The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s first Canadian tour has arrived at its final stop– Vancouver, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on June 17th. His Holiness was warmly received by local Tibetans and members of the legislative assembly for Burnaby and Richmond cities at the airport. The party then arrived together to a welcoming procession at Thrangu Monastery Canada.
Thrangu Monastery Canada is located in Richmond, B.C. It is the first traditional Tibetan monastery along the Pacific northwest, as well as Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s primary seat in North America.
The monastery greeted His Holiness with traditional butter tea, yellow rice, and the body-speech-mind offerings. After the offerings, first the abbot of Thrangu Monastery Canada, Dungse Lama Pema, made a welcoming address thanking His Holiness as well as all participants of this special event. After the abbot, members of the legislative assembly, the Honourable Terry Beech and the Honourable Jos Johal, were also invited on stage for welcoming remarks. His Holiness then made a brief speech,
“This is my first time visiting Thrangu Monastery Canada in Vancouver. First, I would like to greet the precious protector Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the ordained and lay Sangha of Thrangu Monastery, as well as everyone, including all Tibetan friends present here today. Tashi delek!
Vancouver is the last stop for my first Canadian tour. Throughout this tour, and coming to Vancouver, on the way seeing a variety of religious establishments, I can see Canada is a place that promotes cultural and religious harmony and respect. This is a very important characteristic. Especially in this modern age, relationships between people are closer, more inter-connected. t is most important to understand and respect one another.
Today, I have not been prepared to be asked to speak so suddenly. But to be gathered with everyone in this traditional monastery– difficult to find in North America, and the first one of its kind in Canada– I feel a great sense of joy. At any rate, I would like to wish the venerable Thrangu Rinpoche long life, and a very auspicious greeting to you all.”
With the conclusion of His Holiness’ speech, the short welcome ceremony has completed with everyone seeing off the Karmapa and Thrangu Rinpoche. And dinner was served to every guest. The Gyalwang Karmapa will be staying in Vancouver for approximately ten days, through which a Chenrezig empowerment will be held on June 18th; June 22nd will be a discussion on the environment and social equality; then, Akshobhya teachings and empowerment will be held from June 23rd to 24th.