26 November, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
Each winter, monks from Kagyu shedras [monastic universities] across India and Nepal gather together under the guidance of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to engage in a month of intensive study and vigorous debate. This annual event is called the Gunchö, a Tibetan word which means ‘winter dharma’. This is its eighteenth year. The 2014 Gunchö was inaugurated by the Karmapa on the 20th November, before he left for his teaching programme in Delhi, and will continue until 17th December. The eight shedras participating in the debate competition this year are: Karma Shri Nalanda Institute from the Karmapa’s seat in Rumtek; Lungrik Jampal Ling from Situ Rinpoche’s Sherab Ling Monastery; Rigpe Dorje Institute from Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche’s monastery in Lava; Vajra Vidya Institute, from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery in Sarnath; Lekshey Ling, Chöje Lama Phuntsok’s Shedra in Nepal; Thösam Norling Gatsal, Bokar Rinpoche’s shedra; Tergar Ösel Ling from Mingyur Rinpoche’s monastery; and Read the rest of this article
23 November,2014 – New Delhi
On this second day of teachings at the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, founded by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa continued his exposition of the practice of mind training based on the “Eight Verses of Mind Training” by the Kadam Geshe Langri Tangpa. As 400 people received the teachings directly in the auditorium, another 5,000 people watched live from offsite, via webcasts that extended access with translation into Spanish, Chinese, French, German and Polish. Remarkably, the number of people listening to the Spanish translation was twice the number of people listening to the English translation.
His Holiness the Karmapa began by observing that practices to generate bodhichitta can be divided into three major types: 1) meditation on the equality of self and others, 2) the exchanging of self and others, and 3) the sevenfold cultivation of bodhichitta. Originally the instructions for the practice of exchanging self and others were kept secret by the Kadam tradition, but later began to be taught openly and are Read the rest of this article
22 November, 2014 – New Delhi
For the fifth year, His Holiness the Karmapa was invited by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility—an organization founded by is Holiness the Dalai Lama—to offer public teachings in Delhi. This year, the weekend was devoted to exploring “The Art of Happiness” through the Eight Verses on Mind Training by Geshe Langri Tangpa. Responding to the overwhelming demand for a place at these annual teachings, this year the teachings were held in the largest space available in Delhi’s Habitat Centre, the Stein Auditorium. Although it seats 400, the auditorium preserves a sense of intimacy, and even before the Karmapa took the stage, the hall filled with the warm atmosphere of a family reunion. Many of those attending had met year after year at the Gyalwang Karmapa’s teaching hosted by the foundation, even as others were rejoicing in their good fortune at finally getting a place at the teachings, which routinely waitlists large numbers of would-be attendees. The organizers noted that the house was full to Read the rest of this article
12 November, 2014, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa has often quipped that the word ‘Karmapa’ is somewhat equivalent in meaning to “Action Man”. He is now recognised as a leader who ‘does’ as well as ‘says’, and repeatedly urges his followers to transform their Buddhist beliefs into action.
“Because our lives are interdependent, we carry the responsibility for ourselves, for the welfare of our family and friends, and for all living beings in the world. Interdependence is not just a philosophy: it’s a way of life,” he has said.
This morning, reflecting his advice that we should all take individual responsibility for protecting the environment, he met with an enthusiastic group of children from the local Bodhi Tree School and joined them in cleaning the local area.
The school is currently leading a campaign in conjunction with students from Magadh University to clean up the environment. The Karmapa has a long-standing connection with the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation, a non-profit organisation Read the rest of this article
Khöndong Ratna Vajra Rinpoche visited the Gyalwang Karmapa at Tergar Monastery this morning. Rinpoche was received with the highest honours and escorted in procession to the Karmapa’s residence, where the two spiritual leaders spent half-an-hour in private conversation. The Karmapa then presented Ratna Vajra Rinpoche with a Buddha statue and a facsimile of a rare practice text, the Nag-gyal-phag-sum. The author and compiler of this text was the Fifth Shamarpa, Kunchok Yenla and the original was printed in gold ink on black paper.
Following the meeting, Chamsing Ngodup Pelzom, the Karmapa’s elder sister, escorted Rinpoche on a tour of the International Kagyu Monlam site, visiting the administration block and the Monlam Pavilion.
Khöndong Ratna Vajra Rinpoche is the elder son of H.H. Sakya Trizin, the current throne holder of the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Read the rest of this article