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The Kangyur Procession: Liberation Through Seeing

2016.02.20i
20 February, 2016, -The Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya
One of the most delightful events in the Monlam is the Kangyur procession around the Bodhi Tree during the freshness of early morning in the palest shade of tinted light. For the first time this year the Karmapa invited all the nuns to attend the procession and they could be seen walking through the fields from the Pavilion to the Bodhi Tree just after dawn – a momentary capture of a new Buddhism emerging from its ancient roots. While the monks were assigned the reading of the Kangyur in the Monlam Pavilion, the Gelongs and Gelongmas gathered at the Mahabodhi Temple where 110 volumes of the new Jiang Kangyur were stacked in a corner near the Bodhi Tree:109 volumes of text and an extra volume containing a scroll preface written by the King of Jiang.

The new edition of the Jiang Kangyur, Read the rest of this article

Offerings to the Sangha: the Alms Procession and the 16 Arhats

2016.02.21
21 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of almsgiving dates back to the beginnings of Buddhism, 2500 years ago. At that time monks and nuns were not allowed to keep or prepare food and were therefore completely dependent on whatever they were offered to eat by the local community. Each morning they would go from door to door and collect food. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople not only showed their respect to the spiritual values that the Sangha symbolized, but were able to accumulate merit both by the action of generosity towards the Sangha and also by sharing in the merit which the monks and nuns generated through their spiritual practice.

In some Buddhist countries, the custom of the alms round has survived to this day, but in Tibet, because monasteries were supported by the local communities, it was no longer Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Visits Monlam Soup Kitchen

2016.02.20
20 February, 2016 -All India Bikkhu Sangha and Shakya Muni College
On the day before the Monlam officially started, the Gyalwang Karmapa made time in his busy schedule to visit the Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen—even taking a few minutes to help chop vegetables. The soup kitchen operates during the Kagyu Monlam each year, and offers nutritious hot meals and kindness to hundreds of Bodhgaya residents. This year, in addition to serving lunch five days in Bodhgaya, the soup kitchen delivered food and supplies to three nearby villages.

The idea for the soup kitchen came about eleven years ago, when a group of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s students from Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland came together to the Kagyu Monlam. Many in the group had never been to India, and they were saddened by the suffering they saw among the beggars and impoverished people Read the rest of this article

Songs of the Kagyu Fathers: A Special Ganachakra Blessing

2016.02.17i
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
Every three years HH the 17th Karmapa offers a reward to those who have completed the 400,000 long ngondro or traditional foundation practices: refuge recitations and prostrations, the Vajrasattva 100 syllable mantra of purification, the Mandala offering of the universe and Guru Yoga. Each of these practices prepares the ground for receiving advanced yidam practices and Mahamudra on the Vajrayana path. Refuge and prostrations to the Mahamudra lineage focuses the mind on the Kagyu lineage masters; recitation of the Vajrasattva mantra cleanses negativity; the Mandala offering accumulates merit; and through Guru Yoga we receive the blessings of the lineage through the three gates of body, speech and mind.

At 7 pm the Karmapa walked in casually and re-arranged the 1000 international practitioners who Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Four: Engaging in True Dharma Practice

2016.02.19
19 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa concluded the teachings for this 33rd Kagyu Monlam today, continuing his explanation of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy of Mind Training. In particular, the Karmapa spoke about how to incorporate the dharma into our beings, and how to examine and develop confidence in a spiritual friend. After his explanation of Potowa’s text, the Karmapa gave three reading empowerments. He also discussed plans relating to next year’s Akshobhya retreat—which will be practiced by nuns from the Karma Kagyu nunneries—and for the Torch of True Meaning pre-Monlam teachings on guru yoga.

The Karmapa began the teaching today by reading and discussing a paragraph from Potowa’s soliloquy, which included the following lines:

    “When you truly remember from your heart that you will die, Read the rest of this article