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The First Day of Gyalwang Karmapa’s Lineage Practice Teachings

Wednesday 31st December, 2008

These teachings, sponsored and organized by the Hwa-Yue Foundation from Taiwan, are the third in a series of teachings entitled: Lineage Practice Teachings. More than one thousand five hundred people filled the main assembly hall at Tergar Monastery to listen to His Holiness deliver the teachings in a mixture of Tibetan and Chinese. Chinese devotees from Taiwan and Hong Kong formed the majority of the audience. However, there were also disciples from the Americas, from Europe and from other Asian countries including Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The morning and afternoon sessions began with prayers in Chinese, accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments – a wooden bell beaten to keep time, and a bronze bell. At the morning session, representatives from the audience prostrated along with the Gyalwang Karmapa.

His Holiness’ theme was teacher and student. He began by joking that these teachings, and the ‘English’ ones which would follow Monlam, were as much a test of his burgeoning linguistic skills as of his dharma knowledge and experience. He then congratulated the audience on attending the teachings in spite of the Read the rest of this article

The Second Day of Gyalwang Karmapa’s Lineage Practice Teachings

Thursday January 1, 2009

The morning session was devoted to the Refuge Vow, which was given in Tibetan, Chinese and Korean. His Holiness began by explaining the meaning of refuge and why we needed a refuge. First he pointed out that from the time of our birth until our death we were dependent on others. The very nature of our lives meant we had to rely on other people. These people, including family and friends, who protected and cared for us were a form of refuge. Also, everyone wished to be happy, as witnessed by the many people who wrote to him or sought audiences to ask for help – failing businesses, illnesses, and other unhappiness.

It seemed we were unable to free ourselves from suffering and problems. Thus, we needed to look for a way to free ourselves completely. We needed to find the ultimate refuge. Someone like a doctor might be able to help us temporarily but in the end we still suffered sickness, ageing and death – and we had to experience these lifetime after lifetime.

So what would an ultimate refuge be? It had to be one which could help us rid ourselves of the root causes of suffering, and this could only be done by someone who had already Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches on the Bodhisattva Vow

Friday 26th December, 2008

His Holiness Karmapa graciously accepted an invitation from the Root Institute, the F.P.M.T. Dharma centre in Bodh Gaya, and addressed the staff and a general audience which included a group who were about to undertake a short retreat course on the Bodhisattva Vow. His Holiness was accompanied by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.

His Holiness emphasized the preciousness of bodhichitta – the altruistic intention. Quoting, he explained that if bodhichitta were to take physical form the universe would be too small to contain it, the reality of bodhichitta was sometimes misunderstood. It was far more than kind thoughts towards others or common acts of kindness. Bodhichitta arose from a deep understanding of the suffering of all sentient beings, tremendous compassion, the resolve to achieve Buddhahood for one’s self and the determination to work unceasingly for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Gyalwang Karmapa reminded everyone:

All happiness comes from cherishing others;
All suffering comes from cherishing one’s self.

He commented that we were living in an age when we were faced with not just the mental and emotional stability of our own minds, but also drastic changes and imbalance in the Read the rest of this article

His Holiness Visits the Royal Bhutanese Monastery

Before returning to Tergar Monastery, His Holiness visited the Royal Bhutanese Monastery in order to check on progress in making the Kagyu Monlam torma (butter sculptures).

This year a film crew from US is making a documentary about the unique Tibetan tradition of butter sculptures, so His Holiness drew the word ‘torma’ with brush and ink in Tibetan calligraphic style for them. Read more

Gyalwang Karmapa Distributes Presents on Christmas Eve

Wednesday 24th December, 2008

In the afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa distributed small presents – a bag and an umbrella from this year’s Monlam souvenirs – to the staff of Tsurphu Labrang and to members of the Kagyu Monlam Working Team. Read the rest of this article