the parinirvana stupa in honor of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa and for the benefit of all beings!

Seventeenth Story Update: Celebrating HHK16’s Parinirvana Day!

KC16 celebrates the day His Holiness the 16th Karmapa attained Parinirvana according to the Western calendar. Therefore, November 5 is the day!

Each year a long guru yoga puja is conducted in alternating years of a composition by Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche and one by Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche. This year KC16 will be performing the guru yoga by Chamgon Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche.

Please join us in commemorating this auspicious day by dedicating your practice to His Holiness.

May all things be auspicious!  

Sixteenth Story Update: Prayers beginning for HHK17’s obstacle year

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Photo Courtesy of Karma Lekshey Ling Institute

This upcoming lunar year – the year of the ox – is an obstacle year for HHK17. Therefore, beginning today, October 24, 2020,  Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche and KC16 Lamas will preform Tara feast offering puja on every 10th of the lunar month, Mahakala feast offering puja on every 29th of lunar month and recite Amitayus sutra every day to clear away obstacles for HHK17 for this particular year. 

HHK17 photo from Karma Lekshey Ling Institute

Fifteenth Story Update: Tara and her connection to the Kagyu Lineage

White Tara by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. 

In a recent post, we learned that one of the main practices of the 16th Karmapa was Tara, but did you know that White Tara was His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s’ yidam? We practice Tara for three main reasons: She is powerful, her blessings are fast, and she is immeasurably kind.

White Tara is practiced by all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and is the main deity of other Buddhist practitioners and scholars, including the great master Atisha. She played an important role helping Buddhism flourish once again in Tibet, following some great obstacles, when Atisha was invited to Tibet to reestablish the teachings. Wondering whether he should go or not, Atisha supplicated the White Tara statue in Bodhgaya. She appeared to him in a pure vision and said his journey would be a complete success, that it would benefit many sentient beings, but it would lessen the years of his life. 

Due to his great bodhicitta, Atisha went ahead to Tibet and, as prophesied by Tara, accomplished the enormous task of revitalizing and reforming the teachings, and founding Kadampa Buddhism. With good reason, Tara has since been one of the four main yidams of the Kadampa lineage. 

Tara is also an important deity in the Kagyu lineage that began when Milarepa’s student Gampopa integrated the Mahamudra teachings of Milarepa with the Kadampa teachings of Atisha, including the practice of Tara. Green Tara symbolizes the fearless and compassionate energy of our mind’s true nature and the resolve to dispel suffering and fear, while White Tara is associated with longevity and healing practice. 

KC16 will join Nalandabodhi International for its fifth annual Tara Drupchen to be held online from September 24 to 27, 2020, offering prayers and smoke pujas in Tibetan. 

As a precursor to the Tara Drupchen, please enjoy this special audio file of Tara practice in Tibetan recorded in the shrine room at KC16:

We hope you will join us for the Drupchen! The event is free and everyone is welcome to participate by joining practices online, making prayer requests, aspirations, and offerings, and choosing to #gokind in thought, word, and deed. For information and registration please email: communications@nalandabodhi.org.

Fourteenth Story Update: Guru Rinpoche blessing statues formed from KC16 earth

(From right to left) Soil, mold for the statues, statues made of blessed earth, and finally statues painted in gold

Last week, soil samples from deep within the land at KC16 were taken as the next step for our engineers and architects to move forward with foundation plans. The contractors gave us the surplus soil, which Drupon Rinpoche and the Lamas on site have been using to construct small Guru Rinpoche statues from the blessed land. They say the soil is so good that nothing extra was needed to hold it together or be strong enough to create the statues. Due to the blessings of the land as the Parinirvana site of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, and being blessed by the 17th Karmapa, this earth is saturated with blessings!

Reminder! KC16 is co-hosting Tara Drupchen with Nalandabodhi International/Nalandabodhi Seattle and Nalanda West from September 24-27. The Tara Drupchen will be especially dedicated to overcoming the current pandemic, to all beings suffering directly or indirectly from it, and to dispelling fear in our world. For registration information email: communications@nalandabodhi.org.

Thirteenth Story Update: Virtual Tara Drupchen – September 24 – 27, 2020

Karmapa Center 16 Shrine Room panorama. The shrine to the left is the Tara Shrine.
Photo by Lama Zopa. 

The Karmapa Center 16 is pleased to be joining Nalandabodhi International (NBI) and Nalanda West for NBI’s fifth annual Tara Drupchen to be held online from September 24 to 27.  

Tara Drupchen Info and Registration

Most of you know the Tara Sadana is a daily practice at KC16, but did you know that it was the main daily practice of the 16th Karmapa? According to his personal secretary, Zhanag Dzogpa Tenzin Namgyal, His Holiness practiced Tara every morning. (This and other stories about His Holiness can be found here.)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, KC16 has performed the Tara Sadhana more extensively than usual to call upon Tara to help alleviate the associated suffering as well as other specific and general fears and obstacles. 

This September, we have the opportunity to join NBI in virtually sharing this powerful practice. We invite you to participate with us in the Drupchen to help spread much needed peace and joy for ourselves, our loved ones and every being around the globe.

KC16 Tara Shrine. Photo by Lama Zopa. 

Twelfth Story Update: Joyful Chökhor Düchen Greetings

His Holiness the 16th Karmapa prostrating to statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Photo Courtesy of Shambhala Archives

A joyful Chökhor Düchen to each and every one of you from The Karmapa Center 16! This day marks the first time the Buddha Shakyamuni turned the wheel of Dharma. This holiday celebrates the day the Buddha taught on the Four Noble Truths in Deer Park in Sarnath, thus laying the ground for the entire Buddhist teachings and path. This important day falls on the fourth day of the sixth lunar month in the Tibetan calendar each year, or July 24, 2020 this year.

It is believed that positive actions done on the anniversary of this sacred day are multiplied 100 million times over. 

Therefore, it is a wonderful time to come together in practice and uplifted celebration in honor of the Buddha individually and collectively – however that is safely possible. Perhaps at this time of continued COVID-19 seclusion invite a few Dharma friends to gather online and reflect on the Buddha and our good fortune in being able to walk in his footsteps through his teachings. 

Practicing generosity is also excellent! Consider performing an act of kindness, such as offering food, helping a being in need, planting a tree, supporting family, friends, sangha, co-workers, strangers, the community around you and so forth.

We invite you to share your completed positive action with KC16’s bot via: m.me/KarmapaCenter16. #GoKind.

Finally, dedicate the merit of all your actions toward the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

Wishing you a day filled with great appreciation for the Buddha and his teachings in your life, and all the great and small moments of being together in community, with health, joy and prosperity!

Eleventh Story Update: Toward the Supreme Illumination

Friends of Karmapa Center 16, we wish you a very happy summer, the season in which both the 16th and 17th Karmapa were born. In honor of their summertime births, we would like to share a special prayer by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, “Toward the Supreme Illumination.” It’s our aspiration that His words fill your every breath and your every step of every day.

Kindness is contagious in the very best sense of the word. It spreads warmth and joy, inspires generosity towards others and helps us open to our own innate kindness. You can help spread kindness across the globe this summer and the possibility for others to connect with His Holiness by:
 
• Sharing our posts on social media with the hashtag #GoKind
• Submitting your images and videos of kindness to the KC16 bot via: m.me/KarmapaCenter16
 
The Karmapa Center 16 thanks you and the worldwide Sangha for all your support — no matter the form or action it has taken and continues to manifest.  
 
Karmapa Khyenno!

Photo Courtesy of Shambhala Archives.