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The Three Essential Points, Day Two, Part II: The Accumulation of Wisdom


January 21, 2107 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
After teaching the accumulation of merit that leads to realizing the form kayas, the Karmapa turned to the next section of Mikyö Dorje’s instruction that shows how to view and meditate on profound emptiness and achieve the dharmakaya through the accumulation of wisdom. First, the Karmapa gave a reading transmission for this section on view, which unfolds in extensive and subtle detail the line, “The key point of the view is recognizing whatever appears,” and then he gave his own commentary. [A translation of the complete text of the Three Essential Points will be posted on kagyuoffice.org.]

“The main point, the Karmapa said, relates to our taking the phenomena that appear to us as being truly existent or truly established just as they appear. This talking them to be real and Read the rest of this article

The Three Essential Points, Day Two, Part I: The Accumulation of Merit


January 21, 2107 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Yesterday, the Karmapa covered the first two of the three points, and today he discussed the third, the essential point of the Bardo. The root verse states:

    Recognize that this is the bardo.
    Transform the outer, inner, and secret
    And do the yoga of emptiness and compassion.
    The wise thus take rebirth.

Commenting on the first line, the Karmapa said it referred to seeing all the appearances of this life, all that arises as the objects of our senses, as the delusive appearances of the bardo. We need to recognize this bardo as actually being the bardo. If we can meditate like this in a stable way, when we are born into the bardo, we will have the feeling, “Oh, I’ve been born in the bardo,” and be able to recognize its appearances for what they Read the rest of this article

The Three Essential Points, Day One


January 20, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Today the Gyalwang Karmapa began a teaching based on the Three Essential Points, the next section from Mikyö Dorje’s One Hundred Short Instructions. The three points relate to the essence of practice for this life, for the time of death, and for the bardo.
This practice for developing compassion is related to Avalokiteshvara and was given by the great Mitra Yogi to Tropo Lotsawa. Mikyö Dorje’s text, however, does not give Mitra Yogi’s complete instruction, but only his verse on view, meditation, and conduct.

The root text divides into three sections or three types of explanation: the overview, the detailed explanation, and the conclusion (where we find Mitra Yogi’s verse). In the Eighth Karmapa’s instruction, this last section is explained extensively, especially the part Read the rest of this article

Direct Instructions on the Great Compassionate One, Day Three


January 19, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Having finished explaining the creation phase, His Holiness turned to the completion phase. He read the passage from the text that speaks of three focuses for the practice of mahamudra: 1) staying undistracted like a soldier whirling his sword as he enters battle; 2) being skilled in abiding without altering like an elephant herder; and 3) sustaining freely like a bird taking off and returning to a ship.

The first example refers to a keenly aware mind that is also open to thought. The second refers to the fact that an elephant herder does not have to run around a lot, so it points to looking inward at the mind, letting cognitions dissipate, and relaxing. The third example is of a bird on a ship in the middle of the ocean. If the bird flies away, it will have no other place to land but the Read the rest of this article

Direct Instructions on the Great Compassionate One, Day Two


January 18, 2017 – Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
Today the Gyalwang Karmapa continued his talks on the practice of Avalokiteshvara, moving on to discuss the main mediation practice of creation and completion. He began by reading the text, which describes coming to enlightenment in various ways: through emptiness, through the seat of sun and moon, through the syllable for speech, through the emblem for the mind, and through the perfection of the body.

For the main practice of creation and completion, first, meditating that our heart is empty is enlightenment through emptiness. Meditating that in its center are a lotus, sun, and moon is enlightenment through the sun and moon, the seat. Meditating that in its center there is a white HRIH is enlightenment through the syllable, speech. Light radiating from the HRIH purifies our misdeeds and Read the rest of this article