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The Marmei Monlam Lights up the World

December 21, 2010 – Bodhgaya

Spheres of red and yellow lights descending from the outer path around the stupa enfold in their bright warmth all who’ve gathered this evening. In addition to the international sangha of ordained and lay people, there are also dignitaries who have come from afar to join in this celebration. The steps leading from the back gate down to the Bodhi Tree have been turned into a stage for the performances.

Tonight His Holiness is serving as the Master of Ceremonies, announcing each group and making brief comments. The first group is composed of Tibetan monks who stand with their palms together, filling the whole space of the stairs with the glowing presence of their yellow robes. His Holiness comments that te Sanskrit language comes first since India was the source of Dharma. In resonant tones, the monks chant the refuge, praise of the Buddha, and before the dedication, the epitome of the Buddha’s teachings, which the Karmapa cites Read the rest of this article

28TH Kagyu Monlam: Day Five

December 19, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave the Sojong vows this morning. Kyabje Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dolrob Tenga Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche were also there to preside over the first session.

SESSION TWO: TEACHING BY THE GYALWANG KARMAPA
The King Of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration To Excellent Conduct
Infinite Bodhicitta For Beings Beyond Number

Pausing at the top of the stairs to remove his shoes, His Holiness descends the stairs leading to his throne and the Bodhi Tree. As usual he passes by his throne through a door of yellow cloth into the inner path around the stupa. Walking around the left side to enter the main temple, he offers prostrations to the golden Buddha and then offers a radiant set of robes to the Read the rest of this article

27th Kagyu Monlam: Day Eight – Kagyu Monlam Comes to a Rousing Conclusion

December 31, 2009 – Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

The tremendous efforts undertaken by organizers seeking to fulfill His Holiness’ vast vision for this year’s monlam came to their fullest fruition today, as the 27th Kagyu Monlam drew to a joyful close. From early morning until the deep chill of the night, thousands of disciples who had gathered from all corners of the planet spent the final day of 2009 in the presence of His Holiness. Read more

27th Kagyu Monlam: Day Seven – Stretching into the Deep Past and the Distant Future

December 30, 2009 – Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

By inviting and embracing attendees from all over the world, providing translation into nine languages and sending out a live webcast viewed by people all over the globe, and by generating aspirations that encompass other worlds as well, the Kagyu Monlam has truly expanded to fill all space. On its seventh day, the scope of the Kagyu Monlam also stretched to fill time, with activities to protect the environment as well as to honor the Kagyur, or the canon of Buddha’s teachings. As such, the day’s focus spanned from 2,500 ago in India when the Buddha first taught, to a distant future that monlam participants actively seek to create, so that our heirs to this planet may still find it a viable and welcoming home.

As part of the morning’s focus on the Kagyur itself, Gyalwang Karmapa and the other Kagyu lineages holders led a solemn and stately procession of bhikshus and bhikshunis (gelongs and gelongmas) to carry the 108 volumes of the canonical collection on a circumambulation around the stupa. The procession path was lined with the reverential public, white scarves and flowers in their hands, and deep faith in their hearts, as the members of the sangha moved past with great dignity as each respectfully bore a single Read the rest of this article

27th Kagyu Monlam: Day Six – Milarepa Empowerment, Ganachakra Talk on “Positive Politics”

December 29, 2009 – Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

The sixth day of the 27th Kagyu Monlam offered students numerous ways to continue connecting to Milarepa and the Kagyu practice lineage. In the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa conferred a Milarepa Empowerment to a massive gathering, including to such holders of Milarepa’s illustrious lineage as: His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche, His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, His Eminence Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, Bhayoe Rinpoche, Khenpo Lodoe Dhonyoe, Drupon Dechen Rinpoche and Drikung Gyese Rinpoche.

Also among those fortunate enough to receive such an empowerment, directly from the Gyalwang Karmapa, was the entire troup of actors who will be performing the drama on The Life of Milarepa composed by His Holiness, to be staged at the conclusion of the Monlam.

Continuing the day’s celebration of Milarepa’s life and practice heritage, in the evening His Holiness led a Milarepa Ganachakra gathering, at Tergar Monastery, for those who had completed the Four Preliminary Practices (ngondros) of the Kagyu tradition.

His Holiness had recounted earlier, in his reading of the biography of Milarepa, that Milarepa had buried several sacred objects for his disciples to Read the rest of this article