16th Karmapa Biography Project
0033 473 857769
info [at] karmapabiographie.de
Despite the extraordinary life and activity of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa there is as yet no comprehensive published biography in existence.
In order to rectify this situation I have been collecting material about his life since 2010, and this and any future material will eventually become such a work.
The book will include a biographical section, a thematic section concening items such as the Black Crown Ceremony and a section containing interviews. Some of the H.H.16th Karmapa's short instructions and Vajrasongs will also be included.
All this should be a very befitting biography, which it is hoped will give readers a glimpse of who the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa was and reflect as far as possible his immense qualities.
It should not remain an abstract accademic work.
For countless people the 16th Karmapa represented a turning point in their lives. Simply by his presence, as expressed by one of his pupils, he 'carried them forward into another dimension'.
Even those of us who did not know him can find in him great inspiration for our own path; and to help in this is the purpose of the book.
I would be grateful for any suggestions, ideas, texts, photos etc. concerning him or references to other people who met him and whom I could interview about their experiences with him.
The first Volume of the German version of the book came out in December, the English version is in the process of editing. If you wish to get informed when it comes out, please send a mail to: newsletter [at] karmapabiographie.de
With best wishes to you and all sentient beings.
Thank you in advance.
Cordial greetings from the Auvergne!
If you wish to read some extracts of the book, please click here.
The Life of HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Prefaces by His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, Beru Khyentse Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Who is Karmapa?
The Gyalwa Karmapas, the heads of the Karma Kagyü lineage – Prophecies of the Karmapa – Karmapa’s previous lives A short history of the origin of the Kagyü tradition/Kagyüs – The lineage of the Karmapas
PART I: Biography of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Chapter 1: In Tibet
The years 1924-1931: Childhood
The Birth of a Buddha – Early Childhood – Search for the Prophecy Letter – Message in the Language of the Dākinīs
The years 1931-1936: Recognition, enthronement and first education
The First Enthronement at Palpung – Arrival in Central Tibet – Enthronement and First Education in Tsurphu
Visit to Kham 1936-1940
King of the Snakes and Other Miracles – Further training in the Travelling Monastery and in Palpung – Visions, Prophecies and the Discovery of Reincarnations – Imbalance Becomes Harmony
In Tsurphu 1941-1944
Transmissions and practice years – Life in Tsurphu – Visit in Lhasa
The years 1945-1950
The time of travel to Southern Tibet, Bhutan, India and Nepal – Visiting a Great Yogīnī – Good Connection with Bhutan – Karmapa Prophesied the Invasion of Tibet – Visits in Nepal, Sikkim and India – Further education in Tsurphu – Again in this life Karmapa attains the highest realisation of how things really are
The last decade in Tibet
Chinese invasion – Peacemaker in Nepal – Death of his root lamas – Journey to China – On Diplomatic Mission to Kham – Looking into the future – The Dalai Lama Visits Tsurphu Pilgrimage to Nepal, India and Sikkim on the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha Tireless Dharma activity in spite of the escalating violence – Taking leave of Tibet – Last step into exile
Chapter 2: Beginning Anew in Exile
The years 1959-1970
New Seat in Sikkim – Start Under Difficult Outer Circumstances – Travels to Nepal, Bhutan and India – Construction of the Rumtek Monastery – Life in the new monastery – Establishing the practice, the Vinaya and the transmission – Karmapa’s ceaseless activity – Karmapa and the people of Sikkim – Again trouble with the Chinese – Travels to India, Ladakh, Bhutan and Nepal
The years 1971-1974
On Pilgrimage through India – Enthronement of the new Bhutanese king – The First Western Buddhist students meet the Karmapa – Karmapa prepares the propagation of the Dharma in the West – Invitations to the West
Chapter 3: When the iron bird flies
Karmapa’s first journey to the West
The beginnings of Buddhism in the West – The scene in America – The first visit to North America
