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“What I Give Away is Mine”: the Gyalwang Karmapa’s Advice as the 34th Kagyu Monlam Ends


19 February, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

The last afternoon of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam started slightly earlier than usual with a Medicine Buddha tsok practice according to the Concise Ritual of Offering to the Seven Tathagatas, compiled by the 6th Sharmapa. Tsok, in the form of small bags of fruit, was distributed to each and every participant, sangha and lay followers alike, and money offerings traditionally known in Tibet as ‘kunki’ were also given to the sangha.

At the end of the afternoon break, His Holiness Karmapa came onto the stage and the session on the Appreciation of the Sponsors opened with the procession for the mandala offering, led by the sponsors who then sat on the stage for the blessings that would follow. Appreciation of the Sponsors is an opportunity to share and dedicate virtue, and His Holiness spoke Read the rest of this article

Celebrating the Life of the Eighth Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche: A Ritual of Offerings to the Gurus


19 February, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The extensive Ritual of Offerings to the Gurus, always performed on the last day of the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, was composed in 2005 by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. It is a compilation drawn from many famous Buddhist texts. The puja often serves as a memorial to a particular Lama who has passed away, and this year a large portrait photograph of the Eighth Kyabje Dorzong Rinpoche was placed centrally below the shrine.

The stage had been rearranged following the Sixteen Arhat and Alms Procession the previous day. Four of the victory banners from that procession remained on the top tier of the stage, and the others were arrayed in the wings. Below them, three tiers of heavily laden offering tables stood to left and right of the pagoda shrine containing the infant Buddha. The bottom tier was replete with Read the rest of this article

Honoring the Words of the Buddha: The Kangyur Procession


17 February, 2017 – Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India

The Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodh Gaya, Bihar

In the Monlam Pavilion the night before the procession, the Gyalwang Karmapa, a consummate director who pays attention to the smallest detail, rehearsed the monks and nuns who would be carrying the Kangyur texts the next day. As they sat on the floor before him, he spoke to them about the significance of this event. “These texts hold the precious words of the Buddha, and you will carry them as you circumambulate the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment. This will make an auspicious connection for his teachings to flourish and spread throughout the world.” The sangha members then practiced walking with a paced dignity, passing out into the cool evening and coming back in the Pavilion as the Karmapa watched.

He advised them, ”Those in the Read the rest of this article

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