Karmapa London 2017

“Whilst here His Holiness attended 15 official engagements, traversed 9 counties, met HRH The Prince of Wales at Highgrove and Lord Rowen Williams at Cambridge University.

His Holiness taught to over 4,500 people across 2 days of public teachings in London, drove a boat along the River Thames and visited Aldershot, Averbury circle and Stonehenge…wow! We all feel incredibly blessed and we sincerely hope that everyone is feeling blessed, encouraged and uplifted by the visit.

And so, to the future. It is our wish to invite His Holiness Karmapa to return to the UK in 2018 so with your additional thoughts and prayers we hope to make this dream a reality.

The carbon footprint for His Holiness 17th Karmapa’s visit to the UK was offset in full.”

More on Surveillance – H.H. Dalai Lama

This from The Guardian

Dalai Lama’s inner circle listed in Pegasus project data

Indian government, which hosts the Tibetan leader, suspected of being NSO client that selected numbers

“China’s nearest observation posts are hundreds of miles from Dharamsala, the city in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas that hosts Tibet’s government-in-exile and its highest spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Still, Tibetans there have often felt closely watched.

Suspected Chinese spies have regularly been detected in the hill station. A decade ago, a digital security specialist watched in disbelief as sensitive files on Tibetan government computers were extracted on the screen before his eyes – activity that led to the unearthing of a massive cyber-espionage network, known as GhostNet, which was largely traced to Chinese servers.

Surveillance technology has evolved, and leaked data points to another possible interest in Tibetan communications – this time from a less obvious source.

Phone numbers of a top ring of advisers around the Dalai Lama are believed to have been selected as those of people of interest by government clients of NSO Group. Analysis strongly indicates that the Indian government was selecting the potential targets.”

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“Other phone numbers apparently selected by Delhi were those of the president of the government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, staff in the office of another Buddhist spiritual leader, the Gyalwang Karmapa, and several other activists and clerics who are part of the exiled community in India.”

The data may provide a glimpse at the delicate relationship between Tibet’s exiles and the Indian government, which has provided refuge for the movement since its leaders fled a Chinese crackdown in 1959, while also viewing it as leverage – and sometimes a liability – in its own relationship with Beijing.

The possible scrutiny of Tibetan spiritual and government leaders points to a growing awareness in Delhi, as well as in western capitals, of the strategic importance of Tibet as their relationships with China have grown more tense over the past five years.

It also highlights the growing urgency of the question of who will follow the current Dalai Lama, 86, a globally acclaimed figure whose death is likely to trigger a succession crisis that is already drawing in world powers. Last year the US made it a policy to impose sanctions against any government that interfered with the selection process.

The records suggest Tibetan leaders were first selected in late 2017, in the period before and after the former US president Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama privately on a foreign tour that also included earlier stops in China.

Senior advisers to the Dalai Lama whose numbers appear in the data include Tempa Tsering, the spiritual leader’s long-time envoy to Delhi, and the senior aides Tenzin Taklha and Chhimey Rigzen, as well as Samdhong Rinpoche, the head of the trust that has been tasked with overseeing the selection of the Buddhist leader’s successor.

The Dalai Lama, who has spent the past 18 months isolating in his compound in Dharamsala, is not known to carry a personal phone, according to two sources.

Following the launch of the Pegasus project, India’s IT minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, said the project’s claims about Indian surveillance were an “attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”. He told parliament: “The presence of a number on the list does not amount to snooping … there is no factual basis to suggest that use of the data somehow amounts to surveillance.”

India could have several motives for possible spying on Tibetan leaders but some in Dharamsala have concluded the question of succession may be a driving force. Naming successors to the Dalai Lama has sometimes taken years after the death of the title holder, and is usually led by the monk’s senior disciples, who interpret signs that lead them to the child next in line.

But China views the next Dalai Lama as a potential separatist leader who could weaken its authoritarian grip on Tibet. It has claimed the sole right to control the selection process, and analysts say it is already pressuring neighbours such as Nepal and Mongolia to rule out recognising any successor but its own.

