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Three Days of Intensive Mahakala Puja and India’s Republic Day Celebration


January 24 to 26, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
After the Karmapa’s talks on Mikyo Dorje’s text, the ordained sangha engaged for three days in the practice of the Extensive Text of the Activity of the Protector, compiled by the Fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyap Dorje. Since it is of considerable length, the monks rose at 3am, gathered in the shrine hall at 3:30am, and chanted from early morning to the evening. In speaking of the practice, the Karmapa recalled, “In Tibet, the practice lasted seven days, beginning at 9 in the evening and continuing to 12 noon the next day, and then it started again. Sometimes you did not know if it were day or night.”

Taking an unusual step, the Karmapa appointed the khenpos as the chant masters, so they could learn this role. Khenpo Kelsang Nyima, Dean of the Rumtek Monastic College, became the Read the rest of this article

Studying Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation and the Karmapa’s Closing Talk


February 4, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
In the main shrine hall, behind the Karmapa’s brocade-covered chair is an elegant folding screen, with scrolling leafy branches and luxurious flowers in muted golds, greens, and subtle orange playing over a resonant black background. Between the screen and the Karmapa is an altar holding statues of Marpa and Milarepa on the right and left with Gampopa in the middle. His text, the Ornament of Precious Liberation, is the focus of the discussions. A butter lamp is lit before him, its light illuminating the gold in the statues and highlighting the screen behind. Set wide to the right and left are two screens, which display quotations from the monks’ reports and the charts they have made to unpack the text and make relationships clear.

This has been the setting for the study of the Read the rest of this article

The Mind Only School: A New Book and Approach


January 22, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Today the Gyalwang Karmapa’s Altruism Publications released a new book in its series, Philosophical Views: Beautiful Ornaments of the Dakpo Kagyu. This volume discusses the views of the Mind Only school and was created by the Committee for Composing Manuals for the Winter Debates, which is guided by the Gyalwang Karmapa.

The Karmapa authored the introduction in which he first mentioned the three different names applied to the school, which are considered synonyms: Yogacarins (rnal ‘byor spyod pa, Yogic Practitioners), Vijnaptimatrins (rnam rig pa/tsam, followers of the Consciousness Only school), and Chittamatra (sems tsam pa, followers of the Mind Only school). The Middle Way school and the Mind Only school presented opposing views and their Read the rest of this article

Completing His Teachings, the Gyalwang Karmapa Speaks of the Chakrasamvara Empowerment


January 22, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
The Gyalwang Karmapa finished his teachings for the Winter Debates by giving a reading transmission of the last section of the Three Essential Points, which covered the supplementary instructions on view, meditation, and conduct. This part is long and very subtle so the Karmapa suggested that the translation be uploaded to the kagyuoffice.org site allowing everyone to read and contemplate it. Commenting on the two teachings from Tsembupa and Mitra Yogi, he said this year the teachings were mainly related to Avalokiteshvara and he hoped they had been helpful to people.

The Karmapa then spoke of the protector practice, composed by the Fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyap Dorje, which will be performed for three days, beginning at 3am in the morning and lasting into the evening. In Tibet, the Karmapa Read the rest of this article

The Three Essential Points, Day Two, Part II: The Accumulation of Wisdom


January 21, 2107 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
After teaching the accumulation of merit that leads to realizing the form kayas, the Karmapa turned to the next section of Mikyö Dorje’s instruction that shows how to view and meditate on profound emptiness and achieve the dharmakaya through the accumulation of wisdom. First, the Karmapa gave a reading transmission for this section on view, which unfolds in extensive and subtle detail the line, “The key point of the view is recognizing whatever appears,” and then he gave his own commentary. [A translation of the complete text of the Three Essential Points will be posted on kagyuoffice.org.]

“The main point, the Karmapa said, relates to our taking the phenomena that appear to us as being truly existent or truly established just as they appear. This talking them to be real and Read the rest of this article