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Gyalwang Karmapa Hosts a Losar Feast for All

2014.02.02 Arahat
February 1st, 2014

The second day of the Tsurluk Losar festival began with the ritual of The Sixteen Arhats in the main shrine room. The  Sixteen Arhats [Tib. Neten Chudruk], also known as the Sixteen Elders, were personally chosen by Shakyamuni Buddha from amongst his disciples.  He asked them to remain in the world in order to protect the Buddhist Dharma for as long as beings are capable of benefitting from the teachings.

As His Holiness had explained during Kagyu Monlam, the Sixteen Arhats are invoked in order to help the Dharma flourish.  “The Dharma teachings are the sole medicine, the sole salve for all sentient beings. It’s the only medicine to eliminate the sufferings of sentient beings, ”he commented.

In the context of the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns, there was special emphasis  on the role of the nuns in the flourishing of the Dharma and  an aspiration that the community of nuns would also flourish.

Yet again, from early morning His Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Celebrates Tsurluk Losar in Bodhgaya

2014.02.02
January 31st, 2014
Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

3.00 am. In the early morning darkness the only movement was from hundreds of festive red and golden fairy lights, strung in glittering garlands from the roof and walls of the temple. They swayed gently, their reflections shimmering in the windows. Suddenly, the stillness was rent by the call of Tibetan trumpets across the rooftops of Tergar Monastery: the Tibetan Year of the Male Wood Horse had arrived. Although the majority of Tibetans these days keep the Phukluk calendar, dating from 1447 CE and named after Phukpa Lhundrup Gyatso who founded the astrological tradition on which it is based, the Gyalwang Karmapas have preserved an earlier tradition. Known as the Tsurluk calendar, because of its association with Tsurphu Monastery, it is based on an astrological treatise The Compendium of Astrology compiled by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284 CE -1339 CE). It became popular during the time of the Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso, and remains the official calendar of the Karma Kamtsang to Read the rest of this article

A Special Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish

2014.01.30 Dharma Flourishing for nuns
30 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

In yet another special activity at the end of the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering—and, taking place on the last day of the year according to the Tsurphu calendar—the Gyalwang Karmapa led a ritual that he himself had personally composed especially for the nuns’ dharma to flourish.

At this auspicious moment, when nuns in the Karma Kagyu tradition are stepping forward to more fully inhabit their valuable place within the sangha, and to take full advantage of the opportunities opening up for them, the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to perform this ritual so that the Buddhist teachings in general, and the community of nuns in particular can thrive.

The ritual aims to dispel any harms, difficulties or obstacles to the nuns’ dharma, through powerful supplications to Avalokitesvara and the Buddha’s own personal attendant, Ananda.

The Gyalwang Karmapa explained that the Buddha himself Read the rest of this article

Chöd Puja: Celebrating the Essence of Enlightened Female Wisdom

2014.01.29 Chöd prayer
29 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

In an historic occasion coming at the end of the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, nuns from six Kagyu nunneries performed an elaborate Chöd ritual, known as A String of Jewels, presided over by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.

While the Gyalwang Karmapa has been enthusiastic about Chöd practice from a young age, this was his first ever opportunity to publicly perform the Chöd puja—an opportunity he’d been looking forward to very much.

Since the time of the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje, who wrote the first commentary on Chöd and who also compiled the text of this puja, the Karmapas have had a strong connection with the Chöd practice. Historically they are holders of the direct Chöd lineage, based on the Indian Buddhist deity Prajñāpāramitā, who is known as both the mother of all the Buddhas and the embodiment of wisdom.

Chöd, which means ‘to sever or cut’ in Tibetan, ultimately aims to cut through the ignorance of Read the rest of this article

Teachings on the Jewel Ornament of Liberation

2014.01.29
25-28 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

Throughout eight days of teachings during the inaugural Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa covered the first five chapters of Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Beginning with developing a deep appreciation of our precious human life, through to the importance of contemplating impermanence, and understanding the manifold sufferings of samsara, he taught the gathering daily—sometimes twice daily—in a rain of pure dharma.

The enlightened wisdom of the Kagyu founding master Gampopa flowed effortlessly out through the Gyalwang Karmapa’s own enlightened speech as he progressed through the text, which is known as the earliest Lamrim text on the stages of the path to enlightenment.

The Gyalwang Karmapa spent several sessions exploring the topic of the spiritual master in detail, and the importance of correctly relying upon and entrusting oneself to a qualified teacher. The qualities to look for in a spiritual master include great wisdom, compassion that Read the rest of this article