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Never Giving Up on Others


8 March, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

Today the Karmapa began with the section in the Ornament of Precious Liberation on the eight benefits of aspirational bodhichitta. The first benefit is that aspirational bodhichitta is the gateway into the mahayana. Whether or not we are a mahayana practitioner depends on having aspirational bodhichitta in our being. It is what distinguishes the mahayana path or indicates a truly compassionate person. 

And what makes compassion great is the scope of our resolve: we seek to benefit all infinite living beings without exception, to bring them happiness and free them of suffering. If we can shoulder this responsibility, our compassion is great; if not, we are just repeating empty words.

Aspirational bodhichitta is also the very basis for all the training of a bodhisattva. It is so powerful that Read the rest of this article

Keeping the Bodhisattva’s Promise

Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

After welcoming everyone for the second day of the 4th Arya Kshema, the Karmapa continued with the discussion of the ceremony of the bodhisattva vows from Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation. Having completed the discussion of the tradition of the profound view, that of Manjushri to Nagarjuna, he elaborated upon the tradition of vast conduct, the tradition passed down from Maitreya to Asanga and known as Master Serlingpa’s tradition.

The Karmapa delineated the two parts of this tradition: aspiration of the bodhicitta vow and engagement of the bodhicitta vow. He focused on the actual ceremony of the aspiration of bodhicitta and explained that before the aspirant takes the vow, he or she must contemplate whether they are ready to receive the vow. The Karmapa explained that the Read the rest of this article

Historic Red Crown Ceremony in Bodhgaya

During the break, after the smoke offering Massing Clouds of Amrita had ended on Sunday morning, the stage needed to be cleared and rearranged in order for Gyaltsab Rinpoche to bestow the Red Crown ceremony and the Long Life Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa personally took charge of arranging Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne with great respect and care; he had received the Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined from Gyaltsab Rinpoche when he bestowed the Treasury of Precious Terma, or Rinchen Terdzo empowerments some years earlier.

Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne was placed directly in front of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s high throne. To the right, on an elegant golden table covered with brocade, sat a delicately wrought silver pavilion.

At last the stage Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Four

February 16, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

Today, His Holiness reflected on the part of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy, which had virtue in monasteries as its focal point. He encouraged everyone to nurture enthusiasm and bodhicitta, the essence of which is the union of emptiness and compassion, to guide our efforts to benefit others. Following a short instruction, he concluded with a meditation session. Though he had completed this year’s Monlam teaching, he had not exhausted the content of the whole text and announced that the teaching on the text would extend for one or two more Monlams.

The Karmapa read Geshe Potowa’s accounts of visiting monasteries. When he inquired after fine individuals, he was often told that these fine individuals, the life-blood of the monastery, were the wealthy ones, with much gold, Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Three

After welcoming everyone, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued reading from the text of Geshe Potowa:

In my opinion, we must flee the suffering of samsara—the very thing we are seeking to eliminate—and gather incalculable accumulations to achieve the result, perfect buddhahood. We should practice whatever is said to have the greatest merit. When selling something like woolen cloth, if we give the buyer an extra four or five pounds without them knowing it, this will bring great merit.

The Karmapa commented that we need to put as much distance as possible between ourselves and the world of samsara so that we can end our suffering. Until now, we have experienced misery even though we wanted to avoid it. Who is fooling us? The culprit is our own mind and its attachment the pleasures and tasks of this life. It is our fixation on Read the rest of this article