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Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen


14 February, 2017 – All India Bikkhu Sangha and Shakya Muni College, Bodhgaya
On the second day of the 34th Kagyu Monlam, the Gyalwang Karmapa blessed the opening of the Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen, which this year will operate for five days from the 14th to 18th of February. For many years the soup kitchen has offered nutritious hot food to the people of Bodhgaya and surrounding villages. This forms an ideal partnership with the Kagyu Monlam Medical Camp as the two organisations continue to work together to fulfill the Gyalwang Karmapa’s aspirations for a world where everyone is valued and cared for equally: putting non-partisan compassion into practical action.

The idea for offering to run a soup kitchen at the Kagyu Monlam came about twelve years ago, when a group of Akong Tulku Rinpoche’s students from Samye Ling Monastery in Read the rest of this article

The Opening Session of the 34th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo in Bodhgaya


13 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya

Thriving Aspirations for the World come from a Peaceful Mind

Just before the break of dawn, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa led the assembly of many thousands into the seven days of virtue and pure aspirations of the 34th Kagyu Monlam.

With a wish to re-establish ancient connections, His Holiness has instated Sanskrit chants at the beginning of the first session. The impressive Sanskrit sounds resounded in harmony through the dark of the Bodhgaya morning, reminiscent of Buddhism’s origins.

“This is the Vajra Seat, the essence of enlightenment,” the Karmapa said and initiated this Monlam by imparting the Sojong vows followed by advice on how to make our aspirations truly fruitful.

He inspired those gathered there with his advice on the need to bring Read the rest of this article

Four-Session Guru Yoga Session Two


Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya — 11 February 2017 

In the afternoon lecture on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, the Gyalwang Karmapa gave nuanced instructions to the assembly on visualisations essential for this profound sadhana practice. In a truly gracious manner, His Holiness extended the session until late in the afternoon in order to deliver detailed and comprehensive guidance to gathered initiates. 

Today’s guided lecture was the crowning session, not only for the training on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, but for the long series of teachings on The Torch of True Meaning which has  stretched over five Kagyu Monlams.

Read the rest of this article

Four-Session Guru Yoga Session One


11 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,

Displaying creative and informed scholarship of history, the Karmapa divided his morning talk among four main topics that clarified key features of his incarnation lineage: the history of the Karma Kamtsang, including the concept of the four earlier and the eight later lineages; how the name Karmapa came about; the meaning, actual
color, and origination of the Black Crown; and how the mantra “Karmapa Khyenno” arose.

In the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa discussed key elements of his tradition as a preparation for explaining the practice in the afternoon. Beforehand, however, he made some important points about doing the practice. People can listen to the explanation, but in order to do the actual practice, they must have received an empowerment in the highest yoga tradition Read the rest of this article

The Main Chakrasamvara Empowerment


February 6, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
On this remarkable day, after two days of initial rituals, the followers of Gyalwang Karmapa had, for the first time, been given the opportunity to receive the grand empowerment of Chakrasamvara from the head of the Kagyu lineage.

His Holiness introduced the initiates into the meaning of Secret Mantra clarifying that the word “mantra”, in Chinese translations, means “the words of truth”.

“It is when we speak in accordance with the nature of how things are, the power of those words, and the way of bringing benefit to the world through that power,” he said and illustrated the point with stories of Angulimala and Buddha Akshobhya. The Angulimala Sutra tells of Angulimala encountering a pregnant woman unable to give birth. Buddha advised that Angulimala, who had killed many people in Read the rest of this article