We just stumbled upon an interesting and historic text published in an ameteur ‘underground’ newsletter from 1977. “The International Times,” as it was called, seems to have been produced by and aimed at the UK’s hippy subculture, and ran regularly between the late sixties and mid eighties. There is now an online archive displaying these publications. The text in question concerns the 16th Karmapa, and is written by the great Kagyu master Lama Gendun Rinpoche in France, in anticipation of the 16th Karmapa’s second visit to the West in 1977. As one can see by the design and presentation of the text, in those times the hippy generation had become interested in Tibetan Buddhism. In more recent times, as interest in Tibetan Buddhism became more widespread and mainstream, and particularly with the Diamond Way Buddhist centres established by Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl, the Kagyu teachings moved from the fringes to the middle of Western society, free of the confusion and mixing of spiritual teachings, which often characterized those earlier days.
The newsletter states: “His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa is expected here in June . He will probably stay here for eight weeks. The precise date of his arrival is uncertain because, due to the success of his tour of the U.S., his stay there keeps getting prolonged. Gendun Rinpoche will be giving a three-week teaching course in Hay for those who can camp. Anyone interested in further details should write to the centre.”
The full text by Gendun Rinpoche is presented below.