NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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In Praise of Bhikshunis: A Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish

2015.01.20i
20 January 2015, Tergar Monastery
During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Gyalwang Karmapa led a special ritual that he himself had composed, making powerful aspirations in support of all female practitioners and particularly for the flourishing of the nuns’ dharma.

Blending his voice with those of the female chantmasters, the Karmapa led the gathering through a recitation drawn from the ‘Sutra of Repaying Kindness, Great Skill in Means’, in praise of the qualities of nine exceptional Bhikshunis who were the direct disciples of the Buddha. “May we have the merit to uphold the teachings properly like the Buddha’s mother, the elder Bhikshuni Mahaprajapati Gautami,” the verse began.

    “May we be supreme among all with prajna and confidence like Bhikshuni Kshema,
    May we be supreme among all with miraculous powers like Bhikshuni Utpalavarna,
    May we be supreme among teachers like Bhikshuni Dharmadatta,
    May we be supreme among those who uphold the vinaya like Krsa Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches at Root Institute on Seeing Difficulties as Opportunities

2015.01.10 Root Institute
10 January 2015 Root Institute, Bodhgaya

In what has become an annual tradition during his winter activities in Bodhgaya, the Gyalwang Karmapa returned once more to Root Institute to teach for an afternoon.

This year, in his seventh such visit to the institute, he offered a profound and inspiring talk on impermanence. Root Institute is part of the FPMT organization (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition), and is a centre which particularly attracts many international dharma students.

An hour before the Gyalwang Karmapa’s arrival at the centre, the institute was blessed by the auspicious arrival of a rescued elephant, whose upkeep and ongoing care are sponsored by the institute’s Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The elephant, a female named Ragnini, arrived adorned in elaborate silk brocade, with intricate painted patterns and a headpiece of glittering silver jewels, ready to welcome the Gyalwang Karmapa in grand style.

The atmosphere inside the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Opens Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

2015.01.10
8 January 2015 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

This week the historical Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns began at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. The annual gathering brings together Karma Kagyu nuns in a program focused on advanced training in philosophy and debate.

“When we initiated this Winter Dharma Gathering for nuns the primary aim was to strengthen the education within Kagyu nunneries,” the Gyalwang Karmapa said. “Another aim was that the nuns would be able to take responsibility not just for activities within their own nunneries, but also take wider responsibility for upholding the teachings.”

“Monks and nuns are the same in being able to uphold the Buddha’s teachings, and have the same responsibility to do so,” he continued. “However there has been a period when nuns have not really had the opportunity to uphold the teachings, and this has been a loss for all of us.”

This year around 400 nuns from 9 different nunneries in India, Nepal, and Bhutan have gathered. The two-and-a-half week Read the rest of this article

Kun Kyong Arranges Training for Nuns in Gender, Management, and Communication

2015.01.05
January 5-7, 2015 Taj Darbar Hotel, Bodhgaya

Guided by the Gyalwang Karmapa’s broad vision of developing the inner potential and capacity of nuns, a group of 28 Karma Kagyu nuns recently completed a management skills training workshop. Running from January 5-7 at the Taj Darbar Hotel, Bodhgaya, over the course of 3 days the nuns were given an extraordinary opportunity to train in different aspects of management skills including communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and leadership. The workshop also included a dedicated session on gender awareness, exploring different aspects of gender and the surrounding social processes.

The workshop was organized by the Kun Kyong Charitable Trust, which the Gyalwang Karmapa established in 2013 for promoting education, women, the environment, health, and welfare. It was conducted by the well-known women’s rights organization Jagori, and delivered by Ms Suneeta Dhar, Director of Jagori, and Mr Tejinder Bhogal of Innobridge Consulting. Coming from 7 nunneries in India, Nepal, and Bhutan, the Read the rest of this article

The Lama Chöpa: Kagyu Monlam Celebrates the Gurus

2015.01.04i
4 January, 2015 Monlam Pavilion

Unseen by most of those who attend the Monlam, the Karmapa had worked into the early hours of the morning supervising preparations for the final day of Monlam prayers. Satisfied, that everything met his high standards, he had finally left the Monlam Pavilion at 2.00am.

When people arrived for Mahayana Sojong at 5.45am, the stage had been transformed yet again, into a multicultural, visually stunning celebration of the Buddhist Dharma, the Kagyu tradition and the Monlam itself.

The sixteen Chinese-style auspicious banners of the Arhats which had headed the Alms Procession the day before now lined the wings either side of the main stage, and the lowest tiers were brightened by bouquets of fresh flowers, huge chrysanthemum blooms in deep purples, whites and yellows. On the second tier, three low thrones had been placed, for the Gyalwang Karmapa and his two heart sons, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche. The rows of gelongs sitting on the steps had been reduced from three to two, and Read the rest of this article