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The 33rd Monlam Begins in Bodhgaya: For the Sake of World Peace and the Happiness of All Sentient Beings

2016.02.16
16 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion
Before dawn, thousands of nuns, monks and laypeople filed through the security checks into the Monlam Pavillion for the first day of the 33rd International Kagyu Monlam. All those who walked along the road passed under a simple welcome gate. Made from cloth and plywood mounted on a wooden frame and painted in a pinkish sandstone colour, the gate is designed to be a fusion of temple traditions rather than one particular style. Below its lintel, multi-coloured prayer flags display the dhayani mantra of Akshobhya Buddha, which has the power to purify all those who pass beneath. A large sign declares “Welcome” in Tibetan.

While people were gathering in the pavillion, HE Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche visited the Mahabodhi Stupa in order to make offerings to the Golden Buddha on behalf of the Karmapa, to create Read the rest of this article

H.H. Gyalwang Karmapa Meets the Press

2016.02.15
15 February,2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya
The Tara Shrine Room was transformed into a conference room with a large chair for the Gyalwang Karmapa placed in front of the shrine and a table holding eight microphones, laid like flowers across the front. Facing him were rows of reporters, twenty in all, who had come to attend this joint press conference, covering both the ceremony commemorating the 16th Karmapa on February 14th, the day before, and the 33rd Kagyu Monlam which will begin on February 16th, the day after.

Changdzo Karma Chungyalpa gave the reporters some background information and read the important message from the Chief Minister of Sikkim, which underlined the close historical connection of the Karmapas with Sikkim.

The first question asked about the Karmapa’s activities in relation to the environment. He responded that Read the rest of this article

Commemorating the Great Sixteenth Karmapa: the Dharma King

2016.02.14i
14 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya,
Seated on a simple throne directly below the eighteen-foot image of Shakyamuni Buddha, a life-like replica of the Sixteenth Karmapa, cloaked in golden brocade emblazoned with dragons and flowers and wearing his black activity hat, gazed down on the assembly of 10,000 gathered to celebrate his life and activities.

Many dignitaries and eminent people from across the Indian subcontinent and the world had gathered for this special event. They included eminent Rinpoches and learned Khenpos, members of the Bhutanese royal family, politicians, government officials, academics, and thousands of ordinary monks, nuns and laypeople whose lives had been touched in some way by the 16th Karmapa. The guests were dressed in a rich variety of national dress. Tibetan dignitaries in chubas, Bhutanese in their own Read the rest of this article

Guru Yoga of the 16th Karmapa : A Feast of Devotional Love

2016.02.14
14 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The text for the Guru Yoga practised on the afternoon of the 16th Karmapa Commemoration Day was based on a guru yoga entitled “The Shoot of the Four Kayas,” combined with the Dusum Khyenpa guru yoga that the 17th Karmapa wrote for the Karmapa 900 celebration. He inserted the visualisation from the 16th Karmapa’s guru yoga and the ganachakra from Milarepa’s guru yoga on the eve of the Commemoration Day, celebrated on February 14th.

The 16th Karmapa lived during a golden age when the world was freer and more open than it is today and it allowed his activity to happen spontaneously. He gave very few formal teachings but taught instead through his presence. In the age of peace and love, he was a living example of all-embracing love and compassion, so it seemed appropriate that his Read the rest of this article

Torch of True Meaning

2016.02.12
Session One
Offering the Mandala: Extracting the Essence

12 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,
To open the Mandala offering practice, the Karmapa emphasized the essential meaning of the word ‘mandala’. We say ‘mandala’ but it is a Sanskrit word not Tibetan, he explained. The word means ‘centre and edges’ or ‘centre and surroundings’, or ‘the primary and the edges’.

    The centre is the essence. The meaning of mandala is that we are extracting the essence. In the secret mantra it’s said the essence is the natural fundamental wisdom. That’s what we need to extract. Beginners need to accomplish it gradually through the path.
    Mandala is a method for us to extract the essence, the ultimate unified fundamental wisdom. We repeatedly make offerings to the gurus. We have Read the rest of this article