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His Holiness the 17th Karmapa gives the CHUBB Fellowship Address at Yale University

The Karmapa’s Topic: Compassion and the Environment



As the spiritual head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has emerged as an important thought leader for our time. Since his dramatic escape from Tibet to India in 2000, the Karmapa has played a key role in preserving Tibetan religion and culture. The Karmapa has been described as “a world spiritual leader for the 21st century,” and has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action on social and environmental issues. At the age of 29, the Karmapa’s message has particularly resonated with young people, whom he encourages to take responsibility to create a more compassionate future for the planet.


In his latest book, “The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out”, the Karmapa speaks to the younger generation on the major challenges facing society today, including gender issues, food justice, rampant consumerism, and the environmental crisis. A forthcoming book will be based on his interactions with American university students, and focuses on living interdependence in an era of technological connectivity and emotional disconnection.


Chubb Fellowship:

The Karmapa’s Chubb Fellowship began with his talk at Woolsey Hall at 4:00pm on April 7. He was joined on stage by two Yale faculty members, Mary Evelyn Tucker and Andrew Quintman. In addition to posing their own questions to the Karmapa, Tucker and Quintman read questions from the audience that were submitted online prior to the talk. Over 2000 attended the talk which was also broadcast live on the web. At the Karmapa’s request the first two rows of seats were reserved for Yale students. The talk was followed by a reception at the Master’s House of Timothy Dwight College. Over 100 TD fellows and guests of Religious Studies, the Himilaya Institute and Forestry and Environmental Studies attended. Vegetarian food was served. On Wednesday the Karmapa attended the Chubb dinner with 115 students and special guests. Again, at his request a seat was left empty at each student table. The Karmapa took his plate of food and sat to eat and talk with all the students in attendance. Master Jeff Brenzel presented him with a framed poster honoring his Chubb visit, a copy of an Art Gallery print of the Buddha, and a red TD bell. He spoke about his own personal experience becoming the Karmapa and his vision for how he and his audience can impact the future of our world through thoughtful action. The evening ended with exchanges with students at the podium. The Karmapa left at 8:30 to return to the Omni. He continued his visit to Yale for an additional two days, the longest of his visits on his US college tour.

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