San Francisco, March 16
Dharma friends from around the Bay Area converged on the San Francisco airport this afternoon, urgently texting one another to reassure themselves they were all in the right place at the right moment to greet His Holiness the Karmapa. His flight arrived with a slight delay, which allowed the large numbers of Tibetan as well as international disciples to position themselves as His Holiness was ushered through the terminal towards his vehicle. After an emotional welcome by nearly 200 joyful students, His Holiness the Karmapa entered his car, with a smile and a gentle wave to those standing on the curb bowing and waving to him.
The party proceeded directly from San Francisco airport to Rosewood Sand Hill in Palo Alto, California, where the traditional welcome with a tea and rice ceremony awaited him. All rose as His Holiness entered the intimate venue and ascended the throne. The mandala offering was made to the 17th Karmapa by Lama Lodru of Kagyu Droden Kunchab Dharma center of San Francisco. Also making offerings in the procession were a Khenpo from Palpung Lungtok Choeling in nearby San Jose, Lama Tsultrim Allione of Tara Mandala, Dr. James Doty, founder and director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and representatives of the Tibetan Association of Northern California.
Although the webcast team had arrived in San Francisco only the prior evening, the media team ignored jetlag and scrambled to set up, to share the occasion with those not physically present via live webcast. The transmission was successful, and marks what we hope will be a long series of opportunities to bring all along on this journey.