India has taught me patience: Karmapa

Next step is to move beyond theoretical understanding interconnectedness to begin to actually feel connected: Karmapa

17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Wikimedia Commons photo)

DELHI (Taiwan News) -- For the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, India has a special place as it helped him gain in many ways particularly in developing his spiritual powers including patience.

"Particularly for Tibetan people, India is a very special country. Many of them have fled to India from Tibet. So, for all Tibetan people, India really occupies a special place in our hearts," he told the Press Trust of India.

"It has been 17 years since I myself came to India. Personally, during this period, there have been some difficult times. But since I came, India has helped me develop my spiritual powers including patience," he said.

The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, in a recently-published book,, "Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society," says that the crucial next step is to move beyond theoretical understanding of our interconnectedness, to begin to actually feeling connected.

"...It has been far more beneficial for me to be in India than to have stayed in Tibet. I have been able to do and learn so much and have met so many people I would never have been able to meet had I stayed within my comfort zone," he writes in the book.

On growing hatred and conflict on religious lines, he says, "When we talk about religions, those practicing these religions are all humans. Because humans have different emotions naturally they have different greed, hatred and mental frictions. And because they are not able to really counter their mental frictions the way they should, religion becomes a way and these mental friction increase. This is actually the fault of the practitioner. The situation is related to the practitioner and to the individual and it is difficult to say that this is unilaterally and categorically a question of religion."

On personal connections, the Karmapa says, "These days due to development in technology, making connections has become easier for people and because it has become so easier people really don't value them. They do different things but most of these are meaningless. People don't value relations they have with other people."

He says another factor is that people don't have the time to make connections with each other. "Families don't have the time to sit and have conversations and instead they prefer to exchange messages or call each other. So what is happening is that people are getting more and more lonely," he rues.