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The Winter Debates in Bodhgaya

19th December – Bodhgaya.

The sixteenth session of the Winter Debates began this year on November 23 at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, India. The daily schedule included debates during the morning and in the afternoon, the Karmapa’s teaching on a text by the Eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje, called The One Hundred Short Instructions. Throughout his presentation, the Karmapa emphasized the importance of balancing study with practice, of tempering intellectual pursuit with realization arising from experience. In the Tibetan tradition, debating is an integral part of intellectual and experiential training. Its purpose is to probe an individual’s knowledge of Dharma, to remove doubts, and to elucidate what is not clear. Debating helps to ensure that understanding does not stay at the level of words, but goes deeper into the meaning. It also allows a great number of topics to be explored in a short time and to be retained more easily.

The custom of debating entered into the Kagyu tradition through the great scholar, Chapa Read the rest of this article

The Revival of The Great Encampment (Garchen)

12th December – Bodhgaya.

An historic occasion.
In Bodhgaya on December 12, 2012, history was made: for the first time in four hundred years, the Karmapa’s Great Encampment, Ornament of the World, was established.(Follow link for a brief history.) Its form this time is serried waves of large forest and soft green tents pitched on the fields next to Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. The focal point of the whole area is the Gyalwang Karmapa’s quarters, fenced off by woven bamboo and containing the bright yellow tent that is his residence and shrine hall. It is flanked on either side by dark blue tents. One is a Protector Shrine for Mahakala with his gold and black banner rising high above it and the banners of Palden Lhamo and Damchen on either side. The other tent is a residence for Kyapje Jamgön Rinpoche and Kyapje Gyaltsap Rinpoche. In the four corners of the area are lighter blue tents for the guards and attendants. The grounds are Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches Daily During The Annual Winter Debates

11th December – Bodhgaya.

From 23 November to 11 December the Gyalwang Karmapa taught daily during the annual winter Kagyu Gunchoe Debates at Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. Over this three-week period he offered the reading transmission and teachings on a text by the Eighth Karmapa Mikyö Dorje, called One Hundred Short Instructions (Tri-thung Gyatsa). “I like this text very much,” he commented on the first day of the teachings, adding that in Tibet he used to read it aloud to others as a hobby or to pass the time.

The Gyalwang Karmapa taught primarily to an audience of Khenpos and monks participating in the winter debates, however, simultaneous translations into English and Chinese were offered, and many international students also attended. The number of international students grew day by day, until the gompa quickly reached capacity.

The Eighth Karmapa’s text One Hundred Short Instructions is divided into chapters covering a broad range of topics, arranged according to the path the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Pays Homage at Mahabodhi Stupa

14th November – Bodhgaya.

The Gyalwang Karmapa left Tergar Monastery at 9 am today to pay homage at the central shrine of Buddhism, the Mahabodhi Temple, home to the Bodhi tree and other sites linked with the time when Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment.

The Gyalwang Karmapa was welcomed by Mr N.T. Dorje, Secretary of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, and the Head Monk-in-Charge the Venerable Bande Chalinda. His Holiness was escorted in procession through the Mahabodhi Stupa Ground and went directly to the main shrine room. Having prostrated three times, he presented traditional offerings of light, fruit, flowers, a donation and a new golden silk robe for the Buddha image, and then recited prayers.

Leaving the shrine room, Gyalwang Karmapa walked round to the area behind the temple, under the Bodhi tree, Read more

The Gyalwang Karmapa Tells Students in Search of Peace: Just Relax

9th November – New Delhi.

The Gyalwang Karmapa left Dharamsala for Delhi on Tuesday 6th November, at the beginning of his winter programme.

While in Delhi, he visited the American Embassy School, his third such visit, and spent the afternoon answering questions from students, parents and teachers. His Holiness visited school as part of Peace and Global Citizens initiatives. His Holiness arrived with little pomp and sat in the theatre, answering questions from students. Although the students came from younger age groups the questions they posed showed forethought and insight. His Holiness responded simply and frankly, describing his own life experiences, making practical suggestions, and exploring with his young audience the common values which we, as human beings, should hold- compassion, loving kindness and an appreciation of the interdependence of all sentient beings on planet earth. Read more