Arrival in New York – The Sangha of Trungpa Rinpoche and the visit of the Karmapa – Visit in Boulder – Journey through Colorado and the Canyons – Visit to the Hopi – Karmapa in California – Canada – The way the Gyalwa Karmapa changed America
United Kingdom – Marvellous welcome in Scandinavia – Denmark – ‘Karmapa Had Big Plans for Germany!’ – Paris –Audience with the Pope – Idyll in the French Province – Cradle of European Civilization – Cradle of European Buddhism – Nothing was as before…
PART II Encounters with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa (interviews with people who met the late Karmapa)
Dalai Lama: My friendship with the 16th Karmapa**
His Holiness Sakya Trizin: ‘He was very kind and compassionate’
Lama Gendün Rinpoche: ‘He is a Buddha, not an ordinary human being’**
Beru Khyentse Rinpoche: ‘Among the Karmapas the 16th was particularly great’
Jigme Rinpoche: ‘He was one with everything’**
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche: ‘Everybody has the responsibility to take care for sentient beings and propagate the Buddha-Dharma’
Khenpo Chödrak Rinpoche: ‘He taught continuously’
Lama Tönsang: In Tsurphu with the 16th Karmapa
Ani Mingyur: The nuns of Tsurphu
Lama Tsültrim Namgyal: My life with the 16th Karmapa
Trinle Densapa: Karmapa in Sikkim
Laxmi Prova Kansakar: Karmapa in Nepal
Arnaud Desjardins: ‘The great and unforgettable teaching was simply to see him’
Jetsünma Tenzin Palmo: ‘It was an incredible time’
Lama Ole Nydahl: ‘He was completely enlightened and incredibly powerful’
Lama Tsültrim Allione: ‘The devotion I felt for him I never felt for anyone else’
Matthieu Ricard: Embodyment of Compassion
Achi Tsepal: Karmapa in Bhutan and in the United States
Kevin Lyons: Knower of the Three Times
John Seonaidh Perks ‘They just spontaneously began to glow’
Swami Girijananda: Karmapa and Baba Muktananda
Joseph Duane: I still today can absolutely connect to the situation
Lama Jampa Thaye: ‘The definitive proof what the Dharma life brings about’
Karma Palden Thargye: Karmapa’s first visit in Scandinavia
Naomi Schmidt: He really enjoyed the spontaneity
Georgina and Etienne de Swarte: ‘What do we risk with the Karmapa?’
** Interviews from other publications.
Contents of Volume 2 (projected):
Part 1: Biography
Chapter 1: The Second and Third Trip to the West and the Visits to Southeast Asia
Chapter 2: India and Nepal 1975-1981
Chapter 3: Taking leave of Karmapa
Part 2: Thematic Chapters
Part 2: Thematic Chapters
The Garchen, the Moving Monastery
The Black Crown Ceremony
‘No Politics Dirty Business!’
How Karmapa Recognized Tulkus
Helping People in Sickness, Death and Transition
Karmapa's Love for Children
The 16th Karmapa and the Exchange with Masters of other Traditions
How People Changed by Meeting the Karmapa
How and what the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Taught
The Clairvoyance of the Knower of the Three Times
Karmapa's Ideas for the West
Part 3: Interviews:
Lama Gendün Rinpoche … Recalls the 16th Karmapa
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
Nendo Rinpoche: Karmapa is Always with Us
Zurmang Garwang Rinpoche: Like boiling water melting ice
Bardor Tulku Rinpoche (projected)
Sangsang Rinpoche (projected)
Karma Thinley Rinpoche: He taught through his presence
Hannah Nydahl: His Way of Teaching Was Very Skillful**
Karma Dorje/Tsültrim Passang: Wake up, don't sleep, meditate, practice, study!
Bart Mendel. Ordinary Magic***
Bob Sachs, Derek Kolleeny, Patrick Wooldridge, Phil and Diana Budin, Tom and Naomi Schmidt etc etc
Ives Clermont: All began with the Visit of His Holiness
Jean Louis Massoubre:
Christian Bruyat: The Sun of the Dharma
Bernard Lebeau: Disciples of Karmapa**
Lama Tönsang: Karmapa in Montchardon
Lama Jampa Thaye: Karmapa in Great-Britain II.
Kurt Nübling: It was so intense, that I could not stand it
Sabine von Minden: Karmapa was magnetizing
Franz Ritter: The Great Black Hat Lama and the Little Black Cat
Erik Weiss: At home we will continue!
Hans-Harald Niemeyer: Woodstock at home
Friedemann Kremer: We prostrated naturally
Sickness and Paranirvana
Dwight Mckee: Dying was not a Big Deal for Him
Dr. Kotwal: Why He Went Through All This?
Lama Tsony, Lama Namgyal, Lama Tenpa, Joost Willems, Jigme Gyaltsen, Yeshe Jungne, Karma Yeshe, Erwan Temple, Daphne Rapti, Hannah Severin, Andrea Loseries-Leick, Ronald Knaack.
… and some others
** Texts from other publications
*** Texts written by their authors for this publication
Part 4: Teachings and Vajrasongs of HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa