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A Royal Welcome for HH Sakya Trizin

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18 December, 2014 Bodhgaya
The arrival of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin at Tergar monastery on December 18th, 2014 marked an historic re-connection between the Karmapa lineage and the Sakya Trizin. Previously the 16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje, nurtured the young Sakya heir when he first came to India, for which HH Sakya Trizin later expressed his gratitude in a letter.

For over an hour an estimated one thousand people stood patiently holding ceremonial scarves and incense as they lined both sides of the one kilometre road that leads to Tergar. The Karmapa had sent his own black Audi to Patna to collect HH Sakya Trizin and his two sons, Khondung Vajra Ratna Rinpoche and Khondung Gyana Vajra. As the car approached Tergar Monastery, a procession befitting royalty escorted it. Monks and lamas bedecked in dazzling orange and red brocade played horns, blew the conch, beat ceremonial drums and held victory banners aloft. A monk walked beside the car, holding high the golden parasol. The car cleared the gates through banks of juniper smoke and Read the rest of this article

Conclusion of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s Gunchö Teachings Day 10: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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11 December, 2014 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

The Gyalwang Karmapa completed the transmission of the chapter on Vast and Profound Light: Instructions on the Two Types of Bodhichitta According to the Founders of the Two Traditions by reading Mikyo Dorje’s post meditation instructions.

First come instructions on taking adversity into the path.

  •  During illness, think that you are suffering because in the past, deluded by self-clinging, you have struck, beaten and killed others. So the more serious the illness, the happier you should be. Visualise and supplicate the Guru, acknowledge that this is the ripening of karma from a previous life and pray that you can take on the sufferings of other beings.
  • When you are stricken with illness caused by demons, you should visualise offering your flesh and blood to the harmful spirits which are causing the difficulties, similar to the Chod practice. Begin with a short Guru Yoga practice, and at the end, pray that you can bring all these beings to Read the rest of this article

Enhancing Bodhichitta— Day 9: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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9 December, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
During the teaching today, the Gyalwang Karmapa gave the monks the oral transmission and practice instructions for the 8th Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s Four Session Guru Yoga, the practice recited over loudspeakers across the Garchen last thing each evening at 10.00pm.

First, however, His Holiness read a short section from Mikyö Dorje’s text, continuing the instructions on how to increase bodhichitta. The whole chapter can be understood as an extensive Guru Yoga practice, with a visualisation of the gurus in front of you, and continuous supplication of them. Within this section, the instructions on tonglen meditation continue.

By the blessings of the Guru and your own compassion, visualise that all the happiness and virtue you have exits on the out breath and transfers to all other sentient beings. Then, as you breathe in, you inhale their suffering in the form of black smoke. First you visualise this happening to those you feel close to, your parents, family and friends, gradually Read the rest of this article

Generating Bodhichitta— Day 7 and 8: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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7- 8, December, 2014
The Gyalwang Karmapa began as usual with the command: Please arouse Bodhichitta and listen to the teaching.

Having covered the common preliminary meditations which form the basis for all further Dharma practice in previous sessions, on Sunday [Day 7] the section on the actual practice of arousing bodhichitta began.

The text explains that you should develop aspirational bodhichitta then take the Bodhisattva vows with engaged bodhichitta. But first come detailed instructions on several meditations to prepare the mind. The whole text is an extended Guru Yoga, and, thus, at each stage there is a supplication to the Guru for his blessings in order to accomplish the practice.

Initially, so that your being becomes more malleable, you practise shamatha meditation in an isolated place and develop meditative stabilisation. Meditating on the breath, you begin by counting from 1-10 breaths, and then step by step increase until you can focus perfectly on 1-100 breaths. As a result, the mind becomes peaceful Read the rest of this article

The Common Preliminaries are the Foundation of Dharma Practice – Day 6: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

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6 December, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
The theme of karma cause and effect begun yesterday continued.

The first meditation concerned all aspects of karma cause and effect combined.

The meditation begins with a reflection on how, lifetime after lifetime, we have clung to our bodies, our possessions, our families and friends, ignoring impermanence and the certainty of death, only to be reborn again in the lower realms, not knowing how to free ourselves from the prison of samsara. Having accepted that our lives are impermanent, we should then use contemplation and meditation to develop certitude that karmic cause and effect is infallible.

When we consider our own self-clinging, we should contemplate how we have been deceived by this mistaken view from beginningless time, and then resolve to completely eliminate self-cherishing.

The text moved on to the final contemplation in the four common preliminaries, that of the defects of samsara.

Mikyö Dorje’s text details the three types of Read the rest of this article