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28th Kagyu Monlam Begins

December 15, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

On the very first morning of the 28th Kagyu Monlam before dawn, after the Sangha of Rinpoches, Khenpos, Lamas, monks, nuns and lay devotees were seated, proceeded by a procession of monks and the sound of blaring trumpets, His Holiness arrived and took his seat below the Bodhi tree, where the previous Buddhas and all the thousand and two Buddhas of this fortunate eon will attain enlightenment.

His Holiness first met briefly with a group of Taiwanese devotees who made him offerings. Then he put on his black activity crown and, while standing before his seat, holding a white khata which was blowing gently in the wind he awaited the arrival of the precious statue of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, which has been known to speak.

As His Holiness stood there, the sound of trumpets were heard in the distance, forewarning us of its arrival. The procession of monks wearing yellow Read the rest of this article

Guru Rinpoche Empowerment

December 13, 2010 – Bodhgaya

A Blessing for Our Path of Practice

This morning there are two additions to the stage. Beneath the enthroned Dusum Khyenpa is a large statue of Guru Rinpoche, glistening in gold. He will be the focus for this morning’s empowerment, which is based on the form of Guru Rinpoche known as the Lotus of Blazing Light, (Padma Obar), found in the practices of the Embodiment of the Three Jewels. This is especially auspicious for two reasons. The first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa, who is being celebrated this year, is considered an emanation of Guru Rinpoche. Secondly, this form of his practice is widespread throughout the Himalayan region and this year’s teachings are especially intended for people from this area.

Beneath Guru Rinpoche and sheltered in a small wooden pavilion with its roof curving gently upward is a shining statue of Atisha, wearing the red pandita hat and holding his hands in the teaching mudra. It is his Lamp for the Path to Read the rest of this article

Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings by The Gyalwang Karmapa: Day Three

December 12, 2010 – Bodhgaya

MORNING SESSION
We Live to Benefit Beings

As usual, the lilting chant of Karma Khyenno fills the pavilion. After the Karmapa is seated on his throne, today’s long life offering is made by Khenpo Donyo and the Mirik Monastery of Bokar Rinpoche.

His Holiness begins by speaking of people who are destitute and without protection. For all of them, we should have a special compassion. We should extend it to those who are difficult to transform, who have engaged in many negative activities, and thereby brought suffering upon themselves in this and future lives. We should see all of them as a treasure and feel a particular compassion for them.

All the living beings who surround us have been our enemies, friends, or someone somewhere in between. These are the possibilities in the present and they will be so in the future. If someone is our enemy now, there is no certainty that she or he has Read the rest of this article

Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment – Teachings by The Gyalwang Karmapa: Day Two

December 11, 2010 – Bodhgaya

MORNING SESSION
True Dharma Practice Transforms Our Mind

Today the chanting started at eight-thirty with the famous prayer to Guru Rinpoche, “Eliminating Obstacles on the Path.” Present today in the front row were Gyaltsap Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Dolop Tenga Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Khenpo Donyo, and Bagyo Rinpoche.

The setting is the same as yesterday except the ornamental brocade umbrella which usually accompanies a high lama to symbolize a noble rank, is now stationed at a corner of throne with the practical function of protecting the Karmapa from the hot rays of the morning sun. Karmapa Khyenno is chanted with a lovely new melody.

To the sound of the jalings, His Holiness walks down the central aisle with an ease of dignity belying his years. Coming to the stage stairs, he removes his shoes and walks straight ahead to a long brocade laid out in front of his throne below Dusum Khyenpa and the Buddha. After three slow and careful bows, he takes his seat and opens a long text, swathed in golden silk.

Today again there are Read the rest of this article

Karmapa 900 Opening Ceremony, Day 2: Protecting the Karma Kagyu Teachings

December 9, 2010 – Bodhgaya | www.karmapa900.org

As thousands gathered before daybreak for Karmapa 900, the image of Buddha Shakyamuni was already basking in golden light beneath the painted sun on the Karmapa 900 stage. From dusk to dawn, this second day of the commemoration was devoted to the protection of the Karma Kagyu teachings received from Dusum Khyenpa, whose 900th birth anniversary will be celebrated throughout the upcoming year. With 108 smoke offerings in the morning and 100,000 offerings to Mahakala in the afternoon and evening, the day of practice was centered on Mahakala, whose history as Dharma protector of the Karma Kagyu is nearly as long as the lineage itself.

Morning Smoke Offering Ceremony

The crowd repeatedly rose to its feet respectfully, as the Karma Kagyu’s seniormost lamas entered and took their seats one after another: His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, His Eminence Jamgön Kongtrul, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, Bayö Rinpoche, Yonge Mingyur Rinpoche, Khenpo Lodrö Dönyö, the young Drupön Dechen Rinpoche and many, many others. His Holiness then Read the rest of this article