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Final Day of Autumn Teachings: Sharing Joys and Sorrows with the World

September 19, 2010 – Gyuto

On the fifth and final day of his Autumn Teaching Series, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued linking wisdom and compassion, while shifting the focus from animals to human beings. To work for the welfare of animals, His Holiness observed, we need do little more than attend to their physical needs. Yet even this requires a great deal of knowledge. To much laughter, His Holiness related an anecdote about his own efforts to use a Q-tip to perform pulmonary resuscitation on a fly that had once fallen into a bowl of soup that he was eating. As difficult as it is to save animals, caring for human beings is far harder, he noted. Even should we be able to provide for their physical needs, human beings still have all sorts of complicated mental and emotional needs that are far harder to address.

In order to adequately care for the complex needs we humans have, ultimately what is needed is to be able to see into their inner dispositions and aptitudes. For this, nothing short of omniscience is required. However, His Holiness cautioned that we ought not to think that omniscience implies achieving a lofty birds-eye view of the world, or the ability to determine Read the rest of this article

Day Four of Autumn Teachings: Benefitting Insightfully

September 18, 2010 – Gyuto

On this fourth day of the Autumn Teachings Series, His Holiness linked his discussion of compassion to the development of wisdom. Discussing the tremendous kindness of others, the Gyalwang Karmapa extended the previous days’ presentation to include all the kindness we receive from the natural environment as well. His Holiness pointed out that every single breath we inhale is the product of countless anterior causes and conditions coming together. We are the beneficiaries not just of a single lungful of the oxygen that is essential to our survival, but of a continual supply throughout our lives. The Gyalwang Karmapa then went on to relate a personal experience he had while circumambulating Gyuto some time back, in which he felt the enormity of all that nature is offering us at all times, and was filled with a sense of wonder at this fact, and with wellbeing and happiness. Often, the Gyalwang Karmapa commented, we focus on all our personal goals and projects, and on what we have failed to accomplish with our own efforts, rather than opening our perspective to the tremendous richness and goodness that nature is offering us at all times, with no effort whatsoever. Maintaining an Read the rest of this article

Day Three of Autumn Teachings: Looking in the Mind’s Mirror

September 17, 2010 – Gyuto

The teaching hall at Gyuto frequently rang to the sound of laughter today, as the Gyalwang Karmapa continued his Autumn Teaching Series with a third day of teaching on the generation of relative bodhichitta. Today’s serious message on the damage done by our anger and other afflictive emotions was leavened by a series of humorous stories that His Holiness related with great joy and mirth.

Continuing the theme introduced yesterday of human cruelty to animals, His Holiness commented that because animals cannot express their feelings in human speech, somehow we feel entitled to ignore them. He then offered an imaginative exploration of what might ensue if fish, chicken or other animals whose flesh we consume unthinkingly might suddenly be endowed with the power of human speech. Surely they would hire lawyers and take us to task for our actions towards them, he said. Should we have to face them in court, what explanation could we possibly give for our treatment of them, His Holiness wondered. When required to account for our repeated killing and cruelty, the best we might be able to do is reply, “But you taste good!” or “Well, you just look Read the rest of this article

Day Two of Autumn Teachings: The Kindness of Mothers (and Fathers and Friends)

September 16, 2010 – Gyuto

The second day of Autumn Teachings continued today at Gyuto Tantric University in Dharamsala, with a growing number of viewers around the world also receiving the teachings via live webcast. As His Holiness continued on the topic of cultivating relative bodhichitta, he gave a moving account of the kindness of mothers. However, before beginning the presentation on mothers’ kindness, which many Buddhist texts taking as a starting point for the cultivation of relative bodhichitta, the Gyalwang Karmapa pointed out that if due to a difference in cultural background we feel some doubt or difficulties with this presentation, we should not worry. We all surely have someone who has shown us great kindness – if not our mother, then our father, or a friend, or even a dog has been kind to us. If nothing else, he quipped, we ourselves may have been greatly kind to ourselves!

His Holiness went on to describe the care he had received from his own mother during his childhood in a remote nomadic region of Tibet. Lacking such facilities as electric heaters or baby bottles, his mother nourished him with her own milk and protected him from the cold by holding Read the rest of this article

Karmapa Begins Autumn Teaching Series in Gyuto

September 15, 2010 – Gyuto

His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa commenced his five-day Autumn Teaching Series this afternoon to a packed hall at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala, India. The teachings were entitled How to Generate Conventional Bodhichitta, and His Holiness is following the presentation by Lord Gampopa on the topic in his Precious Ornament of Liberation (Dagpo Thargyen). The Gyalwang Karmapa taught primarily in Tibetan, but often spoke directly in English as well. Translation was provided into English and Chinese for those in the hall, while translation was broadcast live into Polish and Spanish, and Korean and Vietnamese translators also making the teachings available in the hall for speakers of those languages.

An estimated more then 400 monks, nuns and laypeople assembled to receive teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa, while a far great number were watching a live webcast of the teachings via Internet. The teachings were organized by the Karmapa’s Office of Administration. As cameras were broadcasting the teachings to the many watching form overseas, behind the camera, the office staff were busy working to bring about a perfectly executed event, while the Read the rest of this article