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Gyalwang Karmapa Attends The 8th Jonang Monlam at the Mahabodhi Stupa

December 18, 2009 – Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya

His Holiness was requested to attend the 8th Jonang Monlam and to lead the prayer ceremonies. At the Jonang Monlam entrance gate, His Holiness was welcomed by Khen Rinpoche Choe-kyi Nangpa Chog of the Jonang Tradition. His Holiness was escorted to the main shrine room inside the Mahabodhi Stupa by monks carrying incense and playing gyalin. His Holiness prostrated and recited prayers before making his way to the enclosure in front of the Bodhi Tree, to join the morning session of the Jonang Monlam.

Many people were gathered at the Jonang Monlam, mostly monks and nuns, some Tibetan laypeople, and a scattered crowd of foreign tourists and Westerners. After a mandala offering was made to His Holiness, he completed his visit by circumambulating the outer circuit, followed by a large crowd of devotees. Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Begins Teachings on Nagarjuna’s “A Letter to A Friend”

December 18, 2009 – Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya

2nd Annual Teaching for Foreign Students: Day 1

Today His Holiness began his long-awaited annual teachings for foreign students. For three days at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, His Holiness will be giving a commentary on Nagarjuna’s “Letter to a Friend”- a text mainly focusing on the Six Perfections. In acknowledgment of the large proportion of the audience who are practicing Buddhism as “householders”, His Holiness explained that this text was addressed to a king, and thus contains practice advice that is particularly appropriate for laypeople. The number of attendees wishing to receive teachings from His Holiness exceeded the capacity of Tergar’s immense assembly hall, and some latecomers could be seen listening intently from outside the gompa.

The main topic for today’s morning session was Refuge, while the afternoon teachings were devoted to the practice of the Ten Virtues. The afternoon session closed with a question-and-answer period.

Speaking about the practice of Dharma in general, His Holiness said that we need to grasp the words and meaning of the Dharma, and that our Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Presides over Five-Day Vinaya Conference

December 13, 2009 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

At His Holiness’ request, this year’s Winter Debate Session includes a five-day conference entirely devoted to the vinaya, or monastic discipline. In preparation for the event, in the fall of this year, each of the Kagyu monasteries had sent delegates to Dharamsala for a period of intense vinaya study under His Holiness’ direct guidance. Today and over the next four days, those khenpos will be taking turns making presentations and leading question-and-answer sessions devoted to particular issues related to the vinaya. Read more

Live Broadcast of 27th Kagyu Monlam: Begins Dec 20, 2009

The entire 27th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo will be broadcast live on www.kagyumonlam.tv starting from December 20th, 2009 until January 1, 2010.

The first broadcast will be of Dharma Teachings by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa on “A Letter to a Friend”. Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on “How to Handle Conflicts Among the Different Vows”

December 8, 2009 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

Teachings, Day Five:

Following yesterday’s debate-style discussion of the various schools’ views on the three vows, His Holiness began by commenting that it is crucial that we have a clear understanding as to what our own position is and what that of others is. When we sketch out a range of positions, Gyalwang Karmapa noted that sometimes people get confused and begin mixing the view of our school with that of others. The great scholars of the past composed treatises that explore crucial points, refuting others’ views and establishing their own, in order to make clear for us the reasoning behind their position. He observed that such texts often begin by defeating the views of others, and may do so using what can strike us as harsh speech.

If we find ourselves put off by the strong language scholars use in negating the views of others, as we study these texts it is important that we bear in mind what their purpose was. When we read the compositions of the Eighth Karmapa, for example, when he argues powerfully against others, we need to keep in mind that the point is to cut through wrong views, rather than to find fault with others. Such debates were waged among great scholar-yogis who stated their positions strongly Read the rest of this article