His Holiness the Karmapa

Spiritual leader
Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism devoted to preserving and propagating Buddhist teachings.

Why you should listen

The name "Karmapa" means "the one who carries out Buddha-activity," and for seventeen lifetimes, a karmapa has embodied the teachings of Buddha in tibet. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born a nomad in Tibet in 1985 and recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1992 as the 17th Karmapa. The young boy was brought to the Tsurphu monastery to live and study for his life as a spiritual teacher and activist.

At age 14, he made a daring flight from Tibet, and now works from a temporary camp in Dharamsala, near his friend the Dalai Lama. (After the Dalai Lama, he's seen as Tibetan Buddhism's second-highest-ranking spiritual leader, though the two men lead different schools within the faith.) In 2008, he made a long visit to the United States, where he spoke and taught at Buddhist centers around the country. And in 2009 he toured Europe, speaking about faith -- but also about protecting the environment.

What others say

“The young Kamarpa is the most powerful Buddhist meditation teacher. His scholarship is excellent, and his youth and his presence makes a profound impact.” — Dzochen Ponlop Rinpoche, quoted in Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, PBS.org

His Holiness the Karmapa’s TED talk

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