Karmapa’s message for International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019.

Dear dharma friends,

Today is International Women’s Day, a day when we pause to honour the special role that women have in our lives and in our world.

There are more than 7.5 billion people on our planet, spread over 195 countries. And without exception, every single person’s journey started with a mother. A mother who nurtured and grew us in her womb. A mother who went through labour and then gave birth, an act of boundless courage, effort, and spiritual strength.

When we are babies, our mothers feed us, carry us, care for us, love us – with no agenda, no expectation of something in return. And when we grow older, their love and compassion remain constant, unmoved by the shifting sands of time.

All of those who journey on the path of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas search for enlightenment. In some cases, this may be feel like a far-off dream, unreachable and intangible for an ordinary person. We may look no further than a mother’s love as an example of that which we all seek.

In our conditioned world, everything is impermanent. Everything, by its very nature, must decay. This is why we seek something more stable, more permanent than fleeting emotions or material wealth.

A mother’s love is timeless. A mother’s love is limitless. A mother’s love is a glimpse of the Inner Wealth that we all carry inside us.

And so, on International Women’s Day, may we all bring to our hearts our mothers, and all mothers around the world. For their love is the most fertile soil in which to cultivate compassion. May we seek to carry their example with us on every day.

With compassion

Thaye Dorje

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

A mother's love: Sangyumla cradles baby Thugsey. Photo/Tokpa Korlo

A mother’s love: Sangyumla cradles baby Thugsey. (Photo/Tokpa Korlo)