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The Procession of the Sixteen Arhats


18 February, 2017Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

The Kagyu Mönlam is an auspicious gathering that generates immense devotion in its participants, and amongst its events, none does it more than the Procession of the Sixteen Arhats, which took place in the morning on the sixth day. Anticipation began the evening before, with the announcement that Mönlam Members were to line up to frame the procession, and that all participants would have the opportunity to make an offering.

In the morning, Mönlam participants arrived to find the Pavilion transformed. The central aisle had become a beautifully elaborate carpet of flowers, leading up to a giant golden bowl overflowing with piled fruits. Precious seats for the Sixteen Arhats were laid out on the main stage, where a black pagoda shrine occupied the centre ground.

More transformation was in store. In the Read the rest of this article

Honoring the Words of the Buddha: The Kangyur Procession


17 February, 2017 – Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

The Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodh Gaya, Bihar

In the Monlam Pavilion the night before the procession, the Gyalwang Karmapa, a consummate director who pays attention to the smallest detail, rehearsed the monks and nuns who would be carrying the Kangyur texts the next day. As they sat on the floor before him, he spoke to them about the significance of this event. “These texts hold the precious words of the Buddha, and you will carry them as you circumambulate the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment. This will make an auspicious connection for his teachings to flourish and spread throughout the world.” The sangha members then practiced walking with a paced dignity, passing out into the cool evening and coming back in the Pavilion as the Karmapa watched.

He advised them, ”Those in the Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Four

February 16, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

Today, His Holiness reflected on the part of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy, which had virtue in monasteries as its focal point. He encouraged everyone to nurture enthusiasm and bodhicitta, the essence of which is the union of emptiness and compassion, to guide our efforts to benefit others. Following a short instruction, he concluded with a meditation session. Though he had completed this year’s Monlam teaching, he had not exhausted the content of the whole text and announced that the teaching on the text would extend for one or two more Monlams.

The Karmapa read Geshe Potowa’s accounts of visiting monasteries. When he inquired after fine individuals, he was often told that these fine individuals, the life-blood of the monastery, were the wealthy ones, with much gold, Read the rest of this article

The Karmapa Visits the Milarepa Exhibition and Friends of Kagyu Monlam Members’ Lunch at the Mahayana Hotel


15 February, 2017 – Mahayana Hotel, Bodhgaya
On the third day of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam, His Holiness the Karmapa joined the Mönlam Members’ lunch, which is set out every day at the Mahayana Hotel for the duration of the event. Long before the arrival of the Karmapa, the Members had already been queuing patiently in a long line that stretched from the lobby all the way across the forecourt of the hotel to the street outside, waiting for their turn in the dining room. The Members were, of course, thrown into a flurry of excitement, hurriedly reaching for katas, as the news of the Karmapa’s impending visit spread. As the wait went on, they spontaneously broke into chanting Karmapa Khyenno. And not long after, they were indeed heard, as the queue moved aside and the Karmapa’s car rolled in.

His Holiness went directly to the dining Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Three

After welcoming everyone, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued reading from the text of Geshe Potowa:

In my opinion, we must flee the suffering of samsara—the very thing we are seeking to eliminate—and gather incalculable accumulations to achieve the result, perfect buddhahood. We should practice whatever is said to have the greatest merit. When selling something like woolen cloth, if we give the buyer an extra four or five pounds without them knowing it, this will bring great merit.

The Karmapa commented that we need to put as much distance as possible between ourselves and the world of samsara so that we can end our suffering. Until now, we have experienced misery even though we wanted to avoid it. Who is fooling us? The culprit is our own mind and its attachment the pleasures and tasks of this life. It is our fixation on Read the rest of this article