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The Opening Session of the 34th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo in Bodhgaya


13 February 2017 – Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya

Thriving Aspirations for the World come from a Peaceful Mind

Just before the break of dawn, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa led the assembly of many thousands into the seven days of virtue and pure aspirations of the 34th Kagyu Monlam.

With a wish to re-establish ancient connections, His Holiness has instated Sanskrit chants at the beginning of the first session. The impressive Sanskrit sounds resounded in harmony through the dark of the Bodhgaya morning, reminiscent of Buddhism’s origins.

“This is the Vajra Seat, the essence of enlightenment,” the Karmapa said and initiated this Monlam by imparting the Sojong vows followed by advice on how to make our aspirations truly fruitful.

He inspired those gathered there with his advice on the need to bring Read the rest of this article

Four-Session Guru Yoga Session Two


Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya — 11 February 2017 

In the afternoon lecture on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, the Gyalwang Karmapa gave nuanced instructions to the assembly on visualisations essential for this profound sadhana practice. In a truly gracious manner, His Holiness extended the session until late in the afternoon in order to deliver detailed and comprehensive guidance to gathered initiates. 

Today’s guided lecture was the crowning session, not only for the training on The Four-Session Guru Yoga, but for the long series of teachings on The Torch of True Meaning which has  stretched over five Kagyu Monlams.

Read the rest of this article

The 17th Karmapa Launches a New Website: DHARMA EBOOKS


10 February, 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

A year after the launch of the ADARSHA website, which lets you read and conduct searches of ancient Tibetan documents in a digital format, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has announced the launch of a second website: DHARMA EBOOKS. Both websites are part of the DHARMA TREASURE project, which operates under the editorial guidance of the Karmapa and actuates his vision to use modern technology to preserve and propagate ancient traditions.

Whereas ADARSHA focuses only on the Kangyur, Tengyur and other Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan, DHARMA EBOOKS will contain a greater range of Buddhist e-books, including important texts from the Buddhist canon, commentaries and practice texts. Though some are still only available in Tibetan, others have been translated into many different languages. Karmapa Mikyö Read the rest of this article

Torch of True Meaning: Session Three

10 February 2017 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya
The Gyalwang Karmapa began teaching where he had left off in Session Two, by reading the section on the words from the Mukhagama of Manjushri, found in The Torch of True Meaning, and then reflected on the idea of the root guru based on this profound text.

The Mukhagama states

Any sentient being who belittles
A Vajra bearer of the future, 
Belittles me, so therefore I 
Abandon them all for a time.

It continues:

I dwell in his body and receive 
The offerings of other practitioners.
Those who please him will purify
The karmic obscurations in their own being.

In The Torch of True Meaning, Jamgon Kongtrul elaborates further that, even Read the rest of this article

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