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The Gyalwang Karmapa Returns to the Mahabodhi Temple

2015.02.13
February 13, 2015
The stupa is peaceful on this clear midmorning. Light falls through the Bodhi Tree, glancing off its shiny leaves and weaving its way through the spread of the ancient branches. Beneath its canopy Thai pilgrims, all dressed in white, follow ocher-robed monks around the stupa, the call and response of their chanting reverberating off the carved stone walls. A few seasoned pilgrims have gathered along the path, having noticed that a red carpet has been laid from the main gate, its triple arch covered in rose buds, down the wide flight of steps, along the marble path and into the temple; another red carpet circles the entire inner circumambulation path; and on the far side, the low stone lotus flowers marking the path of the Buddha have been overlaid with a thirty-foot strip of maroon silk, embroidered in a long row of gold lotuses.

Slightly after ten, the Gyalwang Karmapa appears at the head of the sacred precinct’s stairs and walks down the red carpet into the main temple to bow at the feet of the golden Buddha. He Read the rest of this article

“The Greatness of Small Acts”: Gyalwang Karmapa Interacts with Students at the University of Delhi

2015.01.31i
31 January 2015, New Delhi

This afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa made his first ever visit to the University of Delhi, where he interacted with students and faculty primarily from the Department of Buddhist Studies and spoke on ‘The Greatness of Small Acts’.

He was warmly welcomed to the university with a traditional Tibetan white silk scarf and bouquet of flowers by Professor Jain Khurana, Dean of Student Welfare and Professor Hira Paul Gangnegi, Head of the Department of Buddhist Studies.

The Karmapa appeared relaxed and lighthearted, joking with the students that he didn’t really think he could teach them much.

“I’ve had several opportunities to meet with students and we’ve had a wonderful chance to share experiences and ideas,” he said. “Sometimes the way I feel after these events is that I have so much to learn from hearing about your experiences and education, that in the end I get more out of it than you do!”

Over past years the Karmapa has held a series of sustained Read the rest of this article

Dedicating the Merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa

2015.01.29
29 January 2015, Bodhgaya.
The Gyalwang Karmapa spent almost three months in Bodhgaya, beginning in November with the monks’ Winter Dharma Gathering followed by the peaceful empowerments from the cycle of Knowing One Frees All, and then teachings on The Torch of True Meaning. These led into the 32nd Kagyu Monlam and then the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering, which included management and medical training for the nuns as well as debating. Further, the Karmapa made the major announcement of a program leading to full bhikshuni ordination. Also during the nuns’ gathering, the recognition and haircutting ceremony of Bokar Rinpoche’s reincarnation took place. These months have been an incredibly rich and fulfilling time, a vast cornucopia of Dharma flowing from the profound generosity and the compassionate activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa.

His last gesture was to dedicate all of this merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa, where he stopped on his way to the airport. Inside the main temple in front of the Buddha whose petaled halo of Read the rest of this article

The Inaugural Ceremony of the Ladakh Buddhist Vihara in Bodhgaya.

2015.01.26iii
January 26, 2015
The road into the Vihar has been lined in soft orange and cream satins embellished with gold sequins, and just after the gate into the Vihar, a large Dharma wheel has been chalked on the red carpeting. Nearby are a group of five male dancers with tall brocade hats and their maroon and white striped stoles. Just behind them wait five Ladakhi ladies, wearing their distinctive clothing and headdress—a wide turquoise studded wave that dips down over their forehead to end in a single beautiful stone. They carry long-spouted brass pitchers of liquor, the traditional offering of welcome in the Himalayan region. In the courtyard, about four hundred ordained and lay people wait before an open area reserved for the dance performances. Just beyond it, an elevated pavilion has been set up with a throne for the Gyalwang Karmapa, net to which is a shrine with an impressive three-foot Buddha statue lined below with the traditional seven offering bowls and a butter lamp.

Minutes before two o’clock, the distant sound of a Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates Land for a New Kitchen

2015.01.26 consecration
January 26, 2015
Inside the now empty and rambling frame of the Monlam kitchen with the bound lengths of bamboo still supporting deep blue tarpaulins, a small shrine has been set up. On the brocade covered table are two rows of the traditional offering bowls, and in front, a large offering cup on its stand sits next to a plate with a white torma. Not far away, a small rectangular area of earth has been opened in the brick floor.

Around eleven in the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa comes walking through the nearby field with the young Druppön Dechen at his side and accompanied by a small group of monks. He will perform a special ceremony (sometimes called taming the earth) to request the land and gratify the local spirits. The offerings are divided into three main phases. First, the white torma and a golden libation (gser skyems) are offered to the earth goddess to solicit the land from her. The Karmapa kneels in front of his chair with Druppön Dechen to make prayers. A stick of incense is Read the rest of this article