Tire-toé une bûche,
When the rumor was run up the flagpole here recently that OTD was going to risk returning to India in May I had to laugh at the folly of going there. Under normal circumstances as anyone old enough to have children in their thirties, shit happens. Plans change. Not withstanding the expectations we adults whom have forgotten what it means to be their age have for said young people as it pertains to our plans for them they will until we die remain our children. That being said for the past 30 years a 17th Karmapa in Sikkim has been a given for Diaspora Tibetans. For Tibetans there future is in their return to the past. Fast forward to the present though OTD has balked at the idea of returning to India anytime soon according to the schedule he has apparently committed himself to which has him here through June.
It was May of last year when the Indian Government decided to flip the script
on China’s 17th Karmapa and let him leave the country which he subsequently fled like a bat out of hell for London. A not-for-profit was hastily formed by his Chinese handlers and an event was scheduled for him to appear at which was advertised in English and Chinese but not Tibetan, not a good start for a supposed previously scheduled teaching tour. At this point a depressed OTD moved on to Germany where he was diagnosed. He had suffered a mental breakdown apparently while in London. He couldn’t go on. To lift his spirits his Chinese handlers had him do a listing tour of Diaspora Tibetans in Canada which only made worsened his depression. It only reminded him of his unhappy childhood at Tsurphu and so on. All of which brought him here to get away from it all.
At first there was no way he wouldn’t be ship shape and good to go for Kagyu Monlam. His Chinese handlers rescheduled. In the end OTD balked at returning to India. He was still too depressed for the dog and pony show that is his life there. When he arrived there he was heralded as the next Dalai Lama, so to speak. It doesn’t work that way, he would serve as Regent. And then he was caught hiding suitcases full of illegally held foreign currency in the Dalai Lama’s Monastery and that was the end of that. The Tibetan Government in exile changed its constitution to prevent said presumed succession. Suffice it to say outside of Sikkim where his supports live on India’s border with China OTD is China’s 17th Karmapa. And so on. No wonder he was so depressed.
The 16th Karmapa passed into Parinirvana here and it is here that his lineage’s future remains not in a Tibetan past but a young man’s future in which anything is possible, as his predecessor intended for the child selected to succeed him. Today a no longer depressed OTD is at last in a position to at least try to follow in the footsteps of the 16th Karmapa. Just as the 16th Karmapa put India behind him so has OTD. Slowly but surely he appears to be settling into his new life here. And good for him. A Karmapa can’t be the victim of circumstances beyond his control that OTD has been in his life to date. It can’t be so for a Karmapa. A Karmapa knows no circumstances beyond their control. This is what we aspire to, his example, the result which we Karma Kagyu take as our path, our guru yoga, the journey we make as every Karma Kagyu going back over 900 years as a lineage. The obstacles are many but so too are the opportunities. All as it should be. If we wanted anything otherwise we wouldn’t be known as the mishap lineage, a reputation well earned down through history to the present.
L’affaire est ketchup !