The Crestone Eagle • June, 2021

Happy 36th birthday, Karmapa, celebration to be held June 26

by Rene Evenson

Karmapa (karma + pa = the one who holds the karma) means the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas, or the one who carries out buddha-activity. In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously control their rebirth in order to continue activity for the benefit of all sentient beings. 

The present Karmapa, His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th in the line of Karmapa incarnations. He turns 36 this year.

Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the Kagyu School in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism. 

The Big Stupa, also know as Tashi Gomang Stupa, was built in celebration of the enlightened activity of the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, and in appreciation of the wisdom, kindness and guidance shared by every incarnation of the Karmapa.

The current Karmapa embodies a vast array of activities, projects, and work from traditional dharma teaching, to more modern topics such as environmentalism, the digitization of ancient Buddhist texts, and equality. He has been active during the pandemic holding on-line teachings/practices to quell the pandemic, as well as aspirations to end adversity around the world. Here is the link to learn more:

His Holiness has also written several books. One of his most recent is Interconnected: Embracing Life in a Global Society. In the book, Karmapa shows us how gaining emotional awareness of our connectedness can fundamentally reshape the human race. He then guides us to action, showing step by step how we can change the way we use the earth’s resources and can continue to better our society. 

You are warmly invited to join a birthday celebration for His Holiness on June 26 at 1pm at the Tashi Gomang Stupa in Crestone. We will create the traditional fire offering and chant prayers. Birthday cake and tea will be served.