«Brussels January 2015 Table of Contents Foreword by the Secretary- General 1 About the KFE 2 Activities 3 First Visit to Europe by ...»
3 The KFE before the visit 3 KFE Contribution 3 Information and Communication 3 Graphic Work 4 Financial Support 4 Production of a film 4 Other types of assistance 4 Dissemination of HH Karmapa’s Teachings 4 Projects 5 Meeting of Young European Professionals with HH Karmapa 5 KFE Nuns Programme 5 Protecting HH Karmapa’s legal interests in Europe 6 KFE as an extension in Europe of Tsurphu Labrang 6 Organisational aspects 7 KFE Board and KFE Office 7 KFE Representatives 7 About the KFE Website 7 Financial aspects 8 Annex I: KFE Objectives 9 Annex II: Members of KFE Board 10 Annex III: List of KFE Representatives Country by Country 11 Photos 12 Foreword by the Secretary- General The year 2014 has been an exceptional one for the Karmapa Foundation Europe (KFE), marked by the first visit to Europe in Germany of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, which the Foundation supported in various different ways.
This first visit was a remarkable success and a landmark event.
His Holiness’ teachings touched the hearts of all those present at the different venues in Germany and of people – throughout Europe and worldwide – who were unable to attend the events, yet could follow the teachings through the webcasts.
In anticipation of the visit, the KFE Chairman Ringu Tulku Rinpoche appointed KFE Representatives for over 20 European countries who played a valuable role in the preparations for the Visit, thus giving a truly European dimension to the organisation of the visit.
Under the auspices of the Foundation, 16 young professionals and students from 10 different European countries spent two weeks in India in August 2014, discussing burning world topics with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. This represented another kind of encounter in 2014 between Europe and His Holiness.
At an audience granted to the KFE Members in Germany on 29th May 2014, His Holiness Karmapa made a specific request to the Foundation – and hence indirectly to Europeans – to support his education and healthcare initiatives throughout the Himalayan area, including Tibet. In this perspective a KFE Nuns Programme is now being prepared.
The 2014 KFE Annual Report highlights these and other activities which took place in the year. We express our heartfelt gratitude to all those near and far who have so kindly helped and supported us.
1 About the KFE The Karmapa Foundation Europe (KFE) is an international private foundation with headquarters in Brussels. It was established in 2010 by Venerable Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Official Representative for Europe of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (HHK) Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the Supreme Authority of the Karma Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The aim of the Foundation is to provide support for HHK and his action at European level and in a European perspective. The activities of KFE vary from supporting HHK's visits to Europe, enabling his spiritual teachings to be better known in Europe and sponsoring projects of various kinds. The detailed objectives of KFE are listed in Annex I.
The Foundation is currently administered by a Board consisting of eight members, appointed by His Holiness.
The Brussels KFE Office handles the day-to-day business of the Foundation.
The Foundation is based exclusively on the work of volunteers. It goes without saying that being volunteer-based, the competence and availability of volunteers inevitably condition the impact, quality and success of KFE’s activities, as well as the scope of those activities.
Organisation The German Karma Kagyu Association and the Kamalashila Institute took responsibility together with Bodhicharya Berlin, for the invitation, hosting and arrangements for this major spiritual event.
Horst-Günter Rauprich was the main organiser of “Karmapa in Europe 2014”and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche – Representative for Europe of His Holiness and KFE Chairman – was the “Official Coordinator” for this first visit to Europe. A number of people in Germany played a leading role in the organisation, among others: Rosi Findeisen, Stephan Kulle, Christiane Uekermann and Tobias Röder. Sogyal Rinpoche’s and Rigpa’s assistance were also a key element of the successful organisation of the visit in Berlin.
The KFE Foundation played an important role in facilitating the visit and assisted the German organisers to the best of its abilities in a number of ways, in particular by helping with the European dimension of the visit.
The KFE before the visit Throughout 2013, KFE played an active role in removing obstacles that had hitherto prevented HHK’s first visit to Europe, by promoting diplomatic contacts to ensure the visit could take place.
These efforts were of course in parallel with initiatives undertaken by other sources. In January 2014, in India in Bodhgaya, at a time when it was not yet certain that the visit would be confirmed, preparations were initiated in the form of an efficient operational interaction between the Tsurphu Labrang, the German organisers, Ringu Tulku and KFE, closely watched over by His Holiness in person.
This efficient co-operation was central to the entire organisation of the event.
KFE Contribution Directly or indirectly the KFE contribution covered a large number of areas of activity.
Information and Communication
Help in this field came via different means:
- KFE Website From the moment His Holiness’ visit was officially announced and up to, during, and after the visit, the KFE website proved to be a privileged tool of communication, serving a number of purposes: information in English about the His Holiness’ first visit to Europe for a European and international audience, providing all useful details for participation from abroad; calls for financial support, schedules, Commemorative Brochures in 15 European languages, the link to webcasts, and photos; daily bulletins during the visit summarising the contents of teachings and other activities, etc.
NB European Seat of HH Karmapa
- KFE Facebook Page The KFE Facebook page proved to be a very useful information tool for the visit, reaching a peak audience of up to 45000 people.
- KFE Representatives Thanks to the personal involvement and commitment of over 20 KFE Representatives in various European countries, it was possible to inform people in different European countries about the visit in their own languages, and to facilitate travel to the location of the teachings and other events. The KFE Representatives did an excellent job in translating a number of important documents in connection with the visit.
- KFE Office Also in the field of communication, the KFE Office channelled at hoc and other relevant information concerning the visit to the various Dharma Centres in Europe spiritually connected with His Holiness.
