A message from Karmapa for you - 15.07.2020

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Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, invites you to post your questions and proposed subjects for teachings, in the comments below.
All questions will be shared with Karmapa.
In due course, Karmapa will respond to a number of these questions in his Meditations for our Times.
15. July 2020
A message from Karmapa for you:

Dear dharma friends,
I truly appreciate your candid and sincere thoughts and questions, and over the coming weeks and months I will do my best to answer some of your questions. Please bear with me, as I am still learning myself.
I also hope that you will all understand that this conversation, and all of my reflections over the last few months, originated in the context of the pandemic.
Hopefully this conversation has helped us to let go of trying to perfect what is the true spirituality, true temporal life etc. So therefore, let us not let this conversation slide into matters such as politics and religion, and continue on this journey together.
Yes, we are going through challenging times, but we have gone through such patterns before, so this type of experience is not really new to us. We might call these current patterns fresh, but not necessarily new. So that is one thing to focus on.
Another thing to focus on is this:
Without knowing each other, we  have found ourselves in these common challenges, and in a way we have to be thankful for these challenges, because it is due to them that somehow our thoughts have been brought together.
It is a curious thing: the human condition is such that we always seem to need a common purpose, a common challenge, in order to bring us together. If we look at history, we can see that more often than not this challenge appears in the form of ‘someone’, some kind of antagonist or villain. This is quite unfortunate in a way, because this ‘someone’ is a sentient being just like ourselves, someone who has thoughts and feelings.
At least the present challenge doesn’t necessarily have a face that we recognise. This pandemic, this virus, is a strange challenge because it doesn’t appear in the form of ‘someone’ - it is not ‘you’ or ‘me’ or ‘they’. This virus feels completely ‘out of the world’ and we cannot communicate with it. In some ways, we don’t know very much about this virus yet, but we can probably say that it doesn’t look like humans or animals.
In some ways this virus challenge may be a blessing in disguise, as it has come in a form that brings us together globally. Unlike most of the challenges in history, which appeared in the form of antagonists that brought some of us together, but never on a global scale, in this case we are all together, no matter our race, caste, gender, background or religion.
So from a certain perspective, one could almost say that we have to be thankful – though of course this is a sensitive issue and could sound callous, because so many lives have been lost, and so many individuals face all kinds of peril because of it. However, the point I am trying to make here is that it has brought us together, and in that sense this pandemic brings almost a sense of unity that we haven’t felt in a long time, and which comes from the fact that emotionally and mentally we are all in this together. For once, we are able to forget what race or religion we belong to – and that, at least, is something to be thankful for.
Now when I talk about ‘being thankful’, I am not encouraging us to have a thanksgiving dinner – I am talking about using what is already there in the dharma, which shows us ways to turn obstacles and difficult conditions into friends. This is one particular opportunity, one particular chance that we all have, and in order to realise it we don’t have to be scholars or rocket scientists. We can relate to this no matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated we are.
We don’t have to focus on whether this challenge is man-made or not – we simply make the best of this moment. What matters is that we are all in this together. Therefore, we can be thankful and we have to make the most of it.
From my side I will try to share my reflections with all of you, and hopefully this will amount to something. From your side, please continue to share your questions, and hopefully that will amount to something, too.
So, without having to sit down and formally say, “Let us meditate, let us say this prayer, let us do this recitation together,” through this simple, understandable process of questions and answers we will be able to understand something, to make the best use of this moment. In this way, it will contribute something to us as practitioners: we will find meaning again in terms of why we practice, meditate, recite these sutras, and why we reflect on what the enlightened ones have shared.



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