His Holiness Galwang Karmapa is giving teachings this week in Bodh Gaya and we, the faculty/staff and students at my program, will get a brief private audience with him tomorrow. Odds are we’ll have at least a few minutes to ask him questions directly.
I may not have a chance to check this before going, but supposing I do, what would you ask him?
I made it to his teachings yesterday afternoon and the main stress was on cultivating greater harmony within Buddhism, saying that if Buddhism declines, it will be because of too much quarreling between the different schools. While he specifically cites the Tibetan schools as ultimately all pointing in the same direction, I think this applies well to all schools of Buddhism (and perhaps beyond?).
He also told the story of some teacher who had a vision of 18 children pulling at a cloth (representing the various disputes of the 18 early schools of Buddhism). In the end, by some miracle it seemed, each child wound up with a full cloth. So, we should see all of the teachings as pointing the same way.
Of course this doesn’t mean that we give up our critical faculties and just accept whatever anyone tells us is right or good. Illogic and craziness still have their malicious effects. Instead it means we need to respect the paths of all people as a starting point for our dialogs, creating a trust and mutual harmony out of which growth can occur.We still need to debate.
I had the great pleasure of having a couple meals with Clarke Scott, a Geluk monk, fellow Ph.D. student, and founder of the Australian Institute for Consciousness Studies, and one of his many memorable one-liners was that only fools agree on everything. (Of course I disagree).
Here I am (above) at the Tergar Monastery at the arrival of H.H. the Karmapa late last month. It was pretty amazing seeing all of the pomp and circumstance. We didn’t see much of him as he hurriedly rushed in and through the temple to his housing – fair enough to want some rest after his travels – but it was still wonderful to be there.
Looking forward to your suggestions and I’ll be sure to let you know more soon.