On January 5, 2000, the 14 year old 17th Gyalwa Karmapa arrived in Dharamsala after escaping from his monastery in occupied Tibet by means of a week-long journey by car, foot, horseback, helicopter and train. Since his safe arrival, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who was identified at age 8 as the reincarnate head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, has not only continued his traditional monastic training under various highly-realized masters, but has also demonstrated the ability to blend classic Buddhist philosophical training with contemporary issues. He has studied science, computers, and English, and is an environmental activist. From his years in Tibet, he speaks fluent Chinese. He has also written and produced a six-act play on the life of Milarepa.
We took these photos during two events in Richmond, California on His Holiness the Karmapa’s third visit to the United States this spring. The first was a public talk at the Craneway Pavilion (3/19/2015) and the second was a smaller gathering at the Gyuto Foundation on 3/20/2015.