Dharamshala — His Eminess the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje continued his trip the the United States with a five day stop in Boston. During his first day in Cambridge, he visited the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center in Harvard Square, an endeavor that lies close to the Karmapa's heart. The TBRC was founded in 1999 by the great Tibetologist Gene Smith with the goal of sustaining and making accessible to everyone the whole range of Tibetan literature.
The Karmapa praised the center, and asserted that it has made a huge difference in his own life. He uses the TBRC website regularly and appreciates it especially when he is traveling, since he does not have to carry suitcases loaded with heavy books. In the future, the Karmapa proposed, "For the digital preservation of the Buddhist tradition, both spiritual and secular, we work together and continually share information."
Next, the Karmapa graced the Memorial Chapel at Harvard University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Karmapa began his talk by embracing the link to his previous incarnation, the 16th Karmapa, who was one of the first masters to bring Tibetan Buddhism to the U.S and to Harvard. He spoke candidly to the audience about caring for life on Earth and the importance of depending upon one another. He encouraged this interdependence to yield unaltering compassion, and explained:
"Compassion is not a thought, but a feeling, which cannot be inculcated or encouraged. Compassion is something each of us has to volunteer through our natural courage and benevolence, which is the root of compassion.
During His Holiness's last day in Boston, he met with the local Tibetan community, which consists of around 600 people. He expressed the importance of meeting with Tibetans wherever he goes, and he spoke of the importance of combating the possible loss of Tibetan language and culture. "We all carry this responsibility to uphold Tibetan language and traditions, and we are carrying it together," he told them.
The Karmapa's two month journey in the United States continued with a trip to Princeton University in New Jersey. During his three days at Princeton he attended student run open mic nights, gave a lecture where he highlighted gender equality, gay rights, and other issues important to the students, ate with students in campus dining halls, sat in on classes about climate change and sculpture, and interacted with groups of students and faculty members regarding several issues dear to his heart: the environment, gender, activism and art. His time at Princeton encapsulated his intention in making this university tour; to connect more deeply with students and to enhance his exposure to their experiences as young people.