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The Torch of True Meaning: Session One


February 9, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India

This year sees the conclusion of a five-part teaching begun by the Karmapa on 31st December 2012, the year in which the Kagyu Monlam commemorated the Jamgon Kongtrul lineage, and hence the choice of this text by the First Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. 

The text is a guide to the ngondro or preliminaries to the practice of Mahamudra in the Kagyu tradition.  First, come the common preliminary meditations—known as the four thoughts which turn the mind to Dharma, they are the precious human life; death and impermanence; karma, cause and effect; and the unsatisfactoriness of life in samsara. Then  come the special preliminary practices. At successive Monlams, His Holiness has completed giving instructions on the first three: Refuge and Prostration; Vajrasattva Practice; and Offering Read the rest of this article

The Main Chakrasamvara Empowerment


February 6, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodh Gaya, India
On this remarkable day, after two days of initial rituals, the followers of Gyalwang Karmapa had, for the first time, been given the opportunity to receive the grand empowerment of Chakrasamvara from the head of the Kagyu lineage.

His Holiness introduced the initiates into the meaning of Secret Mantra clarifying that the word “mantra”, in Chinese translations, means “the words of truth”.

“It is when we speak in accordance with the nature of how things are, the power of those words, and the way of bringing benefit to the world through that power,” he said and illustrated the point with stories of Angulimala and Buddha Akshobhya. The Angulimala Sutra tells of Angulimala encountering a pregnant woman unable to give birth. Buddha advised that Angulimala, who had killed many people in Read the rest of this article

Preparing for the Chakrasamvara Empowerment

This second day of the empowerment began privately as the Gyalwang Karmapa performed the lama’s preliminary practice for the empowerment (dbang sgrub). During this time, the Vajra Master enters into a samadhi focused on the deity to actualize its special qualities. This middle day of the ritual is known as the preparatory empowerment (stag gon gyi dbang) as it prepares the disciples to receive the actual empowerment on the third day.

Today the stage was the same as the night before, except that in stage center, the grand black and gold peacock throne has been unveiled. At the top of the back panel is a golden image of Amitabha, on the front of its tall table is a pair of his mount, the peacock, and the stairs leading up to the throne are decorated with a swirling, powerful dragon. The Monlam Pavilion in front of the throne was filled Read the rest of this article

A Day Moving from Empowerment to Intellectual Pursuit and Finally Song and Dance


December, 10, 2016 – Sherabling Monastery, Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh, India
Today’s events took place in the vast shrine hall of the new shedra (monastic college), which was inaugurated in 2015 and provides housing for 500 monks. In the center of the shrine hall, the Karmapa’s throne has been set before a radiant statue of the Buddha in preparation for the empowerment he will bestow today. The hall is bright with light that streams in through side windows and illuminates the thangkas of the Golden Garland hung on either side of the central aisle. Down this path His Holiness entered in a formal procession and took his seat in front of the altar specially set up for the empowerment. Here he preformed the preparations and then took his seat on the throne. After a formal mandala offering by Mingyur Rinpoche, the Karmapa began the empowerment, and finishing Read the rest of this article

Deep Connections between the Karmapa and Khyentse Lineages: The Gyalwang Karmapa Awards Khenpo Certificates at Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute

2016-11-20
November 20, 2016 – Chauntra, HP, India
On this auspicious day of the Buddha’s Decent from the Realm of Tushita, which is one of the four major Buddhist holidays, the Gyalwang Karmapa traveled in the morning to Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö Institute to give diplomas to four new khenpos (professors and future abbots). Usually the head of the lineage performs this ceremony; however, to signify the close relationship between the Karmapa and Khyentse lineages, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche kindly invited the Karmapa to take this role.

For this special occasion, the wide path from the main gate of the Institute to the shrine hall was decorated with the traditional eight auspicious symbols, made of crushed stones in brilliant colors and lined on either side by a double row of marigolds.
Walking down this path under a golden umbrella, the Read the rest of this article