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The Nature of Everything Is Emptiness

2016.08.17.pm
August 17, 2016 – Gurgaon.
This afternoon the Karmapa continued to examine some of the points that he had talked about in the morning, when he focused on the lines of the sutra: “Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Emptiness is none other than form; form is none other than emptiness.” Continuing from here, the sutra names the other four skandhas:

    Likewise sensation, perception, formation, and consciousness are empty.

When Avalokiteshvara explained emptiness, he started with the five skandhas: form, sensation, perception, formation, and consciousness. Using modern terms, we can classify these into two categories: matter, the first skandha of form, and mind (or psychology), the remaining four. All phenomena fall into the categories of these five skandhas. In our daily lives, we focus on material things and Read the rest of this article

The View of Emptiness and the Path to Buddhahood

2016.08.17.am
17 August 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
His Holiness began the fourth session of his commentary on the Heart Sutra by reviewing the topics that had been covered in the previous sessions and then resumed his commentary on Section Five, the question:

    Son of a noble family, how should any son or daughter of noble family train, when they wish to practise the profound transcendent wisdom?

The Karmapa skilfully explained how what appears to be one question actually encompasses all aspects of the practice of the Mahayana from the beginning of the path to the attainment of buddhahood. Shariputra appears to ask how someone who wants to practise diligently should train, but there are in fact five questions embedded in this one question.

Writing from the Heart

2016.08.16 calligraphy
August 16, 2016 – Gurgaon, India
Following the advice of the Gyalwang Karmapa to practice the ten Dharma Activities, this evening everyone gathered again in the main hall to practice the first one: writing out the letters of the Dharma. On the tables in front of every cushion was an elegant, accordion-pleated book. It contained facsimiles of the Karmapa’s calligraphy in Chinese, including the Heart Sutra and the Praises of the Thirty-Five Buddhas. The texts had been screened so that the letters appeared in a soft shade of grey, giving a model to be copied over with the calligraphy pen set next to the book.

For over an hour the hall was filled with the spacious melody of a classical stringed instrument and the feeling of intense concentration as one nun reminded people to write Read the rest of this article

How to Truly Practice the Heart Sutra?

2016.08.16 pm
August 16, 2016 – Gurgaon, HY, India
This afternoon, the Karmapa continued to discuss the eight sections and focused on the fifth point, the question Shariputra posed:

    Son of a noble family, how should any son or daughter of a noble family train when they wish to practice the profound perfection of wisdom?

The Karmapa narrowed his discussion to two phrases from this sentence: “son or daughter of a noble family” and the “wish to practice.” From the first, “son or daughter of a noble family” (in Sanskrit kulaputra and kuladuhitā), he selected the word family, which actually means “caste” in Sanskrit, while in a Buddhist context, it refers to those born into the mahayana who have become the Buddha’s child, hence son or daughter of the Buddha’s family or lineage. In a commentary on the Heart Read the rest of this article

The Heart Sutra Session Two: Causes and Conditions

2016.08.16
16 August, 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
The session began with an invocation to Incense Cloud Buddha, whose golden image beamed down from the screen above the stage. This is the traditional Chinese way to begin all teachings, because when Incense Cloud Buddha lights his incense all the buddhas are summoned to listen to the teaching. Another feature of these study sessions is the recitation of the Heart Sutra in Chinese, sung to a particular musical style known as the Ocean’s Wave: a rolling, rhythmic chant, with descant and alto harmonies, peaceful and soft like the motion of gentle waves on the surface of the ocean.

Previously, in the opening session, the Karmapa had delineated the eight sections of the sutra and commented on the first three: the prologue, the time and the retinue. He now moved on to explore the section on the Read the rest of this article