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Gyalwang Karmapa Brings to a Close His Commentary on the Heart Sutra

2016.08.18
The final session of the 17th Karmapa’s commentary on the Heart Sutra began with a brief explanation of the differences in the view of emptiness among the Middle Way (Madhyamaka), Mind Only (Chittamātra), and the Buddha Nature (Tathāgatagarbha) schools of Buddhism. The prajna paramita sutras, the Karmapa reminded everyone, are the root of philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism. All of its three main schools have their respective views of the four-fold emptiness and how emptiness and phenomena are related. However, the Karmapa cautioned, since all of them are teachings of the Buddha, it is not appropriate to say that one is superior to another. A variety of explanations are available in order to pacify our different afflictions.

The Middle Way school considers that the four-fold emptiness shows that all phenomena are essentially not truly existent, and Read the rest of this article

The View of Emptiness and the Path to Buddhahood

2016.08.17.am
17 August 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
His Holiness began the fourth session of his commentary on the Heart Sutra by reviewing the topics that had been covered in the previous sessions and then resumed his commentary on Section Five, the question:

    Son of a noble family, how should any son or daughter of noble family train, when they wish to practise the profound transcendent wisdom?

The Karmapa skilfully explained how what appears to be one question actually encompasses all aspects of the practice of the Mahayana from the beginning of the path to the attainment of buddhahood. Shariputra appears to ask how someone who wants to practise diligently should train, but there are in fact five questions embedded in this one question.

The Heart Sutra Session Two: Causes and Conditions

2016.08.16
16 August, 2016 – Hyatt Regency Gurgaon,
The session began with an invocation to Incense Cloud Buddha, whose golden image beamed down from the screen above the stage. This is the traditional Chinese way to begin all teachings, because when Incense Cloud Buddha lights his incense all the buddhas are summoned to listen to the teaching. Another feature of these study sessions is the recitation of the Heart Sutra in Chinese, sung to a particular musical style known as the Ocean’s Wave: a rolling, rhythmic chant, with descant and alto harmonies, peaceful and soft like the motion of gentle waves on the surface of the ocean.

Previously, in the opening session, the Karmapa had delineated the eight sections of the sutra and commented on the first three: the prologue, the time and the retinue. He now moved on to explore the section on the Read the rest of this article

Thanksgiving Takes Many Forms

2016.06.25 dinner
June 25, 2016 – Delhi, India.
The final evening of the Delhi teachings saw a festive dinner to celebrate the four days of teachings and express thanks to all who had made the event possible. To the sound of applause, the Gyalwang Karmapa entered the dining hall through the garden door and took his seat at the central table. The Chairperson of the Karmapa Khyenno Foundation (KKF), Lama Dawa, gave heartfelt thanks to all who had helped, starting with His Holiness who bestowed his compassionate blessing, and including all the members of the sixteen Dharma centers who worked very hard night and day and in great harmony, leaving behind a sense of separation between self and other.

A slide show depicted the Dharma activities of KKF, including sponsoring teachings, setting up medical camps, and tree planting. Read the rest of this article

A Thousand Arms and a Thousand Eyes of Compassion

2016.06.25
June 25, 2016 – Delhi, India.
The focal point of the spacious hall has become the tall, radiant thangka of a brilliant white Avalokitsehvara with 1000 arms and 1000 eyes. Right beneath it is the Karmapa’s throne and to stage right, wood screens have been placed in front of the altar where the Karmapa would perform his preparations for this empowerment. In the middle of a procession, he entered the hall from the back door, walking down the long main aisle as monks led the way with incense. While disciples chanted Om Mani Padme Hung and Karma Khyenno, the sound of Karmapa’s bell rang through their voices from behind the screens.

After he finished and took his seat on the throne, a mandala was offered. Soon the Karmapa paused during the ceremony to explain the vows to come. There are two ways to go for refuge, he said. Taking refuge alone Read the rest of this article