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Buddhadharma : Summer 2008
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 20 0 8 64 throughout the world. He returned to the United States in 1981 to be hospital- ized in Illinois, where he died. The Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born on June 26, 1985, to a nomad family in eastern Tibet. His given name was Apo Gaga. At the age of seven, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Sixteenth Karmapa. In 1992, the Dalai Lama offi- cially confirmed this recognition, and in an unusual move, the Chinese govern- ment issued an official certificate accept- ing the Karmapa as a reincarnate lama and head of the Kagyu lineage. As has happened in the past, this tulku recogni- tion was not without controversy. Since 1994, another claimant for the title of Seventeenth Karmapa has received some support in the Tibetan Buddhist world and from some Western Kagyu adherents. From 1992 to 1999, the Karmapa underwent traditional training and edu- cation at Tsurphu and also oversaw the rebuilding of the monastery, which had been severely damaged during the early period of Chinese occupation. Despite the apparent support, it became clear over time that the Chinese government would not allow the Karmapa access to the teachers and teachings he would need to fulfill his role as the Karmapa. So he resolved to leave Tibet. On December 28, 1999, the Kar- mapa pretended to go into retreat, but instead he dressed in civilian clothes and began a trip by car, foot, horseback, helicopter, train, and taxi. Seven days later he arrived in Dharamasala, India, and was greeted by the Dalai Lama. Yet another Karmapa had emerged into the wider world. Since that time, the Karmapa has been living at Gyuto Monastery, near Dharamsala, where he has continued his training and education, including studies in English, Chinese, and tradi- tional Western subjects. Tibetan teach- ers put great store in the training system for a tulku. Recognizing a child as an incarnate lama is only to recognize the ➤ continued from page 31 Discover Kum Nye The Nyingma Institute is the home of Kum Nye, also known as Tibetan Yoga. Kum Nye enhances meditation practice, eases the body and awakens the senses. Classes, workshops, and retreats in Kum Nye, meditation, Buddhist Psychology, and more are offered all summer. Call or visit our website: www.NyingmaInstitute.org (510) 809-1000 • Berkeley, CA Buddhist Education since 1972