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Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Three: Now Is the Time to Practice and How We Avoid It

2016.02.18i
18 February, 2016 -The Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
Recapitulating the essential message of the previous days, the Gyalwang Karmapa began his talk emphasizing the importance of recalling impermanence and death. Doing so, he said, allows us not to be attached to the things of this life and mired in thoughts about it. He then continued reading from Potowa’s text:

    You do not know when you will die, so resolve not to procrastinate about practicing the Dharma. Nothing else will help at the time of death, so be determined that you will not have attachment for anything.

To illustrate what this might feel like, Potowa gives the example of a person being led to their execution. If along the way stunning jewels and gold were spread out before them, what interest would they have? We alone will face death, and knowing this, we should not be Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Two: Death is certain, so resolve to practice the Dharma.

2016.02.17
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of the Dagpo Kagyu is the confluence of two great streams: the practice of Mahamudra from Milarepa and the Six Yogas of Naropa, and the mind training tradition received from Jowo Atisha and transmitted through the Kadampa masters. Both streams were united in Lord Gampopa. Mind training is the necessary foundation for the practice of Mahamudra, the Karmapa explained, which is why he chose to teach from the Kadampa masters as much as possible during the main Monlam. This year’s text—also called The Long Soliloquy of Mind Training—was too long to be taught in one year, so he would continue the teaching at next year’s Monlam.

Geshe Potowa Rinchen Sal spent seven years serving Dromtönpa, the principal student of Atisha and founder of the Kadampa tradition, and received the oral Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session One: The Art of Listening to the Dharma

2016.02.16i
16 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
On the first day of the 33rd Kagyu Monlam, a long queue of white-clothed lay people led by lamas and rinpoches sponsored the mandala offering – heaps of red coral proffered on a burnished gold mandala plate. The assembly of monks in gold and maroon at the front, with rows of lay people in white at the back turned the entire Pavilion into an artistic design; more significantly, it also revived the tradition of white cotton, symbolic of purity for Hindu pilgrims in India. Uniformity in the assembly reminded everyone we were there for one purpose: to listen to the dharma.

After welcoming their Eminences, Goshir Gyaltsap and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Kagyu masters and sponsors, ordained and lay people the Karmapa began his teaching on one of 3 great forefathers of the Kadampa lineage. As well Read the rest of this article

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