His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Karma Choeling Buddhist Monastery
Official Seat of H H 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
Ugyen Trinley Dorje 66 Bodhisattva Road, R.D.1
SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: New Zealand
His Eminence Beru Khyentse Rinpoche
RESIDENT TEACHERS: Facsimile: 64-9-420-5468
Venerable Lama Karma Samten E-mail: email@example.com
Venerable Lama Karma Shedrup Website: www.kagyu.org.nz
NEW ZEALAND KARMA KAGYU TRUST
1 February, 2004
To all Karma Kagyu branches,
It is with deep regret that New Zealand Karma Kagyu Trust makes the following announcement:
Venerable Lama Karma Samten Gyatso has presented his resignation as resident teacher at Karma
Kagyu Thigsum Chokhorling to His Holiness 17th Karmapa, Urgyen Trinley Dorje, and it has been
accepted. He has also resigned from the NZKKT. Currently he is in Malaysia and intends to return to
India to receive the oral transmission of the Kangyur from Venerable Sangye Nyima Rinpoche. He has
no plans to return to New Zealand at this time. Lama states that he has worked for 23 years
wholeheartedly for His Holiness and now at 56 years old he has diabetes and it is time for him to stop
and chant OM MANI PEME HUNG and prepare for death. As many will know there have been allegations
of inappropriate sexual behaviour against Lama. Although he has denied the formal allegation against
him it is has always been Lama’s view that had he come back and defended himself successfully against
what he is accused of doing then his supporters would be happy and the others unhappy. If he didn’t
succeed then his supporters would be unhappy and the others happy. During the process regardless of
the outcome, many negative emotions would be generated by both sides, thus disturbing the minds of
practitioners and creating further splits between New Zealand dharma students. Also regardless of the
outcome it would be the Buddhadharma that would suffer. If discussion of this matter became even
more widespread throughout New Zealand then the damage to Buddhist organisations, students etc
would be enormous. To avoid this Lama has, in accordance with his practice, offered the victory to the
others and done as they have wished. He has prepared the appended statement for you.
Lama has requested that His Holiness “send a special Lama to New Zealand and for the New Zealand
Karma Kagyu Trust, as there are many dedicated people there.” The message from His Holiness’ office
is that another Lama will be sent in due course.
So far this difficult situation remains unresolved. This is an opportunity for us all to put into practice
what we have been taught since coming into contact with the Dharma and to pray for a successful
outcome to this matter for all concerned. Some useful practices that have been advised are: Refuge
Prayers, 21 Praises to Green Tara, and Vajrasattva. Of course, the dedication of any practice or positive
action is always beneficial too. We pray that all our efforts will be skillful and the outcome will benefit all
beings. We dedicate whatever merit we, as trustees, are able to contribute to this matter to the benefit
of all sentient being and the flourishing of the Kagyu lineage.
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,
May they never be separated from the pure happiness which is without suffering
May they remain in great equanimity, beyond attachment or aversion to things near and far.
Ross, Thelma & Ellen
29 January 2004.
Dear Dharma friends,
I want to share with you a few words once again. This is the essence of Lo Jong practice, my practice that I have
been doing and talking about for 23 years.
LIFE IS DIFFICULT AND COMPLICATED, EXPECIALLY IF YOU ARE WORKING TOWARDS SPIRITUAL
ENLIGHTENMENT. THEN OBSTACLES POUR LIKE RAIN. BUT I ALWAYS TRY TO MAINTAIN MY VIEW
There are 4 kinds of obstacles we always have, 2 internal and 2 external.
1) We put ourselves down, not realising our Buddha nature. We never appreciate ourselves, what we are, and
how fortunate we are. Buddha says all beings are naturally Buddha. Not realising this we wander around
in samsara. Therefore however bad we think we are, whatever unthinkable things we think we have
committed, our Buddha nature is the same. Buddha nature is beyond good or bad. It is important to have
confidence in ourselves and not put ourselves down.
Through the blessings of the Lineage and confidence in my Buddha nature I appreciate my life and I
appreciate the circumstances around me. I want to express my gratitude to all New Zealanders. You have
looked after me and cared for me for 23 years and you Kiwis are in my heart. I hope I have contributed
something to you guys spiritually and on a mundane level.
2) However pure we think we are, however powerful we think we are, still we are not perfect. If we are born
in samsara that is the indication that we are 50% not perfect. So we shouldn’t get carried away but try to
keep our feet on the ground, it’s safer. I never claimed to be a high Lama or a great practitioner or any
exalted thing. I always call myself a guide dog, an old bench, a rubber tap, and a working class Lama. I
really mean it. I want to keep my 2 feet on the ground.
3) One of the external obstacles that challenges our view and motivation is praise from others. They say you
are wonderful, you are holy, you are venerable and so on. You can answer them – “yes thank you, you
too”. Why? Because we have 50% Buddha nature. And you are thanking them because they are reflecting
back the positive part. You say “you too” because this person also has Buddha nature and pure perception.
If someone regards me positively I must say to them “thank you, you too”.
4) The second of the external obstacles that challenges our view and motivation is blame from others. They
say you are horrible, ugly, cruel, an idiot or stupid. You can answer them – “yes thank you, you too.”
Why? Because they can see the impure part, so you can say “yes”. Then you can say “thank you”. Why?
Because it is easy to see others faults and not easy to see your own. In Tibet we say it is very easy to see lice
climbing over another person’s face but very hard to see a yak climbing on your own. They are showing
you your faults or shortcomings, so you say “thank you” as they are reminding you that you are 50% not
pure. Then you can say “you too” as they are seeing you through their own impure perception. Anyway
we are all in samsara so we never win. The best thing is to listen to The Beatles:
When you find yourself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.
OM MANI PEME HUNG
From your stinky, old bench,