Buddhists flock to see master

Jul 22, 2009

Category: Trinley Thaye Dorje

Buddhists flock to see master
Guy Nelson

HUNDREDS of people are anxious to hear one of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism speak on his first visit to Manchester.

Interest in His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa is being compared to a visit by the Pope - and his appearance at the Manchester Central convention complex on Monday is on the verge of selling out.

Video conferencing facilities are being prepared should all the tickets go.

The 26-year-old master, who was forced to flee from Chinese-occupied Tibet at the age of 11, is head of the Karma Kagyu Lineage, the main branch of one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He will give teachings to Buddhists during his two-day visit, as well as addressing non-Buddhists.

The visit has been arranged by Dechen, an international association of Buddhist Centres and groups founded by Lama Jampa Thaye, who has lectured for more than 20 years at the city's universities.

The Karma Kagyu tradition has its Manchester base at Kagyu Ling in Chorlton.

Kamani Wijeyesekera, who represents the organisation, is hoping as many non-Buddhists as possible will attend.

"Manchester has been home to a thriving Buddhist community for many years and it will be a memorable occasion for practitioners," he said.

"But the importance of this visit is the chance for non-practitioners to hear His Holiness and we look forward to welcoming many of them to the event."

The Gyalwa Karmapas - the name means Master of Activity - were the first consciously reborn Lamas of Tibet. The present 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinlay Thaye Dorje, was born in Tibet in 1983.

He was recognised as the incarnation in 1994 but in the same year, aged 11, he had to flee from Tibet to freedom in India.

Since then, he has been gaining the traditional Buddhist and a Western education.

His first international teaching tour in 1999/2000 brought him to Asia and Europe, where he was received by tens of thousands of his students.

Sharon Leeson, of Manchester Central, said: "We are delighted and honoured that His Holiness will be here as part of this European tour.

"This is the equivalent of a Papal visit, in terms of its historical and spiritual significance.

"We hope our location in the heart of this great city will enable many people to take part in this unique occasion."



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