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Gyalwang Karmapa Distributes Presents on Christmas Eve

Wednesday 24th December, 2008

In the afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa distributed small presents – a bag and an umbrella from this year’s Monlam souvenirs – to the staff of Tsurphu Labrang and to members of the Kagyu Monlam Working Team. Read the rest of this article

Last Day of The Karma Gunchoe Teachings

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st December, 2008

Gyalwang Karmapa completed the reading transmission of the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje’s The Lion’s Roar which Destroys Confusion. He described the Four Yogas of Mahamudra, one-pointed, simplicity, one-taste, and no-meditation, and the three stages within each yoga – lower, middle, greater – and mapped each one onto the five paths and ten levels of the Bodhisattva. His Holiness went on to explain the phrase “appearances are mind”, and to speak more on the controversies between the rangtong and shentong viewpoints.

Finally His Holiness addressed the foreigners present – thanking them for attending the teaching and wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – first in Chinese and then in English. Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teachings on the Lion’s Roar that Destroys Confusion

Saturday 20th December, 2008

Displaying both erudition and a sense of humour, Gyalwang Karmapa continued his transmission and exposition of the text. He dealt with two new issues. The first was whether or not it was valid to rank the Consequentialist Middle Way School and the Autonomous Middle Way School, holding one as a higher view than the other. The second was with regard to rangtong (self-empty) and shentong (other-empty). His Holiness explored the historical context of the debate between the proponents of rangtong and shentong, the acceptance of the shentong view in the Khamtsang Kagyu, and the role of the Jonang School.

Gyalwang Karmapa then moved on to highlight the interrelationship between study and practice. He stressed that all the texts, both sutra and tantra, were written or taught for the purpose of practice and there was not one single word in the canon that was not a quintessential instruction to bring us to awakening. Even the commentarial treatises were written for this purpose.

Practice without the study which brings understanding and study without the intention of informing practice would not bring us to awakening. Faith was necessary Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching on Madhyamika : Fourth Session

Thursday 18th December, 2008

Gyalwang Karmapa gave a scholarly overview of some of the issues in the Tibetan canon, with particular reference to differences between Tibetan and Chinese texts. He focused on the Tibetan and Chinese versions of the Five Works of Maitreya, using internal evidence from the texts themselves to argue a logical order.

He also began the transmission of the main text for the teaching : The Lion’s Roar that Destroys Confusion by 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje. Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching on Madhyamika Continues

Tuesday 16th December, 2008

The assembly hall of Tergar Monastery was packed with monks and laypeople to listen to the second part of Gyalwang Karmapa’s teachings which continued this afternoon. This is only a brief report on the session. It may be possible later to provide a fuller report from the transcription of the Tibetan.

Because of Nagarjuna’s importance in establishing the Middle Way school of Buddhist philosophy Gyalwang Karmapa began with an overview of Nagarjuna’s life. Accounts of his life exist in both Chinese and Tibetan sources. The earliest Chinese source, written approximately one hundred years after Nagarjuna’s death, predates Tibetan sources. It seems he was born in South India into a Brahmin family, and studied Buddhism in South India. After many years of practice he reached an understanding of emptiness. There are also references to prophecies about Nagarjuna, but there is a need to exercise caution when citing prophecies, because the true intention and meaning of a prophetic text can only be disclosed by its author. Read more