The 17th Karmapa focuses on environment during visit to Yale University

His Holiness Karmapa focused on the environment during his recent visit to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. On April 7th, HH Karmapa met with students from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and gave an afternoon Chubb Fellow lecture on “Compassion in Action: Buddhism and the Environment”.

As a child living in a rural area in eastern Tibet, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje recalls a natural environment that was pristine and untarnished by modern development.

It was there, he said during his Chubb Fellowship Lecture at Yale on April 7, that he first experienced a feeling of “intimate connection” with and respect for the natural world.

“Where I was born, we regarded and experienced our environment as a living system, a living being: The mountains, the sources of water were all regarded as the dwelling places of what I would call holy spirits of various kinds,” the Karmapa told the packed audience in Woolsey Hall. “We therefore respected every aspect of the environment as part of a living system. We didn’t wash our clothes or even our hands in flowing water sources. We didn’t cast any kind of garbage or any kind of other pollutant into our fire in our hearth. We regarded the entire environment as innately sacred.”

– From the Yale News article “Protecting the environment begins in the heart, says Buddhist leader” Read the full article

For a report on HH Karmapa’s meeting with environmental activists at Yale, Read the full article

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