News from Woodstock, NY
It's finally happening.
Those of you who are not on the dharma "circuit" have no idea what this means.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa (Orgyen Trinley Dorje), the 22-year-old incarnate Tibetan Rinpoche widely believed to be the coming successor to the Dalai Lama (in terms of leadership in the Tibetan worldwide community), is finally coming to America - after years of hemming and hawing by the Indian government.
It's no exaggeration to say that Karmapa's dramatic escape from Chinese Tibet a few years ago, at the age of 16, could not possibly have been made up or embellished even by Hollywood. (Read Mick Brown's Dance of 17 Lives for the best account.)
Nor could the ensuing controversy over who was the "real" Karmapa (a rival emerged a few years later) have been invented by the most creative screenwriter...nor the ensuing dispute over his ability to take his traditional seat at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, north India.
In hopes of not offending China (who, after all, had already recognized him as the Karmapa, raised and groomed him for their own purposes before his escape - rather embarassing for the Chinese), the Indian government has severely limited the Karmapa's movements within India. The young incarnate lama has yet to travel overseas. So, this is big news.
Once the American press sees this guy, they are going to go wild. He is so young, cool and charismatic - here's a photo of him entering the Dalai Lama's Kalachakra temple in McLeod Ganj last year. (check out his Matrix shades. ;-) )
Karmapa to Visit America
--WOODSTOCK — The young Tibetan Buddhist leader that the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery on Meads Mountain Road was built for will finally come to America in mid-May. The 22-year-old Karmapa’s visit comes as the 49,000-square-foot monastery built for him comes to completion. The tour begins May 17 with a Manhattan apearance before the entourage comes to Woodstock May 19-22.
All monastery events are by invitation only. Public events will be held in New York City and New Jersey.