A group from Palpung Wales, which actually consisted of people from all over UK, traveled to join the His Holiness 17th Karmapa’s first teaching weekend in London, Battersea. It was an absolute privilege to be part of that weekend, in many ways. We received touching and inspiring teachings from His Holiness Karmapa on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s famous “Eight verses of Mind Training,” a key instruction on how to bring the Dharma into daily life. At the same time it was like a gesture of welcoming His Holiness Karmapa’s 17th incarnation to this country for the first time. Meeting with the many Dharma friends and coming together in His Holiness’s mandala was a very heart-warming experience. We were also very fortunate to have a group audience with His Holiness on Saturday afternoon. From original Palpung Wales group it slowly formed into a Palpung United group of about 60 people from Wales, Ireland and Slovenia, and some from Italy as well. It was a great chance, although only briefly, meet with people from other Palpung groups and to form a stronger connection. We had a chance to ask some questions and Lama Rabsang also requested a reading transmission to the Short Lineage Prayer, Dorje Chang Thungma, from His Holiness. This was especially in case there were some who could not attend His Holiness’s teachings / empowerment over the weekend, but through this transmission they could have a connection with our lineage head every time they say this prayer. Even though one could not clearly hear the words His Holiness was chanting during the transmission, one could almost feel the air vibrating with the lineage blessings!
Something that was touching us through Lama Rabsang, was that he was invited to join to welcome His Holiness and his entourage on the day of arrival as well as to join HHK and some other Rinpoches and Lamas over an intimate lunch at Sheakspeare’s Globe. He also took part in the body-speech-mind offering the last day of London teaching weekend during the Chenrezig empowerment, and was given a duty to share the dutsi (blessed water) to the audience. On the way home, Lama Rabsang was contemplating the days we spent in London, attending the teachings and events, and wished to express his contemplations also to the wider audience. We published a note by him in Facebook which some of you might have already seen, but please find it also below:
“I came out of my retreat to take part in this auspicious and historic first visit of His Holiness Karmapa to UK. Thanks to the very hard work and lots of preparations by Joanna Hollingbery, Chloe Roberts and Claire Pullinger (and many others), this visit could finally happen. When I saw thousands of people taking part in the teachings and the empowerment and being able to be in the presence and receive blessings from His Holiness Karmapa – for the benefit of all beings – I was very happy and rejoiced.
When we had an audience with His Holiness Karmapa, I told him a little bit of the history of Palpung Wales and invited him to visit the Centre in his future visits to UK. He very kindly said “yes yes yes”. In his talk at the end of the teachings he said that he wishes in the future also visit other parts of UK, like Scotland and Wales. I wish this will happen and bring even more benefit to all beings.
Now I will go back to my retreat, and going back to my daily practice. I feel very blessed and grateful. I wish you all well and I hope that your Dharma practice will become continuously stronger. Like His Holiness said, not just the words, but take the meaning in the heart.
My best wishes and prayers,
There were some people who had met His Holiness the 16th Karmapa as well as 17th Karmapa, and then those, who were meeting His Holiness the 17th Karmapa for the first time. For everyone the experience is always different. Below one account from a person of the weekend in London.
“I had seen and heard HH Karmapa many times before, through watching YouTube videos and listening to his podcast. I thought I knew what to expect, then, when Pauliina persuaded me to go to his teachings and empowerment in London. The reality, though, was different.
The experience of being with so many Buddhists in one room was an education in itself, but being in the presence of His Holiness during our group audience on the Saturday afternoon was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Here was a man who was much younger than me, yet seemed so much calmer and more full of a mixture of authority and peacefulness than I have ever been. At that point I suddenly understood that this was more than just a man I had seen on YouTube: here was the head of our lineage, one of a long line of Karmapas stretching back nine hundred years, in person. The experience was both humbling and uplifting at the same time. I was fortunate afterwards to get close enough to him to offer my kata to him, and receive it back from his own hand.
On the Sunday, after some excellent teaching about the eight verses for training the mind, we had the privilege of receiving the Chenrezig empowerment from the Karmapa himself, who is regarded as an emanation of Chenrezig.
All in all the weekend was a very uplifting and motivating experience for me. His Holiness expressed his desire to visit the other UK nations in the future, so perhaps we may one day soon be welcoming him at the door of Palpung Changchub Dargye Ling. That would truly be an honour.” Barry Taylor
By: Pauliina Kossi
There are many wonderful accounts and hundreds of photos of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa’s historic first visit to UK in May, please find below some links you may wish to browse if you haven’t already seen.
PHOTOS: PALPUNG WALES IN LONDON TEACHINGS please click HERE