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“Turn Your Worries Into Strength,” Gyalwang Karmapa Tells Students

16 April,2012 – Dharamsala

His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Tibetan Transit School (TTS) in Dharamsala, northern India, on April 16. He inaugurated a giant mani prayer wheel and addressed staff and students.

Speaking at the Tibetan Transit School His Holiness urged the students to turn their “home sickness, worries, and sadness” into strength through hard work and dedication.

“We all are same,” Gyalwang Karmapa told the students, who are recent arrivals from Tibet. “We all came from Tibet. We all have worries, sadness and maybe same aim too. I can understand you all well.”

“You have to turn your worries into your strength. You have to focus on your long term goals and study hard,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said.

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The Kangyur Procession at The Mahabodhi Stupa

For five days this year’s Monlam had been held at the Monlam Pavilion, two kilometers from Bodhgaya, so it felt strange on the sixth day to be in Bodhgaya, standing at the entrance to the Mahabodhi stupa grounds at five o’clock in the morning once more.  Strange, but also very comfortable, like coming home. This ancient site radiates a pervasive feeling of sacredness, as if the broken stones themselves are a repository for two thousand years of devotion, hope, and trust in the way of the Buddha. Sitting under the bodhi tree, waiting for the Gyalwang Karmapa to arrive, people commented that they missed being at the stupa. However, for once, laypeople were able to sit where the novice monks and nuns would have been sitting, closer to the shrine, His Holiness and the bodhi tree, rather than crowded into the margins, hidden behind monuments, or perched precariously on the grass banks.  Perhaps they had forgotten the advantages of the pavilion, where everyone is included and can have a clear view of Read the rest of this article

Karma Pakshi and A Jataka Tale : A Play with Dance and A Tibetan Opera


On the evening of March third, the Monlam stage with its huge altar was transformed by the presence of four tall pillars arrayed across the front of the stage. In deep brown decorated in gold filigree, topped by lotus flowers, they supported the four animals—a tiger, garuda, vulture, and snow lion—that appeared to Milarepa in his famous dream. The four represent the main disciples of Marpa the Translator, through whom the Kamtshang lineage flows. In front of the stage, the rows of seats in the Pavilion are filled right up to the back while three screens on either side bring into the evening darkness the radiant and warm colors of the stage.

This is the setting for tonight’s play based on the life of the Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1206-1283). Written by the Gyalwang Karmapa in a contemporary idiom, the drama focuses on three events: the arrival of Orgyenpa (1230-1312), who would hold the Karma Pakshi’s lineage; the meeting of these two great lamas; and finally, Orgyenpa’s meeting and recognizing the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339). During the time of the Read the rest of this article

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Seven

7 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

Sojong and the alms procession

5.30am and at the Monlam Pavilion, H.E.Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was giving the Mahayana sojong vows. Meanwhile, at Tergar Monastery 500 Read more

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Six

6 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

The main events today centred around the Kangyur, the Tibetan collection of sutras or the written record of the words of the Buddha. This is covered in a separate feature.

Novice monks and nuns did not go to the Mahabodhi stupa. The Mahayana sojong vows  at the Monlam Pavilion were given by Khenpo Dönyö.  While the Kangyur procession was under way at the stupa,  those at the pavilion recited the Menlha (Medicine Buddha ritual).

Session Three: Prayers for the well-being of Tibet

The current troubles in Tibet mean that this year’s Monlam prayers for the well-being of Tibet have taken on an urgency and great significance.  Each year, His Holiness unfailingly attends this session. The  prayers in this section were written mostly by His Holiness the Fourteenth  Dalai Lama.

There must have been very many heavy hearts amongst the monks and nuns as they recited them, especially those whose families are Read the rest of this article