Message from the Secretary-General
It is with grave concern and some anxiety that I write this in the early 21st century, as we find ourselves unwilling witness to the erosion of fundamental human and ethical values. Even today we continue to be embroiled, not only in an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, but also in a virulent and alarming moral crisis.
A foundation requested by the Karmapa
At such an unusually difficult juncture in history, the contribution of a spiritual master such as His Holiness the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje could prove crucial. He asked his representative in Europe, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, to set up the Karmapa Foundation Europe and to be its Chairman. Thus it was that Ringu Tulku, with the help of a number of members, founded our organisation in 2010.
As you will see from our internet site, the Foundation has only just launched, and has many significant objectives. Among other things, we aim to facilitate the Karmapa’s coming to Europe, to bring his teachings to a wider audience across the whole of our continent and to implement a series of initiatives for future implementation when the time is right. If it is to fulfil its aims, it will need to attract a large number of persons of goodwill to support its activities.
Our operation, both in Brussels and in other European countries, is to be run on a purely voluntary basis. We now have a small Central Office in Brussels to coordinate all initiatives, which will happen in agreement with Ringu Tulku our Chairman, and the members of the Governing Board who reside in different European countries.
The Karmapa’s visit to Europe
More and more of us feel the time is right for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to be allowed to travel to Europe. From the late 1970s onwards, his predecessor visited here on several occasions and since then, a multitude of his students and friends have been longing to see their great teacher on European soil once again. Now it is the Foundation’s task to help find the best solutions to enable the Karmapa’s return among us. Our organisation is not a Dharma centre and will handle no business other than that for which it was set up. The Foundation’s job is to do those things that would be difficult for Dharma centres to handle. In other words, its role in relation to those centres will be a supporting one.
It will take a while to fully elicit the role of the Foundation, however it is plain that we can do much to help collect funds and organise the Karmapa’s visits to Europe. The Foundation will in particular manage administrative matters and general coordination, such as overseeing the smooth running of his travel arrangements. It may also act as treasurer in the broader context of his visits and similar events.
For now we are working to resolve the administrative obstacles in India that impede our progress toward bringing him to Europe, where he is long awaited by thousands of students and friends in so many places.
Until now our attempts to find a solution on behalf of His Holiness here in Brussels, and through the Indian authorities in on behalf of us all, have unfortunately so far not borne fruit. We are determined and persevere to obtain permissions for him to travel here, and sincerely hope for a resolution to this long standing problem, for it is surely also in India’s interest that such a solution be found soon.
The Foundation would like to assist with many projects in the sphere of health, education and the environment, as well as with other initiatives that need further funding to be supported. These are, in short, projects in the pipeline that aim to enhance people’s spiritual dimension and promote a culture grounded in humanity – not just for profitable outcomes within a materialistic world view.
The Karmapa Foundation Europe arranged for the publication of the book, Karmapa: 900 Years, and it’s French translation. We plan in 2014 to arrange for sixteen students and young professional people from eight European countries to travel to India and spend two weeks close to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, so as to be able to absorb something of his compassion and wisdom and, on their return, to apply this in their daily lives.
Last but not least, the Karmapa Foundation Europe is the legal entity representing His Holiness’ interests in Europe. In this capacity it may sometimes be called on to incur considerable expenditures.
My purpose in this message is to appeal to everyone, both in Europe and elsewhere who may have an interest in our Foundation, to lend your support to the causes we are promoting out of concern for spiritual growth and for the common good. Your support could be financial, via this website for instance, or it could take many other forms, depending on whatever circumstances demand.
Given the huge scope of our task, there can be no question but that we in Europe shall be called upon to work together at several different levels, in grateful collaboration with every single one of our helpers and contributors.
Secretary-GeneralKarmapa Foundation Europe