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Relieving the suffering of animals: the Gyalwang Karmapa Instigates a Second Animal Camp in Bodhgaya

2014.12.02
2 December, 2014, Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s vision is to relieve the suffering of all sentient beings. He urges everyone to extend their compassion to include animals, and insists that compassion needs to be translated into action.

For many years, the International Kagyu Monlam has organised medical camps and food kitchens to help local people, but, during the 31st Kagyu Monlam, at the instigation of His Holiness, they organised a veterinary camp in order to address the needs of animals in the area.

At the time, the Karmapa commented, “Humans have often treated animals badly. I have the great hope that we can decrease that, and that an understanding that animals are members of our family in this world can spread everywhere.”

That first camp was very successful, and so the Gyalwang Karmapa directed that a further veterinary camp be organised in conjunction with the 32nd Kagyu Monlam. The animal camp is being held from 2-8 December, 2014 at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Commences Kagyu Gunchö Teachings

2014.12.01
28 November, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa entered the shrine room of Tergar Monastery, preceded by incense bearers and monks playing gyalins. Hundreds of monks from Karma Kagyu shedras were waiting with great anticipation for the first session of his teachings during this the 18th Gunchö. Joining them were many international lay students who sat to the back and sides of the hall.

Once the Karmapa was seated, the Venerable Choje Lama Phuntsok, founder of the Gunchö in 1997, made the mandala offering to request the teachings. This year’s winter debate session has been organised by his shedra, Karma Lekshey Ling, in Nepal. A few minutes later, the Gyalwang Karmapa, in his opening remarks, thanked Lama Phuntsok warmly for his hard work and commended his devotion to the teachings.

The Karmapa also mentioned the inter-shedra debate competition judges, who represent four different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Inviting them was a symbol of the respect and importance he and the Karma Kagyu hold for all Read the rest of this article

The Eighteenth Kagyu Gunchö is Under Way

2014.11.28
26 November, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
Each winter, monks from Kagyu shedras [monastic universities] across India and Nepal gather together under the guidance of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to engage in a month of intensive study and vigorous debate. This annual event is called the Gunchö, a Tibetan word which means ‘winter dharma’. This is its eighteenth year. The 2014 Gunchö was inaugurated by the Karmapa on the 20th November, before he left for his teaching programme in Delhi, and will continue until 17th December. The eight shedras participating in the debate competition this year are: Karma Shri Nalanda Institute from the Karmapa’s seat in Rumtek; Lungrik Jampal Ling from Situ Rinpoche’s Sherab Ling Monastery; Rigpe Dorje Institute from Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche’s monastery in Lava; Vajra Vidya Institute, from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery in Sarnath; Lekshey Ling, Chöje Lama Phuntsok’s Shedra in Nepal; Thösam Norling Gatsal, Bokar Rinpoche’s shedra; Tergar Ösel Ling from Mingyur Rinpoche’s monastery; and Read the rest of this article

Day One: Karmapa Teaches On the Art of Happiness

2014.11.22
22 November, 2014 – New Delhi
For the fifth year, His Holiness the Karmapa was invited by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility—an organization founded by is Holiness the Dalai Lama—to offer public teachings in Delhi. This year, the weekend was devoted to exploring “The Art of Happiness” through the Eight Verses on Mind Training by Geshe Langri Tangpa. Responding to the overwhelming demand for a place at these annual teachings, this year the teachings were held in the largest space available in Delhi’s Habitat Centre, the Stein Auditorium. Although it seats 400, the auditorium preserves a sense of intimacy, and even before the Karmapa took the stage, the hall filled with the warm atmosphere of a family reunion. Many of those attending had met year after year at the Gyalwang Karmapa’s teaching hosted by the foundation, even as others were rejoicing in their good fortune at finally getting a place at the teachings, which routinely waitlists large numbers of would-be attendees. The organizers noted that the house was full to Read the rest of this article

Leading the Way: Street Cleaning and Pitching Tents

2014.11.12
12 November, 2014, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa has often quipped that the word ‘Karmapa’ is somewhat equivalent in meaning to “Action Man”. He is now recognised as a leader who ‘does’ as well as ‘says’, and repeatedly urges his followers to transform their Buddhist beliefs into action.

“Because our lives are interdependent, we carry the responsibility for ourselves, for the welfare of our family and friends, and for all living beings in the world. Interdependence is not just a philosophy: it’s a way of life,” he has said.

This morning, reflecting his advice that we should all take individual responsibility for protecting the environment, he met with an enthusiastic group of children from the local Bodhi Tree School and joined them in cleaning the local area.

The school is currently leading a campaign in conjunction with students from Magadh University to clean up the environment. The Karmapa has a long-standing connection with the Bodhi Tree Educational Foundation, a non-profit organisation Read the rest of this article