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Gyalwang Karmapa Gives Two Short Teachings: The Sutra in Three Sections and King of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration for Excellent Conduct

29 December 2014 Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya,

The Sutra in Three Sections

During the first session His Holiness gave a short teaching on this prayer, before it was recited as part of the thirteenth section–Confession of Wrongdoing–of the Twenty Branch Monlam.  This prayer is used particularly for confession and purification following transgressions against vows, especially downfalls of the bodhisattva vow.  There is a story which tells how a group of monks, thirty-five in all, killed a child by accident one day, when they were on their alms round. In their horror at taking a life, they went to one of the Buddha’s close disciples, Upali, and asked him to ask the Buddha for a method to confess and purify the deed. The Buddha responded by speaking this sutra. As he did so, light radiated from his body and thirty four other buddhas appeared around him. The monks prostrated, took refuge, made offerings, confessed their misdeed and their vows were restored.

The Gyalwang Karmapa began by recounting Read the rest of this article

The 32nd International Kagyu Monlam Begins in Bodhgaya

29 December, 2014-12-30 Monlam Pavilion

Clusters of people were already making their way through the security check, when His Holiness arrived at the Monlam Pavilion for the first session of the 32nd Monlam at just turned 5.00am.

A new concrete road, laid specially for the International Buddhist Conclave, held at the Monlam Pavilion in late September, stretches from the Sujata Bypass past Tergar Monastery to the Monlam Pavilion. All those who walk along it pass under the very plain Monlam entrance gate—a simple structure of cloth, painted plywood and bamboo. The same as last year, it bears prayer flags of the dhayani mantra of Akshobhya Buddha, which has the power to purify all those who pass beneath. The right-hand pillar is decorated with the colours associated with Buddhism and used in Buddhist flags. The six colours represent the six colours of the aura which Buddhists believe emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained enlightenment. Blue represents universal compassion; yellow for the Middle Way; red stands for Read the rest of this article

Conclusion of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s Gunchö Teachings Day 10: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

11 December, 2014 Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

The Gyalwang Karmapa completed the transmission of the chapter on Vast and Profound Light: Instructions on the Two Types of Bodhichitta According to the Founders of the Two Traditions by reading Mikyo Dorje’s post meditation instructions.

First come instructions on taking adversity into the path.

  •  During illness, think that you are suffering because in the past, deluded by self-clinging, you have struck, beaten and killed others. So the more serious the illness, the happier you should be. Visualise and supplicate the Guru, acknowledge that this is the ripening of karma from a previous life and pray that you can take on the sufferings of other beings.
  • When you are stricken with illness caused by demons, you should visualise offering your flesh and blood to the harmful spirits which are causing the difficulties, similar to the Chod practice. Begin with a short Guru Yoga practice, and at the end, pray that you can bring all these beings to Read the rest of this article

Enhancing Bodhichitta— Day 9: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

9 December, 2014, Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
During the teaching today, the Gyalwang Karmapa gave the monks the oral transmission and practice instructions for the 8th Karmapa Mikyö Dorje’s Four Session Guru Yoga, the practice recited over loudspeakers across the Garchen last thing each evening at 10.00pm.

First, however, His Holiness read a short section from Mikyö Dorje’s text, continuing the instructions on how to increase bodhichitta. The whole chapter can be understood as an extensive Guru Yoga practice, with a visualisation of the gurus in front of you, and continuous supplication of them. Within this section, the instructions on tonglen meditation continue.

By the blessings of the Guru and your own compassion, visualise that all the happiness and virtue you have exits on the out breath and transfers to all other sentient beings. Then, as you breathe in, you inhale their suffering in the form of black smoke. First you visualise this happening to those you feel close to, your parents, family and friends, gradually Read the rest of this article

Generating Bodhichitta— Day 7 and 8: Teachings on One Hundred Short Instructions

7- 8, December, 2014
The Gyalwang Karmapa began as usual with the command: Please arouse Bodhichitta and listen to the teaching.

Having covered the common preliminary meditations which form the basis for all further Dharma practice in previous sessions, on Sunday [Day 7] the section on the actual practice of arousing bodhichitta began.

The text explains that you should develop aspirational bodhichitta then take the Bodhisattva vows with engaged bodhichitta. But first come detailed instructions on several meditations to prepare the mind. The whole text is an extended Guru Yoga, and, thus, at each stage there is a supplication to the Guru for his blessings in order to accomplish the practice.

Initially, so that your being becomes more malleable, you practise shamatha meditation in an isolated place and develop meditative stabilisation. Meditating on the breath, you begin by counting from 1-10 breaths, and then step by step increase until you can focus perfectly on 1-100 breaths. As a result, the mind becomes peaceful Read the rest of this article