Gyalwang Karmapa met with nearly 400 volunteers of Kagyu
Monlam in the main shrine room of Tergar Monastery on
February 29, 2012. Volunteers began to queue outside at
around 2 pm. After going through the security check, they
were seated in accordance with their work teams.
Gyalwang Karmapa arrived at around 3 pm and briefly
addressed the volunteers, speaking through English and
His Holiness said that working for the benefit of others is
the path to enlightenment. Kagyu Monlam therefore is honored
to offer sincere and whole-hearted people an opportunity and
a platform to work for a positive cause. His Holiness said
performing even one activity to benefit others in this life
is worthy of great joy.
He said some were volunteering for the first time and some
had done it several times. Regardless, he hoped that it
would be a valuable experience and a memory to cherish.
Gyalwang Karmapa said the Kagyu Monlam prayer festival had
increased in size over the years. Since it is a non-profit
organization, it would not be feasible to pay the workers.
In addition, His Holiness stressed paying a salary would
also end up compromising the very purpose of the work, which
is to serve others with a sincere heart. Rather, working as
a volunteer upholds the high integrity of good people
working for a spiritual activity.
His Holiness said speaking as someone who had the experience
of getting involved in Kagyu Monlam, he knew that volunteers
are indispensable for the success of the prayer.
Finally, he said, considering the lifestyle of the 21st
century, people are normally very busy attending to the
challenges of mundane life. Therefore, it is particularly
rare that people can come to work together for a common
purpose without expecting any material gain whatsoever.
His Holiness wished that working here together would provide
an opportunity for their restless minds to find some respite
from the hectic schedule of their day-to-day lives.
To express his gratitude to the volunteers, His Holiness
distributed an autographed copy of a painting of Akshobhya,
he had painted himself. Before coming to the talk, he
explained, he had signed all 400 or so copies one by one,
which had made him rather exhausted, which meant he had to
forgo his usual practice of personally distributing the gift
to each volunteer. However, His Holiness said, he would
still make time at the end of the session to have photos
taken with various volunteer work teams in front of the main
gate of Tergar Monastery.