The Intercollegiate Network is your bridge to Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Buddhism, the Lay-Western part of the Karma Kagyu lineage, under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and directed by Lama Ole Nydahl. It is designed for academia to meet and learn about this “Oral Tradition” of the Buddha’s teachings.
The Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and, through interaction with a qualified teacher, can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. According to the Tibetan tradition, the methods practiced in the Karma Kagyu school were taught by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni to his closest students on an individual basis. These methods were later passed on through the Indian Mahasiddhas like Padmasambava, Saraha, Nagarjuna, Shavaripa, Maitripa and also Tilopa and Naropa to the famous Tibetan yogis Marpa and Milarepa. In the 12th century, the monk Gampopa gave the teachings to the first Gyalwa Karmapa whose successive conscious rebirths have kept the teachings alive and powerful to the present day. Today, great Tibetan teachers (tib. lamas) such as H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje and Shamar Rinpoche transmit this unbroken tradition when visiting the many Karma Kagyu Diamond Way Buddhist centers around the world.
The Karma Kagyu school offers practical teachings applicable to everyday life. A wealth of methods are available for lay people and yogis to develop mind’s inherent richness and clarity, both through meditation and in one’s daily activities. The roof of the self-liberating Great Seal (skt. Mahamudra) is supported by three pillars: verifiable non-dogmatic teachings, meditation, and the means to solidify the levels of awareness that are attained.
H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje was born in Tibet on May 6th 1983. He was the first son of the 3rd Mipam Rinpoche, a great Nyingma Lama, and Dechen Wangmo, the daughter of a noble family descending from King Gesar of Ling. At the age of one and a half the boy started telling people that he was the Karmapa. In 1994, he and his family managed to escape from Tibet to Nepal and then to India. The young Karmapa arrived in New Delhi in March of the same year, where during a welcoming ceremony H.H. Shamar Rinpoche formally recognized him as the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. The 17th Karmapa was given the name of Trinlay (meaning Buddha activity) Thaye (limitless) Dorje (unchanging).
Lama Ole has been a major driving force in bringing Buddhism to the West, and to date has established more than 600 Diamond Way Buddhist centers in 44 countries around the world. His unique synthesis of modern style and ancient wisdom helped create the largest body of students practicing Diamond Way Buddhist methods in the West. Shamar Rinpoche has said “In 1973 the 16th Karmapa ordered Ole and Hannah to teach and predicted that they would be very successful in spreading the Buddha’s teachings in the West. The 16th Karmapa taught them their main practices, the Guru Yogas on the 8th and 16th Karmapas. They kept their samaya without any doubt, following and fulfilling Karmapa’s wish. Ole is carrying out the activity of the 16th Karmapa."