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Chanting in a New Year: Gyalwang Karmapa Begins 2012 with Pujas, Dharma Talk

January 1, 2012- Sarnath, Varanasi.

As an auspicious and joyful start to the new year the Gyalwang Karmapa joined the monastic assembly of Vajra Vidya Institute for prayers and practice, including the Offerings to the 16 Elders practice.

Following the prayers, the Gyalwang Karmapa addressed the assembly, which included visiting international disciples as well as the resident lamas and monks of Vajra Vidya. His Holiness spoke first in Tibetan, and then in English.

Echoing his New Years Message, His Holiness noted that there has been a great deal of talk that the year 2012 will be a year of natural disasters and turmoil. We cannot predict what lies ahead and the potential for great change in our environment and in society is indeed present in any given year, he said. He added that our external environment is very important and also a source of great kindness to us.

Whatever upheaval may occur in the world around us, the root of our happiness and wellbeing remains the same. The cause of the health and happiness we Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Dhammekh Stupa, Pays Homage to Sites of Buddha’s First Teaching

December 31, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

December 31, 2011 – While the Gyalwang Karmapa’s primary focus during this stay in Sarnath is to engage in intensive Mahakala practice in a retreat setting, he paid an auspicious visit on the last day of the year to the Dhammekh stupa in Sarnath. As the site of Lord Buddha’s first teaching, the stupa marks one of the holiest sites for Buddhists of all traditions.

Approaching the site solemnly, His Holiness first passed among the remains of the many great monasteries and temples that once made Sarnath a vibrant center for Buddhist study and practice. He then circumambulated the Dhammekh stupa, and engaged in meditative prayer. In the company of a large retinue of monks and nuns, His Holiness the Karmapa recited prayers and praises to Lord Buddha, including the Praise to the Twelve Deeds.

In ancient times, the site was renowned for its Read the rest of this article

Preserving a Unique Spiritual Art Form,Gyalwang Karmapa Instructs Torma Makers

December 30, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

His Holiness the Karmapa today addressed a group of 80 butter sculptors, including monks and nuns from over 35 monasteries and nunneries. Tibetan butter sculptures, sometimes loosely referred to tormas, are ritual cakes typically made of butter and other substances and often beautifully decorated. Each year, His Holiness appoints teams to create a dazzling visual feast of such images of buddhas, bodhisattvas and other holy beings. These butter sculptures are displayed as an offering on the altar set up before the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, Buddhism´s most sacred place, during the annual Kagyu Monlam prayer gathering. The making of butter sculpture is practiced widely across all sects of Tibetan Buddhism, with detailed guidelines regulating what sort of butter sculpture should be offered on various ritual occasions.

In order to preserve this unique form of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual art, Read the rest of this article

Thousands of Himalayan People Seek Gyalwang Karmapa’s Blessings in Varanasi

December 29, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

From the moment of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa’s arrival in Varanasi, the monastery where he is residing has been thronged by thousands of people from across India’s Himalayan belt and Tibet, all seeking the Gyalwang Karmapa’s blessings.

During his past visits to Varanasi, Gyalwang Karmapa has typically offered public audiences on alternating days, inside the monastery building. However, due to the large numbers of people seeking the blessing of the Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness is now holding daily public audiences. Many Tibetans newly arrived from Tibet, as well as people from Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Kulu, Manali and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh all have converged in central India in advance of the Kalachakra initiation to be given next week in Bodhgaya by Tibetan Buddhism’s supreme leader, Read the rest of this article

New Year’s Message from The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

December 28, 2011

Many people have expressed anxiety about disasters that might befall the world in the year 2012. In fact, we never know what any given year might hold. But if we are sincerely committed to following a path of compassion and wisdom, this uncertainty about the future need not cause us any concern. Whatever happens, we simply keep our focus directed steadily at what matters most—cultivating compassion and equanimity, and acting to benefit others. If we harbor this attitude in our hearts, we can make anything that occurs positive for ourselves and for others.

The year 2011 itself brought many unanticipated challenges—to our natural environment and to many human communities. My heartfelt prayers go to all those who suffered in the turmoil of this year.

I wish especially to offer my prayers to all those who connected with me in any way during this year, as well as Read the rest of this article