Saturday, August 02, 2008

16th Karmapa

The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpei Dorje performing the Black Hat Ceremony at Dakpo Kagyu ling, Le Moustier France in 1977.
It was here that I first met His Holiness Karmapa, wheeled into a room and guided before him, feeling alert yet at total ease. Leaning across, His Holiness removed the hand book for a 16 mm movie camera from my coat pocket and tossed it away. After awhile everyone in the room left suddenly like a flock of birds, myself alone in the room. My attention was drawn to a very beautiful jade, silver, jewelled, engraved stem cup. The outcome was that I forgot to put the frame gate on the movie camera and the Black Hat Ceremony remains not filmed. A year later, in Rumtek monastery Sikkim, when working on a large format photographic archive, through an unsolicited process of divination by His Holiness Karmarpa and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, part of which was to choose a hand, my choice revealed a lump of charcoal, it transpired that I should become a maker of Dharma objects and learn how to purify gold. Well, I do and can refine gold, not so sure about progress in the spiritual dimension. It was a very transformative time. Below is His Holiness supported by Lama Gendun and Atchi, his translator. Along side is Mr Benson who gave his lands to the Kagyu and Nyingma schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Black Hat is ( I was later able to examine ) a most exquisite example of goldwork, fine and really skilfully made, bejewelled and topped by a huge natural uncut ruby.

Visiting the centre from along the valley was Pawo Rinpoche, another stunning human being, and I'm sure even on your PC you will detect a particular twinkle in his eye.

All of this is a long way from north fife yet deep in my being.

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