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Memorial Service for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the late King of Thailand

18 February, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

“This is probably a very rare opportunity for us from the Tibetan tradition to invite so many Bikkhus and I think that it is historically significant”

With those words the Gyalwang Karmapa marked the day of the memorial service for His Majesty the late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Prior to this unique event, meant to embody the unity of the sanghas, His Holiness had, as a true protector of beings would, with great diligence and kindness, personally tended to every detail. In efforts to accommodate the proper customs of Thailand, he collaborated with the Thai sangha and created the elegant setting: on the stage, at the far end of the corridor between the monks’ benches and below the pyramidal tiers of the stage, gold and silver ritual implements Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Four

February 16, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

Today, His Holiness reflected on the part of Geshe Potowa’s Long Soliloquy, which had virtue in monasteries as its focal point. He encouraged everyone to nurture enthusiasm and bodhicitta, the essence of which is the union of emptiness and compassion, to guide our efforts to benefit others. Following a short instruction, he concluded with a meditation session. Though he had completed this year’s Monlam teaching, he had not exhausted the content of the whole text and announced that the teaching on the text would extend for one or two more Monlams.

The Karmapa read Geshe Potowa’s accounts of visiting monasteries. When he inquired after fine individuals, he was often told that these fine individuals, the life-blood of the monastery, were the wealthy ones, with much gold, Read the rest of this article

The Karmapa Visits the Milarepa Exhibition and Friends of Kagyu Monlam Members’ Lunch at the Mahayana Hotel

15 February, 2017 – Mahayana Hotel, Bodhgaya
On the third day of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam, His Holiness the Karmapa joined the Mönlam Members’ lunch, which is set out every day at the Mahayana Hotel for the duration of the event. Long before the arrival of the Karmapa, the Members had already been queuing patiently in a long line that stretched from the lobby all the way across the forecourt of the hotel to the street outside, waiting for their turn in the dining room. The Members were, of course, thrown into a flurry of excitement, hurriedly reaching for katas, as the news of the Karmapa’s impending visit spread. As the wait went on, they spontaneously broke into chanting Karmapa Khyenno. And not long after, they were indeed heard, as the queue moved aside and the Karmapa’s car rolled in.

His Holiness went directly to the dining Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session Two

The second session of the teaching began with the text:

Thus there are few who have turned their minds away from this life. Many say they are bodhisattvas, but I wonder whether they are really focused on this life. I think about what I would do if I were to die tonight and have never considered any ambitions for tomorrow and thereafter. Because of that, I have understood the critical points of Dharma. That alone is the greatest sustenance for meditation. I had thought it would be likewise for others too, but when I tell them, their attitudes have never been compatible with mine.

His Holiness commented that this illustrates how Potowa applied the Dharma that he knew as an antidote to the afflictions. Knowing the Dharma and teaching the dharma are not sufficient. The Dharma has to be practised as it is taught, internalised and Read the rest of this article

The Soliloquy of Geshe Potowa: Session One

13 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya

The second session on the first day of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam started with the Mandala Offering with 37 Features, for which a long line of lay practitioners formed up, their white clothing, accented by the five-coloured silks of the offerings they were bringing. Slowly, they filed past the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne as the recitation of the Supplication to the Lineage of the Bodhisattva Vow followed the Mandala Offering, and returned to their seats, beaming with joy as they held on to the red ribbons they had received from His Holiness.

The Karmapa then resumed his teaching on the Long Soliloquy from the Great Kadampa Master Potowa, at the point where he had left off last year.

Master Potowa’s text quotes the great Indian teacher, Lord Atisha, and the Karmapa Read the rest of this article