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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

Four-Session Guru Yoga Session Two


Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya — 11 February 2017 

In the afternoon lecture on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, the Gyalwang Karmapa gave nuanced instructions to the assembly on visualisations essential for this profound sadhana practice. In a truly gracious manner, His Holiness extended the session until late in the afternoon in order to deliver detailed and comprehensive guidance to gathered initiates. 

Today’s guided lecture was the crowning session, not only for the training on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, but for the long series of teachings on The Torch of True Meaning which has  stretched over five Kagyu Monlams.

Read the rest of this article

Four-Session Guru Yoga Session One


11 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,

Displaying creative and informed scholarship of history, the Karmapa divided his morning talk among four main topics that clarified key features of his incarnation lineage: the history of the Karma Kamtsang, including the concept of the four earlier and the eight later lineages; how the name Karmapa came about; the meaning, actual
color, and origination of the Black Crown; and how the mantra “Karmapa Khyenno” arose.

In the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa discussed key elements of his tradition as a preparation for explaining the practice in the afternoon. Beforehand, however, he made some important points about doing the practice. People can listen to the explanation, but in order to do the actual practice, they must have received an empowerment in the highest yoga tradition Read the rest of this article