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Dedicating the Merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa

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29 January 2015, Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa spent almost three months in Bodhgaya, beginning in November with the monks’ Winter Dharma Gathering followed by the peaceful empowerments from the cycle of Knowing One Frees All, and then teachings on The Torch of True Meaning. These led into the 32nd Kagyu Monlam and then the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering, which included management and medical training for the nuns as well as debating. Further, the Karmapa made the major announcement of a program leading to full bhikshuni ordination. Also during the nuns’ gathering, the recognition and haircutting ceremony of Bokar Rinpoche’s reincarnation took place. These months have been an incredibly rich and fulfilling time, a vast cornucopia of Dharma flowing from the profound generosity and the compassionate activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa.

His last gesture was to dedicate all of this merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa, where he stopped on his way to the airport. Inside the main temple in front of the Buddha whose petaled halo of Read the rest of this article

The Inaugural Ceremony of the Ladakh Buddhist Vihara in Bodhgaya.

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January 26, 2015
The road into the Vihar has been lined in soft orange and cream satins embellished with gold sequins, and just after the gate into the Vihar, a large Dharma wheel has been chalked on the red carpeting. Nearby are a group of five male dancers with tall brocade hats and their maroon and white striped stoles. Just behind them wait five Ladakhi ladies, wearing their distinctive clothing and headdress—a wide turquoise studded wave that dips down over their forehead to end in a single beautiful stone. They carry long-spouted brass pitchers of liquor, the traditional offering of welcome in the Himalayan region. In the courtyard, about four hundred ordained and lay people wait before an open area reserved for the dance performances. Just beyond it, an elevated pavilion has been set up with a throne for the Gyalwang Karmapa, net to which is a shrine with an impressive three-foot Buddha statue lined below with the traditional seven offering bowls and a butter lamp.

Minutes before two o’clock, the distant sound of a Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates Land for a New Kitchen

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January 26, 2015
Inside the now empty and rambling frame of the Monlam kitchen with the bound lengths of bamboo still supporting deep blue tarpaulins, a small shrine has been set up. On the brocade covered table are two rows of the traditional offering bowls, and in front, a large offering cup on its stand sits next to a plate with a white torma. Not far away, a small rectangular area of earth has been opened in the brick floor.

Around eleven in the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa comes walking through the nearby field with the young Druppön Dechen at his side and accompanied by a small group of monks. He will perform a special ceremony (sometimes called taming the earth) to request the land and gratify the local spirits. The offerings are divided into three main phases. First, the white torma and a golden libation (gser skyems) are offered to the earth goddess to solicit the land from her. The Karmapa kneels in front of his chair with Druppön Dechen to make prayers. A stick of incense is Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Commemorates Republic Day

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26 January, 2015 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
In what has become an annual event during his winter programme, the Gyalwang Karmapa joined in the flag-raising ceremony to celebrate Indian Republic Day.

More than a hundred young monks with their teachers lined up in straight lines on the patio outside the Tergar Monastery shrine hall, and stood smartly to attention, below the flagstaff. Members of the regular police force in their knife-crease, pressed khaki uniforms and the paramilitary protection squad in blue-and-grey camouflage stood to attention beside them. As one, they presented arms with their automatic rifles or saluted, while the Indian national flag was raised. Emblazoned with the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka’s 24-spoke chakra wheel in navy blue, the tricoloured flag —with saffron, green and white panels— has become the symbol of modern, democratic India.

Also present at the ceremony were members of His Holiness’ Tsurphu Labrang staff and Tibetan security personnel, most of whom are either serving soldiers on Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Makes Historic Announcement on Restoring Nuns’ Ordination

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24 January 2015,Tergar Monastery

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa made the historical announcement that, beginning next year, he would take concrete steps towards restoring nuns’ vows in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Beginning with the restoration of the novice ‘getsulma’ and training ‘shikshamana’ nun’s vows next year, which will be conferred with the assistance of a special contingent of nuns from the Dharmagupta tradition, this will then lay the necessary framework leading to ‘gelongma’ or ‘bhikshuni’ full nun’s vows in the future.

“The biggest event during next year’s Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering will be reinstituting the novice and training vows for nuns within the Tibetan tradition,” he said. “This will be a historical event.”

“Many people might think I’m doing this because others want me to,” the Karmapa explained. “But I’m not doing it to placate anyone or in response to anyone. No matter how others see it, I feel this Read the rest of this article