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28TH Kagyu Monlam: Day Four

December 18, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche gave the sojong vows. Those in attendance were Kyabje Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, Dorlob Tenga Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Bagyö Rinpoche and many younger Rinpoches.

SESSION TWO:
TEACHING BY THE GYALWANG KARMAPA
The King of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration to Excellent Conduct

Upholding the Dharma means Taming Our Minds
As usual the second session began with prostrations to the beat of a wooden bell, followed by the refuge prayer, and a mandala offering to His Holiness.

An extensive list of sponsors, read while the tea servers skilfully eased their way between the crowded rows of monks, nuns, and laypeople, was interrupted by two offering prayers, the first in Sanskrit, the second in Tibetan, then the reading of Read the rest of this article

28th Kagyu Monlam: Day Three

December 17, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Today, before dawn, on the third morning of the 28th Kagyu Monlam, the whole assembly of monks and nuns gathered under the bodhi tree, which was lit up by a few overhead lights. All ordained Sangha were wearing their maroon dagams [heavy cloaks] awaiting the arrival of the master who would bestow the sojong vows. This morning was a little cooler than the previous mornings.

As the sky began to lighten, Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche arrived, followed by the young Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche.

Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, Dorlob Tenga Rinpoche, Yonge Mingyur Rinpoche and other senior Kagyu lamas were in attendance this morning to receive the vows.

Kyabje Gyaltsap Rinpoche came down the central aisle, stood before the Shrine, put on his chogu and namcho, and made three prostrations. He then knelt Read the rest of this article

Compassion in Action: Karmapa Visits Medical Facility and Monks’ Kitchen

December 17, 2010 – Bodhgaya

As usual, the medical facility this year is set up at the Nyingma Monastery, the residence for many of the monks and also a site that is accessible to the local population. Halfway across a broad courtyard, surrounded in all sides by double stories of residential rooms, are two rooms with a long veranda outside. It is here that people wait to see the Tibetan doctor, the dentist, or the doctors trained in Western medicine.

In the first room, two Tibetan doctors work in a room that is partitioned off by white sheets from the rest of the room. Outside this consultation area, filling the shelves along the walls are bulging indigo bags with Tibetan written on white labels. Some have their drawstrings closed and some open, showing the dark brown pellets, known as “rilbu” (“the round ones”, the name for pills) that come in a variety of sizes. Three assistants, one nun and two lay people, count out the prescriptions and these are given Read the rest of this article

28th Kagyu Monlam: Day Two

December 16, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave the Sojong vows this morning.

Dorlob Tenga Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche and Yonge Mingyur Rinpoche were also there to preside over the first session.

SESSION TWO: TEACHING BY THE GYALWANG KARMAPA
The King of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration to Excellent Conduct

Their minds prepared with the sojong vows taken before daybreak under the Bodhi tree, the assembly of thousands of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen received the nectar of Dharma from His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa during the day’s second session.

His Holiness began by citing a verse from the dedication of the Sutra of Golden Light, which is regularly read during the Kagyu Read the rest of this article

28th Kagyu Monlam Begins

December 15, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

On the very first morning of the 28th Kagyu Monlam before dawn, after the Sangha of Rinpoches, Khenpos, Lamas, monks, nuns and lay devotees were seated, proceeded by a procession of monks and the sound of blaring trumpets, His Holiness arrived and took his seat below the Bodhi tree, where the previous Buddhas and all the thousand and two Buddhas of this fortunate eon will attain enlightenment.

His Holiness first met briefly with a group of Taiwanese devotees who made him offerings. Then he put on his black activity crown and, while standing before his seat, holding a white khata which was blowing gently in the wind he awaited the arrival of the precious statue of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, which has been known to speak.

As His Holiness stood there, the sound of trumpets were heard in the distance, forewarning us of its arrival. The procession of monks wearing yellow Read the rest of this article