Thursday January 2, 2009
On the last morning of the teachings Gyalwang Karmapa conferred the Bodhisattva Vow and spoke about developing bodhichitta.
He began by detailing the necessary conditions when taking the Bodhisattva Vow.
First came motivation and then there needed to be a support – either a human, a deity or a god. The vow could be taken in front of a Lama, a spiritual friend or a support such as a picture. The maximum support was someone who held the eight Pratimoksha vows, the minimum support was someone with the refuge vows.
Third was the ritual. His Holiness chose to use three verses from Shantideva’s “ The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”, which contained all three possible forms of the vow, the aspirational, the engaged, and both.
When taking the vow we needed the intention to benefit all sentient beings, who were our mothers as limitless as space. The best way to prepare our minds and to accumulate merit, which would develop and increase the power of the vow, was to recite the Seven Branch Prayer.
For beginners there would be more Read the rest of this article
Thursday 1st January 2009
His Holiness made a surprise visit to the Mahabodhi Stupa as guest-of-honour at an inter-faith prayer meeting, under the bodhi tree, where a small crowd was gathered, mainly Indian sangha, local schoolchildren, and representatives of the faith communities in Bodh Gaya. A few Tibetans and Westerners were also evident.
His Holiness first visited the main shrine hall and paid respect to Buddha image, later attended the meeting.
The meeting, organized by the International Buddhist Council of India, Bodh Gaya and Gaya branch, the Mahabodhi Management Committee and the local interfaith organisation, was held partly in memory of those who had died in the November Mumbai bombings, partly as an opportunity to pray for world peace and harmony on New Year’s Day. Read more
Wednesday 31st December, 2008
These teachings, sponsored and organized by the Hwa-Yue Foundation from Taiwan, are the third in a series of teachings entitled: Lineage Practice Teachings. More than one thousand five hundred people filled the main assembly hall at Tergar Monastery to listen to His Holiness deliver the teachings in a mixture of Tibetan and Chinese. Chinese devotees from Taiwan and Hong Kong formed the majority of the audience. However, there were also disciples from the Americas, from Europe and from other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia.
The morning and afternoon sessions began with prayers in Chinese, accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments – a wooden bell beaten to keep time, and a bronze bell. At the morning session, representatives from the audience prostrated along with the Gyalwang Karmapa.
His Holiness’ theme was teacher and student. He began by joking that these teachings, and the ‘English’ ones which would follow Monlam, were as much a test of his burgeoning linguistic skills as of his dharma knowledge and experience. He then congratulated the audience on attending the teachings in spite of the Read the rest of this article
Thursday January 1, 2009
The morning session was devoted to the Refuge Vow, which was given in Tibetan, Chinese and Korean. His Holiness began by explaining the meaning of refuge and why we needed a refuge. First he pointed out that from the time of our birth until our death we were dependent on others. The very nature of our lives meant we had to rely on other people. These people, including family and friends, who protected and cared for us were a form of refuge. Also, everyone wished to be happy, as witnessed by the many people who wrote to him or sought audiences to ask for help – failing businesses, illnesses, and other unhappiness.
It seemed we were unable to free ourselves from suffering and problems. Thus, we needed to look for a way to free ourselves completely. We needed to find the ultimate refuge. Someone like a doctor might be able to help us temporarily but in the end we still suffered sickness, ageing and death – and we had to experience these lifetime after lifetime.
So what would an ultimate refuge be? It had to be one which could help us rid ourselves of the root causes of suffering, and this could only be done by someone who had already Read the rest of this article