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Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen


14 February, 2017 – All India Bikkhu Sangha and Shakya Muni College, Bodhgaya
On the second day of the 34th Kagyu Monlam, the Gyalwang Karmapa blessed the opening of the Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen, which this year will operate for five days from the 14th to 18th of February. For many years the soup kitchen has offered nutritious hot food to the people of Bodhgaya and surrounding villages. This forms an ideal partnership with the Kagyu Monlam Medical Camp as the two organisations continue to work together to fulfill the Gyalwang Karmapa’s aspirations for a world where everyone is valued and cared for equally: putting non-partisan compassion into practical action.

The idea for offering to run a soup kitchen at the Kagyu Monlam came about twelve years ago, when a group of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s students from Samye Ling Monastery in Read the rest of this article

Compassion in Action: The Well-Being Free Medical Camp


14 February, 2017 – Sujata Vihar, Bodh Gaya, Bihar,
The essence of the mahayana teachings is bodhichitta, the wish to attain full awakening so we have the capacity to truly benefit others. From the very beginning of entering the path, the focus is on others: there is not only the wish to help them but the actual engagement in specific activities. For many years now, the Kagyu Monlam has sponsored medical care for the local population, following the Karmapa’s directive: “When we do something for people, we have to do it genuinely as if we are doing it for ourselves.”

The first three days of the camp, called the Multi-Specialty Medical Camp, are held in conjunction with Max India Foundation. It has won many awards for its Corporate Social Responsibility, which focuses on healthcare for the underprivileged. Its CEO, Mohini Daljeet Singh, has Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Two

The second session of the teaching began with the text:

Thus there are few who have turned their minds away from this life. Many say they are bodhisattvas, but I wonder whether they are really focused on this life. I think about what I would do if I were to die tonight and have never considered any ambitions for tomorrow and thereafter. Because of that, I have understood the critical points of Dharma. That alone is the greatest sustenance for meditation. I had thought it would be likewise for others too, but when I tell them, their attitudes have never been compatible with mine.

His Holiness commented that this illustrates how Potowa applied the Dharma that he knew as an antidote to the afflictions. Knowing the Dharma and teaching the dharma are not sufficient. The Dharma has to be practised as it is taught, internalised and Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session One


13 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya

The second session on the first day of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam started with the Mandala Offering with 37 Features, for which a long line of lay practitioners formed up, their white clothing, accented by the five-coloured silks of the offerings they were bringing. Slowly, they filed past the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne as the recitation of the Supplication to the Lineage of the Bodhisattva Vow followed the Mandala Offering, and returned to their seats, beaming with joy as they held on to the red ribbons they had received from His Holiness.

The Karmapa then resumed his teaching on the Long Soliloquy from the Great Kadampa Master Potowa, at the point where he had left off last year.

Master Potowa’s text quotes the great Indian teacher, Lord Atisha, and the Karmapa Read the rest of this article

The Opening Session of the 34th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo in Bodhgaya


13 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya

Thriving Aspirations for the World come from a Peaceful Mind

Just before the break of dawn, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa led the assembly of many thousands into the seven days of virtue and pure aspirations of the 34th Kagyu Monlam.

With a wish to re-establish ancient connections, His Holiness has instated Sanskrit chants at the beginning of the first session. The impressive Sanskrit sounds resounded in harmony through the dark of the Bodhgaya morning, reminiscent of Buddhism’s origins.

“This is the Vajra Seat, the essence of enlightenment,” the Karmapa said and initiated this Monlam by imparting the Sojong vows followed by advice on how to make our aspirations truly fruitful.

He inspired those gathered there with his advice on the need to bring Read the rest of this article