Who was this extraordinary individual with the spiritual signs of a buddha, the Sixteenth Karmapa, Holder of the Black Crown? Norma Levine has travelled to Tibet, India, Europe and North America to record the stories of this memorable man and the impact he had on the people who met him. This book gives us a rare and intimate insight into the personality of the man who was the 16th Karmapa. His mere presence, akin to a powerful force of nature, would deeply affect those around him; his cosmic laughter, like a lion’s roar proclaiming supremacy, could be heard streets away. He was able to teach anywhere, at any time, when the moment was right and was followed wherever he went by his beloved entourage of birds who travelled with him and sang his mantra: Karmapa Kyenno, Master of Activity, Be With Me. This book offers the stories of Western students and prominent reincarnate Lamas who had meaningful contact with the 16th Karmapa in both India and the West. In the context of the freedom and spontaneity of Western culture in the 1960s, the profound mind transmission of this remarkable Master transformed the lives of those whom he encountered. Each story is a spiritual adventure; vibrant, authentic, sometimes shocking, but always inspiring. Norma Levine is a lifelong Buddhist practitioner and the author of Blessing Power of the Buddhas: Sacred Objects, Sacred Lands; A Yearbook of Buddhist Wisdom; and Chronicles of Love and Death: My Years with the Lost Spiritual King of Bhutan.
A Pair of African Birds
One time when I was at Rumtek, two guys showed up. One was
from East Germany, the other from the deserts of Morocco and
America. His father was a Berber chieftain, his mother was American.
They had met while travelling around India and were both
magicians and musicians, doing magic tricks and playing music.
Karmapa became extremely excited when they arrived in
Rumtek to see him for an audience and asked “Where did you
two find each other? You were my pair of African birds in your
last lifetime.” He invited them to stay in the monastery and arranged
a grand welcoming party for them during which he gave
a Milarepa empowerment. He told them to stay together and keep
performing their music and magic.
Emperor of Love by Lama Palden from The Miraculous 16th Karmapa
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