Beijing is also contacting influential Buddhist teachers and clerics around the world, including some based in India, inviting them to China to try to lay the groundwork for its choice and muddy support for any candidate chosen by the Dalai Lama’s followers.

These entreaties to Buddhist leaders and other interference in the succession process have been viewed warily by India’s security agencies, who may have sought to closely monitor an issue with huge implications for Delhi’s own relationship with China – but where its direct influence and control is limited.

“India wants to make sure that Tibetans don’t strike a deal with the Chinese that involves the Dalai Lama going back to Tibet,” said a former staffer with the Tibetan administration, who asked not to be named.

India may also be seeking to monitor continuing informal contact between Chinese officials and Tibetan leaders. The Dalai Lama revealed two years ago that India had vetoed his plans to try to meet Xi Jinping when the Chinese president visited India in 2014.

“The Dalai Lama himself has said several times that he maintains connections to the Chinese leadership through ‘old friends’,” the former Tibetan government staffer said. “India is very aware of this and they want to make sure that no deals are made without their knowing or involvement.”

Karmapa Dream

Here is my dream from 27th June 2014.

It starts in a mountain setting. The wife and I are walking along a ridge either side of the ridge the mountain falls away into azure blue mountain lakes. There is no vegetation. The air is crisp and clear. We arrive in a small mountain village and go to our hotel.

Some while after, when we have settled in a young female child comes to visit us. Her eyes are most striking. They are blue despite the fact that she is Tibetan. I tell her she has beautiful eyes and she giggles happily. She says that the Karmapa will see me now and that I am to come to the monastery / palace for instructions. She skips off. She is the Karmapa’s little sister.

That night I go out onto the mountainside and see there the fish rearing pens. They are full of young hatchlings, which are moved from one pool to another as they mature. They must be raised like this otherwise the culture will die out. They change colour as they grow and mature. The pools are guarded by a Tibetan fish stock man who is dressed in traditional ceremonial costume.

I put my hand into the water and the fish swim to it.

The next morning I go to the palace / monastery and am shown in. Before long I am in the presence of a young man. He shows me around and tells me that they have many visitors. He is wearing monk’s robes. He shows me a long object shaped like a barometer which holds important “relics” in it. It is a staff of office and is “magical”. He lets me take it out of its box and handle it. He repeats ;

“We have had many visitors, many delegations…”

He watches how the staff interacts with me. It accepts me.

We must now get you ready to meet the Karmapa, you can meet him here at this mountain cave. He points at a map.

“You must come here at 2AM tomorrow morning. “

“Will you be OK walking in the mountains in the darkness?”

I reply;

“Yes! I was born in the mountains. I will meet you there!”

I know that the young man is in fact the Karmapa.

An older more wizened Tibetan then comes in to speak with me. He is shortish and thickset. He is a combination of Akong and Trungpa and his appearance flits between these two.

He shows me a map of both the front and back faces of the mountain. It is in relief. I can zoom into the map to see the detail.

He makes emphasis on a little cabin. This is where the gatekeeper is. He keeps the keys.You will need to get a key from the gatekeeper before you meet the Karmapa.

In the dream I know it will not be the Karmapa who I will meet at the top of the mountain but the Akong / Trungpa being. I say that I will meet “them” there as they are the gatekeeper. This is a non verbal communication “mind to mind”. This man is insistent upon the protocol, the tradition. The Karmapa however has already seen enough. He is satisfied.

The young man is now sat between two others, one of them is the Akong / Trungpa being. The Karmapa is reciting the mantra “Om Mane Padme Hum” quietly. He looks at me to see if I join in, in deep voice, or not. I do this in my head only. There is a silent acknowledgement between us that he can “hear” me doing this.

I walk out of the palace / monastery with the sensation that the Karmapa is in need of a friend . There is now a sense of inevitability “it” has now changed to when and not if.