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An Evening of Prayers for the Deceased

2015.01.18
January 18, 2015 -Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

At the end of the teachings this morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa announced that in the evening, there would be a special ceremony for the deceased. After he left the shrine hall, the ordained sangha wrapped themselves up in their warm, woolen zens and the lay people pulled on their puffy jackets and slung their scarves around their head and shoulders to brace against the cold outside. Many of the exiting crowd headed quickly for the Tsurphu Administration’s office near the side gate into Tergar. Here, on the shiny black desks, they would find rose pink sheets of lined paper with “Deceased” printed at the top. On these, they wrote the names of loved ones, relatives and friends, who had passed away. During the evening’s puja, these sheets would be offered to a ritual fire that, after Read the rest of this article

Teachings from Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation

2015.01.08i
Day 1: Karma, Cause and Effect
8 January, 2015

During the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns last year, the Karmapa began teachings on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (literally, The Ornament of Precious Liberation). This is the most important treatise written by Gampopa the Physician (Sgam po Lha rje, 1079–1153), for it combines the instructions of two great rivers—the kadampa and mahamudra lineages. All kagyu practitioners should value, take an interest in, and study this text. The Karmapa said that he himself considers it very important.

The Karmapa continued his teachings, saying that this year, we have not only the nuns from the kagyu monastic colleges, we also have nuns from the practice sections of the nunneries. If they had no other jobs to do, they were allowed to stay on after the Kagyu Read the rest of this article

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 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 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 Read the rest of this article