June 8, 2014, The Estrel Convention Center
The stage has been transformed into a radiant platform, the setting for an impressive throne of gilded, carved wood and an elegant pavilion whose four corners are marked with slender columns and brocade victory banners. Its fluted, double roofs are decorated with a frieze of Dharma wheels and banners; beneath them is the space of the main altar that holds a large Karmapa Pakshi torma flanked by two offering vases. On a brocade-covered table in front are the seven offering bowls and smaller tormas. A Japanese shoji screen is set up in front to shield His Holiness as he makes his preparations for the empowerment. Floating above this area, suspended from the ceiling is a stunning painting of Karma Pakshi, a vajra in his right hand and a dagger in the left, surrounded by the main deities of this practice, including Dorje Pakmo, Hayagriva, Rechungpa, and Mahakala. Copies of a Karma Pakshi thangka had been available for days before the initiation so people could become familiar with it.
After finishing the preparation, the Karmapa left briefly as the shrine was rearranged. He then returned to begin the empowerment and soon Read the rest of this article