The Mulan Restaurant, Flushing, New York
June 11, 2018
An elegant Chinese restaurant in the center of Flushing was the site of a gala luncheon celebrating over 400 members of the sangha, staff, and sponsors who made the Ninth North American Kagyu Monlam possible. The Karmapa sat at the center table with his sister and presided over the offerings to thank the sponsors. Before taking the stage to make the presentations, he explained that the clear center of these golden stupas contained relics from his main seat in Tibet, Tsurphu Monastery, and then told the following story.
The Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi, had a dream of the Buddha who told him to build a large statue of the Buddha, and so he started on the project. Then the Emperor invited Karma Pakshi to China where he stayed for three years, traveling from one monastery and sacred site to the next. When he returned to Tsurphu, the statue was finished, but it tilted a bit to the side. Karma Pakshi went into meditation and was able to right the statue. This statue of the Buddha, famous throughout Tibet, was broken open after the disruptions of the 1970s, and relics poured out. They were saved by the monks and some of them made their way out of Tibet. These are the relics that the stupas enshrine.
After Lama Tsewang and Tenzin Gelek offered thanks to His Holiness and all who had helped, some of the guests offered songs. The event concluded with the Karmapa walking around from table to table, greeting people and thanking them personally for all they had done.