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.

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Three – Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teachings on the Pure Realms to the East and West

3 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

According to science, this earth is the only planet where all of the positive conditions exist for human life. So to have all the conditions necessary for life is very rare. And human beings have a special quality that other beings lack: we are able to distinguish right from wrong. Many species of living beings have become extinct, but among those that exist, humans are the most intelligent because they have the capacity for ethical or moral discernment, knowing which actions are positive and which are negative. It is not just a matter of gain and loss in the short term; we can also comprehend what is beneficial in the long term. But even though we have this capacity, so far we have not used it very well. We tend to only look at what is good for ourselves in the short term, but we do not look closely enough at what is best for everyone in the long run. On top of that, for our own benefit or that of our immediate communities, we mistreat other groups of beings and create a lot of damage and loss of life. In this way, because of negative human activities, many beings have been killed and have become Read the rest of this article

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Two – Mahayana Sojong Vows

2 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

At the close of the first day, the chief chötrimpa (disciplinarian) gently chided some of the monks for being late for the first session of the Monlam. Today, everyone was on time.

The session began with Gyaltsap Rinpoche bestowing the Mahayana Sojong vows, proceeded on to the refuge prayers in Sanskrit, and then on to the Twenty Branch Monlam. The Gyalwang Karmapa  attended the second session of the Monlam but not the other sessions. He worked busily in his quarters with preparations and audiences. He also visited the Nyingma Monastery and dropped in on the gelong and gelongma who eat lunch in the shrine room at Tergar Monastery. In the evening he went to the Monlam Pavilion to supervise the final rehearsal for the evening performance of “Karma Pakshi” on the 3rd March.

Gyalwang Karmapa’s teachings on the pure realms to the East and West

—Day 2

March 2, 2012, underneath the blue arch of the Monlam Pavilion, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued to teach on the pureland of Sukhavati (Dewachen). Yesterday, he talked about Read the rest of this article

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day One – Mahayana Sojong Vows

29 1 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

The sounds of auto rickshaws reverberated through Bodhgaya in the wee hours of March 1st, 2012 as monks, nuns and laypeople made their way to Tergar Monastery to attend the first day of the eight-day Kagyu Monlam prayer festival, and to receive Mahayana Sojong vows. Sojong vows taken for the benefit of all beings are called Mahayana sojong vows.

The Tibetan word sojong is the equivalent of the Sanskrit uposatha. The reason why the vows taken in our tradition are called the Mahayana sojong vows is the unique motivation. Ordinary uposatha precepts are usually taken with the intention to purify one’s negativities and to attain one’s own liberation. However, if we take these ethical vows with the intention of benefiting all beings, then – owing to the great power of motivation – the results of maintaining self-discipline are immeasurably bigger.

The sun was yet to rise but the sky was already luminous. Hundreds Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teachings on the Vajradhara Lineage Prayer Session Two: Material Things cannot bring True Happiness

27 February, 2012 Bodhgaya (Monlam Pavilion)

Gyalwang Karmapa began the second day of his teachings on the Vajradhara Lineage Prayer by providing further explanations on the previous day’s teachings on the history of the Karma Kagyu lineage.  His Holiness spoke at length on the role of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche in the history of the Karma Kagyu tradition.

He said that Jamgon Lodro Thaye is the first Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and his reincarnation, Jamyang Khyentse Oser, was born as the son of the Fifteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje. The Fifteenth Gyalwang Karmapa decided to include him as one of the heart sons, along with Tai Situpa, Shamar Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, Pawo Rinpoche and Treho Rinpoche.  Including the Karmapa, this brought the total number of heart sons in the Karma Kamtsang tradition to seven. Gyalwang Karmapa said Jamgon Kongtrul was clearly predicted in the prophecies of Lord Buddha. He said Jamyang Khyentse Wangmo and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye were extremely influential figures in the rime or the non-sectarian movement in Tibet. They propagated all the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

They received all the empowerments and instructions available during that time. They not only remained Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teachings on the Vajradhara Lineage Prayer Session One: Great Masters of the Karma Kamtshang Lineage

26 February, 2012 Bodhgaya (Monlam Pavilion)

February 26 is the first of the three days of teachings by the Gyalwang Karmapa to both the lay and ordained sangha. Coming from all over the world, they fill the ground under the vast blue arch of the tent, reminding us that the early incarnations of the Karmapa traveled widely with his retinue who stayed in tents, hence the name Tsurphu Gar, the Encampment of Tsurphu. Flanked on either side by four stands of flowers, the Karmapa’s carved wooden throne is set up between the apron of the stage and the stairs that ascend up to the Buddha statue. Just behind the Karmapa’s throne are paintings of central figures from the four different lineages in Tibet.

Accompanied by the sound of gyalings, the Karmapa enters the Monlam Pavilion, makes three bows, and takes his seat on the Dharma throne. With three bells, everyone makes their bows and then recites in Sanskrit the refuge and two short teachings plus a dedication, Read the rest of this article