NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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Press Release

20th March, 2016 – Sarnath: His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje will convene the 7th Khoryug Conference for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries and Nunneries on the topic of Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction tomorrow.

Lasting from the 21st of March to the 24th of March, the conference will be held at Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath, and will be facilitated in partnership with the National Institute of Disaster Management of the Government of India. The conference will be attended by over 50 monastic representatives from over 25 monasteries and nunneries.

In organizing this 4-day conference, His Holiness the Karmapa is acting on his resolve to prepare monasteries and nunneries for potential disasters and to train monks and nuns to become first responders and risk reduction educators for local communities. The Himalayan region has seen three severe earthquakes just in the past five years: Sikkim 6.9 on the Richter scale in 2011, Nepal 7.3 in 2015, and Manipur 6.7 in January of 2016. Disaster management experts and seismologists have issued several warnings that these earthquakes have re-ruptured tectonic plates that were already cracked and increased the likelihood of more severe earthquakes to hit the Himalayan region.

Over the weeks that followed the Read the rest of this article

Winter Debates End with an Historic Announcement and Great Gratitude

2016.03.10
10 March, 2016 -Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, India
This year the Winter Debates lasted for fifteen days and encompassed a wonderful variety of ways to train the mind and deepen understanding. In addition to daily meditation, there were traditional debates on the philosophical positions of the Vaibhashika and Sautrantika Schools as well as the yearly debates on Collected Topics, Types of Evidence, and Types of Minds. Papers were presented on Gampopa’s Ornament of Precious Liberation covering the second chapter on the spiritual friend up to the eighth chapter on refuge, and western-style discussions on two topics: 1) Can blind faith be considered faith? and 2) Are the Dharma and the secular world opposed or not?

Starting at 8 p.m. on March 9, the final debate went into late hours and began with the topic of what it Read the rest of this article

Offerings to the Sangha: the Alms Procession and the 16 Arhats

2016.02.21
21 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of almsgiving dates back to the beginnings of Buddhism, 2500 years ago. At that time monks and nuns were not allowed to keep or prepare food and were therefore completely dependent on whatever they were offered to eat by the local community. Each morning they would go from door to door and collect food. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople not only showed their respect to the spiritual values that the Sangha symbolized, but were able to accumulate merit both by the action of generosity towards the Sangha and also by sharing in the merit which the monks and nuns generated through their spiritual practice.

In some Buddhist countries, the custom of the alms round has survived to this day, but in Tibet, because monasteries were supported by the local communities, it was no longer Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Two: Death is certain, so resolve to practice the Dharma.

2016.02.17
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of the Dagpo Kagyu is the confluence of two great streams: the practice of Mahamudra from Milarepa and the Six Yogas of Naropa, and the mind training tradition received from Jowo Atisha and transmitted through the Kadampa masters. Both streams were united in Lord Gampopa. Mind training is the necessary foundation for the practice of Mahamudra, the Karmapa explained, which is why he chose to teach from the Kadampa masters as much as possible during the main Monlam. This year’s text—also called The Long Soliloquy of Mind Training—was too long to be taught in one year, so he would continue the teaching at next year’s Monlam.

Geshe Potowa Rinchen Sal spent seven years serving Dromtönpa, the principal student of Atisha and founder of the Kadampa tradition, and received the oral Read the rest of this article

Commemorating the Great Sixteenth Karmapa: the Dharma King

2016.02.14i
14 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya,
Seated on a simple throne directly below the eighteen-foot image of Shakyamuni Buddha, a life-like replica of the Sixteenth Karmapa, cloaked in golden brocade emblazoned with dragons and flowers and wearing his black activity hat, gazed down on the assembly of 10,000 gathered to celebrate his life and activities.

Many dignitaries and eminent people from across the Indian subcontinent and the world had gathered for this special event. They included eminent Rinpoches and learned Khenpos, members of the Bhutanese royal family, politicians, government officials, academics, and thousands of ordinary monks, nuns and laypeople whose lives had been touched in some way by the 16th Karmapa. The guests were dressed in a rich variety of national dress. Tibetan dignitaries in chubas, Bhutanese in their own Read the rest of this article