NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

Keep up to date with the Karmapa's activities, teachings and travels by subscribing by email or Twitter below. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.

Offerings to the Sangha: the Alms Procession and the 16 Arhats

2016.02.21
21 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of almsgiving dates back to the beginnings of Buddhism, 2500 years ago. At that time monks and nuns were not allowed to keep or prepare food and were therefore completely dependent on whatever they were offered to eat by the local community. Each morning they would go from door to door and collect food. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople not only showed their respect to the spiritual values that the Sangha symbolized, but were able to accumulate merit both by the action of generosity towards the Sangha and also by sharing in the merit which the monks and nuns generated through their spiritual practice.

In some Buddhist countries, the custom of the alms round has survived to this day, but in Tibet, because monasteries were supported by the local communities, it was no longer Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Monlam Soup Kitchen

2016.02.20
20 February, 2016 -All India Bikkhu Sangha and Shakya Muni College
On the day before the Monlam officially started, the Gyalwang Karmapa made time in his busy schedule to visit the Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen—even taking a few minutes to help chop vegetables. The soup kitchen operates during the Kagyu Monlam each year, and offers nutritious hot meals and kindness to hundreds of Bodhgaya residents. This year, in addition to serving lunch five days in Bodhgaya, the soup kitchen delivered food and supplies to three nearby villages.

The idea for the soup kitchen came about eleven years ago, when a group of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s students from Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland came together to the Kagyu Monlam. Many in the group had never been to India, and they were saddened by the suffering they saw among the beggars and impoverished people Read the rest of this article

Songs of the Kagyu Fathers: A Special Ganachakra Blessing

2016.02.17i
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
Every three years HH the 17th Karmapa offers a reward to those who have completed the 400,000 long ngondro or traditional foundation practices: refuge recitations and prostrations, the Vajrasattva 100 syllable mantra of purification, the Mandala offering of the universe and Guru Yoga. Each of these practices prepares the ground for receiving advanced yidam practices and Mahamudra on the Vajrayana path. Refuge and prostrations to the Mahamudra lineage focuses the mind on the Kagyu lineage masters; recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra cleanses negativity; the Mandala offering accumulates merit; and through Guru Yoga we receive the blessings of the lineage through the three gates of body, speech and mind.

At 7 pm the Karmapa walked in casually and re-arranged the 1000 international practitioners who Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Four: Engaging in True Dharma Practice

2016.02.19
19 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa concluded the teachings for this 33rd Kagyu Monlam today, continuing his explanation of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy of Mind Training. In particular, the Karmapa spoke about how to incorporate the dharma into our beings, and how to examine and develop confidence in a spiritual friend. After his explanation of Potowa’s text, the Karmapa gave three reading empowerments. He also discussed plans relating to next year’s Akshobhya retreat—which will be practiced by nuns from the Karma Kagyu nunneries—and for the Torch of True Meaning pre-Monlam teachings on guru yoga.

The Karmapa began the teaching today by reading and discussing a paragraph from Potowa’s soliloquy, which included the following lines:

    “When you truly remember from your heart that you will die, Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Three: Now Is the Time to Practice and How We Avoid It

2016.02.18i
18 February, 2016 -The Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
Recapitulating the essential message of the previous days, the Gyalwang Karmapa began his talk emphasizing the importance of recalling impermanence and death. Doing so, he said, allows us not to be attached to the things of this life and mired in thoughts about it. He then continued reading from Potowa’s text:

    You do not know when you will die, so resolve not to procrastinate about practicing the Dharma. Nothing else will help at the time of death, so be determined that you will not have attachment for anything.

To illustrate what this might feel like, Potowa gives the example of a person being led to their execution. If along the way stunning jewels and gold were spread out before them, what interest would they have? We alone will face death, and knowing this, we should not be Read the rest of this article