Cb9 5195 2
Western Astrology

The Karmapa in Person

by Michael Erlewine July 29, 2011 11:52 AM EST
The Karmapa in Person Michael Erlewine

The Karmapa in Person

 

I don’t know how to begin telling you about His Holiness the Karmapa. First, many of you may be uncomfortable calling anyone “His Holiness,” and I can sympathize. You would have to meet him in person to understand. I was lucky enough to meet in in 1997 when I took most of my family to Tibet to meet His Holiness the 17th Karmapa at Tsurphu Monastery, his ancestral home, located at some 15,000 feet in the mountains. I wrote about that in my book of that trip, which is a free read called “Our Pilgrimage to Tibet” at:

 

http://astrologysoftware.com/books/index.asp?orig=

 

I last left off with my story when after my daughter’s wedding on July 16th four of us jumped into a car and drove all night from Michigan to the mountains above Woodstock, New York in order to meet (you guessed it!) His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. It was Margaret, my daughter Anne, myself, and my dear friend Ngodup Burkhar, who is one of the Karmapa’s translators. 

 

We switched drivers, but there was no room for anyone to lie down, so it was catch as catch can when it came to even a few minutes of sleep. Thanks go to Ngodup who made the drive much easier by telling stories of His Holiness and generally making us laugh with his cut-ups. It was a thirteen-hour trip and we crawled into beds very tired. We were staying at a lovely house of a woman who was kind enough to make her house available to dharma travelers like us.

 

We got less than four hours sleep because we had to get up and go up the mountain to register and be ready to see his holiness that morning. I was one of the official photographers and Margaret was my assistant, carrying the extra lenses and what not. Sleepy or not, we were still high from my daughter May’s wedding and the anticipation of actually seeing His Holiness in person.

Share a free sample 2014 New Astrology Forecast. Get your 2014 New Astrology Forecast featuring your Chinese and Western Signs today!

 

For those of you just tuning in to the dharma world, just think of the Dalai Lama, but imagine that he is 26-years old. The Dalai Lama is the head of Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, while the Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Both are equals, but the younger Karmapa is very respectful of the Dalai Lama and traveled from India to be in his presence for the Kalachakra Empowerment that the Dalai Lama recently performed in Washington, DC. 

 

In the history of Tibetan Buddhism the line of the Karmapas is older than the line of the Dalai Lamas. This is the 14th Dalai Lama, but the 17th Karmapa. I will spare you the history, but just know that both the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa are considered the living embodiment of loving kindness and compassion and deeply treasured by Tibetans. Both had to escape Tibet and reside in India. They are good friends.

 

It was hard for me to believe I was about to see the young Karmapa again. We visited with him for three days back in the summer of 1997 and he was glad to see my kids, one of which was his own age. Not many western children made it to the high mountains of Tibet in those years. We had a great time. As for his presence, well I don’t want to sound too much like a groupie, so let me just say that I have never met a more profound presence in my life, and I don’t mean austere and imposing.

 

When I first was going to meet the Karmapa back in 1997 I was prepared to see an austere figure, one that would command my respect and probably be very powerful to behold. This is what I had come to expect from great spiritual leaders. The actuality was anything but that.

 

When I finally met His Holiness the Karmapa high in the mountains of Tibet in 1997 I got a surprise. Instead of learning about the nature of the Karmapa or encountering a commanding spiritual presence, I found myself spontaneously learning about my own deepest nature, like who I really was inside all of my words and personality. In the Karmapa’s presence I discovered for a fact that at heart I was a compassionate and loving being. It was beyond any knowledge I had of myself and left an imprint that is my reference point even today, many years later. Instead of a power person, I encountered a loving and kind person, the Karmapa. He brought out my own innate kindness.

 

 

 
Find your path to fulfillment with a Free Psychic Reading. Call 1-800-749-5790 right now!
 
Can't get enough astrology? Icon fb Like us on Facebook!
 
you may also be interested in...
Will "Hercules" Be a Smash Hit for the Rock?
Is Mila Kunis Really Quitting Acting?
Bey and Jay: Trouble in Paradise?
Happy Birthday, Prince George!
New Moon in Leo: Horoscopes for July 21-27
Jupiter in Leo: Get Your Jolly On!
Saturn and Mars in Scorpio this Summer: Healing and Transforming Our Sexuality
Michelle Rodriguez & Zac Efron: Could It Be?
Eva & Ryan: Will They Tie the Knot?
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello: TLF?
related articles
Rockstar Treatment as Jupiter Enters Leo!
Rockstar Treatment as Jupiter Enters Leo!

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." -- Khalil Gibran On July 16, when the... read more »

 
Capricorn Full Moon: Integrity and Structure -- or Else!
Capricorn Full Moon: Integrity and Structure -- or Else!

"Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not." -- Oprah... read more »

 
Mercury Direct in Gemini: Speedy Communication Returns!
Mercury Direct in Gemini: Speedy Communication Returns!

Since June 7, we’ve been in the muddy slog of the retrograde, retracing our steps and dealing with an enforced slowdown. If... read more »

 
New astro forecast horse 300x250

featured bloggers

The Astrologer's Daughter

The Astrologer's Daughter
The Astrologer's Daughter is a Los Angeles-based writer, astrologer and radio host who has been listening to the music of the spheres since she was 8-years old. She is a UCLA alum and graduate of the Steven Forrest Astrological Apprenticeship... read more

Astrology.com videos
3688534036001
3688546748001
3688546747001
3688546759001
3688546759001
3688570197001
3688546763001
3688575855001
3688547342001
3688547357001
3688570225001
3688575867001
3688567293001
ast:div-chinese:vid:asdhlovescope
 
today's cosmic calendar
Today's Planetary Forecast

With tomorrow offering up the next New Moon -- occurring at 4 degrees of Leo -- all of today and a good portion of... read more »

the stars this week!
The Stars This Week

Opportunities! This week brings a host of lucky breaks, although they do arrive in the midst of plenty of exciting... read more »