Graphic Work The excellent graphic design coverage of the visit was the work of one KFE volunteer.
Financial Support The KFE stimulated donations for the visit, was itself a recipient of funds and transferred these as well as its own funds to Germany.
Production of a film A film on His Holiness’ first visit to Europe is being produced by Mark Elliot, director of The Lion’s Roar and of Bodhisattva, a film on the 17th Karmapa’s first visit to America.
Storyline of film: “as if the visit were seen through the eyes of HH himself...” Other types of assistance The Foundation also contributed in a number of other areas, including: helping with the international media coverage, correspondence with persons wishing to attend the visit, cooperation with the Karmapa Foundation US, contacts with the Tibetan Community, etc.
Dissemination of HH Karmapa’s Teachings Throughout the year 2014 the KFE Facebook Page systematically broadcast quotations from His Holiness’s teachings and words of wisdom.
All the teachings given by His Holiness in Germany could be viewed easily by webcast. These teachings are now archived on the KFE website where they are always available to everyone.
The KFE Foundation means to produce as quickly as possible a book of His Holiness’s teachings in Germany, initially in English, and later translated into other European languages.
Furthermore, once a new edition of the book Karmapa, 900 Years is available and all copyright matters have been resolved, the KFE hopes to publish this important and beautiful publication as an e-book via its website.
Meeting of Young European Professionals with HH Karmapa (Dharamsala, August 2014) Under the auspices of the Foundation and the guidance of Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, a very successful meeting between 16 young European professionals and students and HH Karmapa took place in the last two weeks of August 2014.
The young people hailed from several European countries – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and the UK – and represented a wide range of professional backgrounds.
The group met for 10 private sessions with His Holiness and discussed a series of topics, proposed and well prepared by the participants themselves. Just to mention a few: community living, leadership, peace building & conflict resolution, education, the environment, consumerism, addiction, spiritual materialism and spiritual practice in daily life.
A request has been made to His Holiness to benefit the world by sharing this wisdom with a broader public by means of a book.
The meeting was a remarkable success.
KFE Nuns Programme At an audience with the KFE Members in Germany on 29th May 2014, His Holiness Karmapa made a specific request to the Foundation – and hence indirectly to Europeans – to support his education and healthcare initiatives throughout the Himalayan area, including Tibet. Support is to target monasteries and nunneries, extending later to the general population. A programme that must be implemented step by step.
In August 2014 in Dharamsala, His Holiness further clarified his request, asking the Foundation to assist him with an initial programme in favour of nunneries and nuns, focusing to start with on 3 nunneries: Tilokpur nunnery in India, Kunga Rabten nunnery in Bhutan and a third nunnery in Nepal that His Holiness will choose later. His Holiness Karmapa accords an important priority to the role of nuns and ensuring their full equality with monks in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Nuns need to be progressively empowered to have full confidence in their abilities and potential.
Already in August 2014, during a visit to Tilokpur nunnery, Ringu Tulku Rinpoche identified in broad outline the components of possible KFE support to this nunnery. In the field of education, the KFE would normally finance two teachers, for Tibetan and English, as well as a Khenpo, probably in the form of a "fellowship". In the field of healthcare, the nunnery would receive a lump-sum to be managed by them according to their priorities. The Tsurphu Labrang Trust will be the channel for implementing these operations.
In January 2014 with the inauguration of the first-ever Winter Gathering of Karma Kagyu nuns, which he named the Arya Kshema Winter Gathering, the 17th Karmapa launched a series of initiatives to ensure that nuns are afforded the education and training opportunities needed to assume wider responsibility as full members of the Buddhist Sangha.
At the Jagori Trust in Dharamsala, a 3 day workshop on nuns' empowerment and leadership (part of that broader initiative) took place in mid-October, attended by 16 nuns from Tilokpur nunnery. Although the training was organised for the nuns by the Kun Kyong Charitable Trust, of which His Holiness the Karmapa is the principal patron, the KFE was indirectly associated with the project and kept well informed of its results. It will certainly be useful to capitalise on this experience for similar activities in the future.
5 Protecting HH Karmapa’s legal interests in Europe The European Trademark Office ‘OHIM’ accepted the applications dated February 2013 by the French Congregation Karme Dharma Chakra for a trademark under the name ‘Karmapa’.
The OHIM registration numbers of the trademark are: N° 01156194 (decision August 2014) and N° 011564821 (decision December 2014).
This is unfortunate, to say the least. “Karmapa” is a religious title and certainly not a trademark.
The KFE Foundation did all it could in 2013 and in 2014 to prevent this. It will not allow the name of the Karmapa to be used as a trademark and will pursue action through the appropriate legal channels to ensure that the European trademark “Karmapa” is cancelled.
KFE as an extension in Europe of Tsurphu Labrang Inter alia, the KFE Foundation archived/managed all correspondence addressed to His Holiness which had been handed over to the Foundation.
6 Organisational aspects KFE Board and KFE Office The list of Members of KFE Board can be found in Annex II.
The annual KFE Board Meeting took place in Brussels on 20th February 2014. Additionally, throughout the year, Board Members have been kept informed by the Brussels KFE Office about activities and progress in matters likely to be of relevance to the Board. All decisions were taken by rule of unanimity.
Furthermore, individual Board Members assumed personal responsibility for handling specific files; in particular: liaison with KFE Representatives during preparations for His Holiness’s 2014 visit, the management of legal controversies, and support for film production.
The KFE Office generally provided the operational management of the Foundation, relying on a number of volunteers.